ESPN Ranking: Banchero higher than Valanciunas, Westbrook slips

2022-09-20 18:10

Jonas Valanciunas placed 84th on ESPN's Ranking while Paolo Banchero is 82nd. Domantas Sabonis is the highest-ranked European so far with the 47th spot on the list. Overall, there are 8 European players in the 100-25 range of the ranking.

Credit: USA TODAY Sports, AFP - Scanpix
Credit USA TODAY Sports, AFP - Scanpix

Every year, the US sports giant ESPN releases its NBA player ranking that lists the Top 100 players in the top basketball league in the world.

Composed of over 200 reporters, editors, producers, and analysts, the recipients of the survey are asked to rank players based on their predicted contributions for the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season both quality and quantity-wise.

ESPN released the first 75 players on the list. 8 Europeans have made the ranking with Bogdan Bogdanovic being the first player mentioned (100th place, 67th in last year's ranking).

Jonas Valančiūnas

Jonas  Valančiūnas
Position: C
Age: 30
Height: 211 cm
Weight: 116 kg
Birth place: Utena, Lithuania

Nikola Vucevic was the highest-ranked European player last year within the 25-100 range. This year the Montenegrin center slipped to second place (57th, 2021 - 39th) with Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis being the top-ranked in this range (47th, 2021 - 40th).

This year's no. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero comes in at 82nd place. Interestingly, he is higher on the list than Jonas Valanciunas (84th, 2021 - 94th) or Kristaps Porzingis, who slipped from 50th place in 2021 to 86th spot this year.

Out of the 8 European names in this range, Valanciunas was the only one to improve his position in the ranking.

European players in ESPN ranking's 100-25 range:

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic - 100th (67th place in 2021's ranking)
  • Jusuf Nurkic - 88th (74th)
  • Kristaps Porzingis - 86th (50th)
  • Jonas Valanciunas - 84th (94th)
  • Paolo Banchero - 82nd
  • Clint Capela - 79th (55th)
  • Nikola Vucevic - 57th (39th)
  • Domantas Sabonis - 47th (40th)

While Bogdanovic's fall from 67th place to the 100th seems big, there are much bigger slips in the ranking. For example, Ben Simmons fell by 48 spots from 28th last year to 76th this year. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook sits in the 65th spot, having been 29th the previous year.

Places 25th through 11th will be released on Wednesday, September 21st, while the Top 10 will be released in two separate top fives one day after another on Thursday and Friday.


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