Is it way too early? It’s been tough to gauge the general malaise that we suffer in the NBA offseason, as this time, we’ve had plenty of distractions… Summer League with Wemby (and Scooter!), an amazing FIBA Cup has just wrapped, and NBA2K just launched to a showering of negative reviews about microtransactions and “skill regression”. Okay, so the NBA2k thing is not unique to this year, but the offseason has been a bit better at reminding you the sport does actually still exist during the Summer. So with that said, the season is closer than it ever was, and while our official 2023-24 Fantasy Basketball Rankings series won’t be released until next week, it’ll be a nice exercise (not *that* kind of exercise, you can come back now…) to take a quick look at how the way too early top-50 rankings is shaping up. Or perhaps we should call it preliminary? So many descriptors, so little time. That’s what she said. Regardless, to the top-50 and beyond! (Not really beyond, it just sounded better…)
|Rank||Player (Team – Position)||Comments|
|1||Nikola Jokic (DEN – C)||If only this Joker was in charge of reviving the DC Universe…|
|2||Joel Embiid (PHI – C)||Good thing for him there’s no Fantasy during the Playoffs.|
|3||Tyrese Haliburton (IND – PG,SG)||Having a hard time ranking him, could he take another step forward?|
|4||Luka Doncic (DAL – PG)||Generational offensive talent, generational defensive turnstile, generational whiner.|
|5||Jayson Tatum (BOS – SF,PF)||Stable Tater. What, it rhymes, that’s all that matters. Also, potatoes|
|6||Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC – PG,SG)||Immense talent and potential, OKC dominance arriving soon?|
|7||Stephen Curry (GSW – PG,SG)||I’ll keep believing as long as he keeps playing.|
|8||Damian Lillard (POR – PG)||Drama-filled offseason could leak over…|
|9||Kevin Durant (PHO – SF,PF)||Durant can do his thing in any lineup, no problems.|
|10||Anthony Davis (LAL – PF,C)||
Loved what I saw last season, including the playoffs. As always, health a factor.
|11||Domantas Sabonis (SAC – PF,C)||True offensive threat, will bring the numbers again.|
|12||Anthony Edwards (MIN – SG,SF)||Amazing FIBA, may roll that success into the season.|
|13||Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL – PF,C)||Physical freak continues to do physically freakish things.|
|14||LaMelo Ball (CHA – PG,SG)||Amazing talent that just needs to stay on the floor.|
|15||Devin Booker (PHO – SF,SG)||Could lose some touches, but showed energy and feel during Playoffs.|
|16||Kyrie Irving (DAL – PG,SG)||Full season would be nice, but maybe the Jewish Space Lasers prevent that.|
|17||Donovan Mitchell (CLE – PG,SG)||Cavs looking to grow, Mitchell is a huge part of that again.|
|18||Trae Young (ATL – PG)||Stable, if not becoming unspectacular.|
|19||Mikal Bridges (BKN – SG,SF)||Should be an interesting year for a young and fun Nets team.|
|20||LeBron James (LAL – PF,SF)||
A 20-year walking triple-double is showing some age but still will put up numbers.
|21||Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM – PF,C)||JJJ can do great things, but can be better when Adams returns.|
|22||James Harden (PHI – PG,SG)||
Faded pretty hard late in the season, but was still putting up elite numbers for the year.
|23||Lauri Markkanen (UTH – PF,SF)||Love this kids future, way to have a solid year to clear up some questions.|
|24||Kawhi Leonard (LAC – SF,SG)||Ride or die, you know what to expect.|
|25||Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN – C,PF)||
It may be a strange lineup in the Twin Cities, but KAT’s offensive skills are unquestioned, at least until the Playoffs.
|26||Desmond Bane (MEM – SF,SG)||
Still young and coming off a career season. Grizzlies can be good, if they can keep it together.
|27||Jimmy Butler (MIA – PF,SF)||
Literally the antithesis to Embiid. First rounder in Playoff-only Leagues, that’s for sure.
|28||Paul George (LAC – SF,PF,SG)||Had a quiet, but solid season. Could be a bit underrated in 23-24.|
|29||Pascal Siakam (TOR – PF,C)||Nothing crazy exciting, nothing to hate. Solid all around.|
|30||Evan Mobley (CLE – C,PF)||Loving the five position this season with all the young talent.|
|31||Bam Adebayo (MIA – C)||Still contributing in all the areas you’re used to.|
|32||Dejounte Murray (ATL – PG,SG)||Liked what I saw last season, continues to grow.|
|33||Jalen Brunson (NYK – PG)||Travesty for the Mavs, Kincks have an interesting window right now.|
|34||Cade Cunningham (DET – PG,SG)||Strong talent, just needs the healthy minutes to show it.|
|35||DeMar DeRozan (CHI – SF,SG)||DeExpect DeThe DeNormal.|
|36||Nikola Vucevic (CHI – C)||Same as DeMar, but without the wordplace.|
|37||Myles Turner (IND – C)||Pacers are going to make some noise again, and Turner will be a part.|
|38||De’Aaron Fox (SAC – PG)||Another year, the team can take a step forward.|
|39||Jaylen Brown (BOS – SG,SF)||Never been a huge Brown fan, but how can you hate on 25/7/4?|
|40||Darius Garland (CLE – PG)||Can he do more than 22/3/8? I think he can.|
|41||Victor Wembanyama (SAS – C,PF)||I’m on the hype train for sure, my seat is just located in the caboose.|
|42||Kristaps Porzingis (BOS – PF,C)||
Coming off a career year and on a team that wants to see that again. I like the combo.
|43||Jrue Holiday (MIL – PG,SG)||It’s Jrue, all of it…|
|44||Jamal Murray (DEN – PG,SG)||Joker makes the entire team better, but Jamal makes it all come together.|
|45||Walker Kessler (UTH – C)||Could be a walking 10-10 for years to come, and that’s the floor.|
|46||Chet Holmgren (OKC – C,PF)||Loving him as the Wemby consolation prize.|
|47||Zach LaVine (CHI – SG,SF)||Same as it ever was…|
|48||Deandre Ayton (PHO – C)||Interested to see how Ayton’s offensive game works in this new lineup.|
|49||O.G. Anunoby (TOR – SF,SG)||Bringing 17/5/2 with a block per game, not bad.|
|50||Jordan Poole (WAS – PG,SG)||I’m not super high or low, but the Wizards are going to let him cook.|
Note: Just as a reminder, partly for my own protection (Ja Morant isn’t on this list…), these rankings are a work-in-progress. They may not be “way too” early, but they are definitely going to be updated the next few weeks as we start releasing positional and overall rankings. But this is the beginning of my ranking’s roadmap, sortaspeak, and offers a guide at early preseason value. Keep in mind that I have adjusted for a player’s current status, whether that be a suspension or injury, but a lot of this remains in flux. For instance, Kawhi Leonard’s ranking may be a bit more stable than Zion Williamson’s for a few different reasons. While all the reasons are not good, there is a varying degree of the unknown this early on, so expect some adjustments with some of those players in the coming weeks.
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell.