Hoops Daily Top 50 Value Board Updated

Sat, 05/16/2009 - 11:18am

Updated Top 50 Value Board

Like Ron Artest holding the ball for twenty seconds before hoisting up and connecting on a highly contested three pointer, the HD Top 50 Value Rankings makes it’s random, hectic and unexpectedly satisfying return, just in time for the Conference Finals.

Dwyane WadeDwyane WadeSitting at the top of our rankings is the NBA MVP, LeBron James. Wait about a month, and we’ll be saying Finals MVP, LeBron James.

The NBA intrigues us because of its endless opportunities to speculate and argue, but this one isn’t up for debate: Even without a consistent jumpshot, LeBron is the league's best player. And the Cavs are the best team in the league, even without a star teammate to flank LeBron.

Neither league MVP LeBron nor the 66-win Cavs have reached their full potential, yet no team can get within double digits. It's terrifying and wonderful at the same time.

When we look back, 08-09 will be the birth of the LeDynasty.

As for who's number two, it was pretty simple. Chris Paul was second on our board. Then he quit on his coach and the Hornets lost by 730 points at home. Wade gets the nod.

Also of note, Carmelo Anthony, with assistance from Chauncey Billups and the revitalized trio of Nene, Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin, and the now injured Yao Ming, with (no) assistance from Tracy McGrady, both advanced past the first-round of the playoffs and have taken their next step into the realm of superstardom.

For Yao, he'll be taking that step with the aid of crutches, which begs the questoin: Is it better to make that step handicapped or to not make that step at all?

And maybe that overhyped and baseless ‘Melo-LeBron “rivalry” that bored us in 2003 can finally start in the form of a Finals matchup.

One of the most pleasant surprises of this season was the overall outstanding play of the 08-09 rookies. This year’s class has given us not only a slew of potential superstars, but also a deep pool of starters and serviceable role-players. In all, seven rookies made it onto our May rankings: Derrick Rose, Brook Lopez, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Randolph. O.J. Mayo, Eric Gordon and Michael Beasley.

The most frightening element about the fact that 14% of our list is comprised of rookies is that two, Randolph and Westbrook, haven’t the slightest on how to play basketball. Another, Beasley, hasn’t the slightest on what a basketball is.

Randolph and Westbrook ball chaotically, propelled by distinctive blends of athleticism, height and unrelated, disorderly skill sets. The two are unique – their combinations make the impossible seem mundane, while making the mundane seem impossible. They are volitile. They are pioneers, capable of stretching the confines of the NBA player mold and reaching plateaus that have yet to be considered.

Beasley on the other hand is already refined. Unlike Randolph and Westbrook, Beasley’s main problem isn’t his fundamentals, but rather that thinks he is the living reincarnate of SpongeBob Square Pants. Only, unlike the cartoon SpongeBob, Beasley's offensive game is eclectic, mixing a powerful 6-8 frame with a shooting guard's range out to the three point line.

Three talents equally unique, but for very different reasons. It would be wise to keep an eye on the class of 08-09.

Finally, much has been made of the “changing of the guard” this postseason. Old symbols of the postseason, the Pistons and Spurs, were both eliminated from the first-round of the playoffs. The Suns, whose run and chuck identity was stubbornly changed for the worse, missed the playoffs altogether. Many are calling it the end of an era and the NBA hierarchical structure is undergoing change that Obama can believe in.

This is the natural cycle of the NBA. Champions age and wither away, while challengers mature and take their place. We’ve been there and done that.

The new, cool stuff involves the “changing to the guard.”

A full seven years after rule-changes prohibiting any kind of progress-impeding contact on the perimeter, the NBA has fully transformed itself from league dominated by big-men to a league run by point/combo-guards. Eight of our top twenty players are guards. Seven of those are under the age of 30, five are under 25, and three are aged 23 or younger. Rose and Rajon Rondo, who dueled epically in the first of what will be many postseason battles, enjoyed boosts up the rankings for their stellar play, while Tony Parker received plenty props for valiantly attempting to push the Spurs past the first-round by himself.

Indeed, the traditional teams we have grown accustomed to seeing in May and June have been supplanted, but the traditional styles of the NBA game have been completely uprooted.

With the LeDynasty just jumping off, a fantastic rookie class and point-guards becoming the focal point of the league, it’s as good a time as ever for basketball lovers.


Updated Top 50 Value Board

Think you can do better? Make your own Value Board and pick the players as you see fit. Then check out ourConsensus Value Board, where your rankings are averaged in with other users.

Want more rankings? Then check out Jon Nichols’ Composite Score Rankings, which rank every player in the league based on advanced statistical metrics formula.

After that, go over to our forums and let your opinion be heard!

Or, email Jon at [email protected]

JNixon's picture
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Joined: 04/14/2009
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The list

Why is the list so out of order? Greg Oden in front of Mo Williams??

jdubsram-13's picture
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What is up with a few of them

No way would I rather start a franchise with Paul Pierce than Yao, Chauncey, or Bosh...just to name a few slightly lower than him. Also, until Pau Gasol becomes a man in the playoffs, KG, David West, and Boozer would get the nod. Also, dont agree that there is no T-Mac, Redd, or Arenas, they are their respective franchise players so not to have them is ridiculous, injuries or not. Probably would have Melo in front of Durant due to winning and experience.

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Dwight Howard is a great player, but the way perkins has netraulized him, I think he's much more effective in the regular season than the postseason. I'd take him down a few notches.

I can't see how Ginobili is not in the top 20 on this list, at minimum top 30.

Lamarcus is too high.

Ray Allen is too old for the list

I can't justify kobe over some of the younger guys.. durant, carmelo, roy, etc.

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Joined: 06/13/2008
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How Thaddeus Young didn't make the top 50 is beyond me. One has to be a fool to think Brook Lopez is better or has more potential than Thaddeus. In 2 years, Thaddeus is a top 15, if not top 10, player in this League.

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Value Board?

If this is a value board, then why aren't salaries considered? If salaries are considered, and factor that in with the change of economy, wouldn't a guy like Brandon Roy or Kevin Durant be more valuable than Kobe Bryant?

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Joined: 04/24/2009
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Old Timmy D.

Building around Tim Duncan? That's like building a house on a foundation that needs to be restored in three years. I'd put Bosh, Granger, Harris Ai and a host of other youngsters over the legend. But over all, good list Aran, Jon, others?

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I like Rose, but having him

I like Rose, but having him at #8 sounds a bit premature.

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dumb list. if u rather have

dumb list. if u rather have randolph over oj mayo, u dont watch nba. beasley and eric gordon is also way off. granger is a beast, put him up higher. this list is sooo wrong that i dont have time to critic

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