SI.com is proud to offer our list of the Top 100 Players of 2015, an exhaustive exercise that seeks to define who will be the NBA's best this season.
SI.com is proud to offer our list of the Top 100 NBA players of 2015, an exhaustive exercise that seeks to define who will be the league's best in the 2014-15 season.
Given the wide variety of candidates involved and the deep analytical resources available, no single, definitive criterion was used to form this list. Instead, rankings were assigned based on a fluid combination of subjective assessment and objective data. This is an earnest attempt to evaluate each player in a vacuum. As a result, future prospects beyond this season did not play a part in the ranking process, while the influence of team context was minimized to whatever extent was possible. Our sole concern was how players are likely to perform this season alone.
Injuries and injury risks are thus an inevitable component of that judgment, and players who are expected to miss the entire season -- such as Pacers forward Paul George – were excluded. Past performance (postseason included) weighed heavily in our assessment, with a skew toward the recent. First-year players -- including delayed rookies like Sixers center Nerlens Noel -- were not included for that reason, among others. A predictive quality also came into play with the anticipated improvement of certain younger players, as well as the possible decline of aging veterans. Salary was not taken into consideration, even in those instances below where a contract is mentioned. Otherwise, players were ordered based on their complete games -- offense and defense both, along with everything in between.
Naturally, rounding out the top 100 included some tough calls. The list of notable omissions is dotted with players both well regarded and largely deserving, though lines ultimately had to be drawn somewhere -- in many cases based on extremely minor differences. With those exclusions squared away, dive into our list. For those interested in understanding more about the ranking process and the limitations of this exercise in general, make a quick detour here.
Please feel free to take a look back to SI.com’s Top 100 Players of 2014 list here. This year’s list includes each player’s ranking from last year for comparison purposes.