Tipoff of the new NBA season is about a month away, and a ranking of the best players in the league is already out. A few interesting decisions were made in regard to the Celtics.
According to SI, the rankings “were assigned based on a fluid combination of subjective assessment and objective data. This list is an attempt to evaluate each player in a vacuum, independent of his current team context as much as possible. A player’s prospects beyond the 2018-19 season did not play a part in the ranking process.”
Here’s how the Celtics appeared on the list:
82: Terry Rozier
47: Jaylen Brown
39: Jayson Tatum
25: Gordon Hayward
17: Kyrie Irving
16: Al Horford
The knock on Irving appeared to be his past injuries, the most recent of which ruled him out during the Celtics’ postseason run in 2018.
“Irving has now missed 21% of his team’s regular-season games during his seven-year career, and another injury this season would complicate his 2019 free agency,” wrote SI’s Ben Golliver. “As the former No. 1 pick progresses through his prime, health clearly represents the last major hurdle separating him from an annual spot on the All-NBA teams and a consensus ‘Top 10’ reputation.”
A year ago, Horford ranked 30th, Irving was at 21, and Hayward was at 16.