It’s August, and there’s not much to talk about in the NBA world. Free agency has died down, training camp remains weeks away, and Andrew Bynum has yet to debut a new hairdo.
Rather than use this time to reflect however, the people over at SB Nation have decided to drum up some debate by releasing their list of the top 100 NBA players ... of 2017.
As if compiling a list of the league’s top talent currently isn’t difficult - not to mention subjective - enough already, SB Nation went into all out predict-the-future mode, as their list includes current college players and pro prospects.
Not surprisingly, no current Sixer cracked the top 10. Or the top 20.
Rookie Nerlens Noel, who is months away from seeing his first NBA action, was the Sixers’ highest-ranked player at 25, which is a good sign for those who put a lot of stock into hypothetical lists.
From the article:
“Rim protection, rim protection, rim protection. During his time at Kentucky, Noel was one of the most athletic and agile 7-footers I've ever seen. Yes, he's raw offensively, but if he works as hard as he claims he'll work, he'll have improved substantially by the time 2017 rolls around.”
So there’s that to look forward to.
Sixers’ glue guy Thaddeus Young also cracked the list. Young is predicted to be the league’s 66th best baller come 2017, but he will likely be elsewhere when that time actually rolls around.
A couple ex-Sixers also make an appearance on the list.
At 23, Jrue Holiday landed a couple spots above his trade partener, Noel. SB says:
“The NBA is overrun with terrific young point guards, but Holiday seems to have the tools to stay a step ahead of the second tier.”
Andrew Bynum also makes the list, laughably, at 83rd overall. It is yet to be seen if Bynum will be bowling in 2017, let alone serving as a top-tier NBA talent.
A potential Sixer, assuming losses and lottery balls fall the way fans hope, 2014 top draft prospect Andrew Wiggins landed higher than any current or former Sixer, despite the fact that he has yet to play his first collegiate game.
Sixers recent lottery selection, Michael Carter-Williams, who was not included, apparently won’t be one of the league’s top 100 players come 2017.
Or the list is an inaccurate hypothesis.
Both seem potentially plausible.