08
Oct
07

Tier Player Rankings

One of the most important things to have going into a draft is a tier ranking. I love the flexibility it provides during a draft. You can make quick decisions based on which position has the highest tiered players still available. I will give my rankings below.

Please understand something, ever since the 6th grade I do not double dip. It was the beginning of the 6th grade and I was in social studies. You remember 6th grade. First time you move to new classrooms and new teachers for each class, you have your own locker, and its time to decide which “group” you will sit with at lunch, because that is what defined you in middle school. It’s the biggest step you’ve taken in your social progression at this stage in life. Well, mine was marred because of DOUBLE DIPPING! Again, I was in social studies and we were learning about dehydrated foods. The teacher hydrated some ketchup and little weenies for us to try. I dipped my little weenie in the ketchup that was being passed down each isle by a student. It was so good; I quickly turned around and dipped my little weenie in the ketchup again! Well, the girl passing the damn ketchup around yelled (and I mean yelled), “HE DOUBLE DIPPED!!!!!” Please understand I had never even heard of “double dipping” at that point in my life. My family dipped anything and everything as much and as many times, as we wanted too. I was so confused, but the teacher quickly “educated” me on why we do not double dip, and of course she did this in front of the whole class. The story does have a happy ending though…..

That was in the first 6 weeks and I scored a perfect 100 on my report card, so I was moved up to Honors Social Studies and left all those non-double dipping bastards behind! I may not have known what double dipping was, but I sure as hell knew the damn continents!!

I know you are wondering what the hell this has to do with my tier rankings, well; I hate it when people put the same players under multiple positions in their rankings. I understand that Josh Smith can be a SG, SF and PF, but I don’t want to see him three times in a tier ranking. That’s double dipping. That is what a total player ranking sheet is for. I have assigned each player to the position at which they will likely be starting at. So here are my rakings by position and I will have the total player rankings out later this week.

Point Guard

TIER ONE
Gilbert Arenas, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash

They are the best of the best. No need to elaborate there.

TIER TWO
Chris Paul, Baron Davis and Deron Williams

Baron would easily be in the top tier, if he could ever stay healthy. I hope this is the year he does it. I could debate who’s better between CP3 and DWill all day. They are both spectacular and I look forward to seeing them improve once more. CP3 definitely has more to prove than Deron, so it should be interesting.

TIER THREE
Andre Miller, Chauncey Billups, TJ Ford, Stephon Marbury, Randy Foye, Raymond Felton, Mo Williams and Tony Parker

This group has A LOT TO PROVE!! Andre Miller is the safest pick of the group, but the real questions are whether Billups can rebound from a down year and a Horrible playoff appearance? Will Steph return to his dominating days of 20 plus points and 8 plus assists of a couple of years ago? Are Randy Foye and Raymond Felton ready to take over and lead their teams? I actually think that Raymond is poised for a very nice year and I think Steph does rebound, but only time will tell.

TIER FOUR
Steve Francis, Kirk Hinrich, Mike Bibby, Jamaal Tinsley, Jason Terry, Leandro Barbosa and Jameer Nelson

I really like Steve Francis out of this group! I think he has matured as a person and player and I believe he will do very well in Houston. Bibby is the biggest question mark because he was so disappointing last year. I don’t really know what to think of him right now. Honestly, I try to avoid point guards in this tier and below because I would prefer to take a chance on a young forward, but these players deserve spots on a team, they will be effective.

THE REST
Rajon Rondo, Daniel Gibson, Mike Conley, Jarrett Jack and Speedy Claxton

I think Rajon will do just fine in Boston. I’m the most curious about how Boobie and Conley Jr. will be used. Both teams REALLY need their playmaking abilities on the court, I hope they are starting or get a lot of minutes at the very least.

Shooting Guards

TIER ONE
Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade

Wade really shouldn’t be here since he is likely to miss at least a month of the season with injuries, but I just love his game. He is the best two guard in the game, so I had to put him in. KOBE – I HATE YOU!

TIER TWO
Allen Iverson, Andre Iguodala, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter

Iggy is simply sick. He does everything and does it well, plus Andre Miller is a great compliment to him. T-Mac’s back will be great this year because he won’t have to carry his whole team on it anymore! Daryl Morey, you are a freaking saint!! Tracy will love Adelman’s system and flourish in it.

TIER THREE
Michael Redd, Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin, Kevin Durant, Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Jamal Crawford, and Brandon Roy

Redd and Johnson and obvious studs and if they just did a little more in the other categories, they would be in the second tier. Kevin Martin will continue to progress, but he really needs Artest to be traded if he is going to reach his potential. I LOVE KD!! He is the next great superstar in the league, but his time will not be this year because he is playing the 2 guard spot. I expect him to be 20 plus points but only 5-7 boards and few assists. He’ll become THE MAN, as he grows into his body! Durant is freaking awesome. I think Ray Allen will take the biggest fantasy hit out of the big three in Boston. His scoring will be down and so will his other stats because he just wont be asked to do as much every night as he has been. Brandon Roy was a nice rookie and I expect him to continue to grow.

TIER FOUR
Ben Gordon, Ricky Davis, Jason Richardson, Richard Hamilton and Larry Hughes

Ricky Davis is the typical high risk, high reward player, because we don’t know how Minnesota is going to use him, if they don’t trade him. He could be the Ricky that scores and does everything, or he could be a cancer to the young players and they will exile him to the bench of a new team. Please Ricky, behave and freaking BALL!!!! Is Larry Hughes healthy this year?? He’s got the talent, and Cleveland really needs him, but he’ll break if you breathe on him, so don’t sneeze in his direction.

TIER FIVE
Peja Stojakovic, Grant Hill, Anthony Parker, Devin Harris, Marco Belinelli, and Bonzi Wells

My money is on Marco Belinelli in this group. Don Nelson is as unpredictable as they come and I can see Belinelli starting and doing very well, because he’s just the cocky shoot-fist high-energy guy Nellie loves! Bonzi reported to camp 15lbs lighter… didn’t he need to lose at least 30lbs???

THE REST
Gerald Green, Martell Webster, Morris Peterson, Marquis Daniels, JJ Redick, Ronnie Brewer, Rashad McCants and Trevor Ariza.

I’ll take Ariza out of this group. Orlando doesn’t have a shooting guard (JJ is NOT the answer) and Ariza does everything. He’s a very nice sleeper.

Small Forward

TIER ONE
LeBron James

He’s King. Did you see him shoot the ball during the FIBA America’s tournament???? If he does anything close to that this season, he’ll average 35 points per game and will truly be unstoppable!

TIER TWO
Josh Smith, Paul Pierce

Josh spent the whole summer with Hakeem Olajuwon and Calvin Murphy. I expect him to average 20 points this season and he’ll continue to do EVERYTHING!!!! Pierce’s rebounds will go down, but everything else will stay the same. His shooting percentages go up every year, so he’ll still succeed with fewer shots.

TIER THREE
Rashard Lewis, Carmelo Anthony, Caron Butler, Ron Artest and Corey Maggette

Rashard was GROSSLY overpaid, but he is damn good and will do great in Orlando. Will Melo ever rebound or pass the ball consistently enough to be anything more than an elite scorer? Butler will pick up where he left off and hopefully Ron Ron keeps his head on straight. The player I like the most is Maggette! Brand is out for about half the season, and they’ll be asking him to carry the scoring load. Maggette is also in a contract year as he can opt out at the end of the season.

TIER FOUR
Josh Howard, Luol Deng, David West, Gerald Wallace, Richard Jefferson, Tayshaun Prince, Manu Ginobili and Rudy Gay

I’m not as high on Gerald Wallace as everyone else is. Look at his stats the first half of last season. They were very average. Why? Because Okafor and Sean May were balling. Now he has J Rich in the mix along with an improved Felton and Walter Hermann. He’ll be average this year, unless Okafor goes down again (he does every year so it might be a good bet). Rudy Gay is my player of choice here. I think he breaks out in his sophomore campaign, and shows what he can do.

TIER FIVE
Danny Granger, Marvin Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Wally Szczerbiak, and Quentin Richardson

Danny got way comfortable with the three last season. He needs to go to the rack more this year, if he is going to do what other people think he will, that is be a Matrix light. I just don’t see it, though. This is Marvin’s put up or shut up season. What will he do? AK47 is still crying in the bathroom stall because Jerry Sloan told him he missed that back door pass, but didn’t follow it up with “But you caught the ball and got in your three point stance beautifully, Andrei!” He will never be the AK47 of old in Utah as long as Boozer and Okur are there.

THE REST
Boris Diaw, Hedo Turkoglu, Luke Walton, Amir Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Jason Kapono, Dorell Wright, Jeff Green, Al Thorton and Walter Hermann

Will the Pistons ever give Amir a chance? He’s stud, just needs the time and experience. I love Dorell’s talent, but I’m not sure he has the brain. Hermann will make his mark on this team like every Argentinean not named Delfino does.

Power Forward

TIER ONE
Kevin Garnett

He’s the best player on the planet (fantasy and real life). He’s the 2007-08 MVP. Go ahead and put Boston in the NBA Finals!

TIER TWO
Chris Bosh, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Al Jefferson

I keep expecting Duncan to get old and slow down, but I’m not sure it’s coming anymore. I’m starting to think he’ll be this good well into his 50’s. He just doesn’t need to jump or be athletic to totally dominate. I love Al Jefferson this year! Look at what he did without Pierce last year. He’s the best player on the Timberwolves and will be given every opportunity to average 20 & 10 with good blocks and great percentages. He might even throw in some assists, if he improved on passing out of double teams (which I hope he has, cause he’ll see them a lot).

TIER THREE
Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom, Jermaine O’Neal, Zach Randolph and Antawn Jamison

Odom and the Lakers will do much better if they run the ball through Lamar and just let Kobe score, but they won’t so Odom finds himself in tier three. I’m not worried about Zach. Eddy Curry sucks.

TIER FOUR
LaMarcus Aldridge, Charlie Villanueva, David Lee and Elton Brand

Aldridge will freaking ball this year with Oden out. He’s the man down low on that team and I think he’ll make the most of it. I’ve always like Charlie and I hope he stays healthy this year. David Lee is too good for even Coach “Hey pretty lady, will you meet me of site” Thomas to keep him on the bench. I put Elton Brand here because I couldn’t have him past tier four, no matter how many games he misses.

TIER FIVE
Rasheed Wallace, Chris Wilcox, Drew Gooden, Nene, Luis Scola and Al Harrington

Wilcox has all the talent and I think he turns that into production this year. Gooden is talking about being a MLB pitcher???? I love Nene, but the presence of K-Mart concerns me, although Nene should be the primary PF no matter what. I love Scola and I think he’s perfect for Aldelman’s system.

TIER SIX
Anrea Bargnani, Antonio McDyess, Channing Frye, Kenyon Martin and Joakim Noah

Bargnani is incredible! He’ll be phenomenal if he would learn the rebound and continue to take people off his dribble. Channing will bounce back and start to reach early expectations of last year, unless he can’t fend off Joel Pryzbilla, in which case he doesn’t deserve to be mentioned on this list. Kenyon scares the hell out of me and I’m not going anywhere near him. The Bulls need a lowpost presence so bad that they will start Noah, even though he’s a younger Ben Wallace and NOT a lowpost presence.

THE REST
Ryan Gomes, Tyrus Thomas, Jaren Jefferies, Justin Williams, Ike Diogu, Jason Maxiell, Sean Williams, Al Horford, Yi Jianlian

Tyrus Thomas has everything a team could want, but not what the Bulls need. Apparently Jefferies can shoot now… we’ll see. Justin Williams should be starting over every big man Sacto has, but I doubt he will. Sean Williams fills a HUGE need for the Nets; I have a hard time believing he won’t get a chance to prove he can play. I’m not high on either rookie here, but they might do something. I’d favor Horford, if I must.

Center

TIER ONE
Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol

D12 is the MAN!! He’ll average over 20 points this season and he’ll inarguably be the best center in the league! Gasol does EVERYTHING. He’s amazing and I think he’ll, dare I say it, IMPROVE under Iavaroni.

TIER TWO
Yao Ming, Amare Stoudemire, Marcus Camby and Emeka Okafor

This is right wing of the hospital tier. IF any of they players can stay healthy, THEY WILL BE GREAT!!!!!

TIER THREE
Tyson Chandler, Ben Wallace, Mehmet Okur, Andrew Bogut, Shaquille O’Neal, Nenad Krstic, and Darko Milicic

Tyson finally broke out last season. Will he actually average double digit points this year?? Big Ben is on the decline, and I don’t see it stopping. I have always loved Bogut and I hope he puts it together this year. He should average 15, 10 & 3, we’ll see if he does it. Speaking of declining…. Shaq is his name. DARKO!!! THIS IS THE YEAR! Buy stock in Darko and you won’t regret it! He’s not Melo, Bosh or Wade, but he’ll give you 12, 8 & over 2 blocks this year. Not bad for a late round center.

TIER FOUR
Samuel Dalembert, Andris Biedrins, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Chris Kaman and Andrew Bynum

Kaman should step it up with Brand out. Biedrins can play, but I wish the NBA had a “pinch free throw shooter” every time I watch him at the line. Kobe and Phil are not gushing over Bynum in training camp, so we’ll see what happens when he takes the court.

THE REST
Jamaal Magloire, Kendrick Perkins, Robert Swift, Nick Collison, Troy Murphy, Mark Blount, Brad Miller, Eddy Curry and Ryan Hollins

I’m not sold that slow-ass Magloire will work in New Jersey. Perk will get a good share boards and put backs with KG next to him. Word is Ryan Hollins is the starting center. He’s got talent, but I just don’t see them playing him more minutes than Walter Hermann. By the way, Eddy Curry sucks.

There’s my list. Enjoy.

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