ESPN's offseason project of ranking the top 500 players in the NBA, known as #NBArank, rolls on as the season draws closer, and in the process, the Worldwide Leader's 215-person panel has managed to rank the entire Orlando Magic roster.
In #NBArank, ESPN's experts "[predicted] the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season" on a 0-10 scale. The table in this post shows where the top eight players in Orlando's roster placed in the list.
Unsurprisingly, ESPN finds Nikola Vučević, who was the league's second-leading rebounder in 2012/13, as the Magic's top player, finishing at 97th overall in the NBA. Not far behind are the Magic's shooting guards, Victor Oladipo and Arron Afflalo. As the 114th-best player in the league, according to ESPN, Oladipo stands as the highest-rated rookie from the 2013 NBA Draft class.
Also unsurprisingly, combo forward Tobias Harris stands as Orlando's most-improved player. A year after ranking near the likes of Terrence Williams and Jon Brockman as a Milwaukee Bucks prospect, his emergence with Orlando--he averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game after arriving via trade--has sandwiched him between Amar'e Stoudemire and J.J. Hickson in the 2013 list.
ESPN's panel finds that Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and Glen Davis--Orlando's trio of veterans--is on the decline, none moreso than Nelson, who slipped 43 spots from 2012 to 2013.
Interestingly, there is some overlap between #NBArank and SB Nation NBA's Best of 2017 rankings. In that piece from August, five SB Nation experts collaborated to lay out who they believe will be the top 100 players in the league four years from now; Vučević ranked 69th, Oladipo was 44th, and Harris placed 41st there.