Top 50 - Slam Online

As the hype builds for a new season, we will be counting down the NBA’s 50 best players for 2018-19.

Rankings are based on projected performance during the 2018-19 campaign. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Brandon Ingram

Team Lakers
Position SF
Years of Experience 2
Position Rank 10
Best Moment of Last Season Hitting the game-winner against the Sixers

Entering his third season in the League, it’s easy to forget that Brandon Ingram just turned 21 this month. Capable of doing a bit of everything on the court, including run the point at times, Ingram is poised for another big leap.

Carmelo Anthony

Team Rockets
Position SF
Years of Experience 15
Position Rank 9
Best Moment of Last Season "Ay P, they say I gotta come off the bench"

There’s no dancing around the fact that Carmelo Anthony had the worst statistical season of his career last year. But the veteran forward is still a bucket. If Houston is to seriously contend for a title, Melo needs to be very effective in his role.

Kyle Kuzma

Team Lakers
Position PF
Years of Experience 1
Position Rank 6
Best Moment of Last Season Pulling up to Staples Center in a Nick Van Exel jersey

He may come off the bench to make room for King James, but Kyle Kuzma will still play an integral role for the Lakers this season. The First Team All-Rookie selection will continue to be a major source of buckets during his sophomore campaign.

Lou Williams

Team Clippers
Position SG
Years of Experience 13
Position Rank 10
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping a 50-piece on the Warriors

The personification of a walking bucket, Lou Williams is coming off the best season of his career. Rewarded with a three-year, $24 million extension, Lou has found a home in L.A.

DeAndre Jordan

Team Mavericks
Position C
Years of Experience 10
Position Rank 12
Best Moment of Last Season Putting up 30 points and 13 rebounds against the Celtics

After backing out of a verbal agreement with Dallas three years ago, DeAndre Jordan will finally be donning a Mavs jersey. The 30-year-old is still one of the best rebounders and pick-and-roll bigs in the game.

Aaron Gordon

Team Magic
Position PF
Years of Experience 4
Position Rank 5
Best Moment of Last Season Pouring in 41 points and 14 rebounds against the Nets

Fresh off signing an $80 million deal with Orlando, Aaron Gordon will be counted on to lead the rebuilding Magic. A versatile, two-way player, AG has the tools to become an All-Star this season.

Khris Middleton

Team Bucks
Position SF
Years of Experience 6
Position Rank 8
Best Moment of Last Season Nailing the game-tying buzzer beater against the Celtics in the playoffs

One of the game’s most underrated wings, Khris Middleton has returned to full strength after tearing his hamstring two years ago. An-efficient scorer from everywhere on the court, Middleton really does it all with little fanfare.

Clint Capela

Team Rockets
Position C
Years of Experience 4
Position Rank 11
Best Moment of Last Season Debuting the "Wakanda Forever" jersey in the Western Conference Finals

Less than four years ago, Clint Capela was spending extended stints in the G League. This summer, he agreed to a $90 million deal. Capela should remain one of the League’s elite bigs for years to come.

Marc Gasol

Team Grizzlies
Position C
Years of Experience 10
Position Rank 10
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping 34 points and 14 rebounds against the Warriors

One of the most skilled players in the League, not just at his position, Marc Gasol endured perhaps the most challenging season of his career last year. Will he ask for a change of scenery as he enters the final chapter of his career?

Jaylen Brown

Team Celtics
Position SG
Years of Experience 2
Position Rank 9
Best Moment of Last Season Posterizing Kristaps

With both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out in the playoffs, Jaylen Brown averaged 18.0 ppg as the Celtics came just a game short of reaching the Finals. An excellent slasher capable of spacing the floor and locking down on defense, Brown is an integral part of Boston’s future.

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Kyle Lowry

Team Raptors
Position PG
Years of Experience 12
Position Rank 12
Best Moment of Last Season Posting 24 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in a series-clinching win over the Wizards

Entering his age-33 season, Kyle Lowry no longer attacks the basket like he did during his early years in the League. But he’ll fit-in perfectly alongside Kawhi Leonard as a dangerous No. 2 scoring option and primary facilitator.

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Mike Conley

Team Grizzlies
Position PG
Years of Experience 11
Position Rank 11
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping 27 points and 5 rebounds in season debut against Pelicans

Mike Conley managed to appear in just 12 games last season as he opted to undergo left heel surgery. Now fully healthy, the 30-year-old should be able to bounce back to near-All-Star form in 2018-19.

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Gordon Hayward

Team Celtics
Position SF
Years of Experience 8
Position Rank 7
Best Moment of Last Season "Daddy's always happy"

Nearly a year removed from his gruesome left leg injury, Gordon Hayward is fully healed and has no restrictions. It’ll take time to get back his rhythm, but seeing Hayward back on the court will be a welcome sight.

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Jrue Holiday

Team Pelicans
Position PG
Years of Experience 9
Position Rank 10
Best Moment of Last Season Destroying the Blazers with 41 points and 8 assists in series-clinching win

Overlooked no more. Jrue Holiday took over in the playoffs vs Portland, helping to shut down the Blazers’ vaunted backcourt while scoring 27.8 ppg. Silent but very deadly, Holiday can go toe-to-toe with any guard in the League.

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Al Horford

Team Celtics
Position C
Years of Experience 11
Position Rank 9
Best Moment of Last Season Hitting the game-winning layup in OT to give Boston a 3-0 series lead against Philly

Boston leaned heavily on Al Horford to be their fulcrum last season, and he did not disappoint. Seemingly always making the right play, Horford is a rare big who can pass, defend and shoot the three.

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Andre Drummond

Team Pistons
Position C
Years of Experience 6
Position Rank 8
Best Moment of Last Season Notching the first 15-20-4-4-4 line since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1986

Incredibly, Andre Drummond has averaged over 13 boards for five straight seasons. He even shot over 60 percent from the free-throw line last season. Now, he even has the green light to shoot threes. Look out.

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DeMarcus Cousins

Team Warriors
Position C
Years of Experience 8
Position Rank 7
Best Moment of Last Season Racking up a 44-point, 23-rebound triple-double against the Bulls

The track record for players returning from ruptured Achilles tendons is not great, but DeMarcus Cousins is young enough and skilled enough to be dominant once he returns this season.

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Kevin Love

Team Cavaliers
Position C
Years of Experience 10
Position Rank 6
Best Moment of Last Season Going off for 31 points and 10 rebounds against the Raptors in the playoffs

Fresh off signing a $120 million extension this summer, Kevin Love is poised to have another strong season as the leader of the Cavs.

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Kemba Walker

Team Hornets
Position PG
Years of Experience 7
Position Rank 9
Best Moment of Last Season Setting the all-time Hornets scoring record

The Hornets’ all-time leading scorer, Kemba Walker could solidify his case for greatest to don a Buzz City uniform this year. Will he remain in Charlotte beyond this season? That still remains to be seen.

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Blake Griffin

Team Pistons
Position PF
Years of Experience 8
Position Rank 4
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping 24, 10 and 5 in his Pistons debut

Injuries have undoubtedly taken a toll on his athleticism, but Blake Griffin is far from finished. Coming off his first fully healthy offseason in years, the 29-year-old will be Detroit’s go-to player this season.

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Rudy Gobert

Team Jazz
Position C
Years of Experience 5
Position Rank 5
Best Moment of Last Season Winning Defensive Player of the Year

Several knee issues limited Rudy Gobert to just 56 games last season, but he still came away with the DPOY. That’s how valuable Gobert is on the defensive end for the Jazz.

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Jayson Tatum

Team Celtics
Position SF
Years of Experience 1
Position Rank 6
Best Moment of Last Season Posterizing Bron

A star in the making, Jayson Tatum gained invaluable experience on the big stage last season. He averaged 18.5 ppg in the playoffs and got more assertive as the stakes got higher. There’s no ceiling for the 20-year-old.

kristaps porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis

Team Knicks
Position PF
Years of Experience 3
Position Rank 3
Best Moment of Last Season Putting up 40 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks against the Pacers

It’s unclear when—or if—Kristaps Porzingis will play this season. When healthy, KP boasts a combination of size, agility and skill that makes him virtually unguardable.

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LaMarcus Aldridge

Team Spurs
Position PF
Years of Experience 12
Position Rank 2
Best Moment of Last Season Posting 45 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks against the Jazz

After demanding a trade and reconciling with Gregg Popovich, LaMarcus Aldridge single-handedly willed the Spurs to the Playoffs last season. Even at age 33, Aldridge is still one of the most dominant big men in the game.

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Bradley Beal

Team Wizards
Position SG
Years of Experience 6
Position Rank 8
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping a career-high 51 points against the Blazers

Bradley Beal isn’t just one of the most efficient shooters in the game, he’s one of the deadliest scorers. In December, the All-Star went off for a career-high 51 points.

CJ McCollum

Team Blazers
Position SG
Years of Experience 5
Position Rank 7
Best Moment of Last Season Scoring 50 points in 29 minutes against the Bulls

As one half of the lethal backcourt out in Portland, CJ McCollum will continue to give defenses trouble with his knockdown shooting, crafty handles and polished footwork. The Blazers will need CJ to step up if they want to make a bigger splash come playoff time. We assure you, Jennifer, he’s trying.

Nikola Jokic

Team Nuggets
Position C
Years of Experience 3
Position Rank 4
Best Moment of Last Season Putting up 30 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds against the Bucks

He drops dimes like a point guard, rains threes like a shooting guard and battles in the paint like a center. There is nothing Nikola Jokic can’t do. Just peep the numbers from last season: 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.

Donovan Mitchell

Team Jazz
Position SG
Years of Experience 1
Position Rank 6
Best Moment of Last Season Debuting the "Rookie" hoodie in the playoffs

Year one was special (20.5 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game). Year two is about to be even better. As the young leader of a dangerous Utah Jazz squad, Donovan Mitchell is poised to show out.

Draymond Green

Team Warriors
Position PF
Years of Experience 6
Position Rank 1
Best Moment of Last Season Starting the suit shorts wave

Draymond Green is the epitome of the modern “big man” – athletic, versatile and a contributor on both ends of the court. And if he gets under your skin, good. That’s the goal.

Devin Booker

Team Suns
Position SG
Years of Experience 3
Position Rank 5
Best Moment of Last Season Setting the record for most points ever in the Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend (28)

Devin Booker is a certified bucket. Entering his fourth season alongside 2018 No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, Book is primed for another big leap. See the shots that I took…

Victor Oladipo

Team Pacers
Position SG
Years of Experience 5
Position Rank 4
Best Moment of Last Season T'Challa Oladipo

The reigning Most Improved Player of the Year, Victor Oladipo put the League on notice last season, averaging career highs across the board. When he balls out again in 2018-19, it won’t be a surprise.

Klay Thompson

Team Warriors
Position SG
Years of Experience 7
Position Rank 3
Best Moment of Last Season Iconic "Buckets and Chill" SLAM cover

One of the world’s best shooters and perimeter defenders. A walking heat check who once scored 37 points in a quarter and 60 points in 29 minutes. And Klay Thompson is also just the coolest MFer in the NBA. We rest our case.

Ben Simmons

Team Sixers
Position PG
Years of Experience 1
Position Rank 8
Best Moment of Last Season Winning Rookie of the Year

Year 2? Year 3? Doesn’t matter what you call it, Ben Simmons is going to be a problem. The young point guard is running the show out in Philly. And it should be a good one.

DeMar DeRozan

Team Spurs
Position SG
Years of Experience 9
Position Rank 2
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping a career-high 52 points against the Bucks

New city, new squad, same DeMar DeRozan. You better believe that buckets are on their way to the AT&T Center. DeMar is fresh off one of the best seasons of his career and shows no signs of slowing down.

demar derozan top 50

John Wall

Team Wizards
Position PG
Years of Experience 8
Position Rank 7
Best Moment of Last Season Posting 28 points, 14 assists and 7 rebounds in Game 3 against Raptors

The Wizards will go as John Wall goes – and the All-Star point guard should be in for a big season. With center Dwight Howard now in the fold, rest assured there are a lot of lobs coming.

Jimmy Butler

Team Timberwolves
Position SG
Years of Experience 7
Position Rank 1
Best Moment of Last Season Posting 31 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in a playoff-clinching win over the Nuggets

As of this writing, Jimmy Butler is still in Minnesota – although there’s a strong sense that will change soon. Wherever he ends up, the do-it-all wing will continue to be one of the best two-way players in the NBA.

Chris Paul

Team Rockets
Position PG
Years of Experience 13
Position Rank 6
Best Moment of Last Season The shimmy on Steph

If he hadn’t injured his hamstring in last year’s Western Conference Finals, Houston very well could have upset the Warriors. Now Chris Paul is back and hungry as ever. Y’all are in trouble.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Team Timberwolves
Position C
Years of Experience 3
Position Rank 3
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping 56 points and 15 rebounds against the Hawks

After signing a new, super-max contract, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns is ready to get to work. The big man is a walking double-double capable of taking over at any moment.

Paul George

Team Thunder
Position SF
Years of Experience 8
Position Rank 5
Best Moment of Last Season Posterizing Derrick Favors

When Paul George re-signed with the Thunder this summer, he said there was unfinished business to attend to. We are very much looking forward to seeing how he handles that business.

Damian Lillard

Team Blazers
Position PG
Years of Experience 6
Position Rank 5
Best Moment of Last Season Making the All-NBA First Team

No more workout videos. You know what time it is. Damian Lillard has proven to be one of the best go-to scorers in the NBA. The Blazers will once again follow his lead.

Joel Embiid

Team Sixers
Position C
Years of Experience 2
Position Rank 2
Best Moment of Last Season Posterizing Aron Baynes

He said it multiple times throughout the summer. Big man Joel Embiid feels like this will be an MVP season for him. We don’t doubt it. We’ve all learned to trust The Process.

Kyrie Irving

Team Celtics
Position PG
Years of Experience 7
Position Rank 4
Best Moment of Last Season Scoring 47 points on 22 shots against the Mavericks

Heading into a new season, superstar Kyrie Irving says he feels completely healthy and is ready to retake the driver seat on an absurdly talented Celtics squad. That’s scary.

Kawhi Leonard

Team Raptors
Position SF
Years of Experience 7
Position Rank 4
Best Moment of Last Season On to the next one

In case you forgot, Kawhi Leonard is a two-time All-Star, two-time DPOY and the 2014 Finals MVP. He will remind you just how good he is soon, only now in a Raptors uniform.

Russell Westbrook

Team Thunder
Position PG
Years of Experience 10
Position Rank 3
Best Moment of Last Season Becoming the fourth player in NBA history to notch 100 triple-doubles

For two consecutive seasons, Russell Westbrook has averaged a TRIPLE-DOUBLE. It seems absurd to believe he could do it again. But as The Brodie always asks, why not?!

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Team Bucks
Position SF
Years of Experience 5
Position Rank 3
Best Moment of Last Season Jumping over Tim Hardaway Jr at the Garden

He’s merely 23-years-old and Giannis Antetokounmpo is unstoppable. Any improvement from last season will almost certainly put The Greek Freak in the MVP conversation. And there’s no cause to expect otherwise.

Stephen Curry

Team Warriors
Position PG
Years of Experience 9
Position Rank 2
Best Moment of Last Season Putting up 37 points, 3 steals and 3 blocks in Finals clinching win

When he’s healthy and out on the floor, there’s simply no slowing down Stephen Curry. Can’t wait to see exactly what the Chef cooks up this season, but you can bank on a plethora of threes, crossovers and dimes.

James Harden

Team Rockets
Position PG
Years of Experience 9
Position Rank 1
Best Moment of Last Season Winning MVP

The reigning MVP is perhaps the best overall playmaker in the NBA. Houston is still a threat to Golden State’s supremacy – and James Harden is the major reason why.

Anthony Davis

Team Pelicans
Position C
Years of Experience 6
Position Rank 1
Best Moment of Last Season Dropping 53 points, 18 rebounds and 5 blocks against the Suns

When DeMarcus Cousins went down last season, Anthony Davis took his game to an otherworldly level. We anticipate more of those video game numbers this year.

Kevin Durant

Team Warriors
Position SF
Years of Experience 11
Position Rank 2
Best Moment of Last Season Winning Finals MVP

During last year’s Finals, Kevin Durant once again reminded the world how dominant he can be. You can hate all you want, but you can’t deny the greatness. We are watching one of the best pure scorers of all time.

LeBron James

Team Lakers
Position SF
Years of Experience 15
Position Rank 1
Best Moment of Last Season "U bum" Tweet

It is Year 16 and there is no question that The King still reigns. LeBron James’ first season out in Los Angeles is about to be a movie. So grab your popcorn.