The 30 Best Players in the NBA Right Now, Ranked (2022-23)

With the NBA season around the corner and the rise of young stars, we ranked the best 30 players in the NBA as of right now prior to the 2022-23 campaign,

The Best 30 NBA Players
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

The Best 30 NBA Players

It’s that time of year. One of the most recurring topics in basketball discourse is debating who the best player in the NBA is. With the NBA season around the corner, it was time to bring back our yearly preseason rankings of the best players in the association.

From the start of the 2022 playoffs with Anthony Edwards’ near 40-piece in Memphis, the common theme last postseason was the revolution of the youth in the NBA. With the rise of young stars like Ja Morant, Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum, the next generation is starting to dethrone some of the stars that have been dominating the league for an extended period of time. We saw Tatum send home Kevin Durant first and then followed that by sending home the defending Finals MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. On the other side of the bracket we saw Luka send home the reigning Western Conference champions in the Phoenix Suns. 

With the rise of the youth and the amount of talent increasing in the association, some popular names dropped in our ranks. We’ve seen the decline of longtime superstars like James Harden, who we ranked No. 5 going into last season, and Chris Paul who we tabbed at No. 20. last October. Harden, Kyrie Irving Anthony Davis, and Damian Lillard were four notable players who dropped a few spots from our last preseason list. Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant and Brandon Ingram were notable names that made significant leaps from the previous rankings. 

Some notable omissions from our list that were on the edge of cracking the top 30 were Bam Adebayo, Rudy Gobert, LaMelo Ball, Darius Garland, and Jrue Holiday. With all that being said here are our top 30 best players in the league as of right now.

30. Chris Paul

Chris Paul Handshake 2021 Playoffs

29. Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards smiling during game.

28. Pascal Siakam

Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the net against Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers

27. Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown Celtics 76ers Dec 2021

26. Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram Pelicans Clippers 2021

25. Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine Bulls Dunk 2021

24. DeMar Derozan

DeMar DeRozan Nike Kobe 6 'BHM'

23. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal Wizards Pacers 2021

22. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

21. Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell at Media Day for the Cavs

20. Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton Nike Kobe 6 Protro PE

19. Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl Anthony Towns

18. Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Eastern Conference Finals

17. Devin Booker

Devin Booker

16. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard Nets Blazers 2021

15. Trae Young

Trae Young Adidas Trae Young 1 PE

14. James Harden

James Harden against the New York Knicks during the second half at Madison Square Garden

13. Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson

12. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis Free Throw Lakers 2021

11. Paul George

Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers reacts during a game

One of my dark horse contenders for the best record in the NBA this season is the Los Angeles Clippers. The reason is, their two franchise cornerstones are back and fully healthy with the return of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. When healthy, Paul George is one of the smoothest players in the NBA; with his slashing and ball-handling ability at 6’9; his offensive arsenal makes him a terror for any opposing defender. His highlight tapes this summer alone at the notorious Rico Hines runs in Los Angeles shows a PG that is more than capable of potentially being in the fringe-MVP conversation; which isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for PG13 who finished 3rd in MVP voting back in ‘18-’19. – Pierce Simpson


10. Kawhi Leonard

kawhi leonard

9. Ja Morant

Ja Morant smiles during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

8. Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics Playoffs

7. Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid NBA All Star Game 2022

6. Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic Jordan Luka 1

5. LeBron James

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors

4. Steph Curry

Steph Curry NBA playoffs

3. Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic Nike Air Zoom GT Jump PE

2. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant during a game against the Indiana Pacers in January

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo Three Bucks Sixers 2022

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