Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney of SI.com began releasing chunks of their top 100 NBA players list yesterday and two Golden State Warriors made the top 76: 2015 All-Defensive Second Team selection Andrew Bogut (#76) and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
That leaves Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson to be ranked somewhere in the currently unreleased top 30, but Bogut and Iguodala's rankings are interesting enough in their own right for similar reasons: you could certainly argue their rankings or make a case that they should be higher than some of the players above them, but they're both relatively limited (or reluctant) scorers who are examples of players who are more valuable to the team they're on than they would in a ranking vacuum.
Despite both of them slipping in the rankings compared to last year — and Iguodala dropping 15 slots — there are few players I'd rather have on the Warriors to complement what the younger core of Curry, Green and Thompson brings. Mahoney alluded to that point in his write-ups for both players, but did so especially well in his blurb about Bogut.
It's a perfect marriage. Another organization might push Bogut too far, physically, or fail to properly utilize his playmaking ability on offense. As it stands, Bogut is limited enough as a scorer to make him burdensome in particular circumstances. Were a lesser team to suffer those consequences and make less optimal use of Bogut as a passer (he averaged 4.1 assists per 36 minutes with the Warriors), his interior defense might not be as substantial of a net positive. Golden State struck a healthier balance and in doing so, illustrated how valuable Bogut can still be in a league gravitating toward speed and space.
Just to reinforce the point, Bogut was ranked #66 last season and I probably wouldn't take any of the centers ranked outside the top 45 ahead of him, due to his defensive intelligence and leadership alone if for no other reason. The same could be said about Iguodala, but more simply: if you want to win a championship now, it helps to have someone who can limit LeBron James' efficiency on board. This is stuff that has been discussed plenty around here at GSoM and it's clearly not hard for others to recognize them even as they knock them down the general player rankings.
If you're wondering where Harrison Barnes is on this list, you'll have to look to the list of snubs that SI has also released. Again, you could make a case that Barnes should be ranked ahead of a number of players SI placed above him, but that's beside the point: right now, we have a young, athletic player who is willing to play a complementary role in the starting lineup next to a championship team's stars. I can tell you that I might feel different if the Warriors hadn't just won a title, but right now the unit we have fits together well so arguing against rankings isn't particularly appealing.