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  • Jacob Koehler

Top 10 NBA Players of 2024… So Far

As we leap into the new year and the NBA season approaches the half-way point, there have been plenty of surprises thus far. Well established stars are still doing their thing, but there have been a handful of emerging young players taking the next step towards superstardom. With so much talent in the league, it makes it harder and harder to rank the top players. Statistics across the board are heavily inflated from previous seasons, as teams are consistently scoring 120+ points per game. What look like MVP-caliber stats in years past, now can land you on the verge of the top 10.  Staples of top-10 lists from the last 5-10 years may be missing now, replaced by the new stars of the league. Young players are taking over, and the reign of foreign players runs steady. Strictly based on this season’s performance, here are the top 10 players in the NBA as we kick off 2024:

10. De’Aaron Fox

Season Stats: 29.4 PTS     4.6 REB     6.1 AST

As a lifelong Warriors fan, it pains me to leave Steph out of the top-10. However, putting biases and history aside, Fox is the stronger player right now. Fox has become a reliable three-point shooter at 39% on 8.7 attempts per game, which opens up the rest of his game. The leader of the Kings has his squad sitting nicely with the 8th best record in the NBA, charging towards a second straight playoff appearance. Right now, Fox shows no weaknesses in his game, and is setting a career scoring mark. He is playing like a top-3 point guard in the NBA right now.

9. Anthony Edwards

Season Stats:    26.6 PTS  5.3 REB     5.1 AST

The youngest player on this list just keeps getting better by the day. I fully expect Edwards to have an even stronger second half of the season, as he shows no signs of slowing down in his development. He has shockingly led the Timberwolves to the best record in the Western Conference and has emerged as the true star of the team over Karl-Anthony Towns. In year 4, the game has seemingly slowed down for Ant, and his game has become more complete.

8. Kevin Durant

Season Stats:    29.9 PTS  6.3 REB     6.0 AST

Due to the Suns’ underperforming season, KD is going under the radar with one of his best statistical seasons of his career. With the new big-3 barely sharing the court to this point, KD and Booker have kept the team afloat in hopes to get healthy before the playoffs. Shooting 47.7% from deep and averaging a block and steal per game, KD is playing extremely well-rounded basketball and is aging like fine wine late in his career.

7. Tyrese Haliburton

Season Stats:    24.9 PTS  4.1 REB     12.7 AST

Another young star that has the league on notice is Tyrese Haliburton. The 4th year guard has the Pacers’ offense scoring a league-leading 126.9 ppg. He also leads the league in assists with a staggering 12.7 per game. If he maintains that number, he will have the highest assist per game mark since John Stockton in 1991. The Pacers currently sit 5th in the East and have become a must-watch team because of the play of their point guard. Halliburton is one of the stories of the NBA right now and has played like the top guard in the East.

6. Jayson Tatum

Season Stats:    27.0 PTS  8.5 REB     4.5 AST

Going by the “best player on the best team” argument, Jayson Tatum could be on his way to his first league MVP award. Unfortunately for him, the guys in the top 5 of this list are putting up absurd numbers for contending teams. That doesn’t take away from what Tatum is doing in Boston, however. His numbers are down from last season, but that comes from the maturity of Tatum relinquishing responsibility to new pieces on his squad. Tatum no longer has to carry the Celtics with 30+ ppg, but he is still the clear leader of his team.

5. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 

Season Stats:     31.4 PTS  5.9 REB     6.4 AST

The Thunder’s fleecing of the Clippers back in 2019 will go down as one of the most lopsided trades of all time. Not only did the Thunder secure 5 first round draft picks, but they also got the best player in the trade. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has blossomed into arguably the best point guard on the planet in his 6th season. The talented playmaker has maintained his high points per game from last season (good for third in the NBA) while upping his rebounds, assists, and steals by 1. The Thunder’s young core is coming together, in large thanks to Shai. If the Thunder remain the second seed in the West, Shai should certainly be in the MVP conversation.

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Season Stats:    31.1 PTS  11.4 REB    5.8 AST

The two-time MVP hasn’t missed a beat this season with the addition of Damian Lillard. There were questions on how Giannis would do sharing the team with another superstar, but those questions have quickly been answered. His stats are nearly identical from last season and are an improvement over his MVP seasons. While Giannis won’t admit it, everyone can see the Bucks are still his team. The two have clicked wonderfully in their first season together as they hold the third best record in the league. 

3. Nikola Jokic

Season Stats:    26.0 PTS  12.2 REB    9.1 AST

There isn’t much more than can be said about the Serbian superstar. You can make jokes about his apparent lack of interest in basketball, but his game is nothing to joke about. Again, Jokic averages a near triple-double, an unthinkable feat for a center. The reigning champ spoils us with his performance to the point where we are becoming desensitized to just how uncanny what he’s doing is. Contested bank shot from the logo to win the game? No surprise there. The Joker is well on his way to entering the all-time greatest center conversation.

2. Luka Doncic

Season Stats:   33.7 PTS   8.3 REB     9.3 AST

Luka continues to put up videogame numbers night in and night out. Whenever you think that Luka can’t possibly climb any higher, he reaches a new peak. Currently on pace for career highs in points and assists, Luka cannot be slowed down. Defensively, Luka could use improvement, but hardly anyone plays defense in today’s NBA. His team’s performance is the only thing making people overlook his role as possibly the best player in the league.

1. Joel Embiid

Season Stats: 34.8 PTS 11.8 REB 6.2 AST

The reigning MVP has significantly improved in all major categories in his follow-up campaign. Joel leads the league in points and efficiency rating (by a wide margin), is 5th in rebounds, and has added an extra 2 assists per game to his career high. At his best, Embiid is the most dominant player in the NBA, and he has been at his best for the past three seasons now. His Sixers share the 4th best record in the NBA, as he hopes for his first finals appearance. Embiid has dominated statistically and has won the awards, the only thing he has left to do is win a ring.

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