The Ringer’s Top 125 NBA players list: Four OKC Thunder players appear
The Ringer’s NBA staff recently published their latest version of the top 125 NBA players. The latest rankings were published on March 14.
The trio of Rob Mahoney, J. Kyle Mann and Michael Pina helped update the list based on recent results as the 2022-23 regular season nears its end.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have four players who made The Ringer’s top 125 players. A pretty high amount for the youngest team in the league which is in the mix of the Play-In tournament race.
Let’s take a look at the four Thunder players who made the list and what they had to say about each entrant.
No. 12: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Ringer on SGA’s career season:
“No player has broken out this season quite like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, whose barrage of floaters, layups, and difficult pull-up jumpers are as idiosyncratic as they are unstoppable. Leading a small-market rebuild as their 24-year-old veteran, SGA’s per-game numbers are across-the-board silly, from the first quarter through crunch time…
He’s historically proficient driving the ball and unafraid to set up green teammates in the earliest stages of their own development. Instead of wondering whether he’ll make his first All-Star team, the better way to gauge SGA’s remarkable season is to guess how many MVP ballots his name will be printed on.”
No. 75: Josh Giddey
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Ringer on Giddey’s sophomore season:
“Giddey plays as if he has 360-degree vision. When he’s away from the ball, he has the awareness to cut into space. This skill is vital for him since he’s yet to earn the respect of defenses when spotting up behind the arc. However, his shot is starting to come around after working with heralded shooting coach Chip Engelland on tweaking his form, leading to an excellent percentage from behind the arc and the line midway through his sophomore season.
If Giddey continues to shoot well, it could unlock new dimensions of his game as a primary initiator since he is already a manipulative ball handler who punishes defenses with clean footwork and mean change-of-pace maneuvers to get into the paint. Though he lacks the elite athleticism and bursts of typical elite shot creators, he can make big-brain passes all over the court or score with efficiency inside.”
No. 108: Jalen Williams
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
The Ringer on Williams’ impressive rookie campaign:
“Besides Paolo Banchero, no rookie has been more reliable, creative, and confident than Williams, the tentacle-armed Thunder wing who makes more shots than he misses, moves exceptionally well off the ball, and plays with his head on a swivel.
It’s easy to get overly excited about what a 21-year-old’s present-day production might suggest about his future, but even after taking that into account, Williams looks like a potential All-Star.”
No. 118: Lu Dort
Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
The Ringer on Dort:
“Dort established himself through his point-of-attack defense. He’s able to cause plenty of havoc on that end, but he can do so without the risk of being out of position. In fact, it’s the opposite. In any given situation, on any given play, just a little extra effort could lead to a player getting their foot and/or hip ahead of the ball handler or extending and getting a fingertip on the ball. The likelihood is often low, and as a result, you see players making that risk-versus-reward calculation and moving on to the next play. Dort never does that…
For all of the defensive joy that Dort brings, it can be tough to find ways to keep him effective on offense. He rarely lacks confidence, but on offense, that can lead to frustrating results. For someone as strong as he is and who so willingly mixes it up, he’s a surprisingly ho-hum finisher in traffic, an uninspiring playmaker, and a meh-to-OK scorer from 3. Luckily for him, he’s surrounded by so many terrific young handlers and creators that the expectations on that front are low. The Thunder are building something terrifying, and I expect Dort to continue to be a key facet of that.”