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Monday, September 23rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm  |  149 responses

Top 50: Monta Ellis, no. 50

The enigmatic scorer looks to start anew in Dallas.

The SLAMonline Top 50 is back! With players returning to work this week, there’s no better time to start the definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players. Come through seven days a week as we shine the spotlight directly on the NBA’s brightest stars.—Ed.

by Jay Wallis / @Jay Wallis

Monta Ellis is an enigma. At times he seems like one of the most versatile and talented shooting guards in the League. Other times, Ellis doesn’t have it all.

Last year, the shoot-first and shoot-second shooting guard had one of the worst seasons, if not the worst, of his eight-year career. Even though Ellis averaged 19.2 points, 6.0 assists and 2.1 steals with the Bucks, his percentages irrefutably became the glaring point of discussion.

Ellis shot 41.6 percent from the field and 28.7 percent from the arc. Out of 148 guards in the League last season, 117 had a better true shooting percentage than Ellis did. He was dreadful shooting off the dribble (32.3 percent), ranking dead last among these guards. He got into some bad shooting habits early in the season and never stopped chucking it up.

And on the other side of the court, Ellis continued to be a burden on defense. When Ellis was on the bench, the Bucks’ defense was two points better per 100 possessions. He may have grabbed a lot of steals, but this was in large part due to his reckless tendency to jump in the passing lanes, putting him out of position.

Along with these defensive issues, most NBA gurus have a preconceived notion that Ellis’ inefficient style is simply the way he is and that he can’t be changed at this point in his career. Yet, the 6-3 gunner should still be considered moldable.

Coming straight out of high school in 2005, the veteran is only 27 years old. He has plenty left in the tank and has only missed 10 games the past three seasons, including none last year. With no lingering injuries, Ellis should be considered to be right in the middle of his prime.

In six of the last seven seasons, he has averaged at least 19 points. But the major concern is his shooting percentage, right? When comparing Ellis and his career shooting percentage (45.6) to that of Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade, Klay Thompson, Kevin Martin, JR Smith, Manu Ginobili and Jamal Crawford, Wade is the only one who has a better career field-goal percentage (48.9) than Ellis. So even with his dreadful season last year, Ellis ranks better, percentage-wise, than these top shooting guards. This proves that there was in fact a time when he knew how to utilize his offensive weapons.

Ellis told the Dallas media he hopes to get back to how he played during the ’09-10 season, when he averaged a career-high 25.5 points with the Warriors. That season was also the fourth year of a five-year span when he shot 47.1 percent from the field.

So as Ellis starts anew with the Mavs, the question is: Can he revitalize his career and look like his former self or is the Ellis we saw in Milwaukee now the norm?

When looking at Ellis’ two years with the Bucks, it quickly becomes evident this pairing never should have happened. If his time in Golden State proved that he couldn’t play with Stephen Curry, why did Milwaukee ever think he could work with Brandon Jennings? There are many things Ellis struggles to do on the court, but he certainly doesn’t struggle to get points in bunches. If he is starting next to a shoot-first point guard, that consequently diminishes Ellis’ strengths. Putting him beside Jennings on an offensively deficient Bucks squad was a death wish from the very start. This is why it is hard to believe Ellis’ unproductive play with the Bucks wasn’t impacted by the context of his situation.

(If there is any positive to take away from Ellis’ play last season, he did shoot 35.1 percent from three-point range after the All-Star break.)

Ellis will now start next to Jose Calderon, a guard who epitomizes what it means to be a pass-first point guard. Over the past seven NBA seasons, no player has a better overall assist-to-turnover ratio than Calderon (4.27). Chris Paul is second with a 4.17 ratio. Calderon will quickly become acclimated to Carlisle’s system and learn the spots Ellis (and Dirk) wants the ball. Oh, and he’ll actually get him the ball in those spots.

Calderon will play a major role in trying to restore Ellis’ heydays; however, one of Ellis’ other starting teammates will have an even greater impact. Especially once gameday comes around.

During Nowitzki’s 15 years in Dallas, many trigger-happy guards have come to town, found defined roles and improved their shooting percentages. Nick Van Exel, Jason Terry and even OJ Mayo all shot well during their times in Dallas. Why? Due to his awkward one-legged fadeaways, habitual pump fakes and ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor, Dirk draws the majority of the opposing defense’s attention, no matter who else is on the floor. Ellis will have the opportunity to take advantage and use his speed to become what JJ Barea once was during the Mavs championship run and what Darren Collison attempted to be. It’s up to Ellis.

But that’s the hardest part—it’s up to Ellis. No matter how many statistics are broken down, the likelihood of Ellis having success in the ’13-14 season relies on his attitude. Will he change it? Does he even want to?

If Ellis legitimately wants to alter the way people view him as a player, the man who once irrationally compared himself to Dwyane Wade must rediscover himself and find purpose in being a No. 2 scorer for Rick Carlisle. His new head coach won’t put up with any antics that could hinder the team’s success.

No longer can Ellis step on to the floor ready to jack up a shot every time the ball gets in his hands. No longer can Ellis step on to the floor expecting to be the focal point of every single offensive play. He is on Dirk’s team. He is on Carlisle’s team. He is on Cuban’s team.

If Ellis can find a way to buy into what Carlisle is selling and realize the past successes of shoot-happy guards in Mavs uniforms, he has the natural athleticism and offensive skill set to be a part of one of the deadliest duos in the League.

Monta Ellis is an enigma. He can change that by defining himself as a Dallas Maverick.


Where should Monta Ellis rank in the SLAM Top 50?

Loading ... Loading ...
SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2013
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Monta Ellis Mavs SG 5

Rankings are based on expected contribution in ’13-14—to players’ team, the League and the game.

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Let’s goooooooo

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Incidentally, he didn’t make my top 50. but i’m psyched to see this thing up and running.

  • danpowers

    the top 50, finally!!!!

    id leave him out of my top 50, too, but dont see a problem having him in there neither. he is talented enough to be much higher on that list.

    it is just that he scores so inefficiently and gambles a tad bit too often on defense so leaving him out – i guess – is more of a subjective
    disappointment about what he does compared to what he could do. so what he produces on the court looks a little lesser than it actually is.

  • danpowers

    the top 50, finally!!!!

    id leave him out of my top 50, too, but dont see a problem having him in there neither. he is talented enough to be much higher on that list.

    it is just that he scores so inefficiently and gambles a tad bit too often on defense so leaving him out – i guess – is more of a subjective
    disappointment about what he does compared to what he could do. so what he produces on the court looks a little lesser than it actually is.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I am happy the 50 is back. I am not happy Monta Ellis just put up one of the worst ball hogging seasons in league history, didn’t play defense, and is still a top 50 player tho.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I am happy the 50 is back. I am not happy Monta Ellis just put up one of the worst ball hogging seasons in league history, didn’t play defense, and is still a top 50 player tho.

  • danpowers

    could be worse than having a guy like ellis in the top 50. i mean we will see ball hogs like melo (who is not really a dpoy candidate neither) or kobe much higher on that list anyway. it will be just more interesting to see – as we near 50 – who got snubbed for him and then let the hate begin lol

  • danpowers

    could be worse than having a guy like ellis in the top 50. i mean we will see ball hogs like melo (who is not really a dpoy candidate neither) or kobe much higher on that list anyway. it will be just more interesting to see – as we near 50 – who got snubbed for him and then let the hate begin lol

  • JamesJones34

    I think the biggest thing to realize is that this ranking is for next season. Yeah, he sucked last year. But now he’s in Dallas with Jose, Dirk and Rick. He should be at least the 50th best player in this new setting.

  • JamesJones34

    I think the biggest thing to realize is that this ranking is for next season. Yeah, he sucked last year. But now he’s in Dallas with Jose, Dirk and Rick. He should be at least the 50th best player in this new setting.

  • RileyForThree

    Did not know his career FG% was that comparable to those other shooting guards. dang

  • RileyForThree

    Did not know his career FG% was that comparable to those other shooting guards. dang

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • spit hot fiyah

    “• Rankings are based on expected contribution in ’13-14—to players’ team, the League and the game.”

    put that in font size 200 and we can avoid a lot of meaningless arguments

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • spit hot fiyah

    “• Rankings are based on expected contribution in ’13-14—to players’ team, the League and the game.”

    put that in font size 200 and we can avoid a lot of meaningless arguments

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I wish he gambled on defense. That would mean he’s a least trying

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I wish he gambled on defense. That would mean he’s a least trying

  • spit hot fiyah

    nice write up!

    playing next to calderon will be good for him. this team will one of the absolute worst defensively though

  • spit hot fiyah

    nice write up!

    playing next to calderon will be good for him. this team will one of the absolute worst defensively though

  • danpowers

    ehhhhwwwwwwwwwww…. uhm get his a*s outta here!!! i want jr in! lol

  • danpowers

    ehhhhwwwwwwwwwww…. uhm get his a*s outta here!!! i want jr in! lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • danpowers

    well… his 2,1 steals per game dont come out of nowhere. still a bad defender, no doubt.

  • danpowers

    well… his 2,1 steals per game dont come out of nowhere. still a bad defender, no doubt.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I know I was just trolling. His gambling works better than his not, is what I was implying

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I know I was just trolling. His gambling works better than his not, is what I was implying

  • danpowers

    it will always be beyond my understanding how one can be so athletic and blessed to play in the nba without putting any effort into defense.

  • danpowers

    it will always be beyond my understanding how one can be so athletic and blessed to play in the nba without putting any effort into defense.

  • spit hot fiyah

    same goes for offense for a lot of players

  • spit hot fiyah

    same goes for offense for a lot of players

  • danpowers

    hhmmm i dont know. its the nba so there should be more than enough scoring on each team. i think putting all energy into defense while accepting a lesser role on offense is more valuable for most teams than the other way round.

    capability is another story tho

  • danpowers

    hhmmm i dont know. its the nba so there should be more than enough scoring on each team. i think putting all energy into defense while accepting a lesser role on offense is more valuable for most teams than the other way round.

    capability is another story tho

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah, he’s a lot more efficient when he’s playing on an extremely fast paced team that can take pressure off of him. Which he hasn’t, (and still isn’t) veen on a team that can do that for him since Golden State. But hey, he probably will improve somewhat on offense. Calderon is better than Jennings at running a team. But it’s hard to believe the jump will be from horrible to top 50 material.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah, he’s a lot more efficient when he’s playing on an extremely fast paced team that can take pressure off of him. Which he hasn’t, (and still isn’t) veen on a team that can do that for him since Golden State. But hey, he probably will improve somewhat on offense. Calderon is better than Jennings at running a team. But it’s hard to believe the jump will be from horrible to top 50 material.

  • Shifty

    He shot over 50 percent one year while averaging over 19 I think. Kobe has never averaged over 50 percent in his career

  • Shifty

    He shot over 50 percent one year while averaging over 19 I think. Kobe has never averaged over 50 percent in his career

  • danpowers

    got you. anyway, we should be greatful that we got served a controversial no 50. its just a bit disappointing that there are no fans claiming a higher spot for him… yet

  • danpowers

    more shots to block for dalembert and wright. valuable info for fantasy owners lol

  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange thought Golden State was crazy for letting Monta go. In hindsight, they prolly know what everyone else is in denial over: (i) That dog had loads of potential coming out of HS, (ii) after 8 years that dog ain’t never caught a rabbit, (iii) that dog don’t hunt.

  • anon

    It’s money and fame. Offense is what gets you paid, traditionally. If you’re a “good” but not “elite” player and you’re going to put all your effort into something — you’re gonna pick offense.

  • danpowers

    not if your name is ben wallace lol. but sure, makes sense.

  • shockexchange

    Offense over defense is what (i) gets coaches and GMs fired. *Welp* and (ii) has Tracey McGrady apologizing and politicking for the Hall of Fame now that he’s retired.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    It’s BACK!!! Wow, I thought you guys were just going to forget about it this year. I always thought it was one a day until the first game of the season. I guess we’ll be seeing multiple players per day then lol.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well, let’s not let this “prediction” be an excuse to ignore what we just watched happen for 7 of the last 12 months. nothing is a better predictor of the future than the past.

  • Dundler

    Wouldn’t make my top 50, but not that bad of a choice. A chucker, but not the worst. Whats annoying is his lack of interest in D, and the fact that he’s a talented passer but just doesn’t look at it.

  • LLC#12

    Gonna be a lot of PG’s in this top 50 I reckon. Maybe 3 times as many PG’s as C’s.

  • Najee Fareed

    incredibly sad

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Paul/Westbrook/Parker/Rose/Irving/Curry/Rondo/Williams/Wall/Conley —- Lawson? Jennings? Holiday?
    .
    Yeah, a TON of PG’s tho.

  • http://SLAMonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Two-a-day until we get into the top 20. Check for them every day at noon and 3 p.m. EST.

  • Dundler

    If Ellis is on here but Deng isn’t, thats when I get annoyed

  • http://SLAMonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Not three times as many, but there are more PGs than any other position.

  • Junior Taylor

    Great point. Taking into account what a player accomplished last season and combining that with expected contributions for the upcoming season is the best way to gauge/rank players.

  • spit hot fiyah

    true, it’s just seems be completely lost in some of the discussions

  • spit hot fiyah

    true, but some discussions completely forget the criterion

  • spit hot fiyah

    “why you bringin’ up old s”!& man?!”

  • anon

    yeah, but we talking players, not GMs. I was answering the man’s question about why players who are so physically gifted don’t put effort into developing defense.

    Personally, I like watching dudes who play tough D – Avery Bradley and Tony Allen come to mind right away. And the perception is changing in the general viewership about the importance of D. Just like the perception about “high volume shooters” is changing :)

    Generally though, players that focus on D just don’t get as much shine or as much $.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, i just didn’t think it would be THIS discussion. lol, i think his past in an ideal situation is being valued more than his past in a similar situation.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well, i very well could be wrong about him. i just don’t think i am. his being here makes me think guys like Kawhi Leonard aren’t. and that would actually be a reason to be disappointed.
    .
    just like Joakim Noah being left off last year….smh

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    exactly.

  • Cortez Mack

    It’s simple. They may be athlectic but they are not cyborgs. Expending energy on the defensive end will take away from the energy you have to play offense.

    It’s no more complicated than that.

  • danpowers

    deng belongs into the 30s imo. most underrated player of our time. if he leaves chicago they will see what they are really missing then. all this crying over “rose needs help” about a team that features deng, noah and boozer, smh. sure, deng aint that good at creating his own shot, but can score (at a higher fg% than the last 2 seasons with rose running the offense, book it) while being great on defense. cant imagine that they will be able to replace him with an equal or better player.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you are drunk

  • Dundler

    I dunno about most underated, but he is up there. He could very capably be 3rd option on championship team. And he is one of the best perimeter defenders there is. More than that, he does the glue stuff, whatever the team needs. Including playing through injury (probably too much)

  • danpowers

    come on, boozer was a 20 + 10 player b4 he came to chicago. what the rest of the guys cant do for rose on offense is being more than made up for on defense.
    and i am not ashamed to state that i am a huge loul deng fan. i have to admit that im a lil bit tipsy tho

  • danpowers

    “(probably too much)” co-sign all that.

    ok, maybe not THAT underrated since his all star election lol

  • Dundler

    Seriously? Noah wasn’t on here. Damn that is a glitch. I’m confident Leonard will be on here…overly confident

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    idk man, i did a mock top 50, if Monta Ellis is on here…….. and i value defense more than SLAM typically…

    .

    http://scribbless.com/lists/list/169446

    .
    let me know what you think.

  • danpowers

    i also totally forgot noah last yr for whatever reason. i just think that after the last playoffs that wont happen again.

    leonard should be an upcoming all star we just dont know when and i doubt he will be there upcoming season. id love to see him doing what he did in the finals with more consistency and hopefully pop gives him some more offensive responsibilities so that his numbers start to equal his talent. do you really think that this is will happen this season already?

  • Dundler

    You could be right…Leonard should definitely be on there.
    I don’t know if I’d have Gordon on my list, I kinda think he might be done, I dunno, maybe he’ll think the Pelicans are worth playing for this time.

    I’m interested to see where Pau lands. He’s coming off injury but also coming off rest for the first time in ever. But his stock has just plummeted.

    You think think Bynum is top 50?

  • Dundler

    Think it could be this year with Ginobili’s decline. He has really unorthodox moves (that stop and spin he got on Lebron a couple of times in the playoffs) and weird looking lay up. I don’t think scoring is going to be his strength but it shouldn’t have to be in my opinion

  • Dundler

    Weirdly, his Assist % last year was second highest of his career. Take that as you will

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you just said Luol Deng is in the 30s. That is just nonsense.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Bynum is the one i had the most problems with. he could be totally irrelevant again. or he could be a top 15 player. i know my list is not anything close to perfect, I just don’t see much room for maneuvering after like 35.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Eric Gordon did play the 2nd half of last season, and moped his way to 17ppg. if he’s happy, i don’t see why he won’t go back to how he was as a happy player.

  • Dundler

    I agree, but I’m leaning towards irrelevant. Just doesn’t have the attitude to want to be better.

    In regards to Gordon. I agree he’s likely to wanna play now they have a decent roster (if Davis stays healthy). But interesting thought, say Tyreke starts playing decent, do Pelicans look to move Gordon instead?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i am assuming moving Gordon is the inevitable move. If Danny Granger comes back as an effective player in Indiana, I wouldn’t rule out a Gordon for Granger trade.
    .
    Or Gordon for Luol Deng for that matter. The contracts match, and Gordon would shore up the whole “secondary perimeter scorer” issue in Chicago, without hurting them defensively. While Deng would provide New Orleans a stop gap SF on an expiring contract, giving them a cushion to plan out how they fill that position.
    .
    did you have any moves in mind?

  • Dundler

    I hadn’t thought of anything specific, but man a Gordon/Rose backcourt would just look weird to me (maybe its cos of where they were drafted). I do think Chicago loses out defensively in that trade too, I really value Deng’s D (especially considering his position and the fact they’re in the East)

    Indiana is interesting. And I actually like Granger on the Pelicans. I think if Indiana did run that, in the playoffs we’d eventually see some kind of Gordon/Stephenson(?)/George/West/Hibbert which would be pretty deadly

  • Dundler

    I like that the more I think about it in a Miami match up. Don’t see Chalmers/Cole being able to stop Gordon at his best

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, i didn’t mean it like Gordon can replace Deng, i just mean he’s not a poor defender. it’s not going to hurt the defense in a significant way by making that trade. especially with the emergence of Jimmy Butler. — with that being said, i definitely understand losing Deng for just about everyone is not good for the defense.
    .
    the Gordon for Granger trade was probably more likely before they both got hurt. if Granger doesn’t get the chance to show he’s still a very productive contributor, I doubt New Orleans values him enough to give Gordon up.

  • Dundler

    Jimmy Butler is a good point. I forgot about him. Yeah, I’m glad we agree on Deng’s value.

    Granger situation is interesting, looking to see if he’s happy to come off the bench. I’m sure I saw an interview where he was asked and he basically just side stepped and said he just wanted to be healthy…I could be making it up.

    Just someone who might get on the list who wasn’t on yours…Batum? Thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Granger will be starting. Stephenson will stay coming off the bench. They like his energy, and he enables them to back up 4 positions with him coming off the bench (PG/SG/SF/PF) — while always keeping a guard position fresh. With Granger as a back up, the Big Man rotation would probably become a little chaotic, since Granger will play a lot of small ball PF this year.

    Batum came out between 52-58. i just cut off names to #50. i have to admit, for me to be really comfortable with my list i’ll have have to look at it a little deeper.

  • Dundler

    Thats good, think Stephenson is much better as a 6th

    Batum is fringe for me, but I could see SLAM putting him in there.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    idk, typically on these SLAM Top 50′s, guys whose main strength come on defense get passed up for guys who main strength comes in the PPG category.

  • shockexchange

    Fair point. That said, defense wins chips, which prolly explains why Monta is always sitting at home during the playoffs.

  • Dundler

    Wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right. Think only other guy thats in your 50 and maybe not on mine (I haven’t put them all down yet) is Ibaka.
    Think he compliments the Thunder well, and the added midrange is decent, but still find his defence massively overated and his drifting to the three point line is unnecessary.

    Al Jefferson is a bit of a conundrum too. He will have top 50 talent and production, its just how much you weigh it against him having ultimate green light on a sucky team

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i like you. lol, we see things similarly.
    .
    i ran some poles with the basketball twitter community about my picks. Ibaka measured out better than even I had him there. So i felt like it was fair to give him top 50 love, especially with how much room he does have to grow. he might even make a good jump with the 2nd year of responsibilities. i felt 45 was safe.
    .
    i did not want to put Al Jefferson. Let’s just put it like that. But I can’t say David Lee is better. And I am not a fan of taking flyers on potential guys who haven’t started to fill it.
    .
    The guy who I still think should be there that isn’t is Danilo Gallinari. But his knee injury is confusing the hell out of me.

  • Dundler

    Really I’ve just been biding my time, reading your comments so I can reproduce the same sentiments. (This is a joke, before Evan whathisface accuses this as being you with a different account)

    To be fair to Ibaka, I just had a look and realised he;s only missed five games in four seasons, which raises him up for me a bit. Its more a personal one for me, gets a bit too much love for someone yet to grab 8 boards a game and talk of him being DPOY just annoy me.

    Ha yeah I didn’t consider Lee at all (Is he ready for season start? Haven’t heard much) All that can be said for Lee is good percentages, but think we know of defensive woes.

    Man the whole of Denver confuses me. Sometimes I think Lawson will get a load of numbers now. Then I think Gallinari will take a huge leap. Then I think Mcgee will really step his game up, I usually stop there

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    hmm, well i don’t ever think he’s going to put up the numbers everyone else apparently does. his offensive ceiling is probably 15PPG. i just think his defensive value, and basketball IQ are top 50 material by themselves.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    well, let me break down Denver a little bit.
    .
    They brought in Brian Shaw (who claims to be trying to run George Karl’s system- but won’t) — a system offense type coach. The type of offense that would presumably strip Denver of all of their natural advantages.
    .
    They brought in Nate Robinson. Which will surely cut away at Ty Lawson’s possessions. Especially considering Robinson is somehow a better defender.
    .
    Gallinari had an “ACL Tear” at the end of last season. Well up until 2 months ago when he said it was just an “ACL scare” — which scares the living daylights out of me that he was out for the year after just an ACL scare……
    .
    McGee better step his game up. Because if he doesn’t, Denver is about to have the worst single season turn around in league history. Let’s just put it like that.

  • Dundler

    Its a shame this is where Shaw ended up. Always been a fan but this is pretty much a lose situation for everyone involved.

    Nate is going to have a full head after those playoff exploits. He thought he could shoot before. Imagine now. Is he going to start at SG? Trying to think who else they have there? V small back court if so.

    Mcgee has to have career year. Like monster. Even then…not too good for Nuggets

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i assume Randy Foye is the starting SG as of today. unless Evan Fournier beats him out.
    .
    wouldn’t surprise me if Andre Miller was the 2nd starting guard either.

  • Evan Boland

    SI did their top 50 and it’s horrid.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Two-A-Day starting tomorrow man?

  • 3Chainz

    SG position is going to be weak this year. DROSE and the PG’s will be heavy…..

  • joe

    Thats a good effort right there, suprised me seeing kobe where he is even coming off injury but then realised the only other 2 gaurds ahead of him were harden and wade. good stuff

  • YouKnowWho

    Soooooo, most people voted he should be higher than 50…why aren’t they commenting…

  • spit hot fiyah

    i agree man, what i meant is that sometimes instead of arguing who could have a better season between player x and y (in that case last season becomes very relevant) some discussions start bringing up how many all star games and points scored the guy has in his career and stuff like that.

  • danpowers

    i see him getting back to something around 17ppg and 46% from the field. simply because rose returns which should make some things easier for deng on offense.
    even if it stays at 15ppg and below 45% i co-sign your defensive value and basketball IQ statement. that this alone puts him into the top 50 by common sense says alot about how off the charts his D and IQ are. so… was ist really me being drunk that got me carried away yesterday or is he just a very good player? lol

  • danpowers

    upper 40s?

  • danpowers

    but his scoring will have to improve alot to have him labeled as san antonios next big thing. pop said that leonard can be the face of the spurs so he will need to score more consistently to fill this role. his defense, rebounding and offball movement are already decent.

  • JC

    Wait what, did you just admit that you were wrong about something?

  • Nick Holden

    People need to stop thinking that there are no centers in the league. The position that is really empty is SG.

    Off the top of my head, players that COULD make the list: 2x Gasol, Duncan, Hibbert, Horford, Noah, Brook Lopez, Sanders, Jefferson, Dwight (lol, I actually thought of all the other guys before him)

    So thats 10 guys right there. I think they are all very good bets to make the list, except Jefferson maybe. But hasn’t he made the list every year?

    How about Anthony Davis? is he a center? Could he make it?

    And there are some really nice kids comming up in Valanciunas and Drummond.

  • J Du Bois

    You Got Melo in the top 10 … and you valued defense more than offense … hmmm?

  • shockexchange

    JC, you’ve just out-shocked the Shock Exchange! *Welp*

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    At this point yeah. Lower 40s at very best

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yep. Melo was/is that good at offense. The gap between top 4 and everyone else is bigger than the gap between Melo at 6 and Kobe at 19. If you want a sort of breakdown of how close it was.

  • http://SLAMonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Yup!

  • Kim Hargreaves

    Great write up, if Monta buys into what Carlisle is selling he can get back to his high efficiency, sparkplug days with the warriors and possibly help the Mavs back into the postseason. Could be spot on ranking or way too low but he’s definitely top 50 talent.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Top 50: Ricky Rubio, no. 48

  • JimmyLovin

    Just so it’s said, solid post! Great writing to get things started.

  • J Du Bois

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a Melo fan just looking for an explanation on that one

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah understandable. I just can’t bring myself to value anyone else higher given how much responsibility Melo carries and how much success the Knicks have when he’s doing his thing.

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  • LakeShow

    Good spot. He’s better than #50 if he gets his fg% above 45%, and plays a lick of defense.

    Could be a real nice match up with Dirk.

    The lane is his on this team and the only two players that take his touches away make him better.

  • Pick me first

    I think 50 is just right.

  • WeAre45

    Oh Monta…

  • TommyTwoToo22

    Reflexive post I see, like it

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