By the numbers: Top 100 NBA players

06/22/2013 9:47 PM

06/22/2013 9:58 PM

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2013 RANK 2012 RANK PLAYER CURRENT TEAM HEIGHT, WEIGHT POSITION DRAFT YEAR OVERALL PICK
FRANCHISE PLAYERS
1 2 LeBron James Heat 6-8, 250 Forward 2003 1
2 1 Kevin Durant Thunder 6-9, 235 Forward 2007 2
3 12 Tony Parker Spurs 6-2, 185 Guard 2001 28
4 9 Chris Paul Clippers 6-0, 175 Guard 2005 4
5 13 Carmelo Anthony Knicks 6-8, 230 Forward 2003 3
6 3 Kobe Bryant Lakers 6-6, 205 Guard 1996 13
7 10 Russell Westbrook Thunder 6-3, 187 Guard 2008 4
8 5 Dwight Howard Lakers 6-11, 265 Center 2004 1
9 7 Rajon Rondo Celtics 6-1, 186 Guard 2006 21
10 28 James Harden Rockets 6-5, 220 Guard 2009 3
11 52 Stephen Curry Warriors 6-3, 185 Guard 2009 7
12 NR Paul George Pacers 6-8, 221 F-G 2010 10
13 22 Roy Hibbert Pacers 7-2, 280 Center 2008 17
14 17 Tim Duncan Spurs 6-11, 255 Forward 1997 1
15 4 Derrick Rose Bulls 6-3, 190 Guard 2008 1
16 6 Kevin Love T-wolves 6-10, 260 F-C 2008 5
17 14 Deron Williams Nets 6-3, 209 Guard 2005 3
18 39 Kyrie Irving Cavaliers 6-3, 191 Guard 2011 1
19 37 Marc Gasol Grizzlies 7-1, 265 Center 2007 48
CORE PLAYERS
20 31 Luol Deng Bulls 6-9, 220 Forward 2004 7
21 * Zach Randolph Grizzlies 6-9, 260 Forward 2001 19
22 18 Blake Griffin Clippers 6-10, 251 Forward 2009 1
23 43 David Lee Warriors 6-9, 240 F-C 2005 30
24 32 Joakim Noah Bulls 6-11, 232 Center 2007 9
25 38 Brook Lopez Nets 7-0, 265 Center 2008 10
26 15 LaMarcus Aldridge T' Blazers 6-11, 240 Forward 2006 2
27 21 Paul Pierce Celtics 6-7, 235 Forward 1998 10
28 NR Damian Lillard T'Blazers 6-3, 195 Guard 2012 6
29 8 Dwyane Wade Heat 6-4, 220 Guard 2003 5
30 60 David West Pacers 6-9, 240 Forward 2003 18
31 16 Kevin Garnett Celtics 6-11, 253 C-F 1995 5
32 26 Tyson Chandler Knicks 7-1, 240 Center 2001 2
33 48 DeMarcus Cousins Kings 6-11, 270 Center 2010 5
34 19 Chris Bosh Heat 6-11, 235 Forward 2003 4
35 11 Dirk Nowitzki Mavericks 7-0, 245 Forward 1998 9
36 59 Ty Lawson Nuggets 5-11, 195 Guard 2009 18
37 35 John Wall Wizards 6-4, 195 Guard 2010 1
38 40 Greg Monroe Pistons 6-11, 250 Center 2010 7
39 33 Josh Smith Hawks 6-9, 225 Forward 2004 17
40 25 Joe Johnson Nets 6-7, 240 Guard 2001 10
41 23 Pau Gasol Lakers 7-0, 250 F-C 2001 3
42 54 Mike Conley Grizzlies 6-1, 185 Guard 2007 4
43 30 Al Horford Hawks 6-10, 250 C-F 2007 3
44 34 Monta Ellis Bucks 6-3, 185 Guard 2005 40
45 47 Al Jefferson Jazz 6-10, 289 Center 2004 15
46 70 J.R. Smith Knicks 6-6, 220 Guard 2004 18
47 24 Amar'e Stoudemire Knicks 6-11, 260 F-C 2002 9
48 29 Rudy Gay Raptors 6-8, 230 Forward 2006 8
49 74 Jrue Holiday 76ers 6-4, 180 Guard 2009 17
50 61 Danilo Gallinari Nuggets 6-10, 225 Forward 2008 6
51 27 Andre Iguodala Nuggets 6-6, 207 F-G 2004 9
52 72 DeMar DeRozan Raptors 6-7, 216 Guard 2009 9
53 20 Andrew Bynum 76ers 7-0, 285 Center 2005 10
54 57 Carlos Boozer Bulls 6-9, 266 Forward 2002 34
LONG-TERM STARTERS
55 45 Eric Gordon Pelicans 6-3, 215 Guard 2008 7
56 91 Nikola Pekovic T-wolves 6-11, 290 Center 2008 31
57 NR Klay Thompson Warriors 6-7, 205 Guard 2011 11
58 NR Nikola Vucevic Magic 7-0, 240 Center 2011 16
59 56 Serge Ibaka Thunder 6-10, 235 F-C 2008 24
60 83 O.J. Mayo Mavericks 6-4, 210 Guard 2008 3
61 66 Ersan Ilyasova Bucks 6-10, 235 Forward 2005 36
62 87 Paul Millsap Jazz 6-8, 253 Forward 2006 47
63 NR Kemba Walker Bobcats 6-1, 184 Guard 2011 9
64 NR Anthony Davis Pelicans 6-10, 220 F-C 2012 1
65 75 Brandon Jennings Bucks 6-1, 169 Guard 2009 10
66 41 Danny Granger Pacers 6-8, 228 Forward 2005 17
67 55 Ricky Rubio T-wolves 6-4, 180 Guard 2009 5
68 NR Kenneth Faried Nuggets 6-8, 228 Forward 2011 22
69 36 Manu Ginobili Spurs 6-6, 205 Guard 1999 57
70 85 Jamal Crawford Clippers 6-5, 200 Guard 2000 8
71 NR Omer Asik Rockets 7-0, 255 Center 2008 36
72 62 DeAndre Jordan Clippers 6-11, 265 Center 2008 35
73 78 Emeka Okafor Wizards 6-10, 255 Center 2004 2
74 98 Jose Calderon Pistons 6-3, 211 Guard N/A N/A
75 46 Andrew Bogut Warriors 7-0, 260 Center 2005 1
76 65 Nene Wizards 6-11, 250 F-C 2002 7
77 64 Anderson Varejao Cavaliers 6-11, 260 Center 2004 30
78 NR Jarrett Jack Warriors 6-3, 197 Guard 2005 22
79 42 Steve Nash Lakers 6-3, 178 Guard 1996 15
80 67 Tyreke Evans Kings 6-6, 220 Guard 2009 4
81 NR Raymond Felton Knicks 6-1, 205 Guard 2005 5
82 69 Marcin Gortat Suns 6-11, 240 Center 2005 57
83 NR Tristan Thompson Cavaliers 6-9, 227 Forward 2011 4
84 NR Jason Thompson Kings 6-7, 205 Forward 2008 12
85 88 Nicolas Batum T' Blazers 6-8, 200 F-G 2008 25
86 73 Jared Dudley Suns 6-7, 225 G-F 2007 22
87 NR Andre Miller Nuggets 6-2, 200 Guard 1999 8
88 NR J.J. Hickson T' Blazers 6-9, 242 C-F 2008 19
89 NR Derrick Favors Jazz 6-10, 248 F-C 2010 3
90 71 Lou Williams Hawks 6-1, 175 Guard 2005 45
91 NR Chandler Parsons Rockets 6-9, 227 Forward 2011 38
92 100 Jeff Teague Hawks 6-2, 181 Guard 2009 19
93 89 Ryan Anderson Pelicans 6-10, 240 Forward 2008 21
94 77 Thaddeus Young 76ers 6-8, 220 Forward 2007 12
95 86 Tyler Hansbrough Pacers 6-9, 250 F-C 2009 13
96 96 Gerald Henderson Bobcats 6-5, 215 Guard 2009 12
97 NR Greivis Vasquez Pelicans 6-6, 211 Guard 2010 28
98 92 Arron Afflalo Magic 6-5, 215 Guard 2007 27
99 NR Tony Allen Grizzlies 6-4, 213 G-F 2004 25
100 NR Goran Dragic Suns 6-3, 190 Guard 2008 45

NR Not ranked, F-C Forward-center, C-F Center-forward, F-G Forward-guard, G-F Guard-forward

About the list

For the second 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. 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. The Observer built a database of information, available at charlotteobserver.com, and analyzed how the best players ended up with their current teams to offer insight into the challenges the Bobcats face building through the draft, free agency and trades.

*Due to a clerical error last June, Randolph was inadvertently left off last year's top 100. He should have been ranked 30th in 2012.

These players dropped out of the Observer's Top 100: Jason Kidd, Kendrick Perkins, JaVale McGee, Ray Allen, Marvin Williams, Andrea Bargnani, Gerald Wallace, Elton Brand, Devin Harris, Antawn Jamison, Kris Humphries, Chris Kaman, Michael Beasley, Rodney Stuckey, Luis Scola, Darren Collison, Jason Terry, Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Kevin Martin.


Where the Top 100 were drafted

OVERALL PICK NUMBER OF PLAYERS
No. 1 9
No. 2 4
No. 3 7
No. 4 6
No. 5 6
No. 6 2
No. 7 5
No. 8 3
No. 9 6
No. 10 6
No. 11 1
No. 12 3
No. 13 2
No. 14 0
No. 15 2
No. 16 1
No. 17 4
No. 18 3
No. 19 3
No. 20 0
No. 21 2
No. 22 3
No. 23 0
No. 24 1
No. 25 2
No. 26 0
No. 27 1
No. 28 1
No. 29 0
No. 30 2
No. 31 1
No. 32 0
No. 33 0
No. 34 1
No. 35 1
No. 36 2
No. 37 0
No. 38 1
No. 39 0
No. 40 1
No. 41 0
No. 42 0
No. 43 0
No. 44 0
No. 45 2
No. 46 0
No. 47 1
No. 48 1
No. 49 0
No. 50 0
No. 51 0
No. 52 0
No. 53 0
No. 54 0
No. 55 0
No. 56 0
No. 57 2
No. 58 0
No. 59 0
No. 60 0
Undrafted 1

Teams ranked by Top 100 players

There's a high correlation between collecting top-100 players and making the playoffs. Using ranking points for each spot in the rankings (100 for the best player, 1 for the 100th-best), the Observer computed a ranking for each team. The top 13 teams in this ranking each qualified for one of the 16 playoff spots this past season.

TEAM PTS TOP 100 PLAYERS
Knicks 294 5
Bulls 291 4
Pacers 289 5
Lakers 270 4
Warriors 261 5
Heat 239 3
Celtics 236 3
Clippers 236 4
Thunder 235 3
Grizzlies 223 4
Nets 221 3
Spurs 217 3
Nuggets 213 5
Trail Blazers 177 4
Timberwolves 164 3
Hawks 140 4
Bucks 133 3
Rockets 131 3
Cavaliers 125 3
Wizards 117 3
Mavericks 107 2
76ers 107 3
Jazz 107 3
Kings 106 3
Raptors 102 2
Pelicans 95 4
Pistons 90 2
Magic 46 2
Bobcats 43 2
Suns 35 3

Top 100 breakout year

Most NBA players who will have impactful careers show it quickly, based on the Observer's top-100 study. The Observer identified a "breakout'' season for each player in the top 100. Eighty-two of the 100 players had breakouts in one of their first three seasons.

BREAKOUT YEAR NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1st 24
2nd 23
3rd 35
4th 8
5th 7
6th 1
7th 0
8th 2

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