As the NFL’s season kicked off tonight, its another reminder that the NBA season is just around the corner, its also a reminder that if your favorite NBA team made significant off season moves (I’m looking at you Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Oklahoma City, and Minnesota) that it may take a while for the potential returns on those moves to come to fruition. Patience is a virtue not often found in masses of sports fans, but if you can muster it, you’ll save yourself a lot of early season heart ache as chemistry and rotations aren’t exactly where you’d like them to be.
That all being said, its time to celebrate, the NFL is back, and we’re now 40% through the Top 100 series. Go ahead and grab your YoureDuckingRight.com stein mug and pour a nice cold beer or cider. …. what do you mean you don’t have one? Well, go ahead and order one, they’re the must have man cave accessory for fall 2017, I think I read that in Vogue.
Now that you’ve gone ahead and ordered your ducking swag (FYI, T-Shirts are coming soon!) Sit back relax, and lets review players coming in 70-61 on our list of Top 100 NBA players!
70. D’Angelo Russell – Combo Guard – Brooklyn Nets
The former Buckeye and Snap Chat expert, Russell will reap the benefits of the Laker’s desire to clear salary cap space. That carrot held in front of the Nets to accept the stick that is Timofy Mozgov’s contract, Russell and Jeremy Lin, along with Allen Crabbe, Sean Kilpatrick, and Caris LaVert will form a solid perimeter rotation. Freed from L.A. and his locker room issues, Russell should flash the form he did in Columbus that led to him being the #2 overall pick.
69. JAE CROWDER – WING – CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
Its not a stretch to say that Jae Crowder will be the most impactful piece in 2017-2018 surrendered to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving. Obviously the crown jewel is the Brooklyn 2018 pick, but Crowder’s impact on the court this season will certainly be felt. Capable of defending 4 positions on the court interchangeably, his defensive versatility will be talked about at length in Northeast Ohio. What is being overlooked is that Crowder excelled as a catch and shoot spot up 3 point shooter, and his weaknesses on offense were exposed when he tried to dribble. That will not be an issue playing with Lebron James. He’ll quickly become a fan favorite in Cleveland.
68. DION WAITERS – WING – MIAMI HEAT
Hello, my name is Sully, and I’ve been a Dion Waiters fan since his days at Syracuse… whew! It feels good to get that off my chest. Its taken a while, but in Erik Spolestra he is finally starting to live up to his potential. I never felt that Waiters would be a stud NBA player, I honestly felt that he could be an excellent 6th man, a scorer coming off the bench to lead the 2nd unit. A modern day Vinnie the Microwave Johnson. It seems his skill level is finally starting to be on level with his maturity, combined with consistent opportunity.
67. THADDEUS YOUNG – WING – INDIANA PACERS
A classic case of stats not telling the whole story. On paper Young registered a pedestrian 11 points with 6 rebounds last season. Many casual fans may not even be able to tell you who Young is, let alone what team he plays for, but I guarantee, every coach and general manager in the league would love to have Young play for them. A more than capable defender, rebounder, and scorer, Young can fulfill most any roll asked of him.
66. JUSEF NURKIC – POST – PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
Still just 23 years old, its easy to forget that no long ago it was expected that Nurkic was the Nuggets star of the future, and Jokic was the 2nd round after thought. After a promising rookie season, Nurkic suffered through an injury wrought sophomore season. Once freed from the growing shadow of Jokic in Denver, Nurkic really started to blossom in Portland’s Rose Garden. In 20 games with Portland Nurkic averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks a game. The potential he flashed as a rookie suggests those numbers aren’t a fluke, but a sign of things to come.
65. DARIO SARIC – WING – PHILADELPHIA 76ers
The highly touted Euro star finally found his way to the NBA last season, and was a strong contender for the league’s rookie of the year honors. He should continue to develop as a player and flourish as a passing, space creating stretch 4 in Philly’s offense. His scoring numbers may not end up being eye popping surrounded by Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, and Ben Simmons, but he’ll pass any eye test you may throw at him.
64. CHANDLER PARSONS – WING – MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
There’s only one way to describe Parsons’ 2016-2017 season, dumpster fire, god awful, Kardashian-esque, something my dog shit out, Kyle Shanahan Superbowl 4th quarter play calling like… oh look, there was more than one way. That being said, the prize of the Grizzlies’ 2016 summer splurge should be expected to bounce back. As the wing component in what should be an interesting Gasol-Conley-Parsons triangle, Parsons will be counted on to provide the outside scoring that he flashed in Dallas.
63. RODNEY HOOD – WING – UTAH JAZZ
Its all good in the hood. The new look Jazz following the departures of George Hill and Gordon Hayward will heavily rely upon former Rutgers-Duke star Rodney Hood. While Gobert is the Jazz’ best player, and Joe Johnson will likely be their go to end of game scorer, the game in, game out primary scorer responsibilities will likely fall to Hood, and based upon his year 1 to year 2 progression, he seemed primed to accept that roll and flourish.
62. GEORGE HILL – BALL HANDLER – SACRAMENTO KINGS
Seemingly left without a chair when the music was stopping for this off season game of point guard musical chairs, Hill managed to secure a more than respectable pay day from the Sacramento Kings. He, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph will be counted on to foster a winning culture in the locker, and a steadying presence on the floor. Since Randolph and Carter are AARP members and soon to be collecting social security, the load of day in, day out go to guy will likely fall to Hill. He’s never been a big numbers guy, but the kid is a solid all around NBA player.
61. DENNIS SCHRODER – BALL HANDLER – ATLANTA HAWKS
Given the keys to the offense finally last season after the trade of Jeff Teague to the Pacers, Schroder will be given the keys to the team entirely this season. No longer surrounded by borderline all stars Jeff Teague, Paul Milsap, and Al Horford, Schroder will be counted on to lead a very mediocre (thats putting it nicely, they kinda suck, relative to an NBA roster, they’d kick the shit out of your pick up squads at the local 24Hour Fitness). The man once crowned as the german Rajon Rondo, he’ll have a chance to be the spotlight player Rondo was as the Garnett-Pierce-Allen big 3 was fading off into the sunset. His stats should increase making him an attractive trade asset, but he should lead them into the lottery, not the playoffs.
Check back tomorrow as we review 60-51, a group that includes more than 1 sure fire hall of famer!
- Jason Sullivan
- You can find me on Twitter at @TopDucker, or like us on Facebook at You’re Ducking Right