ESPN recently ranked the top 100 players in the NBA, and three members of the Dallas Mavericks made the cut. Luka Doncic led the way at number four overall. Kristaps Porzingis was the second highest rated Maverick at number 50 overall. Tim Hardaway Jr. was the final Maverick to make the cut at number 79 overall.
The rankings are fair for each player. An argument could be made to rank Luka higher. Durant’s ranking as number one continues to show that durability is undervalued. Durant has played a total of 35 regular season games over the last two seasons. An argument could also be made that reigning Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic should be higher. Ranking fourth overall at the tender age of 22 is certainly not a slight to the Slovenian wunderkind.
Ranking Porzingis at 50 seems like ESPN admitting they don’t know how to value him. This is probably about right for Porzingis. If he is healthy and happy, this ranking will be embarrassingly low. If he is injured and/or upset with his role, this ranking will be embarrassingly high. Putting him right in the middle seems to make sense given the wide variety of potential outcomes for Porzingis.
Tim Hardaway Jr. making the top 100 at all is a testament to how far the gunner has come. The three players directly above him: Kirk Henderson favorite Dillon Brooks, former number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins, and current number one overall pick Cade Cunningham showcase the type of talent who are seen as his peers. Hardaway Jr. has flaws but he has most certainly become a valuable player during his stay in Dallas.
The Mavericks are well represented on this list and all three players seem appropriately ranked. While all three should be proud of their rank on the list, hopefully Porzingis will join Luka as a top 25 player next season after showing that he can remain healthy.