For the 9th straight season, ESPN.com has released its annual Top 100 NBA Players. This year four Toronto Raptors players made the cut. Did they deserve the ranking they received?
Ranking players in any sport, let alone the NBA, will always be subjective. With so many varying opinions, the order will always be unpredictable, making it fun for a reader to critique. In order to be as accurate as possible ESPN gathered a pool of experts to collectively vote on the league’s best players.
Ranking players is an impossible task, as ESPN must not only project individual player growth but also take into consideration the different situation many of these players find themselves in after an insane 2019 offseason. Top-20 players like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis will be adjusting to new surroundings and new team cultures. As a result, their rankings may vary.
Credit must be given when credit is due, ESPN has done a great job compiling this huge list while incorporating different opinions from a group of experts. That takes time and effort. With that being said the list is far from perfect…
Serge Ibaka | PF/C
Serge Ibaka may not be that elite shot-blocker we saw at Oklahoma City, but he still deserves recognition on this Top 100 list.
Players still think twice about driving to the paint when they see Serge, due to his overall presence at the defensive end. Add to that his ability to space the floor from the mid-range and beyond the arc, and you have a solid two-way role player.
At the beginning of last season, it was Ibaka who started at the center position with Jonas Valančiūnas playing off the bench. As a starter, Ibaka flourished and had one of his best seasons in recent memory.
Gasol’s addition to the team took away minutes from Ibaka, relegating him to the bench. However, Serge still played a vital role in the playoffs and put up points when the Raptors needed it the most.
Serge Ibaka isn’t a Top 50 player or even a Top 80 player, but he is still better than a player like Joe Harris, who is ranked as the 89th best player on the list.