Who are the best NBA players right now?
Find out who are the best players in the NBA right now.
The depth of talent in the National Basketball Association continues to become greater and greater each season. And with the increase in multidimensional talents across the board in the league, the debate on who is the NBA's best player is a consistent 24/7 stream of Twitter rapid replying, barber shop entertaining, and endless debate.
Just as fascinating a discussion is determining who are among the truly elite players in the game, and where they rank on the list.
On a nightly basis, those who make up the top 20 players in the NBA can rapidly change. It is a difficult process, since the gap between the top 20 and the next 20 becomes more narrow every year.
The following top 20 players in the NBA here see the All-Star likes of dynamic shooting guards Donovan Mitchell, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler, Zach LaVine, CJ McCollum and Jaylen Brown just barely miss out. The same holds true for elite big men Nikola Vucevic, Domantas Sabonis, Rudy Gobert, Bam Adebayo and Karl Anthony Towns, along with Warriors injured legend Klay Thompson, last season's All-Star starter Pascal Siakam and his Toronto Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry.
And if you are fans of electrifying De'Aaron Fox, consistently solid DeMar DeRozan and smooth operators Trae Young, Brandon Ingram and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, you are out of luck with my current top 20 NBA players.
20. Julius Randle
It has been an incredible 2020-21 season for the versatile, powerful lefty. Randle has been the leader, catalyst and engine for the New York Knicks revival to NBA respectability. Always a difficult matchup inside the arc with his combination of skill, speed and strength, Randle has become more reliable from the three-point line this season, shooting a staggering career-high of 42 per cent from the land of plenty. It's led to Randle also having career highs in every major category except blocks.
19. Devin Booker
Establishing himself as one of the NBA's most prolific scorers early in his career, the 24-year-old now is part of an elite, title-contending team for the first time. Although he has yet to take his three-point shooting to a level that matches his reputation as one of the most feared shooters in the Association, Booker is still the go-to man to get a basket at any point for Monte Williams' team.
Booker's length defensively gives him the nod in this top 20 over fellow prolific shooting guards Donovan Mitchell, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, Jaylen Brown and CJ McCollum.
18. Paul George
He may be an easy target for NBA Twitter, and he is in need of a great playoff stretch if he and the Los Angeles Clippers are to avoid a second straight year of disappointment, but the 31-year-old is still one of the better two-way players in the Association and has also produced an all-NBA team season.
17. Chris Paul
There are many players outside this top 20 who are greater scorers than Paul could ever be at the current stage of his career. But his leadership intangibles and ability to control the game on both ends of the court have transformed a Suns franchise from their years of struggle into a bona-fide contender in the Western Conference. His play at age 36 this season has earned the future Hall of Famer some MVP talk.
16. Jayson Tatum
Some of his skeptics may think that the Boston Celtics forward shoots too many shots, including a number of step back threes. But Tatum has lived up to his potential of being one of the NBA's most lethal scorers at just age 23.
15. Ben Simmons
The endless criticism of the Australian's unwillingness and inability to develop a jump shot will always be a major throwback to him becoming a perennial top five or 10 player. But Simmons does everything else superbly and that is why those LeBron James comparisons since his days in high school were never too far-fetched. Currently only Rudy Gobert can claim to be a better defender than the 24-year-old.
14. Russell Westbrook
His style of play maybe polarizing to many, but the 32-year-old continues to dazzle those who are fans, and those who are not, with his endless triple-double energy. The passion and determination always prevalent in Westbrook's play has been key in the Washington Wizards overcoming Bradley Beal's slight downturn of late to become a dangerous opponent for any team.
13. Kyrie Irving
The NBA's current best dribbler is always capable of dazzling everyone who watches him play with his innate skillset of scoring at all three levels expertly and controlling the pace of a game. Few guards in NBA history can match the 29-year-old when he gets it going offensively.
12. Zion Williamson
The only thing disappointing about the much-hyped young high-flyer so far in his NBA career is that he has lacked the array of memorable in-game dunks most had expected him to produce. The 20-year-old has already exceeded expectations to establish himself as already one of the most dominant forces in the game, and his willingness to be a playmaker for his New Orleans Pelicans squad makes Williamson all the more enjoyable to play with.
11. Damian Lillard
As fearless and cool a competitor that the sport currently has, the Oakland native has once again put together another all-NBA season. His shooting range may be even longer now than the greatest shooter of all-time, Steph Curry, as evidenced by their special deep-shooting display at the All-Star Game in March.
10. Anthony Davis
It has been a tough 2020-21 season with injuries affecting the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. That means he is a bit lower than where he normally is on this list, which is in or around the top 5. Davis has struggled in his return to action, and his biggest fans can no longer claim he is clearly the best two-way big man in the Association.
But it will be only a matter of time before he is back to his MVP-like best form for the defending champions.
9. Luka Doncic
Those who rushed to proclaim him as MVP favorite before the start of the 2020-21 season were way too premature at giving the Dallas Mavericks ace that lofty billing. But the 22-year-old has certainly confirmed himself as unquestionably one of the best players in the world. His incredible passing, craftiness and improved three point shooting are firm building blocks for the future MVP.
8. James Harden
His arrival to the Brooklyn Nets certainly led to passionate debates on whether it was great for the game or not. But the 2017-18 NBA MVP, when healthy, has returned to his tantalizing form with his new team. Harden has showcased how the Nets' Big Three have no problem being able to share and move the play offensively, allowing Kyrie Irving to focus on scoring while "The Beard" primarily facilitates their possession (there will be more on the other member of the Big Three down below). And when the other two members of that terrific trio were absent, Harden returned to his unstoppable offensive mode of peak scoring and passing to lead Steve Nash's squad.
7. Kawhi Leonard
The disappointment of how the Los Angeles Clippers finished in the Orlando Disney Bubble in 2019-20 still cannot erase how formidable a player "The Claw" is. Leonard still is one of the smoothest scorers in the NBA, formidably sound in all the ways of putting the points up. And though his responsibilities on the offensive end continue to increase each passing season, the 29-year-old is always capable of being the all-time great defender he was with the Spurs.
6. Joel Embiid
Although he still isn't capable of getting through a full season without injury, the Cameroonian superstar has taken his game to true MVP levels. With his combination of Hakeem Olajuwon and Kevin Garnett skill set, Embiid has answered the expectations placed on him by the likes of Charles Barkley to lead the Philadelphia Sixers to a championship in this 2020-21 season.
5. Stephen Curry
Record threes made in a month. Historic 30-point average over the age of 33, passing Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant. Putting himself into a discussion for a third MVP Award.
The timeless 33-year-old was already having a great return season from an injury plagued 2019-20, but his extraordinary play in the month of April showcased how his relentless mentality can reach heights that no one can match.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The reigning back-to-back MVP is producing another season worthy of the award.
The Greek Freak continues to do it on both ends and remain very durable as well. He is desperate to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first championship in 50 years.
3. Kevin Durant
If there ever was a great example of how an athlete can comeback the best from an Achilles tear, The Easy Money Sniper’s return is exhibit No. 1.
Durant at times has looked even better than his pre-Achilles tear form, and has not lost one bit of athleticism. In a current NBA era where the number of special, elite scorers has never been higher, the main man of the Brooklyn Nets phenomenal Big Three is still the best at getting an easy 40 or 50 points.
2. Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets center is defying all the odds, showing that you do not have to be athletic or above average quick to dominate the great of basketball at the highest level.
The dexterity of Jokic is truly a marvelous thing to witness. His uncanny, innate passing sense is some of the best the NBA has ever seen, with creativity rivaling the greatest distributors of any era. But what has made Jokic go up to the level of being a clear MVP favorite for the 2020-21 season is how fitness is no longer an issue with him.
His improved conditioning has allowed him to be more aggressive at looking to score. And the Serbian superstar has created some of the most jaw-dropping touch shots that you basketball fans have witnessed.
1. LeBron James
He may be 36, and his recent ankle sprain has become a major setback on the Los Angeles Lakers' quest to repeat as NBA champions.
But before the injury, the legendary man from the Akron land was putting on a campaign for a fifth MVP award. His ability to still get to his spot, control the tempo of the game, and be an active presence when need be on the defensive end is still impeccable.
Until he shows any noticeable decline physically, the King still maintains his spot on the throne.