Welcome back to my annual player rankings! This post adds to the 19-47 players to the previous 1-18 that I already wrote a fanpost revealing.
I've painstakingly ranked the top 180 players in the NBA and will release a series of fanposts, starting with this ranking of the top 18 players in the league. In the post for each individual position I'll talk in more detail about what factors I primarily used to rank, but for this top 18, I had used factors that I didn't use for other players.
The ability to lead a team to both the playoffs and to a title are critical. The Pinnacle tier have all been the best player on a championship team (or at least arguably the best). The Icon tier could become that and can be the best player on a Conference Finals team. The Superstars may have the ceiling of the Icons at times, but have some flaws that prevent them from totally being at that level. All of these are absolutely elite players. All of these guys can also be referred to by a single name.
The All Star tier are, as their name suggests, players who are going to be in All Star consideration perennially because their level of play puts them in that conversation. When they're really hot, they can look like a player in a tier or two above; when they're really cold, they can look like they belong in a tier or two lower. This inconsistency is the thing keeping some from a higher tier; a critical flaw is keeping others from a higher tier.
The Star tier is essentially a lower level version of the All Star tier, with players who are still very talented and well known in the NBA, but who have some sort of major flaw to their game, or lacking the ability to be a team-leading player. However, they can still have major upside or play huge roles when they have it going.
A silly but fun way to think about these players is that pretty much every player in the top 47 can be referred to by one name, and NBA fans know who is being referred to.
I'd love to know your thoughts and feedback on these, as I love the discussion! So, without further ado...