Curry's durability will decide Golden State's fate this season, and it could determine whether he holds off Damian Lillard as the league's consensus top point guard. George remains one of the most gifted and complete wings in the game, even if his shaky postseason play and candid interviews have earned him more than his share of critics.
Age will eventually send Paul tumbling down this list, but not yet: His masterful orchestrating ability continues to turn bad teams into good ones. Embed has correctly acknowledged the difficulty of dominating in the modern NBA as a low-post center, but he still needs to improve his shot selection and physique to fulfill his immense potential.
Robert, who returned to good health after his positive coronavirus test led the NBA to halt games in March, has seen his value dip slightly with teams preferring mobile big men rather than traditional rim-protectors. While Sikkim fizzled in the bubble, his length, athleticism and development as a lead scoring threat should make him a perennial all-star for years to come.
Washington's dysfunction has made Deal a forgotten man, but his natural scoring ability and improved play making would make him an easy fit on virtually any contender. Lowry might have been a late bloomer, but he is aging gracefully as the driving force behind the Raptors' steady success despite significant roster changes.
Mornings will miss the start of the season as he recovers from knee surgery, but his floor-spacing, scoring instincts and rebounding ability make him an ideal sidekick for Luka Ionic. A worthy first-time all-star in 2020, Saxons is an efficient, skilled, physical and relatively mobile big man who even inherited some passing chops from his father, Armadas.
Young's popularity and per-game stats vastly exceed his impact on wins and losses, but Atlanta finally got him some proven offensive weapons to work with this off season. NuCivic's overall skills remain underrated by the masses, but building an elite offense around his more traditional shot profile has proven difficult.
The Kings didn't hesitate to sign Fox to a max rookie extension this off season, locking in the quicksilver point guard as their franchise centerpiece. Something of a forgotten man because he played just eight games last season, the Bosnian Beast has recovered from a serious leg injury and should help lift Portland in the standings.
Walker injected a much-needed dose of joy after the failed Kylie Irving experience, but his troublesome knee could be the X-factor for the Celtics' 2021 title hopes. Radio's stock has plummeted during two injury-plagued seasons marred by rumors of his unhappiness, but a strong contract year could make him a top free agency target next summer.
Aldridge remains a reliable source of offense and a capable defender, but he would be better suited to playing a complementary role on a contender at this stage of his career. An efficient front court scorer who doesn't need to dominate the ball, Gallantry cashed in as a free agent after a successful one-year pit stop with the Thunder.
Oxford's fit alongside Joel Embed in Philadelphia was unexpectedly terrible, but a move back to center for the Thunder should help resuscitate his perceived value. The reigning sixth man of the year was a shell of himself in the bubble, but he should thrive as a high-efficiency finisher alongside Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Maturity issues have masked Anton's talent at times, but Chris Paul's arrival should set up the athletic center for a career year. The burly Adams will form a “Bash Brothers” pairing with Zion Williamson in New Orleans after spending his first seven seasons in Oklahoma City.
The low-key Annoy is a textbook 3-and-D wing and could emerge as a most improved player candidate if he continues to make steady progress in his fourth season. Russell's play left a lot to be desired during his brief stint in Golden State, and a midseason trade to Minnesota has given him every opportunity to sink or swim as a lead playmaker.
After wasting last season with a 25-game drug suspension, the phenomenally athletic Collins must reestablish his place in Atlanta's core or risk becoming a trade piece. An ill-timed foot injury kept Tragic from making his mark on the Finals, but the crafty veteran point guard played at a high level throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
With Boleyn Bogdanovi gone and Victor Radio battling injuries, Warren's career-high scoring average was a key factor in keeping the Pacers' offense from falling off a cliff. While Richardson's efficiency dipped in Philadelphia's cramped offense, it's reasonable to project a career year from him as Luka Ionic's back court mate.
Lopez played heavy minutes on the NBA's best defense, but his shooting took a big step back last year and his limited mobility remains an issue in the playoffs. Desperate for shooting, Philadelphia moved quickly to acquire Stephen Curry's younger brother, who shot a blistering 45.2 percent on three-pointers last season.
A newfound darling of the advanced stats' community after his productive stretch run for the Pistons, the drafted Wood was a major off season winner thanks to a $41 million contract from the Rockets. In Kylie Irving's absence last season, Dinwiddie earned some faint all-star buzz with his ability to create a shot and run the Nets' offense.
Dumped by the Pistons at the deadline, the lumbering Drummond struggles to make a winning impact despite his gaudy stats and elite rebounding skills. Williams, a perennial sixth man of the year candidate, lost his trusted pick-and-roll partner when Montreal Harrell left for the Lakers.
With Seth Curry traded and Kris taps Mornings injured, look for Hard away to pick up the scoring slack next to Luka Ionic in Dallas. Ellen SF6-6185 2020POR 062.330.330.33 Malachi Flynn PG6-1185 2020TOR 092.220.781.22 Ike Fontaine SG6-4210 1998MEM 261.830.830.67 Ed Maya GF6-4210 1950TCB 1153.732.600.87 Mark Hendrickson F6-9220 1996CLE, NON, PHL, SAC 41143.342.770.55 Brian Quintet PF6-8235 1989DAL, NYK 41383.431.620.55 Play Thompson G6-6215 2011GOS 961519.503.462.30 Kyle Weaver SG6-6200 2008OKC, UTAH 3734.972.161.63 Guy Williams F6-9200 1983GOS, WAS 2262.621.270.35All content © 2000-2021 Realm, L.L.C.
Footnotes Wizards became an international phenomenon this season after drafting Run Chimera with the ninth overall pick in 2019. Chimera is a welcome distraction for Wizards fans as the team deals with the season-long absence of $40-million-a-year point guard John Wall, who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury.
Members of the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards discussed how they're trying to maintain a home-court advantage this NBA season without having fans in their own arenas. Trading John Wall for Russell Westbrook is an all-in gamble for the Wizards, who are staring down the prospect of All-Star guard Bradley Deal becoming a free agent in 2022, but it was a necessary risk.
A blockbuster trade Wednesday night will reportedly send Russell Westbrook packing for the second straight season. The NBA has lost another of its 50 greatest players, and the Washington Wizards were mourning the death of Was Unsold on Tuesday after he passed away at age 74.
One of the more jarring developments of the Washington Wizards season is how dependent the team has become on 35-year-old center Ian Tahini. If you want an example of that, check out the latest ESPN rankings of the top 100 players in the NBA, that has Damian Lillard (7th overall) ahead of Stephen Curry (8th overall).
There may be some recency bias going on here, based on the fact that Lillard was named the MVP of the bubble and Curry missed nearly the entire season with a broken hand. In fact, it’s Curry’s injury according to ESPN that knocks him below Lillard heading into the season.
If he can stay healthy, we’ll find out the floor for a Curry-led offense lacking a second plus scorer after Play Thompson’s Achilles injury ended his season before it began. Without Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Warriors will be more dependent on Curry for shot creation than ever before.
Neither Lillard nor Curry are actually the top-rated point guards on the list, that distinction goes to Luka Ionic, fresh off a playoff series in which he averaged 31.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists. Ionic is certainly the next big thing, and Lillard appears to be peaking, it’s on Curry to prove that he’s still at the level of a two-time MVP winner this season if he wants to climb back up this list in 2021.
It included six NBA championships, 14 All-Star Games, two Olympic gold medals and three separate retirements. We took a look back through each of Jordan’s 15 seasons in the NBA and ranked his best teammates, based solely on how they played during their time with M.J. Other accomplishments these players had in the NBA were ignored because we’re only interested in how much they contributed to Jordan’s teams.
This list only includes Jordan’s NBA teammates, so the Olympic “Dream Team” doesn’t count, neither do his pals from North Carolina, the Birmingham Barons or the Tune Squad (sorry, Bugs Bunny). Duke legend Christian Latter was teammates with Jordan on two different occasions: as a minor part of the 1992 “Dream Team” and as a starter with the Washington Wizards.
Latter is known as a fierce competitor, and in his two seasons with Jordan in Washington, he averaged about 8 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Latter and M.J. were the only Wizards starters that season who were in their 30s, and they certainly had more history together than any others Jordan played with at the end of his career.
NBA journeyman Chris Whitney only got to spend a single season alongside Michael Jordan, but he made the most of it. It was the only year in 12 seasons of NBA service that Whitney averaged double figures in scoring.
But Hughes was definitely one of Jordan’s most reliable Wizards teammates that season, shooting 47 percent from the floor for the year, which was the best mark of his career. Another man who had history with both Jordan and LeBron James, Ty Due spent two years with Jordan in Washington and, later, coached James to an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Seven-foot big man Will Purdue spent six seasons alongside Jordan in Chicago, winning three titles with him, mostly coming off the bench. Purdue’s best season with Jordan come to his last as his teammate, 1994-95, when he started 78 games, averaging 8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and shooting better than 55 percent from the floor.
Purdue’s overall numbers while playing with Jordan aren’t much to write home about, but he was there for that entire first Bulls run. You have to feel for Dave Corrine because he was Jordan’s center for his first five seasons in the league but just missed out on any of the championships in Chicago.
Corrine played with Jordan from 1984 to 1989, averaging a respectable 8.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, mostly coming off the bench. The sample size of Jordan’s time playing with Sam Vincent is smaller than many combos on this list, but there were clearly sparks when they were briefly on the same offense.
Vincent (pictured below during his time with Orlando) joined the Bulls via trade in the middle of the 1987-88 season and was gone after the 1988-89 campaign. In his only full season of playing with him, Vincent contributed 9.4 points and 4.8 assists per game, the latter of which was second on the team only behind Jordan.
One of Jordan’s longtime teammates in his early days in Chicago, John Parson was part of his first three championship teams. Power forward Sidney Green came into the league a year before Jordan and only got to play two seasons with him in Chicago before they parted ways.
Green never won a title with or without Jordan, but you get the sense that if they’d played together longer they could have been a great offensive duo. The first future Hall of Fame that Jordan teamed up with in the NBA was George Mervin.
In just his third year in the league, future NBA champion “Rip” Hamilton got the privilege of playing alongside Jordan in Washington. Quentin Daily was a rising star with the Bulls right before Jordan arrived in 1984, and he continued to impress in his two seasons playing alongside the future icon.
For those campaigns, Daily averaged 16.1 points per game, strictly coming off the bench. He was a starter before Jordan got there and was relegated to sixth-man status after, but it didn’t diminish his offensive numbers.
A five-time NBA champion himself, Ron Harper was a big part of Jordan’s second run in Chicago, where he won three consecutive rings alongside No. As part of the starting lineup during that historic Bulls era, Harper’s per-game stats pale in comparison to his teammates, but he was still a reliable threat.
A fellow North Carolina Tar Heel, Jerry Stack house holds the distinction of being the only teammate of Jordan’s to ever outscore him for an entire season. During Jordan’s final season, Stack house actually led the Wizards in scoring, chipping in 21.5 points per game, compared to M.J.’s 20.0.
That fact alone ensures him a solid ranking on this list, but Stack house also averaged 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game that year and played nearly 40 minutes each night, taking some slack for the 39-year-old legend. Before he coached arguably the best shooting team in NBA history in Golden State, Steve Kerr was a lights-out shooter for Jordan’s Bulls.
Kerr won three titles alongside Jordan and was a mainstay of the box scores during his second run in Chicago. In the 1997 NBA Finals, Jordan famously passed the ball to Kerr with seconds remaining, trusting his teammate to hit the championship-winning shot, which he did.
Wool ridge, a 6-foot-9-inch forward, put up very good numbers in his two seasons with Jordan. Wool ridge was a very accurate shooter, and he led the team when Jordan missed much of the 1985-86 season with a broken foot.
He’s one of the few guys Jordan ever played with who could keep up with his scoring output, even if their styles didn’t really mesh. Australian center Luck Langley was one of the biggest guys Jordan ever teamed with, and he was a massive part of his second three-peat in Chicago.
The veteran presence on Jordan’s first three title teams in Chicago, Bill Cartwright was also a hugely reliable low-post threat. In the five seasons he spent with His Fairness, Cartwright averaged 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Jordan’s career and that of Charles Oakley spanned nearly all the same years, and they played together at the beginning and end of each. Probably the best sixth man that Jordan ever played with, Croatian forward Toni Yukon was a major part of his second run in Chicago that produced three championships.
Rodman wasn’t much concerned with scoring, but he was arguably the greatest pure rebounder in NBA history, which happened to be the area that was probably Jordan’s weakest. Complete with his signature goggles, Horace Grant was the best big man that Jordan ever teamed with in terms of consistent, all-around production and longevity as partners.
During the 1991-92 championship season, Grant averaged a double-double and led the Bulls in rebounds, blocks and shooting percentage. A Hall of Fame on his own merits, Scottie Pippin is the only player who was part of all six of Jordan’s championship teams, and the only guy who proved he could match his production nearly every step of the way.
With Jordan and Pippin, the Bulls had as good a one-two punch as any team in NBA history. Pippin consistently ranked second in team scoring to Jordan during their years together and outdid No.