30. Kobe Bryant
The Black Mamba returns for his 19th NBA season coming off of Achilles and severe knee injuries and promises to impress. There is no doubt that even at the vintage age Kobe remains a top 30 player. Surrounded by limited talent, he will have to carry the burden of Laker Nation in attempt to bring the franchise back to a level of respectability. I don’t anticipate Kobe moving any higher on this list in his twilight years, but he will certainly use it as motivation.
29. Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade has dropped out of the top 20 range due to his lack of participation in the 82 game schedule. The past 3 summers he has elected to take trips to Germany in order to have the plasma knee procedure and has taken a toll on his career. Now a healthy Dwayne is a NBA MVP, a 20+ppg guy, and one of the most explosive, dynamic guards in the league. But an unhealthy, 31 year old recently married is only the 29th top ranked player.
28. Kenneth Faried
Kenneth Faried is an enthusiastic, energized, garbage man. He is the highest ranked garbage man in the NBA. A garbage man, in my definition is a player who does not have an offensive repertoire, who thrives off of energy and hustle. Kenneth does not have an outside game, nor is he creative in the post. What he can do is finish around the rim, grab every obtainable rebound, and bring tenacity on the defensive side. If he ever polishes his offense he can quickly move into the top 20.
27. DeMarcus Cousins
Boogie Cousins under the tutelage of Coach K really showed how dominant of a player he could be in FIBA competition. With Demarcus it has never been a question of talent or ability, rather a question of attitude and basketball IQ. He has steadily improved in each of those areas over the first few years of his career and this season he looks to be the leader on a very talented Sacramento Kings team. If he can stay afloat mentally DeMarcus will thrive and challenge Anthony Davis as the best young big man.
26. John Wall
John Wall being cut from the US National team will fuel him to outright destroy his competition this year. The cat-quick guard from Kentucky has been working hard on his mid range game knowing that if he can develop the consistency to drive and pull-up he will be in the DRose, Westbook conversation. John can go toe to toe athletically with any guard in the league including Westbrook and Rose. Wall must not only be the leader of this young Wizards team but he needs to take the next step offensively by strengthening his 3 point shooting percentage. Already in his young career he stands at 26 on my power rankings and is nowhere close to his prime. SCARY
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