More Than 100 Former NBA Players Were Asked Who the Best Current Player Is—Here's Who They Picked

More than 100 former NBA players gave their thoughts on who they think the best player in the league is today, who will be the best in five years, and more.

Lebron and KD shaking hands.

Image via Getty

Lebron and KD shaking hands.

The Athletic anonymously polled over 100 former NBA players with a variety of questions to get their thoughts on the current crop of league talent, the direction they think the NBA is going, who they would have wanted to be coached by, and more. 

When polled on who they think the best current player is, 44.2% voted for Kevin Durant, while 31.6% voted for LeBron James and 13.6% for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Durant is currently the league leader in scoring, averaging 29.4 points per game. Giannis is just below him, averaging 27.3.

Durant also topped the poll when the former players were asked which current player they would want taking the final shot if the game was on the line. 48.9% voted for Durant, 33.2% chose Steph Curry, and 7% went for Damian Lillard. Curry also just made history on Tuesday night against the Knicks when he surpassed Ray Allen to become the all-time leader in 3-pointers made with 2,974.

Results then varied when former players were asked who they thought would be the league’s best player five years from now. Antetokounmpo received a fair number of votes, accounting for 28.2%, but 20.2% of players said they didn’t know, while 16.4% voted for Luka Doncic. Durant was also looming on this poll, with 5.9% voting for him despite the Brooklyn forward being 33-years-old.

When asked which current player do they enjoy watching the most, Curry was the clear favorite, receiving 32.7% of the votes, while KD was right behind him at 16.8%, and James below him with 11.1%. These results correlate with a later question of whether or not they think the prevalence of three-point shots in the NBA is positive or negative to the game. 34.7% of players said it was very positive, with only 15.3% thinking it’s negative.

Other interesting results were that most former players would have wanted to be coached by Greg Popovich or Steve Kerr given the opportunity, almost all of them think the 1986-87 showtime Lakers would beat last year’s NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks, and many of them would like more travel calls and physical play to be allowed in the league today.

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