Recently I discovered an article on ESPN.com, from December of 2012, where a panel of writers predicted the best players of 2015. It was very interesting reading some of their early predictions from three years ago. Some, they got right.
With that in mind, I thought it most appropriate to gather a panel from TornBySports, consisting of the Jedi & Jerms crew and site boss, to provide their picks for best players. Here are our picks, by position.
Who will be the best point guard in the NBA?
Devin Masters: Stephen Curry. It’s tough to argue that any point guard could be better than the reigning MVP this season. While I had to give consideration to Chris Paul, the title is Curry’s until someone takes it away from him.
John English: Stephen Curry. Why on Earth would you pick someone besides the reigning MVP? He’s a terrific ball-handler, a deadly shooter, and the best player on the best team in the league.
Grant Bagby: Chris Paul. The others may have mentioned something about an MVP player. When I think about a point guard, I want a distributor and CP3 is the best in the league.
Alan Zaugg: Steph Curry. It’s hard to argue with the the reigning champion and MVP. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook have to be considered here, with Kyrie Irving and John Wall as long term options. But I gotta go with the incomparable Steph. He’s fun to watch, a silky smooth shooting touch, and a stone-cold will to win.
Who will be the best shooting guard in the NBA?
DM: Jimmy Butler. Most people will say James Harden, but Butler is a better two-way player who still has room to grow. Klay Thompson also has to be given consideration, but I’ll take my chances on Butler this year.
JE: James Harden. Harden’s always under control of the ball in Houston, he’s better than anyone by far at getting to the rim, and he was thisclose to being MVP last year.
GB: Steph Curry? If not Curry, I go with Jimmy Butler. All I remember about Harden is his collapse against the Warriors. Butler is one of the best defenders in the league and last season he showed everyone his offensive game.
AZ: James Harden. The name struggles to even leave my mouth. He’s not entertaining in the least bit, gets to the free throw line more times than he deserves, and doesn’t defend all that well. But Harden can flat-out score better than anyone in the league.
Who will be the best small forward in the NBA?
DM: LeBron James. Could we really name anyone else? After last year’s NBA Finals performance, there is no doubt in my mind that Lebron James is still the greatest basketball player in the world.
JE: LeBron James. CUZ HE’S LEBRON JAMES. He is the best player in the league.
GB: LeBron. No contest.
AZ: LeBron James. Is there anyone else that even comes close?
Who will be the best power forward in the NBA?
DM: Anthony Davis. The Brow has proven that he belongs in this league. An all-around superstar who’s still developing his game to its full potential – it’s scary to think the player he could become. If Davis can help the Pelicans improve in the Western Conference standings this season, he’ll be a strong candidate for MVP – something fans will want to get used to.
JE: Anthony Davis. He was already incredible last year, but now he has a better coach and he’ll have more national spotlight. If he improves just a little, we’re looking at a 26-point, 12-rebound, 3-block 7-footer, versatile on offense and defense. He is the next Tim Duncan.
GB: Anthony Davis. I think my colleagues have made my points for me.
AZ: Anthony Davis. He’s an elite defender and can score in multiple ways. I’m not sure we’ve even seen his ceiling yet. Oh, and did we mention he is the highest paid player in NBA history.
Who will be the best center in the NBA?
DM: Rudy Gobert. When it comes to Gobert, I’m happy to be a Jazz homer on this one. Dwight Howard no longer has the superstar appeal he once had. DeMarcus Cousins still has an attitude problem that will prevent me from taking him seriously. And while I think Tim “Father Time” Duncan could have a surprisingly good season alongside LaMarcus Aldridge, I’m sticking with Gobert. Rudy made the most of his time starting for the Jazz last season, and with Enes Kanter out of the way, Gobert will have even more opportunities. His defense is already elite, and if he can develop more of an offensive game – watch out.
JE: Rudy Gobert. Rudy’s going to have his first full year as a starter, and he showed that in such a capacity, he’s at least on par with DeAndre Jordan. Dwight Howard was great in the playoffs but showed signs over the regular season that he can take some games off, and he could actually be a hindrance on offense. DeMarcus Cousins will put up great numbers, but that never seems to translate to wins. Marc Gasol regressed last year. Did I miss anyone? It’s Rudy. We don’t even know what Rudy can become. He will transcend basketball and bring to pass universal harmony.
GB: DeAndre Jordan. He is such a key player the Clippers happily will be paying $250,000. He is a good defender in the post and understands what he can do on offense, plus he will be expanding his offensive role with the team this season.
AZ: Rudy Gobert. No, there isn’t any Kool-aid drinking here. It’s a simply math deduction. His numbers speak for themselves, so does the drastic defensive turnaround the Utah Jazz made this last season. And he started less than a third of the season. The Stifle Tower is about to take the league by storm. DeAndre who?
There you have it, our picks for NBA best players for the upcoming season. What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree? Did we leave names off the list? We would love to hear from you.