Klay Thompson at #83.
Harrison Barnes at #40.
Stephen Curry at #12.
David Lee at #87
Klay Thompson at #61
Stephen Curry at #27
- - -
I'm sure we can debate all day long about the top-10, whether high schoolers should belong on the list despite never playing a single minute as a college player or a professional. Luckily, or perhaps not, because I don't, or shouldn't, really care what Warriors finish where on this list, the Warriors have three representatives, and all fall rather fairly in the rankings. The team in itself has plenty of individual talent but its roster makeup has worked so far in that it meshed so well in just one season.
But for list's sake, and it's smack-dab in the middle of basketball offseason, let's debate away. And anytime we can all get away from faux-PED outrage, the corruption of college athletics and the injuries in football? Hell yeah.
The ankle is a concern for most of the panel, which is obvious, but the most interesting part is what Jonathan Tjarks said. In his excerpt, he worried about whether the Warriors can win with only an elite point guard and an average forward. The success of Curry's career as a Warrior might be tied to Andrew Bogut's health as well. A great point, and also a reason why Bob Myers felt it was necessary to trade for Andre Iguodala.
As for where he ended up, Curry finished right behind Kevin Love and the top ten, and in front of players like Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Seems fine to me.
Mike Prada probably has the best analysis here as he recognized Thompson's defense and how he was able to ably take on Tony Parker in last season's playoffs. These rankings work much better as a great way to generate debate than true analysis. It's extremely hard to watch all the players in the NBA so that is absolutely understandable. Projecting players four years in the future is a topic that's termed as fluff pieces rather than hardcore projection. There's statistical models from the likes of Kevin Pelton, John Hollinger and perhaps our own Evan Zamir if he wanted, but this is much more fun. That being said, the panelists are right in asserting that Thompson's efficiency is overrated. Just because he can shoot threes doesn't mean his lack of free throws, finishing ability and overall shot selection be overlooked.
When all is said and done, a ranking in the early 80s seems about fair for an above-average role player that won't be upping his usage rate much higher with Barnes and Iguodala in the fold.
This time, everyone is in unison, besides Paul Flannery who is intrigued by his mixture of shooting and talent at age 20, that recency bias and perhaps an overstatement on potential leads to an overreaction to Barnes' projection a couple notches below the elite players.
But hey, they ranked Julius Randle in the top-15. Here's Julius Randle in high school. Here's Harrison Barnes in high school. Funny how a couple years changes perceptions, and talent, and projections, and everything.
- - -
I recommend reading all the blurbs because there are great, and funny tidbits everywhere.
So how would you have ranked the Warriors? Anybody else we should be aware of? #HOTSPORTSTAKES in the comments below!