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ESPN ranks Steph Curry as the second best player in the league

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The full ESPN rankings are in.

Golden State Warriors Victory Parade Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The fun player rankings just keep coming. Over the last few days, ESPN has been unveiling their list of the 100 players they expect to be best for the upcoming NBA season.

After the first tier of the rankings, which had Andre Iguodala 73rd and DeMarcus Cousins 69th, it was time for the heavy hitters on the Golden State Warriors.

Those rankings are finally out, and it comes with a minor surprise: Steph Curry is ranked second in the league, trailing only LeBron James.

Personally, I think that’s exactly where Curry should be, and I feel rather adamant about it - but that’s a discussion for a different day. That Curry is actually ranked second is a bit surprising, because the public consensus seems to be that Kevin Durant is the better player. But Durant ranked second in the top 100 list produced by Sports Illustrated, so we’ll call it even.

Speaking of Durant, Warriors fans won’t be happy with his placement, as he didn’t just finish behind Curry and James. Instead, ESPN awarded third place to James Harden, who is the defending league MVP.

Durant finds himself fourth, but even that will rankle some fans, as he didn’t end up there cleanly. Durant is in a tie for fourth place, joined by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Before you get too upset about that, remember that these rankings are projections of who will be the best players for the 2018-19 season; and Antetokounmpo, who just put together an MVP-caliber season, is still only 23.

As for the other two Warriors All-Stars, Draymond Green entered the fray with at 16, while Klay Thompson ended up at 19. I’d have Green a bit higher, but can’t argue with those rankings too much, especially with Green’s back concerns.

Here’s the top 25, to aid you in your arguments:

1. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
3. James Harden, Houston Rockets
T4. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
T4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
6. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
9. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
10. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
11. Chris Paul, Houston Rockets
12. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
13. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
14. Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves (for now!)
15. Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
16. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
17. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
18. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
19. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
20. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
21. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
22. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
23. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
24. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
25. Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers