On September 21, ESPN released the first part of this annual NBArank list, which ranks the top 100 players in the NBA, and the New York Knicks received a lot of representation.
This has been reflected in ESPN’s ranking as several key pieces crack the top 100. However, there are some big snubs on the list, but we’ll first tackle the players who did make the cut.
Let’s dive right in.
Randle Headlines the Bunch
Unsurprisingly, Julius Randle has the highest ranking among Knicks players and that’s for good reason. Coming off his first All-Star appearance, the forward finds himself at number 42, which is a good ranking for the centerpiece of the team.
He’s the only player on the team to make the top 50, but there are a few more names that are found in the back half.
Derrick Rose, Kemba Walker and Mitchell Robinson all find themselves on ESPN’s list. Robinson might be a bit of a surprise to see here, especially when you consider his injury history.
When healthy, he’s proven he’s worthy of starting, and he has set some big goals for himself this season.
Robinson, Rose and Walker come in at number 92, 91 and 70 respectively. Like Robinson, Walker also has his share of injuries to deal with, but if he can live up to this ranking, then the Knicks will be in a very good spot.
With this ranking, three players from the starting lineup make the top 100, which is definitely a good recipe for success. However, there are definitely some fans who would argue there are some snubs from the list.
Let’s take a look at who some of those players are.
An argument can be made for Fournier to make the top 100, but many fans won’t lose too much sleep over him not making the cut.
However, there are definitely a lot of fans out there who argue RJ Barrett should be on the top 100.
He’s coming off a very solid year and is poised to make another jump in his third year. Him not making the top 100 is fine if you could agree everyone ahead of him is better, but a strong argument can be made that that’s not the case.
Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham makes the top 100 despite never playing a game in the NBA, so that’s a puzzling decision for many fans out there. Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green is another situation just like that, and it has people scratching their heads.
Those two could very well turn out to be very solid players in the NBA, but it does seem strange to rank them ahead of established players for the time being.
Outside of maybe Nerlens Noel being a fringe selection for the top 100, there won’t be much argument from Knicks fans with the way the rest of the list shakes out.
Perhaps there could be some big changes next year, and if Barrett has another strong season, he’ll definitely make the top 100 and then some.