The Golden State Warriors are disappointed as D’Angelo Russell is snubbed from ESPN’s top 25.
ESPN’s annual list of the top 100 NBA players is a spicy one this year. The basketball world has been debating the rankings all week long. Today, we focus specifically on how D’Angelo Russell was snubbed from reaching the top 25 on this list.
Russell had a terrific season with the Brooklyn Nets last year. D-Lo reached his first All-Star game and led the Nets to a playoff berth with averages of 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game. He ranked in the top percentile for points per possession in the pick-and-roll and was a deadly isolation scorer.
Now joining the Warriors, D-Lo has a chance to take his game to the next level. A streaky shooter from deep, Russell will have plenty of opportunities to get going from beyond the arc. Throw in his elite playmaking ability and it’s clear that Russell will be a focal point of the Warriors offense.
In the wake of Klay Thompson‘s ACL injury, Russell is more important than ever. He will play a pivotal role in keeping the Warriors above water as they compete for their fourth championship in six years.
Russell is poised for success. This is why it is surprising to see him ranked 26th in ESPN’s order, behind players such as De’Aaron Fox and Mike Conley. Though these other two guards are talented in their own right, it is Russell who will have a more important role on a stronger team.
As for the rest of the list, the Warriors have already been represented twice. Both Draymond Green and Klay Thompson placed in the 25-50 range, although they each deserve to be top 15 when at full strength.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry has yet to be ranked. It’s safe to assume that Curry has his spot in the top five solidified but we will see what ESPN decided to do with the two-time MVP.