As we described yesterday, SB Nation-NBA is rolling out a list of the top 101 players in 2021.
Today, they worked their way into the top 40 and two Golden State Warriors players were on the list (click the links to see the full write-up for each):
The folks at SB Nation - NBA asked for our responses to the rankings so a few of the Golden State of Mind staff offered their responses to the rankings.
33. Draymond Green
Age in 2021: 31
2016-2017 PER: 16.5
Greg Thomas: Draymond doesn’t just excel based on pure athleticism, he excels on his innate basketball IQ. This enables Green to read defenses better and play more efficiently. He has helped lead the NBA into this small ball stretch-5 era and he will continue to evolve as a high IQ player. You can’t teach heart, Draymond is a mainstay at the top and will be a force to reckon with for years to come. He will continue to outsmart and outhustle players that are more physically gifted than him. Put some respek on my man’s name.
Tom Bevilacqua: You could say this about ⅓ of the Warriors roster in these kind of evaluations, but… man Draymond is underappreciated in this. If you think his value is based on the physical, then you are not paying attention to Draymond’s game. And having him this low on a list and having certain other players above him seems to say that’s what these list-makers are thinking.
25. Klay Thompson
Age in 2021: 31
2016-17 PER: 17.4
Tom: Klay, by the year 2021, will be about the same age Ray Allen was when he was traded to Boston. Allen probably ranked just outside the top 25 of NBA players at that time but Klay is a better defensive player than Allen was so I’d say this seems about right (especially if he’s still in Golden State).
Brady Klopfer: This feels right to me, but I could easily see him being a good bit lower. Klay isn’t a phenomenal athlete by any stretch of the imagination, so any hit he takes on that front could have a pretty large impact. It wouldn’t shock me if, by the time he’s into his 30’s, he’s a decidedly average defensive player. If he stays in GS for the next few years, his offensive game may not develop much further. So falling off a small cliff wouldn’t be shocking. Then again, he’s one of the greatest shooters of all-time, and knows his limitations as well or better than any star in the game. So him still being in the 15 range wouldn’t exactly be shocking, either.
What do you think of these picks? Or the entire list? Check out SBN’s full list here and drop your thoughts in the comments.