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Scaletta’s Summer Top 100 Countdown: Introduction

June 13, 2016 - Oakland, California, U.S - Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots between Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Iman Shumpert (4) during the first half of Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, California, Monday, June 13, 2016 (Photo by Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

The summer is here, and the offseason is set to endure it’s lengthy, boring stretch where nothing happens. That’s about the time of year when fans take to debating player rankings. With that in mind, I’ll be releasing “Scaletta’s Summer Top 100 Countdown” over the rest of the offseason.

But before we kick this into gear, I wanted to explain a bit my thoughts on player rankings and my methodology in compiling these rankings.

I find there are two camps of crazy people on ranking players. One type likes to adhere to them rigidly. They’ll take a hardline position on whether Kevin Durant is better than Russell Westbrook and fight it tooth and nail for hours. They are completely inflexible on any ranking.

Then there are those who eschew any sort of player ranking at all, declaring any such thing as impossible to know, thereby decreeing that any such ranking is pointless.

Personally, I prefer a kind of “soft” rankings that are more flexible but still allows fans the mental exercise of comparing and contrasting styles of play and having discussions about them.

By “soft rankings” what I mean is I ranked players where I expect them to be in the coming season based on how they did last season, team and/or responsibility changes, age, etc.

However, for each player, there will also be a “floor” and a “ceiling.” For some, the distance between them is very small. For LeBron James, his ceiling is No. 1 and his floor is No. 3, assuming no injuries.

Contrast that with someone like Harrison Barnes, however, with so much undetermined in regards to how his role and usage will change, and there is a lot more wiggle room.

For each player, then, I’ll have the player’s range, including what they have to do to reach their ceiling and what has to go wrong for them to hit their floor.

To get the rankings, I considered a number of things.

I looked at all players who logged at least 500 minutes last season based on PER, win shares, win shares per 48 minutes and total stats, thereby giving weight to both per-minute and total impact.

Players were initially ranked using a formula evenly weighting each of the four areas to hew out a rough rankings. From there, I used personal observation and opinion to “tweak” them accordingly, bounced them off my editor and made a few more tweaks here and there.

While these rankings are soft, they aren’t arbitrary. They are a mix of both objective and subjective input and reflect more than one opinion. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to debate whether Kyrie Irving should be ahead of DeMar DeRozan as they’re both within that same “floor-to-ceiling” range.

For each player, I will also include a bit of a scouting report which includes both objective and subjective observations of his offense and defense which will help explain why I have him ranked where he is.

In short, my hope is that these rankings could be used more to “open discussions” than “settle debates,” or start them for that matter. As each player is released, I will update this article with his ranking and the link to his write-up.

100. Will Barton

99. Jahlil Okafor

98. D’Angelo Russell

97. Thaddeus Young

96. Harrison Barnes

95. Bradley Beal

94. Allen Crabbe

93. Tyreke Evans

92. Lou Williams

91. Amir Johnson

90. Evan Fournier

89. Taj Gibson

88. Chandler Parsons

87. Bismack Biyombo

86. Goran Dragic

85. Jrue Holiday

84. Cody Zeller

83. Zach LaVine

82. Rajon Rondo

81. Ian Mahinmi

80. Jabari Parker

79. Marcin Gortat

78. Tony Parker

77. Darren Collison

76. Serge Ibaka

75. Nerlens Noel

74. Nikola Mirotic

73. Andrew Wiggins

72. Ryan Anderson

71. Gorgui Dieng

70. Marvin Williams 

69. Brandon Knight

68. Aaron Gordon

67. Rodney Hood

66. Victor Oladipo

65. George Hill

64. Luol Deng

63. Kenneth Faried

62. Tobias Harris

61. Ed Davis

60. Ricky Rubio

59. C.J. McCollum

58. J.J. Redick

57. Dirk Nowitzki

56. Nicolas Batum

55. Danilo Gallinari

54. Jae Crowder

53. Jeff Teague

52. Steven Adams

51. Eric Bledsoe

50. Greg Monroe

49. Mike Conley

48. Tristan Thompson

47. Dwyane Wade

46. Nikola Jokic

45. Pau Gasol

44. Nikola Vucevic

43. Jonas Valanciunas

42. Chris Bosh

41. Brook Lopez

40. Enes Kanter

39. Dwight Howard

38. Khris Middleton

37. Rudy Gobert

36. Reggie Jackson

35. Isaiah Thomas

34. Carmelo Anthony

33. Kemba Walker

32. Kristaps Porzingis 

31. Derrick Favors

30. Kevin Love

29. Marc Gasol 

28. Gordon Hayward

27. Al Horford

26. Hassan Whiteside

25. Kyrie Irving

24. DeMar DeRozan

23. Giannis Antetokounmpo

22. John Wall

21. Andre Drummond

20. Klay Thompson

19. DeAndre Jordan

18. Karl-Anthony Towns

17. Blake Griffin

16. Jimmy Butler

15. LaMarcus Aldridge

14. DeMarcus Cousins

13. Paul Millsap

12. Kyle Lowry

11. Damian Lillard

10. Paul George

9. Draymond Green

8. Anthony Davis

7. Chris Paul

6. James Harden

5. Kawhi Leonard

4. Russell Westbrook

3. Kevin Durant

2. LeBron James 

1. Stephen Curry

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