In 25 years — and that’s a heavy dose of existential dread for people of a certain age — the NBA will celebrate its 100th season and honor the 100 greatest players in league history.
Granthshala just went through a time consuming, laborious and rewarding process 75 best players ranking As the league celebrates its 75th anniversary this season.
Eleven current players made our list of the 75 Greatest Players of the Year, but in 25 years, more players from today will make the list as they build strong resumes – think Luka Doncic and Damien Lillard.
Let’s take a look at 12 of today’s players who didn’t make the list, but will (or could) make the 100 list in 2046:
Entering his seventh season, Jokic is an MVP, a three-time All-NBA selection, and a three-time All-Star. By the time his career was over, he would go down in NBA history as one of the most versatile scoring, rebounding, and passing big men.
One of the brightest scorers of his generation, Lillard is a big-time shotmaker, scoring at least 20 points in eight of his nine seasons, including a career-high 30 per game in 2019-20.
At just 22 years old, Doncic is yet another part of the spectacular development of European players in the NBA. Three years into his NBA career, Doncic is nowhere near the best version of himself, with two All-Star appearances and two All-NBA selections. He will continue to lead the all-time triple-double list.
Embiid is impressive as a big man because of his ability to score, rebound, defend and shoot a reliable 3-ball in the league today. He averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and one steal last season – the third time he’s been an All-NBA selection.
Williamson can score (27 points per game in only his second NBA season) and he is proficient at 60% off the field in his two seasons. The biggest question before Williamson: Can he stay healthy for long?
Four seasons into his career, Tatum has the potential to become the greatest scorer in NBA history. He is the second youngest player to score 60 points in regular season games, the third youngest player to score 50 in a playoff game, and more points than Kobe Bryant in his first four seasons.
Four NBA seasons, four seasons at least 20 points per game. Mitchell is another high-scoring guard with his best years ahead of him. He is a two-time All-Star to All-NBA status.
Green would be an interesting case study. The rare second rounder to make a Hall of Fame career, Greene may end up as another player who didn’t impress the game primarily with his scoring, but still remained a top-100 player. His versatile defense and playmaking made him a significant contributor to three Golden State Championship teams.
Irving is another leading scoring guard who has an arsenal of creative shotmaking skills (along with the ability to handle the ball) at rim, mid-range and 3-point range. He holds a title, one of the greatest shots in Finals history and is a three-time All-NBA and seven-time All-Star selection.
Thompson is coming out of two missed seasons due to injury so much remains to be determined. But he is a three-time champion, five-time All-Star, and two-time All-NBA team member and was a major force in elevating the importance of the 3-point shot.
Michael Porter Jr.
Porter could emerge as one of the finest offensive players of his generation. His shot is very good and he is just 22 years old. There’s a long way to go, but he has potential and a strong start – 19 points (54.2% off the field, 44.5% on 3s) and 7.3 rebounds per game.
History can look favorably on Bosch, whose career was cut short by deadly blood clots. He was a top-10 scorer with Toronto and then changed his game to become a key part of the Big 3 in Miami, where he won two championships, showcasing his prowess at both ends.
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We don’t know who it could be, we just know he’s out. In 10 years, he would be a lottery pick and, after a 15-year career that ended in 2046, he would amass an all-time great, a Hall of Fame career. LeBron James was just 9 years old when the team honored the 50th anniversary in 1996.