Posted September 23, 2013

Top 100: Notable omissions

Ben Golliver, Rob Mahoney, Top 100 players of 2014
Raymond Felton

Raymond Felton helped the Knicks win 54 games last season. (Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Mike Dunleavy, Chicago Bulls (G/F, 32)
2012-13 stats: 25.9 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 44.2 FG%, 42.8 3FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 13.6 PER, 4.4 Win Shares, +0.2 RAPM

Dunleavy is in the same class as a few of the shooting specialists who made the final cut, but he lost out by a matter of degrees. Regardless, he’ll give Chicago’s offense an added level of flexibility this season, both as a space-clearing shooter (Dunleavy ranked eight in three-point percentage last season) and a much-needed facilitator. His case would be even more compelling if he were a bit closer to average defensively or a bit more dynamic off the dribble, but he still rates as a worthwhile role player set to give a boost to a legitimate title contender. — RM

Raymond Felton, New York Knicks (G, 29)
2012-13 stats: 34 MPG, 13.9 PPG, 5.5 APG, 2.9 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 42.7 FG%, 36.0 3FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 15.2 PER, 4.2 Win Shares, +0.8 RAPM

In eight seasons, Felton’s PER has hovered between 13 and 17 and he’s advanced in the postseason just once. That unexceptional track record would usually allow a player to fly under the radar, but not Felton, whose “conditioning issues” and penchant for brash public boasting attract more media attention than you would expect. It’s fair to consider the Knicks’ 54-win season in 2012-13 as the high point of his career, as he reached the conference semifinals for the first time and New York rod him hard during the playoffs. He couldn’t have asked for a better bounce-back season after a dreadful one-year stopover in Portland in 2011-12. Felton, a drive-and-dish point man who has never been a knockdown three-point shooter, should see an even larger role in 2013-14, thanks to the retirement of Jason Kidd. Felton is who he is at this point, and that’s a capable starter who is unlikely to play a defining role in shaping New York’s fortunes. — BG

Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans (G, 24)
2012-13 stats: 30.1 MPG, 17.0 PPG, 3.3 APG, 40.2 FG%, 32.4 3FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 15.4 PER, 1.1 Win Shares, +0.2 RAPM

Though once tabbed as a potential All-Star, Gordon has since gone about acquiring an assortment of red flags. He’s now two seasons removed from high-level basketball, having struggled to stay on the court (Gordon played in just 47 percent of his teams’ games over the last three seasons) and stumbled through his playing time on it. His inefficiency, in particular, was alarming; of the 41 players who attempted as many field goal attempts per game as Gordon did last season, only four posted a lower effective field goal percentage. That he posted the worst turnover rate of his career didn’t exactly help matters, nor did the lesser defense he played as a result of his diminished lateral movement. If Gordon were better on the court, his injury history and problematic relationship with the Hornets/Pelicans could be overlooked (to some degree) for the sake of basketball returns. Gordon can get back to playing at that high level, surely, but for the moment is reliable only in his unreliability. — RM

Jeff Green

Celtics forward Jeff Green averaged 12.8 points last season. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Jeff Green, Boston Celtics (F, 27)
2012-13 stats: 27.8 MPG, 12.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 46.7 FG%, 38.5 3FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 15.0 PER, 4.7 Win Shares, -1.7 RAPM

Big-game potential does not make a player great. While Green’s 43-point, seven-rebound showing on national television against Miami in March ranks as one of the more memorable performances of the 2012-13 season, that single achievement doesn’t undo the months of inconsistency that preceded it. For the bulk of last season, Green waffled as a scorer and didn’t make any discernibly positive impact as a defender. He certainly has his nights, but there’s not yet much evidence to support the notion that what Green offers is conducive to winning basketball. He’s a decent driver, but only in one direction. He’s not a horrible defender, but tends to struggle in rotation when playing power forward and otherwise isn’t anything resembling a perimeter stopper. Green is a quality three-point shooter in the corners (45.7 percent), but shoots so poorly above the break (31.4 percent) that it acts as a drag on his shooting efficiency. His rebounding numbers are occasionally solid, but by total rebounding percentage (7.4) he stacks up as a disappointment for his position and ranks among the likes of Kyle Korver (7.4) and J.J. Barea (6.9). He’s a decent player overall, but Green simply can’t be taken at the face value of his best performances. — RM

Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats (G, 25)
2012-13 stats: 31.4 MPG, 15.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44.7 FG%, 33.0 3FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 16.4 PER, 3.3 Win Shares, -0.9 RAPM

Henderson was a close cut, done in largely by an absence of definitive strengths. He does a terrific job of filling in the gaps that crop up in any lineup, but there’s an unfortunate cost in being only pretty good in so many phases of the game. The lack of a singular, specific talent is unmistakable; Henderson isn’t a versatile enough ball-handler to initiate offense more frequently; he shoots well from mid-range but hasn’t yet had a league-average season from beyond the arc; he posts up effectively but without the stability to be an offensive focal point; and he rates as a merely good perimeter defender. That potpourri of skills makes him a very useful player, but one who is difficult to define and compare favorably to those in the top 100. — RM

J.J. Hickson, Denver Nuggets (F, 24)
2012-13 stats: 29 MPG, 12.7 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 56.2 FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 19.7 PER, 6.9 Win Shares, -1.4 RAPM

The Trail Blazers marketed Hickson as “Mr. Double Double” last season, but it was never clear whether they were referring to his points and rebounds or his missed defensive rotations and fruitless attempts at blocking shots. Hickson plugged a gaping hole by shifting from his natural power forward position to the starting center job, a move that helped him put up some of the best numbers of his career. The definition of a one-way player, at least when he’s overmatched in the middle, Hickson generally succeeded in seeking out and finishing high-percentage looks in the basket area. The Nuggets rewarded him with a three-year, $16.1 million contract this summer; it wouldn’t be surprising if buyer’s remorse sets in pretty quickly. — BG

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers (C, 25)
2012-13 stats: 24.5 MPG, 8.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 64.3 FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 17.2 PER, 6.2 Win Shares, +3.1 RAPM

Jordan is an interesting talent, but it’s hard to look too favorably on players whose limited games affect their playing time. Jordan is just one such example, as his disastrous free-throw shooting (38.6 percent!), inability to score when not within arm’s length of the rim and shaky positional defense limited him to 24.5 minutes per game for the Clippers last season. He’s quick enough to eventually become a much more reliable defender, but the other considerations (range-less offense and misery from the stripe) could well follow Jordan throughout his career. — RM

Carl Landry, Sacramento Kings (F, 29)
2012-13 stats: 23.2 MPG, 10.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 54.0 FG%
2012-13 advanced stats: 17.5 PER, 6.2 Win Shares, -1.6 RAPM

The 2007 second-round pick has quietly put together a nice career, and he was handsomely rewarded with a four-year, $26 million deal from the Kings this summer. A key frontcourt contributor for Golden State in 2012-13, Landry’s lack of size at his position hasn’t stopped him from generating offense in the basket area and doing work on the offensive glass. He’s able to work comfortably and effectively at the high post. His pairing with DeMarcus Cousins will be intriguing to watch. Sacramento ranked 29th in defensive efficiency last season, though, and on that front Landry is unlikely to make much of a dent. His lack ofsize and length have been a persistent problem on the defensive end over the years and his -1.1 net rating was the worst among Warriors rotation players last season. — BG


OK.  So I get Golliver has a pronounced and long standing anti-Bobcats bias, so I shouldn't expect much from him in regards to ranking Bobcat players (and I don’t).  However - how is Kemba Walker not even in the conversation here?  You’re saying that Bargnani, Collison, Landry are better overall players than Kemba Walker? Between the top 100 and your omissions, I counted 28 NBA point guards that you consider better than Kemba Walker. Just a reminder – Walker has an 18.8 PER and averaged 17.7 points (21st in the league), 5.7 assists (25th in the league) and 1.95 steals per game (5th in the league).That’s 5.7 assists for a team with one of the worst offenses in the league – very few finishers, and nearly 18 points against teams who could easily gameplan against his offense. His turnover percentage of 12.4 was also second-best among starting point guards.  He doesn’t turn it over. So, you’re basically saying that there are nearly 30 point guards that GM’s in the league would prefer to have over Walker? Gotcha.


How is DeMar DeRozan not even on the notable omissions list?   Not even a top 110 player? Top 20 in the league in scoring even?


So DeMar DeRozan ins't on the Top 100 list, okay understandable. But they didn't even put him on the omissions list. WOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!


Andrea Bargnani is likely in the bottom 100 players in the NBA.  No way is he top 10.  Nice call excluding Jeff Green, though.  As a Celtics fan, I can tell you that his game isn't as good as his hype.  Nice offensive player in transition, but struggles in the halfcourt and is a big liability on defense.


why so much hatred towards waiters relative to all the praise for beal. beal cant create his own shot and his defense leaves a lot to be desired. waiters also had identical stats to beal.


Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Jeremy Lin didn't make the list?  Didn't SI get the memo that he is the Chinese Jesus?


Felton is even close? Thats a joke. Numbers or not. Even has his own new word: Feltdown.


@mwarawa Derozan.  18.1ppg.  17th in the league in scoring.   mmmmmmkay.   This was some kind of weird miscommunication error, I can only assume.