The first half of the yearly ranking of the Top 100 NBA Players by ESPN is out, with two Portland Trail Blazers on the 51-100 list.
Center Jusuf Nurkic ranked in at number 75, 31 spots lower than last year. Andre Snellings writes in with:
He has been pretty consistent with averages of 14.5 PPG (50.5 FG percentage), 9.2 RPG, 1.5 BPG and 0.9 SPG, but he has turned in great stretches late in both seasons that have corresponded with Portland’s solidifying into one of the hottest teams in the league.
The length of Nurkic’s drop is surprising considering his numbers did not decline much between the last two seasons. He went from 15.2 points to 14.3, 10.4 rebounds to 9.0, and 1.9 blocks to 1.4.
Forward Al-Farouq Aminu, fresh off helping Nigeria qualify for the FIBA Cup, ranked in at number 100. Jose De Leon writes:
Aminu will look to build on a strong showing in the first round of last season’s NBA playoffs. After finishing with seven points in Game 1 against the New Orleans Pelicans, he averaged 20.7 points on 53 percent shooting and 9.7 rebounds over the final three games.
Aminu averaged 9.3 points and a career-high 7.6 rebounds last season. He did not rank at all on last season’s rankings.
Among the other notable names on the list are former Blazers Nicolas Batum (91) and Will Barton (68), and some young players like the always polarizing Lonzo Ball (62), Luka Doncic (63), and Markelle Fultz (93).