ESPN likes to rank things, and people like to bite when such things are done. Three of their writers ranked the top 25 players under 25 years of age. Past the top three or so (which were to be expected), some interesting players emerged.
“Interesting” only if you want to be angry as a Pistons fan.
Spoiler alert, if you are one of the growing population of people who want Stan Van Gundy gone you’ll find more ammunition here. This is of course, a subjective exercise done by three people but the results prove damning nonetheless.
No. 1: Giannis Antetokounmpo.
No. 2: Anthony Davis.
No. 3: Joel Embiid.
No. 4: Karl-Anthony Towns.
So far yeah, pretty expected. Thinking Andre Drummond might be coming up soon? Well, um... Nope. Not coming up.
No. 5: Nikola Jokic. (There’s a ground bound center who averages a ton of assists not named Andre.)
No. 6 (tie): Ben Simmons. (Yeah, first year, can’t shoot, but already is seen as a better player going forward than Drum Drum)
No. 6 (tie) Kristaps Porzingis. (Not a surprise here, dude gets buckets and is all things unicorn-y unlike Dre)
No. 8: Bradley Beal. Wait what? He’s under 25 still? Yeah, ok he’s a good bet, I’d be ok with him vs Drummond.
And then it happened.....tied for No. 9.
What two players could possibly be tied at nine, be ranked above Andre Drummond, and draw the utmost ire from Pistons who are circling the fire Stan Van Gundy bandwagon?
Yeah you know where it’s going to go. And tied? Tied???
No 9 (tie): Dono.....Dono...oh god no
Donovan Mitchell, yeah that guy. The guy we could’ve drafted but didn’t, volume 1.
But who’s the other #9? Oh yeah, the guy we could’ve drafted but didn’t, volume 2...
No 6 (tie): Devin Booker
Oh god NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
What have we done to anger the ESPN gods? But in a sane world surely, surely Andre must be next up, right?
No. 11: Gary Harris. Gary Harris? Gary Harris???!
(Editor’s note: You didn’t hear? Gary Harris is the next Kawhi Leonard!)
No. 12. Andre Drummond.
Cutting to the chase (after that horrible build up) in the next 13 players (unsurprisingly) neither Luke Kennard nor Stanley Johnson are to be found. Then again, No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins is at No. 23, the next Magic Johnson is mercifully tied at No. 17...but the blood is in the water.
Release the hounds/sharks/etc. You know I know who you are and you will be secretly loving this call to arms, call to “FIRE SVG!!!” “SVGIAFI!!!”
Enjoy. It’s a hollow pursuit.