For three years, Seth Partheno, one of the leading advanced stats in the NBA, has ranked the NBA’s best players.
Let’s see where he puts Phoenix Sun, But please remember: this is not a ranking. He’s not saying Mikael Bridges is #45 or #55 or that Deandre Ayton is #43 or #59. All he is saying is that they are both in the 40-60 range.
Introducing Seth in his own words…
Over a long period of NBA history, across a variety of metrics, I have found that there is a relatively set number of players performing at different levels in any given season.
- About five players per season perform at the “Supermax” level, which is 35 percent or more of the team’s salary cap, as well as adding significantly to the team’s championship equity.
- Another 10-15 perform at the “Veteran Maximum” level, which costs 30 percent or more.
- Another 20-25 players perform at a level justifying “Rookie Max” at 25 percent or more.
- Between 30-35, about 20 percent of the cap is produced.
- The other 50 to 75 offer some additional championship equity on top of their “everyday” production, but only a modest amount.
Watch this for a more lengthy explanation of what goes into his thinking: Athletic / Seth Partno’s Player Level
He narrows it all down to five levels, and this year the levels break down as follows:
- Tier 1: 1-8
- Tier 2: 9-19 (Sun: Devin Booker, Chris Paul in mini-tier 15-19)
- Tier 3: 20-40
- Tier 4: 41-84 (Sun: Deandre Ayton, Michal Bridges in the mini-tier of 41-60)
- Tier 5: 85 to 125 (Sun: Jay Crowder, Cam Johnson)
Since there are 450 players on the rosters each year, this ranking covers the top 25% of players in the NBA – which equates to about 4 players per team when evenly distributed around the league.
The Sons are second in the league with 6 players named for these rankings (not to mention Cam Payne, while Cam Johnson kinda took his place).
Only winners of last year’s Eastern Conference Boston Celtics (8) There are more players on this list than Sun.
Let’s take a little deeper look at each of the players listed…
CP3 and Book:
Chris Paul And Devin Booker can be victims of a week long sons Bad stretch at the worst possible moment. I had at least one sub-level high beach seasonBut Dallas Keeping Phoenix at 104.1 points per 100 assets in the final five games of their second-round series has me a little apprehensive about the two main offensive cogs of the Sons. In particular, the combination of Paul’s age and a seeming tendency to shorten playoff runs raises concerns about how best to maintain his regular-season dominance against the kind of rangy, athletic defenders who would Top teams can throw at him. (For the record: Paul was a legitimate MVP candidate in my eyes before he suffered a thumb injury in February).
From Parton’s point of view, Booker used to be in the lower tier (20-40 range) but has moved to another level entirely this year. CP3 is still firmly established on this ranking in the 9-19ish range for the third year in a row, and probably the 17th year in a row in reality.
This ranking is basically in line with All-NBA voting by the media. Devin Booker and Chris Paul were both named to one of the three teams, meaning that the media as a whole saw Booker and CP3 as one of the top 15 players in the league. Buc made the first team, while Paul made the third team.
But that playoff run really hurt the Sun’s perception in a number of ways. Not only are the Suns not considered a real contender with their current roster, but players are being downgraded for the playoffs overall.
Michal and DA:
Seth’s words on DA:
deandre ayton The oddity of his contractual status at the end of his rookie deal deserves a word here. His inability to progress to Tier 3 or above in the past year shows why I thought marvel It was wise not to offer him the maximum extension before the season. However, he stays true to that range, with the most obvious area of improvement is to play with more consistent force. He made approximately one free throw attempt for every five field goal attempts, a ratio that placed him 135th out of 228 minute-qualified players, per Basketball-Reference. It is dominated by the bigwigs, with 18 out of the top 25 listed as Center or PF/C. between centers, only Nikola Vusevic, i am bamba, Bobby Portiso, Al Horford And then touch metu There were fewer, all of which made up for the lack of free throws with high 3-point effort rates.
Ayton displayed it only intermittently last season, after showing signs of desired aggression for the most part of Phoenix’s 2021 finals. Still, he shoots more than 63 percent off the floor, has a better-than-solid internal defensive presence and will be just 24 next season. Even if his current tier leaves him slightly below the level where his output would justify the “fun max” of 25 percent available to players coming out of rookie contracts, that’s a lot. Not much. His age, still considerable developmental upside and the prospect of replacing him would greatly spoil the Suns, makes it hard to justify Phoenix’s reticence to offer such a deal purely in basketball terms.
Seth didn’t have anything special to say about Michal Bridges, but he did list him among several equal-level players who fill similar roles.
Seth’s comments on grouping:
Over the years I’ve practiced this, either on the team side or publicly, the line between Tier 4 and Tier 3 has been some “role-player barrier” through which players who don’t act as offensive cogs. They may not pass. There are exceptions, most notably the best defensive center and/or Drummond Green, because they are the kind of players who ensure an above-average team defense on their own. Not to spoil things, but in addition greenOnly Bam Adebayo And Rudy Goberte currently eligible.
According to Seth, only three players have entered the top three tiers, among those who simply can’t make anything for themselves. To get into Seth’s Top 40, DA and Mikael will need to grow at least a little bit aggressively.
Mob and Cam:
This list is very long, but I broke down the section listing only two Sun players. The group of 40 is ranked here by EPM number (estimated plus minus). Jay Crowder and Cam Johnson are ranked 12th and 19th on this metric.
Read about Seth’s ranking here: Athletic / Seth Parton’s Player Level
What do you say, fans of the Sun?
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