From: Las Vegas
Predicting NBA's Top 100 Players for 2023-24 Season
Jaden McDaniels — No. 97
Last year’s rank (N/A)
The Minnesota Timberwolves' 2022-23 campaign didn't go quite as planned after their blockbuster trade for Rudy Gobert last offseason, but Jaden McDaniels was one of the few bright spots.
The 22-year-old averaged a career-high 12.1 points per game on 51.7 percent shooting, and he ranked in the 91st percentile leaguewide in Dunks and Threes' defensive estimated plus/minus despite taking on some of the NBA's toughest defensive assignments.
McDaniels missed the playoffs last year after suffering a broken hand in Minnesota's regular-season finale, which prevented his coming-out party on a national stage. Regardless, the Wolves figure to sign him to an extension by the Oct. 23 deadline, as he projects to be a cornerstone alongside Anthony Edwards moving forward.
Rudy Gobert — No. 62
Last year’s rank: 20th
After ranking no lower than the 94th percentile in Dunks and Threes' estimated plus-minus from 2014-15 to 2021-22 (and no lower than the 98th percentile in defensive estimated plus-minus), Rudy Gobert finally took a step back in both metrics in 2022-23.
However, the 31-year-old is still 7'1", as good as any big at reading an offense and one of the game's most fearsome rim protectors.
Tune into any Minnesota Timberwolves game this season and you'll see a few opposing drivers enter the paint, see Gobert and do an abrupt U-turn back to the perimeter.
Karl-Anthony Towns — No. 23
Last Year’s rank: 16th
Karl-Anthony Towns entered the 2022-23 season widely considered a top-20 player, including 16th in B/R's rankings. His drop in this year's version is warranted.
Towns' effective field-goal percentage, points and rebounds per game significantly dropped as he was forced to adjust his game while playing next to Rudy Gobert. The 2015 No. 1 pick also had the worst net-rating swing of his career and he missed more than 50 games with a calf strain.
As a center, Towns' offense exploits only fall short of those of Nikola Jokić and Joel Embiid. But as a power forward, Towns' effectiveness is limited with Gobert clogging the paint.
Towns is still an elite talent capable of dominating any game, but he simply has one of the worst offensive setups among star players.
Anthony Edwards — No. 15
Last Year’s ranking: 26th
While Anthony Edwards’ jump in our final Top 100 rankings is notable, it’s fair to wonder if we’ve actually placed Edwards too low. That includes being outside the top five of guards.
Currently the best player on Team USA despite having just turned 22 years old, Edwards is the next great NBA shooting guard and should push Devin Booker for the title of league’s best already this season.
At ages 20 and 21, Edwards gained playoff experience with series of 25.2 points and 31.6 points, respectively, showing his ability to only get better when the lights get brighter. He turned in his best defensive season in 2022-23 as well and could become an All-Defensive team member in a few years.