We’re unveiling five-player groups of SiriusXM NBA Radio‘s first Top 25 player rankings this week! Due to the tie at No. 15, we are announcing four players today.
The third installment of our top 25 rankings picks up where the last one left off – a young, talented perimeter player with a stellar reputation on defense and an emerging game on offense. Kawhi Leonard was tied for No. 15, and one spot above him today is Jimmy Butler. Butler edged Leonard by just five total points; the voters were split on which young star should be ranked higher, as five ranked Butler better than Leonard, and the other five preferred Leonard. With both players entering just their fifth season, this comparison will be one to keep an eye on for years going forward.
While both Leonard and Butler make their reputation on the defensive side of the ball, the opposite is true for Carmelo Anthony. Melo’s all-offense, no-defense reputation led to a wide variety of rankings. Anthony was one of only two players to be ranked in the top 10 by at least one voter, and completely left off the ballot of another. Justin Termine was down on Carmelo’s defense enough to leave him unranked, while Gerald Brown believed in his offense enough to slot him at No. 9.
Another believer in Carmelo’s offense is his new teammate, Jerian Grant, who told us that Melo is the best scorer in the league:
Check back tomorrow as we start the top 10!