Welcome to Part III of our Top 100 Players for 2016-2017 Countdown. With NBA 2K17 having just come out, the excitement for this year’s season has to be at its peak. There is just over a month remaining until the season rolls around, but there are still lots of roster moves to be made, game plans to be set, and rotations to be fixed up. Here is our look at players 80-71 for this year.
This list will be released 10 players at a time every 5 days.
80. PG Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Rajon Rondo has always been seen as a wonderful distributor, but he also has had the reputation of being a stat-padder. After a disappointing time in Sacramento, Rondo is going to get a new opportunity this year in Chicago alongside Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. Here he will have a plethora of other playmakers and scorers at his side. The hopes are high for the Bulls, but it will be up to Rondo to spread the ball and keep everyone happy, and Chicago’s playoff hopes will be on the line. -Lukas.
79. PF Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets
Marvin Williams has been a fairly consistent player his entire career. With his size, length shooting ability, he is a valuable player on any roster. With the absence of Al Jefferson down low, the Hornets can truly push the shoot-first offense they have been experimenting with into full effect. With Kemba Walker‘s ability to generate offense, expect to see Williams getting prime opportunities to score the ball. If he can utilize his size and length to get to the basket as well as spot-up, he could be a deadly offensive force for the Hornets. -Zach.
78. PF Ryan Anderson, Houston Rockets
Over his career, Ryan Anderson has been a productive role player and starter. Entering his 8th year, Anderson is now a mature veteran who can stretch the floor for the Rockets. With Harden’s ability to make defenses collapse on him, Anderson will get plenty of chances to knock down open threes. Anderson has always been a high-volume scorer, but with Harden on his side, Anderson’s numbers could even go up. He will have to be a threat on offense given the Rockets lack of a real offensive presence outside of James Harden. -Adam.
77. PG Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs
Patty Mills has been a very serviceable backup for much of his career, but I think that this is his big opportunity. Tony Parker is getting older and that Spurs will be looking to spread out their minutes at the point guard slot. Mills could easily see a career high in minutes, and with his great talent as a three-point shooter, he will be a valuable asset for the Spurs in a year where they will most likely be competing for a title. -Lukas.
76. PF Serge Ibaka, Orlando Magic
What will Serge Ibaka’s role be in Orlando? We might not know yet, but we do know how talented Ibaka is. The Magic have a huge pileup of talent in the front court, but I still think that Ibaka will see a lot of minutes and will return to the form that he used to have every single night. Remember, Ibaka is still 26-years-old, so he is not losing a step any time soon. Give Ibaka the opportunity to succeed and watch him succeed. -Lukas.
75. PF Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Starting his 16th season this year, it is hard to believe that more people do not talk about just how good Zach Randolph is. He has consistently put up strong numbers his whole career and continues to do that, even at the age of 34. He has never been the type of player to shoot the lights out, but he does not need to be. Most of his points come from attacking the basket and utilizing his 260 pound frame to create space. His physical style of play also provides a refreshing change of pace and is a great resource to the Grizzlies. Look for Z-Bo to do exactly what he has been doing for the last decade and continue his dominant play. -Evan.
74. SG Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder
With a new partner-in-crime by the name of Russell Westbrook, Oladipo is set to start in the most athletic backcourt in the NBA. Victor is still improving every year and if he can continue to up his point production, he will be a super important part of a Thunder team looking to return to the playoffs. His point production might have decreased from year 2 to year 3, but his three point percentage increased and that should be a great asset for Westbrook and the Thunder. -Lukas.
73. SF Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks
Bazemore has had a very interesting career. He has shown steady improvement every single year, especially this past season where he saw a dramatic increase in minutes. You can expect him to have another solid season as the starting small forward for the Hawks. For the most part, the Hawks are very similar team compared to last year, even through their roster shakeups. Bazemore is certainly a respectable offensive player, but it is also his defense that makes him a great player. At 6-5, he does not quite have the size to guard all small forwards, but he is extremely talented on shooting guards. -Lukas.
72. C Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
This 20-year-old is coming off a solid rookie season where he showed tremendous promise for the Indiana Pacers. Myles Turner has all the key components to being a future All-Star, such as a nice mid range jump shot, he’s big and athletic, but his most important asset may be in his head. Turner didn’t show many signs of immaturity, or bad decision making in his first year. He let the game come to him, progressed naturally, and ended up starting in 30 games last season. For Turner, his main challenge will be accepting more responsibly on both offense and defense as well as playing alongside new faces such as Thaddeus Young and Jeff Teague. -Adam.
71. SG Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
At 19 years old, Devin Booker has shown he is one of the up and coming NBA players in the league, making the All-Rookie First Team in the 2015-2016 season. Primarily a scorer, Booker has a jumper with a quick release, but also uses his 6’6 frame to drive and finish at the rim. Although his season average from three was not the greatest (34.3%), he has shown glimpses of catching fire and taking over games with his hot shooting. Booker received significant minutes in Phoenix after Eric Bledsoe tore his meniscus in December, allowing Booker to have a larger role on the team. This was seen primarily after the All-Star break, where Booker averaged 19.2 PPG and looked more comfortable on the court, despite only being a rookie. With Bledsoe and Knight returning to the lineup, it will interesting to see what role Booker takes on for the Suns in the upcoming season. -Aaron.
Stay tuned for numbers 70-61 on September 22nd.