Re-Ranking ESPN's Top 100 Players in the NBA for the 2020-21 Season

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

It is that time of year again, where the ESPN ranks the Top 100 NBA players. Every year I check this list hoping for some good rankings, but since 2017 I have not been impressed.

So I am here to give my own rankings. But first lets layout a list of players that did not make ESPN's cut.

  • Andre Drummond C Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Derrick Rose PG Detroit Pistons

  • DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins C Houston Rockets

  • Paul Millsap PF Denver Nuggets

  • Jordan Clarkson SG/PG Utah Jazz

  • Collin Sexton SG/PG Cleveland Cavaliers

  • DeAndre Jordan C Brooklyn Nets

  • Tristan Thompson C Boston Celtics

  • JJ Reddick SG New Orleans Pelicans

  • Julius Randle PF/C New York Knicks

  • Al Horford PF/C Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Carmelo Anthony SF/PF Portland Trail Blazers

  • Lauri Markkanen PF Chicago Bulls

  • Kendrick Nunn PG Miami Heat

  • Clint Capela C Atlanta Hawks

  • Markelle Fultz PG Orlando Magic

  • DeVonte Graham SG/PG Charlotte Hornets

  • Andrew Wiggins SF Golden Stat Warriors

  • Hassan Whiteside C Sacramento Kings

  • Evan Fournier SG Orlando Magic

  • Lou "Lemon Pepper Lou" Williams SG Los Angeles Clippers

  • Kelly Oubre Jr. SF/PF Golden State Warriors

  • Jonas Valanciunas C Memphis Grizzlies

  • Kyle Kuzma PF/SF Los Angeles Lakers

  • Jae Crowder PF/SF Phoenix Suns

  • Eric Gordon SG/SF Houston Rockets

  • Dillon Brooks SG/SF Memphis Grizzlies

Now that is a lengthy list of players. 27 players to be exact that have an argument to be a Top 100 Player in the NBA. Here is my rankings based off of ESPN's list.

Here are numbers 100 to 91:

100. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Los Angeles Lakers | SG

ESPN Rank: 77

The arrival of LeBron James in Los Angeles has really helped the improvement of KCP. But if it was not for ESPN ranking KCP in the top 100, he would not of even made the list of players that did not make the cut. Everyone of those players is better than KCP. ESPN ranking him at 77 is actually absurd.

Now KCP is a very good player. He is a quality 3 and D role player on the defending champions. His game has improved since he left Detroit for LA. He has a lot to prove if he is supposed to be the 77 ranked player in the NBA. For now KCP is 100 on this list.

99. Otto Porter Jr.

Chicago Bulls | SF/PF

ESPN Rank: 99

Otto Porter Jr's NBA career can be described as underwhelming. He cam into the league with expectations of being the third option behind John Wall and Bradley Beal. That did not happen and as a result he was traded to Chicago.

A fractured foot sidelined him last season for 51. He has a new coach with Billy Donovan and looks to be a top scorer behind All-Star Zach LaVine. 99 seems right for Porter Jr.

98 Derrick White

San Antonio Spurs | SG/PG

ESPN Rank: 97

Derrick White was a nice surprise to find on ESPN's list and I'm all for it. White is a terrific defender with an improving shot. He shot 39% from three in 7 games at the NBA bubble. White is one of the key for San Antonio's return to the playoffs after a one year absence.

Number 98 is just one spot lower than ESPN's 97.

97 Ricky Rubio

Minnesota Timberwolves | PG

ESPN Rank: 93

I have been a huge Ricky Rubio critic since day one. Last year was the first year I have enjoyed his game. In the bubble it looked like for the first time in his career he had a consistent shot. Rubio was flipped for Chris Paul and then dealt to Minnesota where is career began. His biggest challenge will be accepting his new role as D'Angelo Russell's backup.

Rubio at 93 was not bad, but 97 just fits better.

96 Michael Porter Jr.

Denver Nuggets | SF/PF

ESPN Rank: 51

I am a huger Michael Porter Jr. fan. His offensive repertoire is off the charts for his age. But ranking him at 51 is absurd and just utterly disrespectful to other players on this list. Michael Porter Jr. has a lot to prove to be ranked this high and it starts on the defensive end.

51 is high for a kid that did not get consistent playing time till the bubble. The high 90s seems right for a list of this quality.

95 Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks | C

ESPN Rank: 92

Mitchell Robinson is the only player on this list from the New York Knicks. I find that as quite the accomplishment considering how bad of a team the Knicks typically are. Robinson is a phenomenal defender that needs to improve on offense in order to move up on this list.

92 was not bad by any means, but 95 seems more fitting with the players ahead of him.

94 Joe Harris

Brooklyn Nets | SG/SF

ESPN Rank: 100

Joe Harris was the most import FA for Brooklyn this summer. Harris is a lights out shooter and a great offensive option. If teams double-team off him he will make them pay. To move up higher on this list Harris needs to be a more consistent on ball defender.

100 was not bad for Harris, but he is better than the original players ranked ahead of him by ESPN.

93 Duncan Robinson

Miami Heat | SG

ESPN Rank: 75

Duncan Robinson is a great story. A kid that went from D3 to Michigan, undrafted, NBA Finals starter. Robinson is one of the top shooters in the league. His biggest downfall is his defense, but that is something that can always be improved.

75 seems high for someone of Robinson's caliber. 90s suit him better from last year's production.

92 Marc Gasol

Los Angeles Lakers | C

ESPN Rank: 96

Marc Gasol is a proven veteran and champion. He looks to play a vital role for the Lakers title defense. Gasol used to be regarded as one of the top players in the league. Those days have passed. He is older and with old age players typically start to fall behind the younger player, unless your name is LeBron James.

96 is fair for Gasol, but for what Gasol still has left in the tank 92 just seems better.

91 Patrick Beverly

Los Angeles Clippers | PG

ESPN Rank: 90

Patrick Beverly is one of the most feared on-ball defenders in the league. He plays with passion and intensity unmatched by most. Beverly needs to improve on his playmaking ability for the Clippers to be a better contender next year.

90 or 91 pretty much the same. ESPN just thought he was better by one more player than I did.

90 to 81 Next.


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