Wednesday, July 17, 2024

NBA top 100 player rankings: Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, Giannis eye No. 1; LeBron James falls out of top 10

NBA top 100 player rankings: Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, Giannis eye No. 1; LeBron James falls out of top 10

CBS Sports’ list is based on how we think the game’s greatest will fare in 2023-24

Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

If you feel like the Denver Nuggets just won the NBA title a few weeks ago, you’re not alone. The offseason has flown by amid Damian Lillard and James Harden rumors, and here we are within a month of the start of training camp for the 2023-24 campaign. We’ll wait to see where, or whether, Lillard and/or Harden will actually report.

In the meantime, it’s time for CBS Sports’ annual list of the league’s top 100 players as we sit on the cusp of a new season. This is, to be clear, a futures post. These aren’t based on past performances or career accomplishments. It’s our staff’s average ranking of the top 100 players in the NBA based on how we see them performing this upcoming season.

Some may think that any list that doesn’t have LeBron James in the upper echelon just doesn’t feel right. There certainly is a recent history of superstar athletes across the sports spectrum fending off Father Time, and our Bill Reiter writes on that very topic. But LeBron fell out of the top 10 for us. 

Once the season gets going, of course, there will be some players who will exceed expectations. LeBron may be one of them. Others will fall short. Looking back at our top 100 list from a year ago, there is major movement with a handful of players on this year’s version — notably a riser and a faller of at least 50 spots. Here, our Jasmyn Wimbish outlines the most extreme boosts and buckles from a year ago.

Other points to debate: Which team has the most selections? Are there any teams that don’t have any players in the top 100? Rookies are eligible, and more than a couple made the cut. So let’s get to it. As always, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Each of CBS Sports’ eight NBA staff writers — Brad Botkin, James Herbert, Jack Maloney, Sam Quinn, Bill Reiter, Ameer Tyree, Colin Ward-Henninger and Jasmyn Wimbish — submitted individual lists of their top 100 players in the NBA for the upcoming 2023-24 season, and results were calculated by assigning a point value to each player’s place on each writer’s list. A player ranked No. 1 received 100 points, while a player ranked No. 100 received one point, and the cumulative point totals were used to determine the order for this year’s edition of the CBS Sports NBA 100.


Williams fell considerably from where he was slotted in last season’s top 100 but he remains one of the league’s best rim protectors and rebounders.  Getty Images


Barrett also dropped from his spot in last year’s top 100 but remains one of the more intriguing young players in the league due to his potential. Getty Images


Claxton is a newcomer to the top 100 and deservedly so after having a breakout season for the Nets.  Getty Images


Allen slipped a bit on this year’s top 100 list but remains one of the best up-and-coming big men in the league today.  Getty Images


After a strong rookie season, Williams seems poised to become a potential breakout star for a young and hungry Thunder roster.  Getty Images


Can he live up to the hype? That seems to be the biggest question surrounding Wembanyama as he enters the NBA as the physical tools are all there.  Getty Images


The reigning Rookie of the Year just came off of a strong showing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup and will look to build on that performance during his sophomore season in Orlando.  Getty Images


Markkanen enjoyed a breakout season in his first year with the Jazz and, deservingly so, earned Most Improved Player honors as a result.  Getty Images


Irving remains one of the top guards in the NBA and has the chance to be part of a dynamic backcourt in Dallas alongside Luka Doncic.  Getty Images


Jackson Jr. was named Defensive Player of the Year this past season after a strong showing for the Memphis Grizzlies and will look to build on that during the 2023-24 campaign.  Getty Images


Fox helped lead the Kings to their first playoff appearance since 2006 and won Clutch Player of the Year honors for his efforts.  Getty Images


LeBron James finds himself ranked outside of the top 10 for the first time in years but there is no question that he is still one of the best the game has to offer at this stage of his career.  Getty Images


Coming off of his first NBA MVP award, Embiid has established himself as one of the most dominant big men the league has to offer.  Getty Images


The reigning NBA Finals MVP led the Nuggets to their first-ever championship this past season and finds himself at the top of our list as a result.  Getty Images

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