#JBLRank Top 50

  • By The Commissioner, Day 1, 2022

Rather than taking a purely advanced stats approach, the approach for this ranking is: would I prefer to have, right now, the player above or below for this season?

1. Dontay Sowder (Houston, SF): Unquestionably the game’s best player. Does absolutely everything. Has become a cerebral playmaker in his peak.

2. Marcus Ivory (Oakland, PF): The most dominating scorer in the game today, and now even a versatile two way player at every frontcourt spot. At the peak of his offensive power.

3. Kelvin Hawes (Kansas City, C): Took a huge leap two seasons ago and will now be a perennial MVP candidate for a decade. Best pure center in the league.

4. Tezale Craig (Nashville, SF): High scoring offensive forward that can dominate games at will. Has led two different teams to titles, showing his mental toughness.

5. Chris LaCruz (Los Angeles, PG): Best PG in the game today. Wonderful playmaker and great rebounder for his size. Not the best defender but is strong enough to hold his own.

6. Keydren Carter (Chicago, SF): Ultra consistent two-way threat with a huge wingspan and metronomic scoring ability, and lockdown defender.

7. Andre Phifer (Seattle, SG): Still a couple of beats behind the top tier but may not have even reached his peak yet. Needs the ball in his hands but can’t be stopped on the offensive end. Has become a good defender in his last few seasons.

8. Jason Cheaney (Chicago, SG/PG): Still the fastest hands in the league. Offensive awareness is off the charts and a great defender. Fantastic perimeter player that draws gravity from all defenders.

9. Jerome Bradley (New York, SF): Pure scoring power. Doesn’t do it all like some, but reliably great offensive player.

10. Omar Grant (Las Vegas, C/PF): One of the best defenders in the league and premier inside threat.

11. Taquan Slattery (Atlanta, PF/C): It’s easy to forget he’s only 21. Will be a top 3 center along with Hawes and Clarkson for the next decade.

12. Orpheus Swayda (Houston, SF): Past his prime but has turned into an efficient scorer and even defender in his later years. There may never be another scorer like peak Swayda.

13. Isaiah Clarkson (Houston, C): Best passing big man in the game. Still developing but he is a quadruple double chance and a beast inside.

14. Darius Barry (Toronto, SF): The next big thing could already be here. Making huge strides every year. Future MVP.

15. Alonzo Weaver (Philadelphia, SF): Unicorn with the most promise in the game today. Has already shown himself to be the leader of the Warriors. Just needs consistency to make the next leap.

16. Demetric Vaughn (Detroit, SG): Definitely winding down his career but still able to pour on the points. Has been a versatile scorer for over a decade.

17. Lamar Francis (Las Vegas, SG): Attacking guard who lives at the rim. Still needs to round out his game but there’s a reason they’re calling him “Franchise”.

18. Rubin Wingfield (Austin, PG): May have peaked early in his career and lucky to win the MVP, but still an incredible passer and ball handler. Will be interesting to see how he handles the post-Nyambi Rockets without the best big man ever to pass to.

19. Jevon Novak (Denver, SG/PG): Shot creator and scorer. Difficult to defend with his handles and breakdown ability, and his outside shot has become one of the best in the game.

20. Drayton Banks (Phoenix, PF): Led the league in rebounding. Lob catching energy forward that gives his all.

21. Aaron Honeycutt: (Kansas City, SF/SG): Another swing forward that impressed in 2022. Playing alongside Hawes has given him confidence to play the way he wants.

22. Ainsley Tucker (Seattle, PF): Gritty forward who can defend on the perimeter or inside. Plenty of development to go with his offensive game but will be a star for years to come.

23. Tyson Kuberka (New Orleans, PG): Divisive but still brilliant lead guard that breaks down defenses and gets to the basket. About to enter his twilight but an important cog in the Hurricanes and one of the best guards in the league.

24. Reggie Fortier (Miami, SF/PF): Versatile do it all forward that is as tough as they come.

25. Reggie Goodwin (Baltimore, SG): Huge frame guard who can be a lockdown defender when he puts his mind to it. Fantastic outside shooter.

26. Antoine Peeler (Oakland, SG): Catch and shoot specialist that is becoming a player that can take over games.

27. Leon Bowen (New Orleans, C): Hasn’t quite dominated as expected, but still a tremendously tough presence in the middle that results in difficulties for defenses.

28. Pace LaGarde (Detroit, SF): Versatile do-it-all forward that has developed consistency over his career. Not as quick as he was due to his injury and likely to slow, but had a great year with the Mustangs.

29. Dameon Clarke (Chicago, PF): Stretch 4 who has been in the background of Carter and Cheaney for years. May be time for him to step out into his own.

30. Reggie Dawkins (Detroit, PF): Powerful forward that has seen success as a bruising big man. Good touch around the basket.

31. Hilton Phillips (Los Angeles, PG/SG): Aging but still useful guard whose height makes him a menace on defense despite slowing lateral quickness.

32. Antoine Hall (Seattle, C): Strong C who, despite his declining stat due to lack of touches with Phifer, could still average 20-12 on another team.

33. Isaiah McCarty (Los Angeles, SF): Only 31, feels like he’s been great forever. Was scoring 28 a game only a few years ago but a different role has caused him to be more of a long range threat only.

34. Mark Hunter (St Louis, C): Still raw but has been handed the keys to the ‘Hawks. It’s his time to shine now. Needs to develop consistency both offensively and defensively to leap up this ranking, but has shown elite ability in flashes.

35. Jamaine Curry (Miami, SG): Undersized at his position but a pure scorer with unlimited range. Needs to get better at breaking down offenses alone to be truly great.

36. Derrick Griffin (Las Vegas, SF): One of the best wing defenders in the league, but suffers from inconsistency. Once all the tools are developed, could be a top 10-15 player.

37. Simon Hartford (Oakland, PF): Despite his age, is still one of the best post defenders in the league. Finals MVP two seasons ago proved his continuing worth.

38. Shandon James (Pittsburgh, SF): Bradley-lite. Good scorer but does little else which hurts his overall value.

39. Kelvin Black (Miami, C): Solid but unspectacular defensive center. Offensively has made strides the last few seasons.

40. Rasheem Fisher (Phoenix, PG): Hasn’t panned out quite as expected, but is becoming a reliable point guard and consistent threat on the perimeter.

41. Christian Vickery (Cincinnati, PG): Can still provide some of the best looking dimes in the league. His size will become an issue as his quickness fades away.

42. Kahlil Hooker (Mexico City, PF/C): Young and raw. This feels like a ranking that will look ridiculous in a few years: that’s how good he could be.

43. Frashon Lewis (Pittsburgh, SG/SF): Underrated defender but unlikely to make any more leaps at the expansion Vipers.

44. Bryant Rodgers (Stars, PF/C): His run at the Jaguars showed he still is a commanding force inside. Lack of quickness will likely hurt him as he enters his twilight.

45. Josh Gamble (Miami, PG): Early days, but played like a veteran to win Rookie of the Year. Has the potential to be the best point guard in the league.

46. Colin Stafford (Las Vegas, PF): Offensively his game has declined, but still a top 10 defender when it comes down to it due to his high basketball IQ.

47. Tyler Davis (Pittsburgh, PG): Frequently shipped around energy and motor lead guard who is now on a max contract. Will need to prove his worth at the Vipers.

48. Devon Harrell (Boston, PG): Defensively, the best rookie point guard for a long time. Had an up and down rookie year but everything indicates he’s going to be a star.

49. Brandon Terry (Toronto, PG): Had a great year and truly underrated. Has gotten lost a little in the Barry and Q hype but is going to be a very important piece going forward.

50. Aaron Rowland (Seattle, SF): Equal 5th in the league in triple doubles. Provides versatility and unbelievable confidence in his ability and especially his shot.