September 4, 2012 in Professional
ESPN.com is doing its annual ranking of the top 500 players and incoming rookies in the NBA. You can see the experts who voted on the rankings here and follow the#NBARank hashtag on Twitter to discuss/debate the selections.
Jordan Crawford is the highest rated player among Michiganders revealed so far in ESPN’s ranking of the top 500 players and incoming rookies in the NBA this season (players 200-500 have been revealed already, with more being unveiled this week). He came in at No. 218 on the list. He ranked at No. 210 on the list last season. Crawford slipping some probably doesn’t have much to do with his game — his shooting numbers were improved slightly from his first season in the league to his second and he had a more steady role with the Washington Wizards. But with an influx of talented rookies as well as other players who may have had bigger statistical improvements, that probably nudged Crawford down just a bit. At any rate, playing on an improved Washington team, whether he starts at shooting guard or moves into an instant offense role off the bench, Crawford should have a chance to make a bigger leap in the rankings next season.
Former Michigan State player Shannon Brown also fell in the rankings, coming in at No. 235 after being ranked No. 181 last season. Brown went from being an energy guy, defender and shooter off the bench for the Lakers, a role he was pretty good in, to an expanded role on a worse team last season with Phoenix. The Suns traded Steve Nash in the offseason and appear to be rebuilding some, but they did add a dynamic rookie point guard and excellent passer in Kendall Marshall, so that could make Brown an attractive target in the open floor with his speed, athleticism and finishing ability.
Previously in #NBARank:
- Juwan Howard, Darius Morris, Walker Russell, Alan Anderson just make the cut
- Earl Boykins, Willie Green and Draymond Green check in