All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge led the Portland Trail Blazers by placing No. 17 in ESPN.com's "NBA Rank" list this season. Aldridge rose from No. 20 in the 2012 version of the list, which aims to rank the league's top 500 players.
Here's the criteria used for the ranking.
This year, we asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season. This includes both the quality and the quantity of his expected contributions, combined in one overall rating.
We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, in terms of "the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season."
Here's the Blazers' complete listing. Last year's rankings are in parentheses.
- LaMarcus Aldridge: 17 (20)
- Damian Lillard: 30 (211)
- Nicolas Batum: 57 (63)
- Robin Lopez: 128 (169)
- Wesley Matthews: 130 (109)
- Mo Williams: 169 (125)
- CJ McCollum: 185 (Not ranked)
- Dorell Wright: 200 (182)
- Thomas Robinson: 204 (215)
- Meyers Leonard: 255 (330)
- Earl Watson: 370 (323)
- Will Barton: 379 (409)
- Allen Crabbe: 412 (Not ranked)
- Victor Claver: 422 (Not ranked)
- Joel Freeland: 441 (426)
Matthews said this week that his ranking "really [ticked] me off."
For comparison's sake, Aldridge ranked No. 18, Lillard ranked No. 47 and Batum ranked No. 51 in SI.com's Top 100 Players of 2014 list.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter