Friday evening, fight weekend in Las Vegas, what wild shit are we gonna get into tonight? Well that’s easy, we’re going deep into the top 100 players in the NBA, specifically who falls into slots 51-60. It’ll be wet, it’ll be wild, and it’ll be oh so good.
So double bag it, get the plan B ready for tomorrow morning, get some baby powder to help with the leather chaffing, its about to get hot, raw, and messy up in here.
60. DIRK NOWITZKI – POST – DALLAS MAVERICKS
Dirk Diggler, The German Larry Bird, The Big Bratwurst. Entering his 20th season, all with the Dallas Mavericks, he is far and away the franchise’s most iconic player. Who else would we even really consider? Derek Harper, Roy Tarpley? In short spurts Nowitzki can still be counted on to assert his domination, but those spurts are becoming shorter, and less frequent. Last season saw his scoring average dip to a still respectable 14.2 points per game. He’ll be expected to pass the franchise torch over to Dennis Smith Jr. this season.
59. PAU GASOL – POST – SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Another aging European star playing in Texas. Its like we’ve got a theme going on here. After re-upping with the Spurs to be part of the Kawhi show supporting cast, it’ll be interesting to see how much Gasol has in the tank, especially after spending the time just before camps open playing in the EuroBasket tourney.
58. RUDY GAY – WING – SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Low key, the most underrated free agent signing of the off season. Gay will be joining a squad where he’ll see short minutes backing up Leonard, while also establishing a role as a stretch 4 man in a “post” rotation with Gasol and Aldridge. Right on pace with his career averages last year before season ending surgery, Gay can be counted on to bring the skills that let him average 18 points and 6 rebounds a game over his career. All on a 2 year deal worth $17 million total.
57. REGGIE JACKSON – BALL HANDLER – DETROIT PISTONS
Redemption, thy name is Reggie. Freed from the shadow of Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Reggie had seemingly spread his wings with his own team in Detroit. Almost as quickly as Jackson rose to prominence he hopped on a direct flight to Stan Van Gundy’s dog house. The Boston College product is still a talented scorer and ball handler. I expect a nice bounce back season from Jackson with Avery Bradley as his side kick.
56. JRUE HOLIDAY – COMBO GUARD – NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
We know who will be manning the post positions for the Pelicans. The primary question heading into the off season was who was going to be in the backcourt. Re-signing Holiday was priority number one, and they managed to pull that off. Even better, they also added Rajon Rondo, allowing Holiday, who has never been a “true” point guard to slide over to the 2 spot. Released from the load of ball handling, and with defenses keyed in on Davis-Cousins, I expect a nice season out of the UCLA guard.
55. DWIGHT HOWARD – POST – CHARLOTTE HORNETS
Once one of the most overrated players in the league, Howard is now one of its most underrated. Known as a coach killer once he started bouncing from the Lakers to the Rockets, to the Hawks, and now the Hornets. At his peak I felt that Howard was a slightly above average center, in the same class as say Dikembe Mutombo, but he was playing in an era with no other centers to contend with. In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king. Well, Howard for years has had one eye, while the rest of the league has gone blind to post play.
54. NICOLAS BATUM – WING – CHARLOTTE HORNETS
A versatile wing capable of defending multiple positions and scoring in a myriad of ways, Batum is very valuable in the modern NBA. With averages of 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, Batum is capable of filling a stat sheet. His 40% FG shooting percentage is a bit concerning, and really whats stopping him from receiving deserved all star consideration.
53. JEFF TEAGUE – BALL HANDLER – MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
The former all star had a 1 year stint with his hometown Indiana Pacers before Tom Thibedeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves came knocking. It shouldn’t be overlooked that in an off season where there were seemingly more starting point guards available than there were starting spots, the Timberwolves went hard and fast to acquire Teague. On a team where he won’t be forced to carry the load, and really will be the 4th option, he should quietly end up being one of the summer’s best acquisitions.
52. VICTOR OLADIPO – WING – INDIANA PACERS
For the Pacer’s general manager Kevin Pritchard’s sake, lets hope that Victor Oladipo morphs into this generation’s Scott Pippen, and that Dom Sabonis turns into his dad. Otherwise the trade that sent Paul George to Oklahoma City will forever be 3rd guessed (everyone has already second guessed the shit out of the trade). On his third team in 3 seasons, it could either be understood that Oladipo is unwanted, or so wanted that teams are targeting him. We’ll give the young kid the benefit of the doubt and say he was targeted.
51. JABARI PARKER – WING – MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Averaging 20 and 6 in an injury shortened season, Parker is allegedly seeking a max contract deal from the Bucks. And honestly, why wouldn’t he at least seek it? The primary issue with Parker is availability. The closest he’s gone to playing a full season is when he played in 76 games two years ago. 2 out of 3 seasons thus far has seen Parker miss significant time due to injury. When he’s on the court he’s one of the league brightest young scorers and a nice compliment to the all around game of the Greek Freak.
Come back tomorrow for another instalment, I promise I’ll have the sheets cleaned by then and we’ll be ready to roll.
- Jason Sullivan
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