LA Confidential: Juice x Griff Cracks #JBLRank2026 Top 50

  • By Jron Magcale, Day 1, 2026

LOS ANGELES - The annual #JBLRank has been unveiled earlier and the Fireballs have 2 players in the list newly acquired defensive wing Derrick Griffin listed at #30 and franchise PG Chris LaCruz is listed at #3. Both players will be the centerpiece of the Fireballs campaign this season. The list again was top-billed by unanimous #1 ranked player Warriors' unicorn SF Alonzo Weaver, while former Fireballs' Jamaine Curry (#46) and James Spencer (#45) both made the list. "We are happy and proud to have both Juice and Griff made the #JBLRank list. We all knew that Juice has been a top 5 players in the league for a while now and him at #3 this season is great that the league acknowledge Juice's impact not just with the team but the league. We knew what are getting when we traded for Griff, basically the best perimeter defender in the league and he has improved his offense a lot over the years and with him and Juice as the team's leaders, we feel that we have something good brewing out here." GM Jron said about the inclusion of LaCruz and Griffin.

Chris LaCruz is listed at #3 this season after being at #5 last season. Juice had an amazing 2025 campaign where he carried the Fireballs to a 57-win season, a 4th seed finish and took the Fireballs to conference finals playing in 3 game 7s which ended with an epic double-OT thriller to Denver. He was definitely clutch when it matters the most during that stretch. He was also toe-to-toe with Zo Weaver on GM Player of the Year and MVP award. He was eventually named All-JBL 1st team for the 6th time (named All-JBL 2nd Team in 2022) and also was an All-Star starter for the West (also his 6th time being named). This year he will be relied more on the offensive side of the basketball as his running mate Jamaine Curry is now with the Dragons. Expect LaCruz to post similar numbers he posted when he won the MVP award back in 2023.

Derrick Griffin is known to be one of the most dangerous perimeter defender in the league the 6'7" defensive ace has been named in the All-Defensive teams 4 times 3 1st Teams (2022,2023 and 2025) and 1 2nd team (2019). His value to a team is critical and his lockdown capabilities is uncanny. He knows how to play in a fast-paced system and with a dominant scorer (he played with Lamar Francis with the Scorpions from 2021-2024) and will look to take more responsibility in LA as the 2nd star next to LaCruz. He will be tasked to play a bigger role and that is challenge that we think he'll thrive in. He just came of the highest scoring season of his career with the Knights last season (17.4 ppg on 45/41/64) and with a premiere PG in LaCruz we'll get to see lots of opportunity for Griff whether in transition or spot up. Will be a great season ahead for one of the best defenders in the league for sure.

The LaCruz-Griffin combo will be a keen project to see, Griff has never had a PG like LaCruz and also hasn't fully played the SG position in his career. So, we'll see how it will be like in LA's Fireshow System this season with a tandem of 6'6" PG and 6'7" SG that brings the best of both worlds (offense and defense). We'll see how the Fireballs will capitalize having 2 players in the #JBLRank Top 50 list, but for sure it will be exciting in LA again this season. With the right amount of youth and experience, the Fireballs may very well have a solid chance to make the playoffs this season and if they click the right way, they may angle themselves for another homecourt advantage in the postseason.

Here is the Top 10 Players in the #JBLRank2026:

#1 SF Alonzo Weaver, PHI
#2 SG Andre Phifer, SEA
#3 PG Chris LaCruz, LAF
#4 C Kelvin Hawes, LOU
#5 SF/PF Josiah Robinson, DET
#6 C/PF Quavius Williamson, TOR
#7 PG Devon Harrell, NYR
#8 C/PF Taquan Slattery, ATL
#9 SG/PG Jason Cheaney, CHI
#10 PF Richmond Benson, CIN