This article is part of our Numbers Game series.
It's mid-August. The true NBA offseason. The time of year when Reddit's r/NBA posts 1700 motifs on the history of Dwight Howard's shoulders. It's been weeks since a free agent signing, months since the draft, and preseason mini-camps are still about a month away. They say the NBA has become a year-round league. That's inaccurate. August remains outside of their grasp.
The quiet, however, provides a great opportunity for analysis. Freed from the day-to-day noise, we can sit back and spend a few days quietly burrowing into stats and tape. We can throw out our old ranks and start fresh, creating a brand-new top-150.
I didn't look at anyone else's ranks while making these.
I didn't even look at my own "way-too-early" ranks that I made back in April.
This is a totally clean slate.
A few notes:
- The rankings assume nine-category rotisserie leagues, since that is still Yahoo's default setting (side-note: 8-cat is more fun). Some players would move for 8-cat or head-to-head leagues – Russell Westbrook would receive a big boost in either setting, for example – but most players would barely move at all.
- I also indicate which players start and end new tiers, to give a sense of where I see big cut-offs in value. Generally speaking, within a tier I'm willing to draft out of order to better fit my team's needs, but I'm unlikely to draft someone from Tier 8 if there is still someone from Tier 7 available.
- After we finish the top 100, there are no more tiers. At that point, the difference from one player to the next is pretty consistent – and that difference is usually small.
- The tier names are just for fun. Domantas Sabonis is in the "counting on situation to elevate medium talent" tier, but he is incredibly talented. The name fit most of the other guys there, and the name doesn't really matter.
- These ranks will almost certainly change as we get closer to the season.