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NBA top 100 players

For the third year, the Observer reviewed the previous season's NBA statistics in researching the current 100 best players. We made exceptions for some players with worthy recent seasons but who suffered long-term injuries last season. Players were not ranked based on potential. Players were selected and ranked with input from an NBA player-personnel executive not connected to the Bobcats/Hornets. Players were ranked 1 to 100 and grouped into three tiers - franchise players, core players and long-term starters. Franchise players are good enough to build a team around; core players are All-Star caliber and long-term starters are good enough to help most, if not all, 30 teams.

Player Yr. Rank
'14   '13
Team Height/
Weight
Position Year drafted Position
drafted
Breakout
year
FRANCHISE PLAYERS
LeBron James 1 1 Miami Heat 6-8, 250 Forward 2003 1 1st
Kevin Durant 2 2 Oklahoma City Thunder 6-9, 235 Forward 2007 2 1st
Chris Paul 3 4 Los Angeles Clippers 6-0, 175 Guard 2005 4 1st
Stephen Curry 4 11 Golden State Warriors  6-3, 185 Guard 2009 7 1st
James Harden 5 10 Houston Rockets 6-5, 220 Guard 2009 3 3rd
Blake Griffin 6 22 Los Angeles Clippers 6-10, 251 Forward 2009 1 1st
Kevin Love 7 16 Minnesota Timberwolves  6-10, 260 Forward-center 2008 5 3rd
Joakim Noah 8 24 Chicago Bulls 6-11, 232 Center 2007 9 3rd
LaMarcus Aldridge 9 26 Portland Trail Blazers 6-11, 240 Forward 2006 2 2nd
Dwight Howard 10 8 Houston Rockets 6-11, 265 Center 2004 1 1st
Tony Parker 11 3 San Antonio Spurs 6-2, 185 Guard 2001 28 4th
Tim Duncan 12 14 San Antonio Spurs 6-11, 255 Forward 1997 1 1st
Carmelo Anthony 13 5 New York Knicks 6-8, 230 Forward 2003 3 1st
Paul George 14 12 Indiana Pacers 6-8, 221 Forward 2010 10 3rd
Rajon Rondo 15 9 Boston Celtics 6-1, 186 Guard 2006 21 3rd
Russell Westbrook 16 7 Oklahoma City Thunder 6-3, 187 Guard 2008 4 3rd
John Wall 17 37 Washington Wizards 6-4, 195 Guard 2010 1 1st
Kyrie Irving 18 18 Cleveland Cavaliers 6-3, 191 Guard 2011 1 1st
Kobe Bryant* 19 6 Los Angeles Lakers 6-6, 205 Guard 1996 13 3rd
Al Jefferson 20 45 Charlotte Hornets 6-10, 289 Center   2004 15 3rd
CORE PLAYERS
DeMarcus Cousins 21 33 Sacramento Kings  6-11, 270 Center 2010 5 1st
Damian Lillard 22 28 Portland Trail Blazers 6-3, 195 Guard 2012 6 1st
Goran Dragic 23 100 Phoenix Suns 6-3, 190 Guard 2004 25 3rd
DeMar DeRozan 24 52 Toronto Raptors 6-7, 216 Guard 2009 9 3rd
Dirk Nowitzki 25 35 Dallas Mavericks 7-0, 245 Forward 1998 9 2nd
Zach Randolph 26 21 Memphis Grizzlies 6-9, 260 Forward 2001 19 3rd
Marc Gasol 27 19 Memphis Grizzlies 7-1, 265 Center 2007 48 2nd
Chris Bosh 28 34 Miami Heat 6-11, 235 Forward-center 2003 4 3rd
Derrick Rose* 29 15 Chicago Bulls 6-3, 190 Guard 2008 1 1st
Ty Lawson 30 36 Denver Nuggets 5-11, 195 Guard 2009 18 2nd
Anthony Davis 31 64 New Orleans Pelicans 6-10, 220 Forward-center 2012 1 1st
Roy Hibbert 32 13 Indiana Pacers 7-2, 260 Center 2008 17 4th
Dwyane Wade 33 29 Miami Heat 6-4, 220 Guard 2003 5 2nd
Deron Williams 34 17 Brooklyn Nets 6-3, 209 Guard 2005 3 3rd
Mike Conley 35 42 Memphis Grizzlies 6-1, 185 Guard 2007 4 3rd
Jeff Teague 36 92 Atlanta Hawks 6-2, 181 Guard 2009 19 2nd
Serge Ibaka 37 59 Oklahoma City Thunder 6-10, 235 Forward-center 2008 24 3rd
Bradley Beal 38 NR Washington Wizards 6-5, 207 Guard 2012 3 2nd
Kyle Lowry 39 NR Toronto Raptors 6-0, 205 Guard 2006 24 8th
Eric Bledsoe 40 NR Phoenix Suns 6-1, 195 Guard 2010 18 4th
Joe Johnson 41 40 Brooklyn Nets 6-7, 240 Guard 2001 10 3rd
Marcin Gortat 42 82 Washington Wizards 6-11, 240 Center 2005 57 5th
Greg Monroe 43 38 Detroit Pistons 6-11, 250 Center 2010 7 2nd
Andre Drummond 44 NR Detroit Pistons 6-10, 270 Center 2012 9 2nd
Paul Millsap 45 62 Atlanta Hawk 6-8, 253 Forward 2006 47 3rd
Rudy Gay 46 48 Sacramento Kings 6-8, 230 Forward 2006 8 2nd
David West 47 30 Indiana Pacers 6-9, 240 Forward 2003 18 3rd
Lance Stephenson 48 NR Indiana Pacers 6-5, 230 Guard 2010 40 4th
Isaiah Thomas 49 NR Sacramento Kings  5-9, 185 Guard 2011 60 3rd
Al Horford* 50 43 Atlanta Hawks 6-10, 250 Center-forward 2007 3 3rd
Luol Deng 51 20 Cleveland Cavaliers 6-9, 220 Forward 2004 7 3rd
Klay Thompson 52 57 Golden State Warriors  6-7, 205 Guard 2011 11 2nd
Nicolas Batum 53 85 Portland Trail Blazers 6-8, 200 Forward- guard 2008 25 2nd
LONG-TERM STARTERS
Josh Smith 54 39 Detroit Pistons 6-9, 225 Forward 2004 17 3rd
Arron Afflalo 55 98 Orlando Magic 6-5, 215 Guard 2007 27 5th
Carlos Boozer 56 54 Chicago Bulls 6-9, 266 Forward 2002 34 2nd
Pau Gasol 57 41 Los Angeles Lakers 7-0, 250 Forward-center 2001 3 1st
Brook Lopez* 58 25 Brooklyn Nets 7-0, 265 Center 2008 10 2nd
Nikola Pekovic 59 56 Minnesota Timberwolves 6-11, 290 Center 2008 31 2nd
DeAndre Jordan 60 72 Los Angeles Clippers 6-11, 265 Center 2008 35 3rd
Andre Iguodala 61 51 Golden State Warriors 6-6, 207 Forward- guard 2004 9 3rd
Kemba Walker 62 63 Charlotte Hornets 6-1, 184 Guard 2011 9 2nd
David Lee 63 23 Golden State Warriors  6-9, 240 Forward-center 2005 30 4th
Trevor Ariza 64 NR Washington Wizards 6-8, 220 Forward 2004 43 6th
Jrue Holiday* 65 49 New Orleans Pelicans 6-4, 180 Guard 2009 17 1st
Chandler Parsons 66 91 Houston Rockets 6-9, 227 Forward 2011 38 2nd
Gordon Hayward 67 NR Utah Jazz 6-8, 220 Guard- forward 2010 9 3rd
Kevin Martin 68 NR Minnesota Timberwolves 6-7, 197 Guard 2004 26 3rd
Monta Ellis  69 44 Dallas Mavericks 6-3, 185 Guard 2005 40 3rd
Jeff Green 70 NR Boston Celtics 6-9, 235 Forward 2007 5 2nd
Wesley Matthews 71 NR Portland Trail Blazers 6-5, 220 Guard Undrafted 2nd
Tyson Chandler 72 32 New York Knicks 7-1, 240 Center 2001 2 6th
Nikola Vucevic 73 58 Orlando Magic  7-0, 240 Center 2011 16 2nd
Eric Gordon 74 55 New Orleans Pelicans 6-3, 215 Guard 2008 7 1st
Danilo Gallinari 75 50 Denver Nuggets 6-10, 225 Forward 2008 6 2nd
Andrew Bogut 76 75 Golden State Warriors  7-0, 260 Center 2005 1 3rd
Tyreke Evans 77 80 New Orleans Pelicans 6-6, 220 Guard 2009 4 1st
Derrick Favors 78 89 Utah Jazz 6-10, 248 Forward-center 2010 3 3rd
Thaddeus Young 79 94 Philadelphia 76ers 6-8, 220 Forward 2007 12 2nd
Jamal Crawford 80 70 Los Angeles Clippers 6-5, 200 Guard 2000 8 4th
Manu Ginobili 81 69 San Antonio Spurs 6-6, 205 Guard 1999 57 3rd
Kenneth Faried 82 68 Denver Nuggets 6-8, 228 Forward 2011 22 2nd
Nene   83 76 Washington Wizards 6-11, 250 Forward-center 2002 7 1st
Taj Gibson 84 NR Chicago Bulls 6-9, 225 Forward-center 2009 26 5th
Jason Thompson 85 84 Sacramento Kings 6-7, 205 Forward 2008 12 5th
Brandon Jennings 86 65 Detroit Pistons 6-1, 169 Guard 2009 10 1st
Paul Pierce 87 27 Brooklyn Nets 6-7, 235 Forward 1998 10 1st
Michael Carter-Williams 88 NR Philadelphia 76ers 6-6, 185 Guard 2013 11 1st
Kawhi Leonard 89 NR San Anthonio Spurs 6-7, 225 Forward 2011 15 3rd
D.J. Augustin 90 NR Chicago Bulls 6-0, 183 Guard 2008 9 6th
Ricky Rubio 91 67 Minnesota Timberwolves 6-4, 180 Guard 2009 5 1st
J.J. Redick 92 NR Los Angeles Clippers 6-4, 190 Guard 2006 11 7th
Kyle Korver 93 NR Atlanta Hawks 6-7, 212 Guard- forward 2003 51 4th
JR Smith 94 46 New York Knicks 6-6, 220 Guard 2004 18 5th
Jonas Valanciunas 95 NR Toronto Raptors 6-11, 231 Center 2011 5 2nd
Anderson Varejao 96 77 Cleveland Cavaliers 6-11, 260 Center 2004 30 4th
Ray Allen 97 NR Miami Heat 6-5, 205 Guard 1996 5 2nd
Spencer Hawes 98 NR Cleveland Cavaliers 7-1, 245 Center 2007 10 7th
Ryan Anderson 99 93 New Orleans Pelicans 6-10, 240 Forward 2008 21 4th
Omer Asik 100 71 Houston Rockets 7-0, 255 Center 2008 36 3rd

* A player who spent much of last season injured, but based on when he did play or performed in previous seasons, belongs among the league’s top 100 players.

* NR = Not Ranked.

These players dropped out of the Observer's Top 100: Tony Allen, Andrew Bynum, Jared Dudley, Raymond Felton, Kevin Garnett, Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Henderson, J.J. Hickson, Ersan Ilyasova, Jarrett Jack, Andre Miller, Steve Nash, Emeka Okafor, Amare Stoudemire, Tristan Thompson, Greivis Vasquez and Lou Williams. For the third year, the Observer reviewed the previous season's NBA statistics in researching the current 100 best players.

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