SB Nation-NBA’s series predicting the top 101 players of 2021 concluded today with the top 20 being released.
Obviously, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were going to represent the Golden State Warriors somewhere in the top 20, but the question was where they’d be. And when SBN shared their rankings with the Golden State of Mind staff, we had plenty of #thoughts ... some of which I’ve shared here, some of which I’ll just make sure we keep to ourselves.
Anyway, without further ado, our responses.
13. Steph Curry
Charlie Stanton: For the life of me, I can’t think of 12 players now or in the next four years who will be better than a 33 year old Steph. Damian Lillard? Michael Porter? Bol Bol? Wait, I got it—Grayson Allen. There it is. Curry is a top five player in the league, and I have no reasons to expect him to drop a full eight spots. He stays in the top seven.
Brady: I also don’t think Steph will fall this far. Shooting (especially given his quick release) isn’t really a trait that diminishes with age. His crossover and finishing ability may take a slight step backwards, but they’re certainly not skills that rely on his athleticism (or lack thereof). Curry is quite possibly the most skilled player in the league (that is to say, the best player if you give everyone equal physical traits and abilities) so I think that will translate well even when he’s in his 30s.
Daniel: Per the above comments, Unanimous is a skilled, fundamentally elite player who has never heavily relied on athleticism. He hasn’t been in the top 25 of MPG since the 2013-2014 season. He’s been on a natural minute restriction because there’s usually no need to play in the 4th as his team is probably up 20. Hell, despite a jacked up MCL he still had enough in the tank to kick Dame Lillard and Russ Westbrook’s asses in the 2016 playoffs. That means he only needs one leg and his jumpshot to kill an elite point guard. If he’s still anywhere near being the GREATEST SHOOTER OF ALL TIME at 33 (a reasonable assumption), then he will still distort defenses and wreak havoc just by existing on the court.
If that’s not top 10, burn your list.
5. Kevin Durant
Justin Mak: After 5-peating as champions, KD and Curry go down as a GOAT tandem. Anywhere below 1 and 2 is ludicrous.