The NBA is rich in talent. There are players getting snubbed out of the All Star Team year in and year out. Players like Damien Lillard and his backcourt mate CJ McCollum have found it hard to suit up for the All Star teams although they are sure-fire stars. I will be ranking the top 30 players in the NBA from the bottom up and releasing a list of 5 daily for the next few days. Be sure to turn your notifications on if you follow me on Twitter @rafaeltorresNBA or @RealBallInsider. If you feel like I’m wrong feel free to drop a comment or hit me up on Twitter. I’m sure I’m not wrong because, well, I am the best (at NBA2K). No seriously, if you think I’m wrong feel free to argue your points.
30. Mike Conley PG Memphis Grizzlies (WEST) –
2016-17: 20.5 PPG, 3.5 RPB, 6.3 APG
Conley is probably the best point guard ever to not get selected to an All Star game. He has steadily improved as he and Marc Gasol have taken the Memphis Grizzlies to the post season each of the last 7 seasons. The Grizzlies have stuck beside their point guard and he in return has upped his efficiency virtually every season. Conley posted a eFG% of .545 last season which puts him near the top amongst guards in the NBA.
29. Paul Milsap PF Denver Nuggets (WEST) –
2016-17: 18.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.7 APG
Millsap has been a member of the Eastern All Star team each of the last 4 seasons as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Being part of the 60 win Atlanta team in 2015 definitely helped his case. A steady player who can do-it-all, Millsap has built his reputation as a consistent offensive threat and gritty defender. Paul Millsap has recently signed with the Denver Nuggets and will be part of a star-studded front court featuring Nikola Jokic and himself. Millsap averaged a career high 18.1 points per game last season and that number is more likely than not to improve as well his efficiency next to Jokic.
28. Blake Griffin PF Los Angeles Clippers (WEST) –
2016-17: 21.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.9 APG
Griffin is one of the best forwards of the league (when healthy). I almost kept him out of the top-30 due to his injuries but his skills set and talent made it hard to do so. He has recently showcased his 3 point shot and possesses a beautiful post game. He can also pass with the best of them and can lead a team on the offensive end. With the departure of Chris Paul who was, at his request, shipped off to the Houston Rockets; Griffin’s averages will probably sky-rocket as his usage rate increases.
27. Kristaps Porzingis PF/C New York Knicks (EAST) –
2016-17: 18.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.5 APG
Kristaps Porzingis had an awesome rookie season. He showed promise as a two-way big man. One who be featured on the offense regularly and also make big defensive plays. An area where Porzingis really struggles is passing the ball. His assist % (7.3) is low for his usage rate (24.3%) and he hasn’t shown any indication of a change in his second season. His disappointing second year could be attributed to the dysfunction of the New York Knicks.
26. Marc Gasol C Memphis Grizzlies (WEST) –
2016-17: 19.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 4.6 APG
Marc Gasol has been underrated for most of his career. The 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year has been a staple on that end since joining the league in 2008. Gasol has a career average of 1.5 blocks per game which is more than a lot of centers post in a single season. He has also seen his scoring go up on a yearly basis although his rebounding has gradually decreased. Gasol has also become a reliable 3 point shooter as he shot 39% last season on 3.6 attempts per game.