Now that NBA training camps are behind us and the pre-season is in full swing it is time to look at the best players in the league right now. Plenty of young talent didn’t make the cut but because a list like this is so fluid that could change rather quickly.
50. Brandon Jennings- Jennings might have the worst shot selection of anyone in the entire league which is why he shot less than 40 percent from the field, but is still a really good player. In his last year with the Bucks, Jennings averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game. It will be very interesting to see what he can do playing next to another gunner in Josh Smith in the Detroit system this upcoming season.
49. J.R. Smith- Smith’s shooting percentages weren’t very impressive last year but he compensated for that by shooting all the time. Since the Knicks only have one other guy that can legitimately score the ball, Mike Woodson didn’t seem to mind one bit. In fact, Smith played well enough to average career highs in minutes as well as points and rebounds a game. Smith averaged 18.1 points to go along with 2.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game.
48. O.J. Mayo- Mayo found new life as a member of the Dallas Mavericks last year, which opened the door for a big free agent contract with the Bucks this off-season. Mayo made huge improvements to every major statistical category other than turnovers from his previous two years in Memphis. Mayo finished the season averaging 15. 3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals a game.
47. Mike Conley- Conley has become a really good lead guard on a great Memphis team. Now he needs to improve his outside shooting to give his two dominant bigs space to work their magic in the paint. Conley averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals a game.
46. Jeff Teague- Teague has really made himself into a good NBA point guard in the last two seasons. He can get to the rim and draw fouls, which he needs to do more since he shot 88 percent from the line. He is also a great facilitator whose assist numbers should go up with the absence of Josh Smith. Last season Teague averaged 14.6 points, 7.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game.
45. Serge Ibaka- the development of Ibaka’s offensive game has been remarkable to watch and has helped him become one of the best all-around big men in the entire league. His mid-range game is very good, as evidenced by his 57.3 shooting percentage. Ibaka is even more impressive as a shot blocker, leading the league with 3 blocks a night.
44. Anthony Davis- Davis showed why he was the number one pick in the draft early and often in his rookie season. He proved he could do a little bit of everything on the court and should be even better this year with more minutes. Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocked shots a game.
43. Tyson Chandler- Chandler might be the most affective offensive player in the entire league and that is for one reason. He knows what he’s good at and that’s all he tries to do. He stays around the rim to get dunks, layups and put backs. Chandler is also a very skilled defender and rebounder. Chandler averaged a double-double last year and looks to do the same this upcoming season with the Knicks.
42. Brook Lopez- Lopez is a very gifted offensive player, who can beat you with a number of different moves. In 2012-13, Lopez averaged 19.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a night.
41. John Wall- Wall should never, ever shoot another three-point shot in his NBA career because he doesn’t have that range but every other part of his game is solid. Wall can hit the glass, distribute and get to the rim at will. After coming back from injury at mid-season, Wall averaged 18.5 points, 7.6 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game.