It’s that time of year again, where all the major sports publications create lists with the top players in the league. This gives us the opportunity to do three things: Marvel at how spoiled we are as fans of the Golden State Warriors, complain about how underrated some Warriors players are, and argue about the placement of nearly everyone.
This is an annual tradition like no other, and it sure is a lot of fun.
The first publication to roll out their list in 2018 is Sports Illustrated. SI does a Top 100 list, and so far they’ve released players 31-100. And two Warriors have cracked the list so far.
Andre Iguodala came in ranked at number 87. It’s easy to see where this ranking came from, since Iguodala had a bit of a down year before the playoffs started, and averaged just 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
But on the other hand, when you consider how elite he is defensively, and how good he is when the games matter, 87 feels tremendously low. It’s hard to imagine teams actually preferring to have some of the players above him (such as, say, Andrew Wiggins) over Iguodala.
DeMarcus Cousins also enters the list, as SI ranked him as the 68th-best player in the league. As with Iguodala, there’s reason to understand the ranking, and dislike it, and I certainly don’t envy Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney for being tasked with this project.
For Cousins, 68th would seem hilariously low for a player who averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game last year, while being voted an All-Star starter. But he is currently rehabbing an Achilles injury that will keep him out for a few months, and there’s no telling what kind of player he’ll be when he returns. It’s nearly impossible to accurately place Boogie, because there’s no right way to account for the injury.
When the top 30 is revealed, Cousins and Iguodala will surely be joined by Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, meaning the Warriors starting five (when healthy) and sixth man will all make the top 100. That’s pretty cool, and certainly well deserved.