The NBA is chock full of special talent, both past and present. There isn't a more recognizable sports figure than Michael Jordan, while players like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Jerry West and countless other basketball players are recognized as some of the greatest competitors in sports history.
Just like every era in the NBA, the current one has a chock full of superstars that every single team would love to have. Steph Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis are just a handful of players that could fit into every roster.
At every position, there is elite talent.
Think of the point guards in the league. Outside of the aforementioned players, there is Chris Paul, John Wall, Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowery. At shooting guard, there’s Jimmy Butler, James Harden and DeMar DeRozan - and you cant have a list without mentioning Kobe Bryant.
The forwards are equally as impressive. Tim Duncan and Blake Griffen are still two of the best power forwards, while Draymond Green, Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are dominating as well.
And you can’t forget about centers. DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan and Brook Lopez only represent a few of the talented big men throughout the entire league.
The point being, there is game changing talent at every single position - and that's because the NBA is the best basketball league in the world. However, what if there was an NBA Fantasy Draft? What if all the teams in the Association could hit reset and have all the talent at their disposal in a fantasy draft? Who would be chosen? We'll be going based on the draft order upcoming for the actual draft in June, bu this will be about looking to fill teams' needs if they could have whoever they wanted in the NBA right now. Here are my selections.
20 Philadelphia 76ers - Steph Curry
It’s official: LeBron James has been overtaken as the best player in the NBA. There is no doubt that the title now belongs to Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Constantly proving the doubters wrong ever since being drafted by the Warriors out of small school Davidson, Curry proved to the world last year that he has the instincts and work ethic that supersedes everyone else. When you look at the point guard, he comes off as a common man; however, his ability to push himself in practice each and every day makes him a true superstar.
19 Los Angeles Lakers - LeBron James
18 Brooklyn Nets - Russell Westbrook
17 Minnesota Timberwolves - Anthony Davis
16 Phoenix Suns - Kevin Durant
15 New Orleans Pelicans - Kawhi Leonard
14 Denver Nuggets - Jimmy Butler
13 Milwaukee Bucks - Chris Paul
12 Sacramento Kings - DeMarcus Cousins
11 Portland Trail Blazers - Tim Duncan
10 Utah Jazz - Paul George
9 Charlotte Hornets - James Harden
8 Washington Wizards - Carmelo Anthony
Ever since Carmelo Anthony was taken third overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2003 draft, there is a short list of players that compare to him in terms of scoring. Whether it’s creating his own shot, posting up or grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back up for a bucket, Anthony has a rare skill set that is unmatched. However, the knocks from fans over the years have been the lack of commitment on the defensive end, not concentrating on getting his teammates the ball and being a poor leader.
7 New York Knicks - John Wall
John Wall wasn't always in the conversation for best point guards in the NBA. While he dominated the collegiate ranks at Kentucky, a poor jump shot and a lack of conditioning had people questioning the Washington Wizards choosing him first overall, despite the lack of game changing talent in the 2010 draft. However, Wall has done his best to silence the critics, as he’s emerged as one of the best at the position in the Eastern Conference.
6 Orlando Magic - Andre Drummond
5 Houston Rockets - Marc Gasol
When Marc Gasol was traded for his brother Pau Gasol by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Memphis Grizzlies, he was clearly on the back burner, as the elder Gasol was the clear prize in the trade. However, even the Grizzlies didn't realize the player that Marc Gasol would eventually transform into. An elite all-around center, Gasol excels as a scorer both inside and outside of the paint, as a rebounder and also as a defender - and this season has been no different.
4 Boston Celtics - Draymond Green
3 Detroit Pistons - Blake Griffin
2 Indiana Pacers - Damian Lillard
Unlike DeRozan, Lillard wasn't highly touted coming out of college. While he dominated at that level, the fact that he played at Weber State University - a small school by NBA prospect standards - was supposed to be a hindrance. However, once the Portland Trail Blazers selected Lillard with the sixth overall pick in 2012, he took the doubters’ words as motivation and has developed into one of biggest offensive weapons at the point guard position in just four short seasons - and 2015-16 has been no different.
1 Dallas Mavericks - DeMar DeRozan
Over DeMar DeRozan’s first three NBA seasons, it didn't appear as though his high draft selection would be justified. As an uber-athletic slasher, he would always have a place in the league, but the two guard never appeared that he would pan out with the Toronto Raptors. However, his improved game across the board not only have him potentially earning a max contract this upcoming offseason, but DeRozan is also - quietly - one of the best players in the league. As it stands today, the 26-year-old is averaging career highs in points (22.8), rebounds (4.6) and assists (4.1), while shooting and defending at a high rate. And since he is just entering his prime, there’s a chance DeRozan will get even better.
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