So ESPN has been doing this "#NBARank" thing where they are ranking the top 500 players in the NBA, starting with 500 and counting down.
Their method is having each of their 215 "experts" rank each player from 1-10 based on the "quality and quantity of their expected production". They then gave each player a score based on their average ranking and put them in order. Hardly rocket science. But an (somewhat) interesting way to see how the worldwide leader views different players. And in our case, to see how they view the Celtics.
So far ESPN has ranked everyone from 500 down to 91, with the top 90 slowly being released over the next three weeks before the season tips off. However, there are only two Celtics who have not been named yet — Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green — so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at where the other 12 Celtics have fallen in the rankings. Here they are (number in parenthesis is their score).
#102 Avery Bradley (5.69) - Bradley comes in as the 3rd best Celtic, and the only guy above a 5 ranking besides Green and Rondo. This also means only two Celtics are top 100 guys.
#149 Gerald Wallace (4.96) - ESPN apparently thinks last season was the exception, not the rule for Wallace. His #149 ranking is pretty fair.
#158 Brandon Bass (4.78) - So judging by the rankings the Celtics optimum line-up would be Rondo-Bradley-Green-Wallace-Bass. Definitely small, but in the new age NBA, it's probably a five-some we'll see quite a bit of this year.
#162 Kris Humphries (4.75) - ESPN doesn't think the Celts have much in the way of elite talent (and they're right), but damn, they reallllly like the Cs role players. Celtics have eight players ranked between #149-252.
#199 Jared Sullinger (4.36) - With a top 200 ranking despite his back issues, Sully clearly impressed some folks around the league with his play last season.
#202 Kelly Olynyk (4.34) - A generous ranking for a guy who's never played NBA basketball, has foot issues and isn't a very good defender. But for those high on the Sully-Olynyk combo going forward - ESPN seems to agree.
#220 MarShon Brooks (4.17) - I was pretty surprised to see Brooks ahead of Lee.
#224 Courtney Lee (4.13) - So judging by these rankings, the 3rd guard spot (once Rondo comes back) should be an open competition between Brooks and Lee.
#252 Jordan Crawford (3.88) - And Crawford is right there as well. Again, I was pretty surprised to see so many Celtics in the 150-250 area.
#307 Keith Bogans (3.20) - The $5 million man comes in at #307.
#439 Phil Pressey (2.25) - Apparently ESPN does not like undrafted rookies who shot less than 40% in college.
#481 Vitor Faverani (1.92) - Ok, this is disrespectful. If your nickname is "El Hombre Indestructible" you belong in the top 450 at the very least.
So only two Celtics in the top 100, but also only two guys in the bottom 190. Your 2013-14 Celtics..bludgeoning you with our collection of average players.
Just for fun, here are some other rankings that caught my eye.
#100 Andrew Bynum (5.73) - Apparently you don't really need to play basketball to be a top 100 player.
#143 Andrea Bargnani (5.00) - Is this ranking from 2008-09?
#259 Kendrick Perkins (3.80) - Kendrick Perkins..worse than Jordan Crawford (and approximately 160-180 spots below Jeff Green)
#281 Austin Rivers (3.54) - From top 10 pick to #281 in one year.
#284 Greg Oden (3.50) - Apparently you don't need to have played basketball this decade to be a top 300 player.
#378 Michael Beasley (2.66) - Seems about right.
#415 Donte Greene (2.41) - WHY DID WE CUT HIM HE'S RANKED AHEAD OF TWO OF OUR PLAYERS
#448 Jason Collins (2.20) - Just in case anyone says he hasn't been signed because of his sexual preference, just remember, it's because he's bad.
#462 Lamar Odom (2.05) - Crack kills (your #NBArank).
#467 Shavlik Randolph (2.02) - Remember when everyone was upset we didn't pick up his option?
#499 Fab Melo (1.55) - We've actually already covered this one. But hey..at least he's "better" than Royce White. Right?
Photo courtesy: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
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