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Liberty Ballers drafts the NBA’s top 100 players for 2021-22

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For the third straight season, Liberty Ballers assembled its NBA player rankings by holding a 10 team draft. While no ranking system can ever be perfect, this is a fun way to get consensus and put some context around the debate of how to rank a star on a bad team versus an elite role player on a good team. The goal is easy: draft the best team for the 2021-22 season only, pretending each team were to be assembled in real life and competing against the other teams. Drafters must take into account everything typically taken into account when assembling a team, such as talent, fit, and injury history.

Speaking of injuries, injured players with no current timeline were ineligible to be drafted. This group was determined to include Kawhi Leonard, Jamal Murray, TJ Warren, and Donte DiVincenzo.

The drafters were 10 Liberty Ballers writers (ordered from pick 1-10): Harrison Grimm, Sean Kennedy, Tyler Monahan, Emily Connell, Dave Early, Jackson Frank, Steve Lipman, Tom West, Paul Hudrick, and Dan Volpone. The draft was a snake draft.

The results of the draft (our 2021-22 NBA player rankings) are shown below. Next to each player is the writer who drafted him, followed by where that player was taken in last year’s draft (LY). As a reminder, last year’s draft took place a couple months into the season, not before the start of the season like this year.

This will be followed by each writer’s explanation of their thoughts on their draft choices. At the end, please vote in the poll to let us know whose team you think will be the best this season, as well as which team in last year’s Liberty Ballers draft was the best in retrospect.

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Harrison); LY: 3
  2. Kevin Durant (Sean); LY: 2
  3. LeBron James (Tyler); LY: 1
  4. Joel Embiid (Emily); LY: 7
  5. Luka Doncic (Dave); LY: 5
  6. Nikola Jokic (Jackson); LY: 9
  7. Stephen Curry (Steve); LY: 8
  8. James Harden (Tom); LY: 6
  9. Damian Lillard (Paul); LY: 12
  10. Anthony Davis (Dan); LY: 10
  11. Jayson Tatum (Dan); LY: 11
  12. Paul George (Paul); LY: 15
  13. Jimmy Butler (Tom); LY: 13
  14. Zion Williamson (Steve); LY: 24
  15. Kyrie Irving (Jackson); LY: 17
  16. Donovan Mitchell (Dave); LY: 23
  17. Devin Booker (Emily); LY: 18
  18. Bradley Beal (Tyler); LY: 16
  19. Trae Young (Sean); LY: 38
  20. Karl-Anthony Towns (Harrison); LY: 25
  21. Chris Paul (Harrison); LY: 14
  22. Bam Adebayo (Sean); LY: 20
  23. Khris Middleton (Tyler); LY: 19
  24. Zach LaVine (Emily); LY: 63
  25. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Dave); LY: 31
  26. Jrue Holiday (Jackson); LY: 28
  27. Rudy Gobert (Steve); LY: 26
  28. Jaylen Brown (Tom); LY: 27
  29. Brandon Ingram (Paul); 34
  30. Kyle Lowry (Dan); LY: 21
  31. Klay Thompson (Dan); LY: Ineligible
  32. De’Aaron Fox (Paul); LY: 61
  33. Pascal Siakam (Tom); LY: 32
  34. CJ McCollum (Steve); LY: 22
  35. Ben Simmons (Jackson); LY: 29
  36. Ja Morant (Dave); 64
  37. Draymond Green (Emily); LY: 43
  38. LaMelo Ball (Tyler); LY: 91
  39. OG Anunoby (Sean); LY: 61
  40. Fred VanVleet (Harrison); LY: 60
  41. Mikal Bridges (Harrison); LY: 52
  42. Malcolm Brogdon (Sean); LY: 30
  43. Nikola Vucevic (Tyler); LY: 44
  44. Kemba Walker (Emily); LY: 53
  45. Deandre Ayton (Dave); LY: 76
  46. Julius Randle (Jackson); LY: 67
  47. Anthony Edwards (Steve); LY: Not Ranked
  48. Christian Wood (Tom); LY: 51
  49. Clint Capela (Paul); LY: 97
  50. Michael Porter Jr. (Dan); LY: 50
  51. Jonas Valanciunas (Dan); LY: Not Ranked
  52. Jerami Grant (Paul); LY: 55
  53. Myles Turner (Tom); LY: 39
  54. Domantas Sabonis (Steve); LY: 33
  55. Mike Conley Jr. (Jackson); LY: 42
  56. Jaren Jackson Jr. (Dave); LY: 45
  57. Tobias Harris (Emily); LY: 71
  58. Marcus Smart (Tyler); LY: 40
  59. Gordon Hayward (Sean); LY: 41
  60. DeMar DeRozan (Harrison); LY: 64
  61. Cade Cunningham (Harrison); LY: Ineligible
  62. Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sean); LY: Not Ranked
  63. John Collins (Tyler); LY: 77
  64. Caris LeVert (Emily); LY: Not Ranked
  65. Darius Garland (Dave); LY: Not Ranked
  66. Joe Ingles (Jackson); LY: 81
  67. Bojan Bogdanovic (Steve); LY: 68
  68. Derrick White (Tom); LY: Not Ranked
  69. Dejounte Murray (Paul); LY: 70
  70. Kristaps Porzingis (Dan); LY: 46
  71. Russell Westbrook (Dan); LY: 66
  72. Chris Boucher (Paul); LY: 82
  73. Joe Harris (Tom); LY: 69
  74. Lonzo Ball (Steve); LY: Not Ranked
  75. Kyle Anderson (Jackson); LY: Not Ranked
  76. Matisse Thybulle (Dave); LY: Not Ranked
  77. Spencer Dinwiddie (Emily); LY: Ineligible
  78. Terry Rozier (Tyler); LY: 99
  79. Jarrett Allen (Sean); LY: 93
  80. Normal Powell (Harrison); LY: Not Ranked
  81. Evan Mobley (Harrison); LY: Ineligible
  82. Collin Sexton (Sean); LY: 87
  83. Robert Covington (Tyler); LY: 36
  84. Brook Lopez (Emily); LY: 49
  85. De’Anthony Melton (Dave); LY: Not Ranked
  86. Danny Green (Jackson); LY: 100
  87. Aaron Gordon (Steve); LY: 47
  88. Tyrese Haliburton (Tom); LY: Not Ranked
  89. Luguentz Dort (Paul); LY: 79
  90. D’Angelo Russell (Dan); LY: 63
  91. Miles Bridges (Dan); LY: Not Ranked
  92. Nicolas Batum (Paul); LY: Not Ranked
  93. Larry Nance Jr. (Tom); LY: 83
  94. Duncan Robinson (Steve); LY: 75
  95. Jonathan Isaac (Jackson); LY: Ineligible
  96. Alex Caruso (Dave) ; LY: Not Ranked
  97. Seth Curry (Emily); LY: 54
  98. Mitchell Robinson (Tyler); LY: Not Ranked
  99. Harrison Barnes (Sean); LY: 94
  100. Kevin Porter Jr. (Harrison); LY: Not Ranked

Harrison Grimm (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet, Mikal Bridges, DeMar DeRozan, Cade Cunningham, Norman Powell, Evan Mobley, Kevin Porter Jr.):

I had the honor of having the first pick in this highly competitive draft, in which I used on the reigning Finals MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo. I honestly considered a lot of players with this pick, most notably: Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, etc. Maybe it was recency bias, but the Greek Freak’s performance in Game 6 of the Finals was one of the best of all time. He’s an elite talent and I just felt like it was only right taking him.

The only real red flag with taking Giannis was the fact that I had to surround him with shooting, as that’s his prime weakness. However, the NBA is so deep with talent and shooting that I felt like it would pan out fine. Somehow Karl-Anthony Towns fell into my lap with my second-round pick which was a literal match made in heaven. Pairing the Greek Freak with one of the best shooting big men in NBA history was perfect. I used my third-round pick on Chris Paul after much debating in my head. I felt like the gap between the five best point guards in the NBA compared to the rest was sizable, and Chris Paul is literally the Point God. He does everything well and would be an additional good fit next to the Greek Freak and company.

After a long pause (as I had back-to-back picks at the end/beginning of every round), it was my turn yet again. I went with another guard, Fred VanVleet, who was probably a surprise pick. I already had Chris Paul, so taking another small point guard might seem somewhat questionable at first glance. I choose Fred for two reasons: he’s a high volume and deep shooting threat, and he’s also capable of guarding much bigger guards and even forwards. I then took Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges (sorry, Sixer fans) with my next pick which is pretty self explanatory: he’s a terrific defender and very capable shooter. Giannis and Mikal Bridges are extremely switchable defenders, too.

My approach at pick 60 and onward was basically to just get the best talent available. Hence why I took DeMar DeRozan, who somehow fell all the way to pick 60. He’s played in a small market for a few years and has gone under the radar, but he’s still an incredible talent and developed playmaker that can slot into many positions. The abundance of shooting on my roster made me feel comfortable taking him, even if his fit with Giannis is a bit clunky. I then took Cade Cunningham, the number 1 pick in this year’s draft. He’s drawn comparisons to Luka Doncic, and if he’s anything like him this pick will go down as the biggest steal of our draft. Like DeMar, he can play a ton of positions and is a good enough shooter to be a fine fit with my team.

Norman Powell fell in this draft, too, and I scooped him up with the 80th pick. He’s a very good shooter and athlete that is capable of playing on or off the ball. With the abundance of ball handling on my team I felt like I had to find a player capable of doing both. I then went with the third pick in the 2021, Evan Mobley at pick 81. Somehow, I realized I was the only one who took rookies in this draft, but I think it’s worth the risk. Mobley would be a terrific fit on this roster as he’s capable of spacing the floor and guarding multiple positions.

I ended my draft with the literal last pick, in which I took Houston’s Kevin Porter Jr. Yes, I could’ve taken Jalen Green and ended up with the top three picks from this year’s draft, but I decided to go with a bit of a more “safe” pick. KPJ has shown some impressive flashes during his limited time in Houston, and I felt like the talent at the position was just too good to pass up.

Sean Kennedy (Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Bam Adebayo, OG Anunoby, Malcolm Brogdon, Gordon Hayward, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Jarrett Allen, Collin Sexton, Harrison Barnes):

With my first two picks, I was thrilled to secure two of the most uniquely dominant scorers in the game. Kevin Durant can get his shot off from anywhere against anyone who isn’t Matisse Thybulle in a Team Australia uniform, while Trae Young is on the short list of players with unlimited range (I would only put Steph Curry and Damian Lillard in a similar class as far as gravity from 30-plus feet). With two of the most terrifying offensive weapons already on board, I wanted to maximize defensive value elsewhere in the starting lineup to overcome Young’s shortcomings. Bam Adebayo joins Team USA frontcourt mate KD to patrol the paint. Not only is Bam one of the more mobile and switchable big men in the game defensively, but his ability as a passer will be a boon as a short roller out of pick-and-roll action with Durant or Trae. OG Anunoby is one of the most versatile and effective wing defenders in the game, and a more than capable spot-up shooter, knocking down nearly 40 percent of his 3s last year on over six attempts per game. Malcolm Brogdon rounds out my starting five, with good size to take the tougher assignment at either guard position, and the ability to play on or off ball to maximize all facets of Trae’s offensive game.

My second unit is less dominant defensively, but certainly doesn’t lack for offensive firepower. Gordon Hayward and Bogdan Bogdanovic are both well-rounded scoring threats, capable of acting as primary initiators or keeping their men occupied off-ball behind the arc. Likewise for Collin Sexton, who would enter as a direct replacement for Trae Young, carving his way into the teeth of the defense after scoring a career-high 24.3 points per game last season. Jarrett Allen plays the rim-running, shot blocker role, and while not in Adebayo’s class as a mobile defender, I feel like he can hold his own coming out to the arc. Harrison Barnes is a terrific glue guy with my final pick, rugged and quick enough to guard a couple different positions passably well, and with more than enough offensive juice and shooting ability to keep defenders honest on the other end.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Tyler Monahan (LeBron James, Bradley Beal, Khris Middleton, LaMelo Ball, Nikola Vucevic, Marcus Smart, John Collins, Terry Rozier, Robert Covington, Mitchell Robinson):

Being able to get the greatest basketball player of all time in LeBron James, albeit getting older, with the third pick was a great start to this draft for my team. Following up with one of the best scorers in the league in Bradley Beal and a player who’s proven he can be the second best player on a championship team in Khris Middleton gives my team some needed explosiveness. Rounding out my starting five is LaMelo Ball, who while still young has shown playmaking ability with and without the ball in his hands and Nikola Vucevic who has to be one of the most underrated players in the entire NBA. My starting five definitely leans more heavily on the offensive side of the ball but has enough athleticism to make up for some defensive deficiencies, exactly what I wanted.

Because my starters are so offensive minded I wanted to have my bench have more of a defensive identity. Grabbing Marcus Smart to lead that group is about as good as you can get for a defensive guard. Terry Rozier brings an offensive punch to the bench and has proven that he can make his own offense which is integral. My two bench forwards are Robert Covington and John Collins, two players who can make things happen without the ball in their hands and use their great athleticism to make plays defensively. Finally, rounding out my team is Mitchell Robinson, someone who I’ve been high on for several years now. I think Robinson is the perfect backup center to a more offensive oriented Vucevic because Robinson can focus on being a menace around the rim both offensively and defensively. I also think the combo of LaMelo Ball throwing lobs to Robinson has sneaky potential to be one of the better combos of this draft. Overall I’m very happy with how my team turned out. There’s both top offensive and defensive players throughout the roster and I really didn’t have to sacrifice one facet of the game for the other. I call that a win.

Emily Connell (Joel Embiid, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Draymond Green, Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Brook Lopez, Seth Curry):

If you’re looking for the homer team to back in this exercise, look no further. I’ve got three Sixers — Jackson has two (but one of them is Ben Simmons and we all know he doesn’t count right now). In this draft, I think it’s important to set the tone in the first round, show that you’re a competitor, and should be taken seriously. I think I did that by getting the best player in the league with the fourth pick. I’ve got defense (Embiid, Green), shooting (Booker, Curry), and handsomeness (Harris, Booker, Embiid). The steals of the draft were LeVert and Dinwiddie in the seventh and eighth rounds. If both of those guys are healthy, that’s great late-round value that can put this team over the top.

My team is competitive, we’ve got multiple NBA champions and gold medalists who know what it takes to win. I love international basketball, and part of my draft strategy was to get a few young guys on my team fresh off their gold medal run in Tokyo. I was able to do that with LaVine and Booker, two great players who I think can take another jump this season.

Most importantly, Embiid is the anchor of this team. He’s the most fun player to cheer for and watch on and off the court. I expect another MVP-caliber season from him this year and hope that he can stay healthy and take the award home. I think I have the most talent on my team and would be happy to go head-to-head with these other drafted teams. I expect I’d come out on top.

Dave Early (Luka Doncic, Donovan Mitchell, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Ja Morant, Deandre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr., Darius Garland, Matisse Thybulle, De’Anthony Melton, Alex Caruso):

The name of the game here is secondary breakout candidates. With five members of the 2018 NBA draft, and a couple of studs from 2017 and 2019, I have a handful of rising perimeter stars, and that’s clearly what the NBA wants to see these days.

My team is small and young, with some defensive specialists on the bench. I’m in great danger for getting bullied and duped by some bigger and older teams. With almost each pick I made, I sacrificed a touch of projected production for a dash of upside. Is Brad Beal better than Donovan Mitchell? Probably, but what if Mitchell improves his passing? Is Jrue Holiday likely to be better than SGA this season? Yeah, that’s probably a safe bet. And Sabonis will probably be better than Ayton, too. But with my picks I’ll have a pretty safe floor with an outside chance at ceiling outcome.

Ja falling this far was not something I expected but I was delighted to snap up the value. He really defines the composition of my team as a group of tiny, young, primary creators who may well get on each others nerves. You know Luka wanted to tweet “WTF” when he saw how many other creators we drafted to complement him.

I can’t say I expect my team to win this pre or post-season vote. They’re a weird mix, I’ll admit. But if I wind up with four All-Stars and an All-Defensive team member or two, I think I’ll be in this thing come June. Hey, Jackson, want to offer me Ben Simmons for Garland? That way you don’t risk a season-long holdout. Win-win?

If I were the oddsmaker, I’d set Emily as the favorite but I’d make sure to bet a handful of jellybeans on Sean and Paul’s teams to pull off the upset.

Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets - Game Three Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Jackson Frank (Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving, Jrue Holiday, Ben Simmons, Julius Randle, Mike Conley Jr., Joe Ingles, Kyle Anderson, Danny Green, Jonathan Isaac):

Truthfully, I omitted the presence of Stephen Curry when my first selection rolled around, so I would’ve considered him here. But the reigning MVP and supremely wonderful playoff performer, Nikola Jokic, might’ve been the pick regardless. After that, I wanted to find good off-ball scorers (Kyrie Irving, Mike Conley Jr., Joe Ingles, Danny Green) and very good defenders (Jrue Holiday, Ben Simmons, Kyle Anderson, Green, Jonathan Isaac) to supplant his offensive powers. Even Conley is a pretty good perimeter defender against like-sized opponents and Julius Randle is good one-on-one with some mobility and assignment versatility. The rim protection of any given lineup probably will be tenuous, but there should be a lot of options for stifling perimeter defense to limit paint touches for the opposition.

With the selection of Simmons, I also needed lots of shooting around him in the half-court, which I largely feel was well-accomplished; plus, Jokic might be the only center better suited for his game than Joel Embiid.

Another goal was to find players who touted at least three of the following four skills: dribble, pass, shoot and defend. There are nuances to each of those concepts, but I’d say 7.5 of my guys meet that quota. I also would’ve loved to find a backup center with more size than Isaac, but he’s one of the league’s best defenders when healthy, so I’ll be just fine. He can play the 4 alongside Jokic to insulate him defensively and though he’s yet to be a good outside shooter, can at least frequent the perimeter to provide some spacing in lineups featuring Simmons. I’m really pleased with how this roster shook out and think it’s quite versatile and concordant on both ends.

Steve Lipman (Stephen Curry, Zion Williamson, Rudy Gobert, CJ McCollum, Anthony Edwards, Domantas Sabonis, Bojan Bogdanovic, Lonzo Ball, Aaron Gordon, Duncan Robinson):

Safe to say I’m thrilled with how my draft turned out. Much of my excitement is based on my data-supported hypothesis that Steph Curry is a walking top-5 offense and Rudy Gobert is a walking top-5 defense. People may clutch their pearls that I took Zion a bit high (14 overall) but part of this ranking is predictive. And I think we can pretty safely bet on him taking yet another meaningful step this season after he became a true offensive powerhouse last year. I think that this team has loads of shooting (Curry, CJ, Bojan, Duncan), creation (Steph, CJ, Lonzo, Ant, Zion), and a bunch of different lineups it could try. Want to go small? How’s Steph / Edwards / Robinson / Gordon / Zion. Need a stop at the end of the game? Try Lonzo / Edwards / Bojan / AG / Gobert. My team certainly may lack a full-time elite perimeter defender, but Gobert playing 33 minutes a game and the handful of solid-to-good defenders on the roster ought to more than keep things in order. I also grabbed Sabonis as a value play at 54. His scoring, rebounding, and passing could provide the team with a wildcard element come playoff time. Important to note that rooting for this team would also mean not rooting for Ben Simmons, so that’s a cherry on top.

Tom West (James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Jaylen Brown, Pascal Siakam, Christian Wood, Myles Turner, Derrick White, Joe Harris, Tyrese Haliburton, Larry Nance Jr.):

Taking James Harden with the 8th pick to be my main offensive engine was an easy choice, and Jimmy Butler is an incredibly well qualified number two. Harden has shown how he can operate alongside other stars in Brooklyn, and while Butler may not be a shooting threat, he still does lots to contribute off the ball whether he’s cutting or screening for teammates, and excels when scaling his usage up or down. Plus, Butler and Harden can be staggered to lead the team.

To complete my backcourt, I wanted more defense next to Harden. Derrick White is a terrific guard defender who can capably switch up onto some forwards, too. He’s also an improved shooter, and offers some complementary ball-handling. At the 4, Pascal Siakam gives me a complementary player who can pass, handle, attack when advantages are created by others, and play excellent, versatile defense. At the 5, Christian Wood is one of the top offensive centers in the league. He can step up as more of a downhill, interior scoring threat if need be, or serve as an elite pick-and-roll and pop threat with my lead ball-handlers. Wood started improving defensively last season, and offers valuable space around Harden and Butler.

Jaylen Brown has developed his game every year and had an impressive offensive season in 2020-21. As there’s already plenty of scoring in my starting unit and White offers more point-of-attack defense, Brown can boost the bench and step into any kind of lineup as needed. To fill out my bench, I wanted more playmaking (Tyrese Haliburton, who can also continue growing as a scorer) and high-end three-point shooting (Joe Harris, who’s also a decent defender). Larry Nance Jr. gives me another strong defender who can switch across forwards or hang with guards at times, move the ball well, dive to the rim, and shoot a little. Lastly, I have Myles Turner as a better defensive at center who offers elite rim protection while maintaining some shooting, too.

I think this team is well balanced at both ends. I can also deploy offense-first lineups like Harden, Harris, Brown, Siakam and Wood, or embrace defense with a group like White, Brown, Butler, Siakam (or Nance) and Turner. Overall, I’m very happy with the mixture of playmaking, driving, shooting, pick-and-roll/pop players, defensive versatility, and quality floor spacing and rim protection options at center.

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Paul Hudrick (Damian Lillard, Paul George, Brandon Ingram, De’Aaron Fox, Clint Capela, Jerami Grant, Dejounte Murray, Chris Boucher, Lu Dort, Nicolas Batum):

The modern NBA is about scoring and players that can create offense — and I’ve got a ton of that in my starting five. The Fox-Lillard tandem is unconventional, but when Fox was still available, I couldn’t pass up the value. Then I really thought about it — imagine this unit getting a stop, outleting the ball to Fox, and him flying up the court for easy transition buckets or dishing it out to three elite shooters in Lillard, George and Ingram.

In the half-court, I have an elite screener and roller in Capela that can run pick-and-roll with any of the other four players on the floor. With Fox running the point, it gives me the option to use Dame off-ball as well, similar to what he does in Portland now/what the Warriors do with Steph Curry. I also envision Lillard and George having a little two-man game that could prove difficult to stop.

Admittedly, defense could be an Achilles heel with Lillard and Ingram, but I have two elite defenders in George and Capela, and a solid one in Fox. In addition to that, I made sure to load up on defense on my bench. Grant is a Swiss army knife. He can guard just about every position and has taken serious strides offensively. Murray can be useful in a tough matchup against a shifty guard. Dort can bring a physical presence that I might need on the perimeter. Boucher gives me a stretch five option if Capela faces a tough matchup. And then I get my veteran, do-it-all glue guy in Batum as my tenth man.

Dan Volpone (Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Lowry, Klay Thompson, Michael Porter Jr., Jonas Valanciunas, Kristaps Porzingis, Russell Westbrook, D’Angelo Russell, Miles Bridges):

I’m very excited about how my team turned out. Getting Davis and Tatum at the first turn gives my team two players with incredibly high two-way ceilings. Tatum might not be 19 anymore, but he will still be just 23 for the majority of this season, and he finished last season on an absolute tear, with six games of at least 40 points, four games of at least 50, and a career-high 60 points from April 9 onward. Davis, when healthy, belongs in the conversation with Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, and has at times in his career been the clear best center in the NBA.

I was excited to get Lowry and Thompson at the next turn. I realize I have some injury risk building up with this team, and Thompson will miss time to start the season, but getting two guards who can play at a high level on both sides of the ball allowed me to use the 50th pick on Michael Porter Jr. to round out my starting five. Everyone else should be able to cover for him defensively, and he turns my starters from a very good group of shooters to an elite group of shooters.

I didn’t love the value of Valanciunas at 51, but centers were flying off the board, and I was determined to get a solid backup. I’m not really a Kristaps Porzingis guy, or a Russell Westbrook guy, or a D’Angelo Russell guy, but the value on each was too good to pass up. Porzingis averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds last year, and we’ve seen him be even better in the past. He’s still just 26 and should be starting to enter his prime around this season. Westbrook is a former MVP who was player of the month in the Eastern Conference as recently as this May. And D’Angelo Russell, when healthy, has looked really solid in Minnesota.

As a reward to myself for taking players I don’t really love but who I felt were the best players available, I drafted Miles Bridges, who I do like a lot. He’s 23, has awesome dunks, and shoots 40 percent from 3. I think he’s a candidate to take a big step forward this season.

Below is a summary of this year’s top 100:

Vote here to let us know who has the best team for the 2021-22 season!


Who has the best team for 2021-22?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    (26 votes)
  • 7%
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 34%
    (33 votes)
  • 6%
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    (5 votes)
  • 5%
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    (3 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now

Below is a summary of last year’s top 100:

Vote here to let us know who, in retrospect, had the best team for the 2020-21 season!


Who had the best team for 2020-21?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Dan O
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Dan V
    (1 vote)
  • 37%
    (21 votes)
  • 5%
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    (3 votes)
  • 25%
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    (2 votes)
  • 12%
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    (2 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now

Let us know any other thoughts in the comments!

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