The NBArank is back for its 12th season, counting the league’s best players.

Where are the MVP nominees like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic? What about rookies and young stars ready to make the jump to the top tier of NBA players?

- Advertisement -

To get the final NBArank prediction, we asked our panel of judges to vote on pairs of players: LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry vs. Ja Morant, Luka vs. Jason Tatum… and the list goes on.

- Advertisement -

We asked: “Which player will be the best in the 2022-2023 season?” Voters had to predict what they expected from each player during the season.

- Advertisement -

We have already identified players at numbers 100-26, 25-11 and an unexpected number 10-6. Today, our ranking concludes with the top five superstars in the league.

Note. An Sportzshala NBArank panel of more than 200 reporters, editors, producers and analysts has been asked to rank players based on their predicted contributions – quality and quantity – in the 2022-2023 season alone.

No. 5: Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors | PG

NBA Ranking 2021: 5

If the Finals MVP was a piece of equipment missing from Curry’s argument as one of the greatest players of all time, it’s now taken care of as Steph led the Warriors to their fourth title in six years en route to earning the elusive accolade. Heading into training camp, Curry is in good shape and ready to pick up where he left off, sources told Sportzshala.

Why hasn’t his rating changed?

Curry is in the same position as at the start of last season. Averaged 25.5 points per game on 43.7% shooting, Curry by no means had a season at a low level – he was an early MVP contender – but an ankle injury kept him out of the final month of the regular season. . In his absence, his teammates stepped up and kept the Warriors afloat to secure a third-place finish for the West. Perhaps this – in addition to lower MVP contenders growing lower – is the reason why he is in the same place in our rankings.

One huge question for 2022-23

Can Steph and the Warriors do it again? Despite the strength of their All-Star core and supporting roster, their title hopes mostly rest on Curry’s shoulders. As stated above, Curry is said to be ready to start this season the same way he finished last. And despite growing speculation about Curry’s age (he’ll be 35 before the end of the regular season) and how big his remaining window is, his performance suggests he can continue to play at that level for the foreseeable future.

Why could he end season #1

Based on Curry’s 2021-22 campaign, there’s no obvious reason to believe he won’t be able to finish this season as the #1 player in the league. Barring an extended absence, Curry should be able to put in a strong, full season in which he can win another championship and possibly more individual equipment.

— Kendra Andrews

No. 4: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers | FROM

NBA Ranking 2021: 7

After two straight narrow runners-up to Jokic in MVP voting, Embiid is once again the favorite for the award as the anchor of what should be one of the best teams in the league.

Why did he move up three places?

Embiid dominated last season, averaging 30.6 points per game, and led the league in scoring for the first time in his career. The center has averaged at least 30 points per game all season since Moses Malone in 1981-82.

Embiid also averaged the fewest minutes of any player to win the scoring title, with 33.8 per game, beating the 34.2 set by Curry in 2016 and 2021. is one of the most impressive rim quarterbacks in the league.

One huge question for 2022-23

At this point in his career, the only question left for Embiid isn’t necessarily up to him: Can he make it through the postseason healthy?

By this point in his career, he had suffered one bout of unfortunate injuries after another, including a fractured face and a sprained thumb during the Philadelphia Playoffs in the spring. When Embiid is healthy and available, there can’t be a more dominant player in the NBA today. Having played a career-high 68 games last season, Embiid is looking forward to a healthy regular season and playoffs this time around. If he does, the sky is the limit.

Why could he end season #1

After years of having to make up for the shortcomings of the imperfect roster around him, Embiid will be surrounded by a team built to optimize for the first time this season. his strengths. This will only increase Embiid’s chances of claiming that elusive MVP award and taking Philadelphia to a deep playoff that’s not on his resume.

If things like that happen, he could rise to the top of that list.

— Tim Bontemps

No. 3: Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks | PG

NBA Ranking 2021: four

After spending the off-season in the national team of Slovenia, Doncic for the first time in several years must come to the training camp in a game form. When conditioning doesn’t matter, Doncic is one of the most dominant forces in the NBA.

Why did he move up one place

At 23, Doncic has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is in the top ranks of superstars, consistently selected to the All-NBA and an MVP candidate. He cemented that status last season when he was the only All-Star on a Dallas team that made it to the West Finals.

Despite a calf strain that kept him out of the first three games of the first round, Doncic led Dallas in scoring, rebounding and assists 10 times during the playoffs, the most in playoff history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. one postseason.

He’s arguably the best offensive weapon in the NBA, a goal-scoring and title-assisting threat that breaks down the defense with a combination of strength, skill, and wits. He is also a relentless opponent, as evidenced by his memorable loss in the top-seeded Game 7 of the Suns when he single-handedly matched Phoenix’s first-half scoring.

One huge question for 2022-23

How far can Doncic lead a team that doesn’t have another All-Star? The Dallas roster was dealt a major blow when Jalen Brunson, the Mavs’ second-best player last season, left for New York on a free transfer. Mavs management is confident that Brunson’s scoring void can be filled by the return of Tim Hardaway Jr. from injury and the transfer of Christian Wood through a trade.

But in a league filled with star duos, Doncic carries the same burden as everyone else. Doncic has led the league in utilization rates over the past two seasons, a trend likely to continue into the 2022–23 season.

Why could he end season #1

Doncic has finished fourth, sixth, and fifth in MVP voting over the past three seasons, respectively. This could be the season that Doncic rises to the top of the ballot, especially if he gets off to a good start and Dallas is in contention for a top-four spot in the competitive West.

The Mavs went 32-12 – a 60-win pace – with Doncic in shape after he returned from a three-week absence to heal a sprained ankle and work on his fitness.

— Tim McMahon

No. 2: Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets | FROM

NBA Ranking 2021: 6

Despite Jokic averaging 31.0 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists, the Nuggets were no match for Golden State in the first round. But with the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr expected this season, Denver is looking to get back into the fray with their two-time reigning MVP in the lead.

Why did he move up four places?

How did Jokic continue the MVP season? He got better. Jokic became just the 13th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP awards, and he did so in a historic campaign. He is the first player to average 25 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists in a season and the first to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and field goal percentage.

Jokic defeated Embiid for the MVP award, posting the highest batting average (32.8) in a season in NBA history. Jokic had 19 triple-doubles — the most by a center since Wilt Chamberlain — and led Denver to one more win than the previous season despite the absence of Murray and Porter Jr.

One huge question for 2022-23

The Nuggets are back intact, but can Jokic and the new roster return to the form that helped Denver reach the Finals in the West in the 2020 bubble? Murray missed all of last season with an ACL tear, and Porter Jr. has been out since early November with back surgery.

The Nuggets welcome the return of both, but also went through some offseason changes, including the addition of Kentavius ​​Caldwell-Pope, Bruce Brown, and the trade of Monte Morris to the Washington Wizards to free up playing time for Bones Highland’s new sophomore point guard.

Why could he end season #1

If he’s managed a historic season without Murray and Porter Jr, what can he do with them on the court? Jokic double-teamed 191 times last season, the most in the league. With a full roster around him, Jokic won’t face the same attention from the defense.

While his scoring may decline, assists and other categories may increase this season. And if he can be MVP three times, Jokic can do what only Larry Bird, Chamberlain and Bill Russell have done – that sounds like a recipe for becoming the No. 1 player in the league.

— Ohm Young Misuk

No. 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks | PF

NBA Ranking 2021: 2

As Antetokounmpo enters his 28-year season, his list of accolades already makes him one of the most decorated winners in league history. So the question remains how he will complete this list. Can he become the third NBA MVP? The Bucks will be one of the favorites to win another NBA championship, but can Antetokounmpo get another Finals MVP? Expectations are high every season, but Antetokounmpo usually finds a way to exceed them.

Why did he move up one place

With sheer stability and Antetokounmpo’s solid night-to-night dominance, his claim to be the best player in the world has only solidified in the past year. Perhaps no player in the league can match his influence on both ends of the court.

To go on to win his first Finals MVP, Antetokounmpo was in contention for the title of Top Scorer…