Four Toronto Raptors Crack SI’s Top 100 Players List for 2019-20 Season
It is an annual tradition to rank the best the game has to offer.
This week, Sports Illustrated dropped its top-100 players list for the 2019-20 season, which included Giannis Antetokounmpo ranked at the one-spot and other big names such as LeBron James, Steph Curry, and James Harden fall within the top-10. It’s hard to dispute SI’s ranking and it is also hard to dispute the inclusion of four Raptors players.
Pascal Siakam leads the pack.
The reigning Most Improved Player of the Year comes in at the 24-spot after putting up big numbers last season and an impressive showing during the Raptors championship run in the 2019 postseason. Averaging 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game, while shooting 54.9-percent from the field and a much improved 36.9-percent from long range, Siakam’s numbers were even better in games Kawhi Leonard did not play, despite garnering greater attention from opposing defenses.
If last season was Siakam’s coming-out party, this upcoming year may see Siakam transform into an All-Star.
Close behind him is Kyle Lowry, occupying the no. 28 spot. A grossly underrated point guard, Lowry’s play was instrumental in the Raptors championship victory. His ability to make an impact without scoring cannot be emphasized enough. Lowry is the definition of a floor general and will play an important role this coming season in hopes of helping the Raptors repeat as champions.
The big Spaniard Marc Gasol is ranked no. 42 in the league, despite not being the offensive force he once was in his time in Memphis. Of course, age has put some restrictions on Gasol’s offensive game, but nevertheless, the 34-year old is one of the best passing big man the game has ever seen and remains one of the best defensive players in the entire NBA. Slowing down the likes of Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the postseason, Gasol is still one of the best centers in the entire league.
Lastly, the athletic freak Serge Ibaka falls at the no. 82 spot. Finding comfort in his role coming off the bench, Ibaka is able to bring energy like very few big men can. Still a very versatile defender and elite shot-blocker, Ibaka remains an important part of the Raptors short-term future.
Do you agree with SI’s list? What other Raptor do you believe deserves to be included in the top-100?