Six SB Nation NBA writers set out to rank the league's top 100 players in 2017 and three current Orlando Magic players made the cut. Nikola Vučević came in at no. 69, Victor Oladipo placed no. 44, and Tobias Harris ranked just ahead of him at no. 41.
Vučević will be 27--right in the prime of his career--in 2017, so the no. 69 ranking may seem a bit low for a player who, at 22, ranked second in the league in rebounding. But given his notable weaknesses--I mentioned "foul drawing and rim protection" in my blurb for the story--his placement on the list is probably fair. "I'm not convinced centers who aren't great post-up players or help defenders are that valuable in today's NBA," said panelist Mike Prada, and he has a point.
Oladipo, the second overall pick in June's NBA Draft, will also be entering his prime in 2017. As I indicated in the list, there's agreement about his ability to impact games defensively, but his offense is a real question mark. Among 2013 rookies on the list, Oladipo ranks behind only Nerlens Noel (no. 25, the sixth pick in the Draft) and Anthony Bennett (no. 31, first in the Draft).
Harris is the Magic's highest-rated player on this list and arguably their best player at present as well. Prada says "I need to see sustained success [from Harris]" before jumping on board with this high a ranking, but Ricky O'Donnell is more optimistic about Harris' future because of his versatility: "There's reason to believe he could be a killer small ball four or an inside-outside force at the three," he says.
The top five players on the list are, in descending order, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Andre Drummond, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant.
Are the Magic's players too high, too low, or just right on this list? Was the panel wrong to overlook Maurice Harkless? Let us know in the comments.