We’ve seen the decline of longtime stars like James Harden, who we ranked No. 5 at the start of this season. The rise of Jimmy Butler and other longtime All-Stars, who we ranked No. 19 in October. Harden and Anthony Davis were notable dropouts in our preseason rosters. Damian Lillard was also absent. Check out the top 5 basketball players in the world right now.
We’ll continue to rank the top 50 players in the league through October 2022. But we’ll preview ahead of the NBA Finals with the top 10 players in the league right now.
The 5 best basketball players in the world right now
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo has earned his place as the NBA’s greatest player. Even after Durant’s dominant playoff run last year, the consensus among basketball fans was still that Kevin Durant is the better player. And it wasn’t hard to disagree after nearly winning all 7 Bucks games without Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Likewise, the narrative changed after this post-season. Giannis’ position at No. 1 is impossible to dispute. It’s no surprise that Giannis is ranked #1 on this list. He became the first NBA player in a playoff series to record at least 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists. Even with his Game 7 loss, it’s hard to overlook the work Giannis has done in this playoff series.
4. LeBron James
LeBron entered the NBA in 2003. After the 2004-2005 NBA season, he was one of the top five players in the NBA discussion. Since then, he hasn’t left that spot, as evidenced by his 18 straight All-NBA/All-Star appearances.
While some may consider James’ past season a disappointment and note that his Lakers failed to qualify for the playoffs, it’s clear no one was better than him when he played on the court. For the season, his 30.3 PPG average was better than Joel Embiid’s. This is his highest score in 15 years.
3. Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic’s biggest flaw right now is his inability to win the MVP title. He hasn’t been able to make the playoffs since Jamal Murray’s injury. He’s a great player on the basketball court. His playoff series was his only. We saw that he could not have done more.
In 32 minutes of play, he had 30 points and 19 rebounds. He was the league’s MVP. He demonstrated why he was the league’s MVP twice.
2 . Jimmy Butler
It was difficult to choose Jimmy Butler for the last place despite the tough competition. However, this year’s playoff performance made it hard not to give it to Jimmy Butler.
He led the Miami Heat’s playoff offense and gave his team, with his unparalleled talent, a shot at making the NBA Finals. His playoff performance in Game 6, with the Heat’s back against a wall on the road, in hostile conditions, was one of our most memorable playoff performances.
1. Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid’s tenacity is something we cannot doubt. Although you may disagree with his game and his fumbling to reach the line. Joel Embiid’s resilience to win was evident when he returned to the conference semifinals in Miami with a ruptured orbital and a torn tendon in his thumb.
Embiid was unable to lead the Sixers into the next round. His only other semi-final appearance against Miami is testament to his resilience to win.