The talent level of the NBA is reaching new heights as more and more players are becoming more and more versatile. Big men are shooting three pointers while the guards are starting to become rebounding machines. Before the NBA season starts, the editors here at Cavs Nation came up with a list of the top 101 players, which we’ll be posting every weekday until we reach the number one player in the NBA. We start with player number 101:
101. Jeff Green, MEM SF/PF
Green is a very solid small forward, but his shooting is nowhere near consistent enough to be higher on this list. For the 2015-16 season, Green is ranked number 101.
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100. Arron Afflalo, NYK SG/SF
Afflalo is going all in with New York after signing with them instead of some of the other more competitive teams. Afflalo has a sweet jumpshot and when he’s locked in, he can be an excellent defender as well for the Knicks. He’s still got ways to improve offensively, so Afflalo takes rank number 100?
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99. Nikola Mirotic, CHI SF/PF
Mirotic was expected to help the Bulls last season if a player from their injury riddled team went down. When Taj Gibson went down, Mirotic valiantly came in to save the the day and the season for the Bulls. Mirotic might even be good enough to be a starter on some teams. Right now, he ranks number 99.
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98. Tony Allen, MEM SG/SF
Tony Allen, Mr. 1st Team All Defense, is probably the best wing defender in the NBA. I mean, the guy can flat out irritate and defend you like he’s defending the leftovers in your home fridge that you were thinking about all day at work and someone told you they were planning to eat it. Of course, his offensive game is a whole other story, but he’s not in the game for his offense. He plays as a hard nosed defender who never backs down, and that gets him rank number 98 on Cavs Nation’s NBA Rank.
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97. Andre Iguodala, SAS SG/SF
Andre Iguodala, like Allen, is a solid defender who doesn’t back down. He, however, is not amazing defensively and has a decent offensive game. The 2015 Finals showed that he can hit wide open jumpshots, but he’s still not a great jumpshooter. Might seem low, but the Finals MVP ranks number 97 on our NBA Rank.
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96. Tristan Thompson, CLE PF
Tristan Thompson has been frustrating Cavs fans for weeks now with these contract talks, but he will probably be back in a Cavalier uniform on a long term deal. Thompson wouldn’t have a big role in the Cavs offense anyways, and most of his numbers are accumulated through his hustle for the ball or from alley oops. For that, we have him ranked number 96 on our NBA Rank.
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95. Ricky Rubio, MIN PG
Ricky Rubio is a weird choice here because the kid is obviously talented, but he has been so hampered by injuries and his shooting percentages from outside aren’t really that great. He came into the NBA as a guy who couldn’t shoot, and not much has changed since then. The injuries he’s had aren’t that easy to recover from, as Rubio had an injury to his ankle so bad, it caused him to miss the last two months of the season. Until he can prove that he can stay healthy and that he’s legitimately improving his game, Rubio gets ranked number 95 on our Cavs Nation NBA Rank.
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94. Nerlens Noel, PHI PF/C
Nerlens Noel had to sit out a whole season due to an injury, but the young guy is a massive defensive talent. As a power forward/center, Noel has 13 games with at least four steals and six games with at least five blocks, including a nine block game against Indiana. Once Noel develops a solid offensive game, he’ll be almost unstoppable.
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93. Wesley Matthews, DAL SG/SF
Wesley Matthews wouldn’t normally be ranked this low, but it’s also very tough to come back from a torn Achilles and play at the same level you did prior to the injury. It’s quite possible, but it just seems unlikely. For that, we rank Matthews at a very low 93, but we would expect him to climb to the top 50 easily if he can have a solid season for the Mavericks.
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92. Marcin Gortat, WAS C
Marcin Gortat is one of the best centers in the NBA, and that should tell you about how much talent level there is ahead of him. Gortat could be in line for a huge 15-16 season, but it seems like he’s always been primed for a breakout season and hasn’t really come through. Still, there’s no denying the Polish Hammer’s talent as one of the best bigs out there right now.
Stay tuned as 2e’ll continue Cavs Nation’s NBA Rank with players ranked 91-82 tomorrow morning!