What does it take to become an all-around player in the NBA?
A pro basketball player that is considered an all-around player, scores, gets rebounds, assists, guards the best player on the other end, makes the team better, is the heart and soul of the team. A player who can play all five positions on the court, and if not all five, he can get points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. A team leader. That's what an all-around player looks like.
In this list, we have formulated a list of the top all-around stars in the league, starting from number 13.
Julius Randle is a Power Forward, but he can play as Center or even Small Forward if needed.
He can push the ball down the court and make a play when his team calls for it. He is a versatile big man and had three triple doubles, and eighteen double doubles last season for the Lakers. He averaged 13.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.6 APG. Julius has been working hard this off-season to develop an outside game as well, and if he can master that, he will be could be a really special player to watch next season.
15. Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley is a player who you would love to have play for your team, and would hate to have play against your team. He was the heart and soul of Houston, and now he can be the heart and soul of the Clippers.
Last season in the playoffs against OKC, when Patrick Beverley was guarding the 2016-2017 MVP Russell Westbrook, Beverley held him to 7 of 27 shooting, and 5 turnovers. He was named to the First Team All-Defensive Team. Patrick Beverley last season averaged 9.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 1.5 SPG.
These stats, however, do not show how good Patrick Beverley really is. He does all the little things that help his team win. He is the definition of grit and grind. He also had six double doubles last season.
14. Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol is a Big Man, who can distribute the ball like a guard. Also, his passing IQ is very good for his position. He's a great two-way player who can make big plays on the offensive end and bigger plays on the defensive end.
In the 2016/2017 campaign, Marc Gasol averaged 19.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 1.3 blocks. He also averaged 1.4 threes per game. He has a well-rounded skill set and has been the perfect big man for Memphis to have. Marc Gasol had two triple doubles last season and eleven double doubles. He should be in line for a similar stat line next season, in hopes of a long playoff run barring any injuries.
13. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is a 6’7 versatile shooting guard and is one of the most underrated defenders and players in the league. Last season, the playoffs were a slump on the offensive end for him, but he still guarded the best player on the other end. Whether it was C.J. McCollum, Gordon Hayward, or Kyrie Irving.
He was a key contributor to the Warriors winning the championship last season. In the 2016-2017 campaign, Klay Thompson averaged 22.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 3.4 three points made. Klay Thompson can score from anywhere in the gym while guarding the best player on the opposing team.
12. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is a 6’0 point guard, who also happens to be one of the best in the league. Chris Paul, last season, averaged 18.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 9.2 APG, and 2.0 SPG. CP3 gets everyone involved, makes his team better, and can take over when his team is failing to produce.
He takes smart shots, rarely makes bad decisions, and does not turn the ball. Even though Paul has been unlucky in the playoffs, he has had a great career and hopes to overcome those playoff struggles next season when he teams up with James Harden. This is a new start for both Chris Paul and James Harden, and hopefully they can make a finals appearance when they team up next season.
11. Karl-Anthony Towns
Last season, Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 25.1 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.3 BPG at only 21 years old. Next season, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins will get some help from Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, and Taj Gibson. This may be the season where Towns can prove how good he is if they make the playoffs.
They are still a young team that may be one piece away from being in the Finals. Towns is a special player who can distribute the ball, score at will, and guard his position on the other end.
10. Jimmy Butler/Paul George:
Jimmy Butler is a 6’7 versatile shooting guard/small forward, he is a great two-way player. Last season Jimmy Butler averaged 23.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.5 APG, and 1.9 SPG. He is joining Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota next season, which may affect his scoring a little bit. With that being said, Butler should still continue to dominate on both ends of the floor.
He is the perfect fit in Minnesota because of his versatility to guard the 1-3 spot. Butler is arguably the best shooting guard in the NBA right now, and surely one of its best defenders.
Paul George is another guy who can play the 1-4 spots if needed. George had very little help last season, which resulted in a first-round exit. Still, he averaged 23.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG, in the regular season.
He is going to team up with arguably the best point guard in the league in Russell Westbrook, and join other solid role players such as Steven Adams and Enes Kanter. Those four should be able to push the Thunder at least to a second round, if not Western Conference Finals, appearance. PG will be a key contributor to any success the team has.
9. Anthony Davis/Blake Griffin
Anthony Davis is a very solid defender, rim protector, and scorer. He is one of the best power forwards, if not the best power forward, in the league. Last season he averaged 28.0 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 2.2 BPG. So, as you can see, he really does everything.
The Pelicans, led by Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, should be able to squeeze in that 8th seed next season. It will be interesting to see how the pair will do in a potential Warriors - Pelicans round one series. If Anthony Davis can stay healthy, he could very well be in line for an MVP campaign.
Blake Griffin is a strong power forward, who can score, distribute the ball, and play defense against his own position. Last season he averaged 21.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.9 APG. Next season, without Chris Paul, he should be in line for a career season. A 25 PPG, 9 RPG, 7 APG season seems likely. DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin both should both be in line for career seasons.
8. John Wall
John Wall is is one of the best point guards in the league and, arguably, the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. He can score at will, make his teammates better, and always wants the challenge of guarding the best guy on the other team. Last season, Wall averaged 23.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 10.1 APG with 2 SPG. The lightning fast point guard is clearly the Wizards franchise player.
However, will he have enough help in the future to make a deep run in the playoffs and make the finals? If John Wall gets some more help, he could easily win a championship ring. Wall should be in for another big year, maybe even an MVP caliber season.
7. Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic can play almost every position. He has the ability at 6’11 to push the ball down the court and make a play, or take it all the way and score. In the post he is also a threat, as he can either take the defender to the rim or set his teammates up with a good pass.
Last year Jokic had a breakout season, averaging 16.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.9 APG, while also snagging thirty-nine double doubles, and six triple doubles. He is a special talent, and will look to build on his breakout season, next season.
6. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is listed as a 6’9 small forward but he's probably more like 7 foot. KD has a huge advantage over many people that guard him because he has the height of a center, and the skill-set of a guard. Last season, Durant averaged 25.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 1.6 BPG.
He has shown some flaws on the defensive end, but when Durant is locked in, he is very difficult to contain. He won his first Championship last season with the Warriors, where he earned NBA Finals MVP. KD is arguably a top 3 player in the league, and will be for years so long as he continues to stay healthy.
5. Kawhi Leonard
Last season, Kawhi averaged 25.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.8 SPG. Leonard and the Spurs could have potentially swept the Golden State Warriors, and gone on to the finals to beat a weaker Cleveland Cavaliers team. But, Zaza “Pacheap shot” injured Kawhi in Game 1, and the Warriors went on to breeze past the Spurs in that series.
With San Antonio acquiring Rudy Gay and getting back a healthy Kawhi Leonard they have a good chance at reaching the Western Conference Finals again. Only this time, if healthy, they will be able to compete against potentially the Golden State Warriors fully re-loaded. Leonard is truly a special talent, and arguably the second-best player in the NBA.
4. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is a 6’3 point guard, the 2016-2017 MVP, and the only player other than Oscar Robertson to average a triple double. Last season, Russ averaged 31.6 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 10.4 APG, 1.6 SPG while snagging forty-two triple doubles and sixty-two double doubles for the season. He is arguably the best point guard in the NBA.
Westbrook’s work ethic is the closest thing to Kobe’s. And with the Thunder acquiring Paul George, he will help Westbrook out and they have a chance to make the Finals next season. Even though George is not as good as Kevin Durant, they still have a similar team to the previous seasons of the Westbrook-Durant era.
3. Draymond Green
Draymond Green is the 2016-2017 Defensive Player of the Year, and he can play all five positions from point guard to center. That is unique in today's game, and he is the glue that holds the Warriors together. Last season, he averaged 10.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 7.0 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.4 BPG.
He is the playmaker, the elite rim protector, and the best defender on the team. He can play the 1-5 on the offensive and defensive end. Even Steve Kerr said last season that “Draymond Green is the only player that can guard the 1-5 spot.”
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a 6’11 small forward who also happens to be the 2016-2017 Most Improved Player of the Year. He can play all five positions on the offensive and defensive end. Last year, the Greek Freak averaged 22.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.9 BPG.
Led by the Greek Freak, the Bucks should be in the playoffs for many years to come. Giannis is arguably a top 4 player in the league and he is a special talent at 6’11 with a 7’4” wingspan. With the height of a center and skill set of a guard, Giannis could become the most unstoppable player in the league. Big things are in store for this young superstar.
1. LeBron James
LeBron James is still best player in the NBA. LeBron averaged 26.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 8.7 APG, and 1.2 SPG last season and reached his 7th consecutive Finals. Some people have been saying that Kevin Durant has “dethroned” James. But the facts still point against that notion.
LeBron is still the “King." He is only getting better and wiser as the years are going by. It should be interesting how he does without his “sidekick” Kyrie Irving next season.