B/R NBA 200: Ranking the Top Combo Big Men of 2013-14 Season

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 12, 2014

B/R NBA 200: Ranking the Top Combo Big Men of 2013-14 Season

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    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Age is a strange beast for the NBA's best combo big men, particularly in regards to the truly elite players at the position. 

    Of the top four players on this list, three are cagey veterans with plenty of years under their belts: Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan. The savage grips of time have affected each one of them to some extent, but not to the point that they've fallen out of the elite class. 

    Then there's the young gun, Anthony Davis, who took the league by storm during his second seasoneven if he couldn't legally enjoy the full extent of Bourbon Street until the campaign was nearly over. 

    Does youth reign supreme, or have the members of the old guard retained their spots at the top? Additionally, where do the rest of the league's best combo bigs fit into the puzzle?

    The NBA 200 metric identifies the players who performed the best during the 2013-14 season. Potential doesn't matter, and neither does reputation; it's all about what happened this yearand this year only. All positions are graded using the same criteria (though rim protection was added into the equation for bigger positions), but the categories are weighted differently to reflect changing roles, with max scores listed in parentheses: 

    • Scoring (20)
    • Non-Scoring Offense: Facilitating (5) and Off-Ball Offense (10)
    • Defense: On-Ball (12), Off-Ball (15) and Rim Protection (13)
    • Rebounding (15)
    • Intangibles: Conduct (5) and Durability (5)

    For a full explanation of how these scores were determined, go here. And do note that  these aren't your father's classification schemes for each position. Players' spots were determined not by playing style but rather by how much time they spent at each position throughout the season, largely based upon data from 82games.com. We're also expanding the traditional five spots on the floor to include four combo positions.

    In the case of ties, the order is determined in subjective fashion by ranking the more coveted player in the higher spot. That was done by a voting committee comprised of myself, NBA lead writer D.J. Foster, national NBA featured columnist Grant Hughes, NBA lead writer Josh Martin and associate NBA editor Ethan Norof

     

    Note: All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.comNBA.com's SportVU Databases and Synergy Sports (subscription required), unless othwerwise noted. Statistics accurate as of March 28. 

Coming Soon

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Below, you can find the publication schedule for the rest of the NBA 200 series. Remember that we're not using traditional positions but rather subdividing those positions in order to account for the positionless schemes used by many NBA teams:

    • Centers: Wednesday, May 14
    • Combo forwards: Friday, May 16
    • Top 200 Players: Monday, May 19

     

20. Glen Davis, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Scoring

    13/20

    Preferring to shoot mid-range jumpers and often forgetting that he could pass instead of lofting up another attempt, Glen Davis posted decent volume numbers during his time with the Orlando Magic, but he wasn't exactly efficient. Then he moved to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he was more of a scoring afterthought than anything else. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    6/15

    Even though he's not an elite NBA athlete, Davis is an intelligent cutter who manages to put himself in the right situation quite often. That is his primary off-ball asset, and it's one that at least makes opposing defenses have to respect him a little bit. 

    Defense

    29/40

    If Davis is asked to play on-ball defense, whether on the perimeter or the block, he's going to be in trouble. Big Baby doesn't have the quickness to hang with more versatile power forwards and centers, and he's not enough of a leaper to ever protect the rim extremely well. 

    Rebounding

    8/15

    While Davis does push 290 pounds, he's only 6'9", so he's usually at a size disadvantage when asked to play against opposing 5s. Without a monstrous wingspan or springs in his legs, Big Baby has to rely on his massive frame to box people out, and it makes him a limited rebounder. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    He might have a nickname with a negative connotation, but Davis doesn't spend his time on the court bawlingat least not to the point that it's detrimental to his team's efforts. Only injuries work against him here, as various minor maladies kept him out of the lineup for a significant portion of the 2013-14 campaign. 

    Overall

    65/100

    Davis is a talented offensive big man with a hulking body that he can use to play adequate defense and make some sort of contribution on the glass. When playing for a struggling team like the Magic, that's enough to earn quite a few minutes; when playing for a contender like the Clippers, it's enough to be a reserve. 

19. Kyle O'Quinn, Orlando Magic

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    12/20

    Rarely is Kyle O'Quinn going to deliver a scoring performance that blows the roof off an NBA arena, but at the same time, he's a consistent producer who plays within his own limitations. His mid-range shooting is carefully measured, and his post game is only improving as he continues to gain more experience in the Association. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    4/15

    Defenses have to pay some attention to O'Quinn when he's roaming those mid-range zones, but his primary contributions come from setting screens and freeing his more offensively talented teammates. You can also just forget about him standing out as a distributor—or even looking like a slightly above-average one. 

    Defense

    29/40

    The 24-year-old big man may have the age of a player approaching veteran status, but he's only two years removed from his standout career at Norfolk State. Figuring out the nuances of NBA defenses is still a work in progress, particularly when he's asked to rotate often and chase a man around the perimeter. 

    Rebounding

    12/15

    O'Quinn is a per-minute rebounding stud. He does a great job of reeling in the boards that are within his vicinity, though he could stand to be a bit more mobile when a shot is fired. If the ball happens to carom into his area, he's a vacuum, but his range is rather limited. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    A sprained ankle was enough to knock the former Spartan out of the Magic lineup for a handful of games this year. But when he was on the court, O'Quinn was a passionate, enthusiastic player who seemed genuinely thrilled about the faith his team placed in him. 

    Overall

    66/100

    O'Quinna physical big man who has become somewhat of a rebounding, rim-protecting and intimidation specialistshouldn't be here. He started playing basketball in 10th grade, went to Norfolk State and arrived in the NBA as a relatively unknown second-round pick. But here he is. 

18. Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings

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    Scoring

    13/20

    Jason Thompson scores from two areas on the court: right around the basket and just beyond the free-throw line. Though he's certainly limited when trying to put points on the board, he's an efficient player who does a nice job of creating looks for himself either off the dribble or with some tricky footwork. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    5/15

    Recording nearly twice as many turnovers as assists is not a good thing. Thompson's passing was slightly better than it has been in the past, which has been due to him not trying to squeeze the ball into tight spots. However, he's still remarkably prone to lowering his shoulder and getting called for a charge when trying to create space. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Thompson isn't awful in any one overarching defensive category—on-ball, off-ball or rim protection—but he's not very good in any of them, either. He does challenge roll men nicely, and his work in the post is solid, but it's tough to milk any more positives out of his defensive profile. 

    Rebounding

    10/15

    Much better on the defensive end than the offensive glass, Thompson is an adequate rebounder, but he's not exactly special in this area. He's extremely active, using his energy to make an impact as often as possible, but his hands don't always do the trick. He also struggles to work around early box-outs. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    When was the last time you heard unflattering news about Thompson? Never? He completely avoids being a source of controversy, instead choosing to suit up and go about his business in peace each and every night. 

    Overall

    66/100

    Thompson continued to bounce in and out of the Sacramento Kings starting lineup throughout the 2013-14 campaign, but he put up steady numbers all the while. There isn't much upside left in the 27-year-old combo big man, although being a known commodity isn't a bad thing when it involves posting decent scoring (7.1) and rebounding (6.4) averages night in and night out. 

17. Kris Humphries, Boston Celtics

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    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    11/20

    Kris Humphries doesn't score many points, but he's remarkably efficient when he does choose to fire away. The big man relies on rolling to the basket after setting a screen for nearly a quarter of his offensive production. He's also quite adept at corralling passes in his general vicinity and then either finishing the play or drawing a foul. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    5/15

    You know you're going to get effort from Humphries at all times, and that generally comes in the form of screens when the Boston Celtics have possession of the rock. He's a terrible spot-up shooter, and it's up for debate whether his passing is better or worse than his jumper, but he at least plays hard enough to warrant minimal value in this category. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Humphries is a very good off-ball defender, even if he struggles when left in one-on-one situations right around the rim. In particular, he shines when asked to close out on spot-up shootersan attribute that's aided greatly by his unwillingness to gamble at the wrong time. 

    Rebounding

    11/15

    Although his numbers have consistently slipped over the last four years, Humphries remains an asset on the glass. He's especially dangerous when trying to fight for offensive rebounds, as he displays good anticipation and instincts, allowing him to work around defenders before position is established. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    The divorce proceedings with Kim Kardashian are completely finished, which means Humphries can focus solely on his basketball game. Sure, he still gets made fun of by some fans who remain devoid of new material, but he's only being docked a point here for the knee problems that both knocked him out of the Boston lineup and hindered his on-court performance. 

    Overall

    66/100

    Humphries' first season in Beantown has to be considered a marginal success. He established himself as a rebounding threat who could make limited contributions in specialized areas on both ends on the court, and he continued playing tough, physical, tone-setting basketball whenever Brad Stevens gave him any sort of run. 

16. Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    11/20

    While Nick Collison rarely scores for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he doesn't tend to take bad shots. The spread of his shooting extends to deep two-pointers, where he's shockingly effective, but is largely concentrated right around the basket. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    9/15

    Much of Collison's offensive value comes in this area, as he sets tough, physical screens that constantly ensnare defenders. He's not going to rack up assists, but he's a competent passer who tends to find the open man and keep the OKC offense humming along. Basically, he's a glue guy. 

    Defense

    29/40

    Collison isn't much of a rim-protector—that task is usually left to Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams or Kendrick Perkins—but he does a respectable job of guarding just about everything else. He's always willing to step in and take a charge, and his lateral quickness allows him to match up against players who are far smaller than himself. 

    Rebounding

    7/15

    A hard-working big man, Collison can make a significant impact on the offensive boards, but he struggles to hold his own when boxing out players after the opposing team misses a shot. His defensive rebounding percentage has been terrible since exiting his athletic prime, and this season was no exception. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    The 33-year-old is willing to do all the little things for the Thunder. If he has to sacrifice his body, so be it. If he needs to fill roles that don't lead to box-score recognition, that's fine, too. You'll never see Collison complain, and you'll never see him give less than 100 percent, as cliche as that may sound. 

    Overall

    66/100

    Collison continued to pour his heart and soul into the OKC franchise, just as he has since he was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the No. 12 pick of the 2003 NBA draft. He remains a model glue guy for any frontcourt player, and struggling big men trying to figure out how to maximize their effectiveness in a non-featured role should watch tape of him whenever possible.

15. Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    13/20

    Between the spot-up three-pointers, one-handed runners off the bounce and sideways fadeaways, Channing Frye has been clicking on all cylinders from the outside. He's an extremely limited scorer once he gets inside the paint, which causes his efficiency levels to sink rather significantly, but the stretch-4/5's perimeter shooting has been quite valuable to the Phoenix Suns. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    11/15

    If you're interested in a further breakdown of this category, Frye received nine out of 10 points in off-ball offense, thanks to his threatening nature from the perimeter and the fact that defenses can't leave him open outside the paint. However, he received just one of five points as a facilitator, as he's an extremely limited distributor who can only generate assists when swinging the ball to a wide-open man. 

    Defense

    27/40

    Asking Frye to serve as the last line of defense is often disastrous. He wasn't unwilling to put himself in harm's way, but his lack of thickness often allowed bigger, more physical players to bully him in the paint. Frye wasn't a defensive liability thanks to his off-ball work on the perimeter, but it's tough to call him anything synonymous with "asset" in this area.

    Rebounding

    7/15

    He might not be a liability on defense, but he is one on the boards. Giving up this much production from a starting frontcourt player hurts, as Frye possesses neither the athleticism, toughness or instincts to make his presence felt after a missed shot. He actually managed to record as many games with zero rebounds as he did contests with double digits in the corresponding column. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    A leader by example, Frye never did anything on or off the court that might have been detrimental to Phoenix's playoff push. He remained extremely durable throughout the year as well. 

    Overall

    68/100

    From a statistical standpoint, Frye's season was largely similar to the one he posted in 2011-12, which is impressive enough after sitting out an entire season with an enlarged heart. But he got better as a three-point shooter this year, and he did so for a team with a lot more offensive talent. Just maintaining his production was highly beneficial for the desert-based franchise. 

14. Marreese Speights, Golden State Warriors

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    Scoring

    14/20

    Marreese Speights' biggest weakness as a scorer is overconfidence. Too often, he decides to morph into a black hole and launch a shot, even if it's in a situation that is not conducive to putting up points. Nonetheless, Speights is an offensive threatone who can score through physicality or finesse while consistently creating his own looks. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    6/15

    He excels in isolation, but Speights is also a threatening point-producer when spotting up from mid-range zones or cutting to the basket after using his 245-pound frame to set a hard screen. Defenses have to remain vigilant whenever he's on the court, particularly after he's made his first bucket. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Speights can wreak havoc when he is allowed to gamble, jumping passing lanes, trying to poke the ball free from dribblers and ultimately just getting in the way whenever possible. However, he struggles when asked to protect the rim, and his lack of discipline makes him unreliable when facing an isolation scorer. 

    Rebounding

    9/15

    Although he excels from a per-minute standpoint, the 26-year-old big man doesn't spend that much time on the court for the Golden State Warriors. He grabs an incredible number of contested rebounds, but sometimes his laziness takes over, preventing him from pursuing boards that require a bit of movement to establish positioning. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    Speights remained passionate and healthy throughout 2013-14. There wasn't even a significant injury to report during his first season in the Bay Area. 

    Overall

    69/100

    After spending the first five seasons of his career playing with the Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers, Speights finally looked as though he found a solid home in Golden State. He wasn't a heavily used member of the rotation, but he excelled when he was on the court, especially at times when he was allowed to create his own offense. 

13. John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    14/20

    John Henson was a far more efficient scorer as a sophomore than he was during his rookie season, which is an improvement that can largely be credited to the strides he made with his hook shot. The UNC product has incredibly long arms, so his shot is nearly unblockable when he extends his limbs to their full length before hooking the ball toward the basket. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    6/15

    More of a cutting and rolling threat than a spot-up shooter, Henson still requires defensive attention. That said, the amount he received this season might have been inordinately high thanks to the overall futility of the Milwaukee Bucks offense. If he develops either a consistent mid-range jumper or some more passing instincts, his offensive value will skyrocket. 

    Defense

    28/40

    While he's done a fantastic job protecting the rim and using those long arms—ones that might make Jay Bilas swoon—to wreak havoc in passing lanes, Henson has been abused during on-ball sets. He was particularly bad when guarding post-ups from physical players, and the Bucks—as bad as they were—allowed nearly four points per 100 possessions more when he was on the court. 

    Rebounding

    12/15

    A fantastic collegiate rebounder—Henson averaged 9.9 boards per game during his final season with the Tar Heels—Henson has seen those skills translate to the sport's highest level. Though he doesn't produce gaudy per-game totals, Henson is a valuable per-minute player on both types of glass. There's been a slight decline in this area since his rookie season, but that's due to him taking on more responsibility before shots are fired up. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    A high ankle sprain and a foot injury a few months later both put a damper on Henson's season, but they were only minor setbacks in the grand scheme of things. All the same, the big man has been a bit fragile since joining the Bucks, so these blows add up. 

    Overall

    69/100

    Henson was a shot-blocking menace, rebounding stud and solid offensive contributor while playing at Chapel Hill. The NBA has proved to be a bit of a reality check during his first two professional seasons, but the tools are all still there. Yet, for some reason, the Bucks seem awfully hesitant to take advantage of them on a consistent basis. 

12. Ed Davis, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    Scoring

    12/20

    Ed Davis makes the most of his opportunities, which came few and far between during his first full season with the Memphis Grizzlies. Even when Marc Gasol was out of the lineup and the depth of the frontcourt was being tested, Davis was relegated to the same role he's filled for a while now—serving as a consistent player who remains a highly effective pick-and-roll finisher while capitalizing on put-back opportunities. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    6/15

    While he can't pass the ball to save his life, Davis is worth monitoring because he's such an intelligent player with a keen understanding of offensive positioning. He times his rolls to the hoop well, and he can make defenses pay by gaining position in the paint and waiting to inhale an offensive board. 

    Defense

    34/40

    Although he can be abused by power forwards who stretch the court all the way out to the three-point arc, Davis is a balanced defender. He can protect the rim when left alone in the paint, body up against a more physical frontcourt player and track players through screens and off rolls to the hoop. 

    Rebounding

    9/15

    An extremely physical rebounder, Davis consistently throws his body around, hoping to create as many opportunities as possible. As a result, a high percentage of his successful ventures fall into the contested category, but he often just finds himself out of position and at the mercy of an opponent. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    You'll never see a negative headline revolving around Davis, but you might get some news about an injury. In 2013-14, an ankle injury was the biggest culprit, though the big man also fell out of the Memphis rotation at times due to the depth of the healthy frontcourt. 

    Overall

    70/100

    A defensive stud who knows his limits on offense, Davis is eventually going to receive more minutes and begin to experience a bit of a breakout. He failed to stick with the Toronto Raptors at the start of his career, and the Grizzlies have yet to fully commit to seeing what he could offer in a more featured role. It'll happen at some point, though a new location might be needed once more. 

11. Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    12/20

    Amir Johnson is in the process of developing a three-point stroke, though he's still better off relying on his established talents. When he's able to create his own looks, either in the post or during an isolation set, he looks his best. However, he also thrives on dunks and layups after rolls—with a few hooks thrown in for good measure (as well as the weird, floating attempts that might be best described as "semi-hooks").

    Non-Scoring Offense

    7/15

    He's a solid roll man, but Johnson's contributions in this category also come via his passing. You'll never mistake him for Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin or Joakim Noah, but the veteran big man does a nice job of staying active as a distributor and going out of his way to make plays for his teammates. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Johnson scores well here because he doesn't have any glaring weaknesses on the defensive end. If there is one, it's his penchant for giving up ground during man-to-man situations, but that's an area typically cleaned up by the Toronto Raptors system. He's not a standout in any area, but Johnson makes enough of a well-rounded impact that he can feel like one at times. 

    Rebounding

    9/15

    In the past, Johnson has been one of the most dangerous offensive rebounders in basketball, but that wasn't the case in 2013-14. Why? Because his newfound range pulled him farther from the basket, thereby limiting his number of rebounding opportunities. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    Johnson was one of those Raptors who remained with the team throughout the entire season, and he stayed free of distractions from start to finish. He gelled with the teammates who departed for the Sacramento Kings and the ones who were there after the Rudy Gay deal. 

    Overall

    70/100

    Though Johnson gets less attention than a handful of players north of the border, he was still a consistent contributor for the upstart Raptors. His individual impact seems to fall in line with his overall profile, as it flies well under the radar but still holds quite a bit of value. 

10. Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    13/20

    Though he's capable of doing so, you'll rarely see Jordan Hill knocking down multiple shots from outside the painted area during any one contest. His scoring game is basically limited to finishes right around the basket, particularly those that come when he's posting up, cutting to the hoop, cleaning up after a missed shot or rolling to the basket. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    4/15

    Hill isn't much of a spot-up threat, but his drives to the basket do keep defenses honest. He could stand to incorporate a bit more finesse into his game, though, and the development of some passing skills would help as well—so, too, would a willingness to set screens that don't turn into immediate rolls before the defender is impacted. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Though he struggled to remain disciplined when faced with one-on-one situationsoften going for the glamor plays (i.e. blocks) and biting on the first fake thrown at himHill used his size and athleticism to protect the rim rather well. He needs to be even more involved in contesting plays at the basket, but he was one of the better deterrents in purple and gold. 

    Rebounding

    15/15

    It's rare that a player is completely dominant on both the offensive and defensive glass, but Hill is one of those guys. Remember, those two areas require vastly different skills. The long-haired big man has all of them, and he consistently makes a sizable impact on both ends. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    Unfortunately, Hill wasn't able to stay completely healthy throughout the 2013-14 campaign. An injury to his right knee knocked him out of the lineup for a two-week stretch, although he would have played even more if Mike D'Antoni had been willing to use him correctly. 

    Overall

    71/100

    This particular big man should be known for more than his hairstyle—more players should go for the dreadlocks-and-headband look, but that's beside the point. He's an incredible rebounder who puts up efficient scoring numbers and delivers energy to the Los Angeles Lakers. Will that be enough for him to find a permanent home in Tinseltown?

9. Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

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    Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    14/20

    In his prime, Carlos Boozer was a fantastic scorerone who could drop in those high-arcing, mid-range jumpers with volume and efficiency. But as he's grown older—he turns 33 at the beginning of the 2014-15 campaign—Boozer has been unable to sustain those marks. Now, he's become a volume scorer, meaning that he is someone who can put up points in bunches but only because he's afforded plenty of opportunities to do so. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    10/15

    Even though his efficiency is waning, Boozer remains a tremendous off-ball threat who is worthy of drawing a lot of defensive attention. His mid-range game is deadly, and the opposing team has to keep a body glued to him throughout much of the contest. If only he'd developed passing skills during his 12 seasons in the league...

    Defense

    26/40

    [Left blank in honor of Boozer's non-existent defensive mentality.]

    Rebounding

    13/15

    Boozer isn't quite the offensive rebounder he was during his prime, but he's maintained his prowess on the defensive glass. Only a handful of qualified players pulled down a higher percentage of their team's available defensive rebounds throughout the 2013-14 season. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    During the stretch run, Boozer was often benched in favor of Taj Gibson during the fourth quarter of close games—and he pouted, having trouble reveling in the success his team was enjoying. This me-first attitude didn't derail the Chicago Bulls' season, but it did detract from the positivity surrounding him. 

    Overall

    72/100

    This was the season that everyone got on the same page, recognizing that Boozer was putting up largely empty stats. He scored because no one else could, and his sole value often came on the boards. In fact, the Bulls were significantly worse on both ends of the court when he played, which means the word "amnesty" is going to be used quite often when his name is brought up this offseason. 

8. Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    12/20

    Hindered by injuries and a lack of continuity, Kevin Garnett suffered through the worst scoring season of his professional life, posting carer-worst marks in points per game (6.5), points per 36 minutes (11.6), field-goal percentage (44.1), true shooting percentage (.467) and just about any other scoring stat or metric you care to use. Nevertheless, his mid-range stroke kept him afloat and providing workable per-minute contributions for the Brooklyn Nets. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    8/15

    Even though KG struggled, he still managed to space out defenses with his mid-range jumper. On top of that, his passing didn't decline to the point that it was nonexistent, as he still managed to find open teammates and keep his head up on the rare occasions that he drove toward the bucket. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Gone are the days in which The Big Ticket existed as a defensive stopper worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration. His lateral quickness is diminishing, and all of those extra leaps to stop shots after the whistle are starting to exact their toll. Garnett wasn't a bad defender during his first season with the Nets—he was a good one, actually—but he failed to meet the standard he's set for himself throughout his career. 

    Rebounding

    13/15

    With less focus on his offensive game, KG was able to spend more time underneath the basket and retain his rebounding prowess while calling the Barclays Center home. He improved on the offensive glass, and the work he did on the other end was borderline elite thanks to his veteran savvy helping him almost always get to the right spots before the ball caromed off the rim. 

    Intangibles

    8/10

    If Garnett had been able to stay healthy, the Nets' season likely would have been a much smoother ride. And on top of that, the big man likely would have submitted a much more impressive year than the one he did while being plagued by a constant stream of injuries (primarily an ankle problem and recurring back spasms). 

    Overall

    73/100

    When the decline comes, it comes hard and fast. Such was the case for KG this year, as he was troubled by the ill effects of Father Time and the pesky injury imp who so often travel in tandem. His first season with the Brooklyn Nets—and potentially his last—just didn't let him spend as much time on the court as he would have liked, and his leadership skills were often relegated to the bench. 

7. Nene, Washington Wizards

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

    Scoring

    16/20

    The bulk of Nene's scoring contributions for the Washington Wizards come when he puts his back to the basket and goes to work in the post. The veteran big man is quite adept in that area, which allows him to remain efficient and create much of his own offense. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    8/15

    Nene isn't an elite off-ball threat, as his jumper isn't the most accurate, and he spends much of his time waiting to set up on the blocks. However, he's an above-average passer, which gives the Washington offense a new element. Although the Brazilian big man doesn't have the ball in his hands often enough to rack up dimes, he's always a consistent facilitator. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Rim protection is a struggle for Nene, but he graded out as one of the best off-ball defenders in any NBA frontcourt. Not only does he do a tremendous job of closing out on spot-up shooters, but he's also quite involved in all of the defensive proceedings by constantly rotating and doing everything he can to disrupt offensive sets. 

    Rebounding

    8/15

    There are some big men who excel at rebounding in traffic, boxing out opponents and grabbing the ball while being scraped and clawed at by the hands of smaller players. Nene is not one of those guys, as a shockingly low percentage of his successful boards are of the contested variety. 

    Intangibles

    8/10

    Nene hasn't stayed completely healthy since the 2009-10 season with the Denver Nuggets, and this go-round was no exception. A sprained MCL was primarily to blame in 2013-14, sidelining him for six weeks before he returned for the stretch run. 

    Overall

    73/100

    Although he doesn't get much credit and too many basketball fans are unaware of his last name (Hilario), Nene remained a valuable contributor this year for the Wizards, who finally found their way to the promised land. He wasn't healthy for much of the season, but he was a veteran presence on a young teamone who provided great defense and a steady dose of offense.  

6. Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz

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    Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

    Scoring

    15/20

    A big and physical player (6'10", 246 pounds), Derrick Favors doesn't often have trouble imposing his will on whoever happens to be playing the Utah Jazz. Few players in the NBA are better at converting opportunities after either rolling to the basket or corralling an offensive rebound. The post-up moves are still a work in progress, but there have been flashes of an impending coming-out party. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    7/15

    Favors is definitely a roll threat, but he doesn't have much of a spot-up jumper. He doesn't convert the ones he takes, and the opportunities comprise a very small portion of his offensive game, which defenses are certainly aware of. Until he either works on his jump-shooting form or becomes more of a distributor, he's going to remain limited on offense. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Although the 22-year-old big man doesn't hold opponents to a remarkably low percentage around the rim, his effort on that end of the floor doesn't go unnoticed. Eventually, his rotations will get tighter and he'll stop gambling on the first up-fake he sees, and that will only add to his defensive capabilities. 

    Rebounding

    13/15

    Though Favors is no longer one of the absolute best offensive rebounders in the Association, he's still a force to be reckoned with after his team misses a shot. Apparently, he's well aware that put-back opportunities are a vital component of his offensive makeup, and he acts accordingly. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    A right hip sprain proved problematic for Favors during February action, keeping him out of the lineup and limiting him on the court for an extended period of time. Other than that, though, the Georgia Tech product has proved quite durable and has not had any conduct issues. 

    Overall

    75/100

    Sometimes, it's hard to remember that Favors is only 22 years old. He may have four seasons under his belt now, but he's an inexperienced player still trying to figure out how to make the most of his starting opportunity. The rebounding is there, but the more glamorous pieces are still in the process of being honed. This should be the worst ranking Favors earns in the next couple of years, though, as he still oozes potential. 

5. Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons

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    Allen Einstein/Getty Images

    Scoring

    16/20

    Greg Monroe struggled when Andre Drummond's presence pushed him outside the paint, but he was still a fantastic scorer when he was given space right around the basket. Though he's too reliant on his spin move, the man they call "Moose" has a devastating set of post maneuvers, allowing him to create his own offense and make a considerably high percentage of his shots. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    7/15

    Although he's not much of a spot-up threat, Monroe spent his college days playing under John Thompson III at Georgetown, which means he's probably going to be a good passer. And he is, though he wasn't able to handle the ball and function as a distributor as often as he has in the past. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Monroe doesn't stand out defensively in any one area. He's neither great nor awful at off-ball defense, on-ball defense or when protecting the rim, although he was far better when the Pistons matched him up against opposing 5's. After all, posting up against Moose does usually tend to be a mistake. 

    Rebounding

    14/15

    Even though he's declined slightly both as an offensive and defensive rebounder, Monroe is still pretty darn good on the boards. He's a physical player after a missed shot, one who's in no way afraid to fight through contact and work his way to a contested rebound. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    Even during a year filled with disappointing results, turmoil among the coaching staff and front office, players making poor decisions and another lottery pick, Monroe kept his mouth shut and went about his business. He just stayed healthy and quietly put together a season that flew well below the radar. 

    Overall

    78/100

    So long as he can play like a true center, he's going to function as an elite scorer and a solid defender, but the Pistons didn't always let him line up at the 5. Management is the reason Monroe's stock fell slightly during his fourth professional season, as he never truly settled in as a power forward. As a result, there should be major question marks about where this future restricted free agent will suit up next year. 

4. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

    Scoring

    16/20

    Pau Gasol got off to a shockingly slow start during the 2013-14 campaign, but he rebounded his way to success by the end of the year. Even if the Los Angeles Lakers couldn't take advantage of his scoring, the big man still managed to post numbers that made his 2012-13 season pale in comparison. The post moves, mid-range jumpers and dives to the basket all suited him well after the shaky start. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    11/15

    Although Gasol's range doesn't extend as far as that of some other power forwards, combo big men and centers, he's able to spread out the court and keep defenses honest whenever his shot is falling. It also helps that he's a savvy passer, one who can create offense for his teammates from the elbows and force the Lake Show to run things through him at times. 

    Defense

    29/40

    The Spanish 7-footer is capable of slowing down a man when faced with a simple on-ball matchup. But anything more complicated than that is likely to lead to a bewildered/disappointed/saddened expression on Gasol's face after he gives up an easy look at the rim. This big man may be bilingual, but he still doesn't have "help defense" in his vocabulary. 

    Rebounding

    14/15

    Though Gasol doesn't add all that much on the offensive glass, he's remained a dominant defensive rebounder as Father Time continues to affect his career. Few players throughout the NBA posted a better defensive rebounding percentage than this grizzled veteran.

    Intangibles

    9/10

    It would've been easy for Gasol to lose his temper given the constant trade rumors and the utter futility of the Purple and Gold. Nevertheless, he maintained his professionalism and worked to get off the schneid early in the year, though a toe injury, strained groin and vertigo all kept him out of the lineup later on. 

    Overall

    79/100

    Let's not be so quick to dismiss Gasol as a washed-up veteran. Though he was injured at the end of the season, played for a pretty terrible Lakers squad, staunchly refused to play off-ball defense and was always mentioned in trade rumors, he still made valuable contributions when he was on the court. His rebounding was excellent, and it's hard to argue with the offense he puts up when healthy. 

3. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    Scoring

    18/20

    Whether he's served as the second or third option for the Miami Heat in 2013-14 (depending on the status of Dwyane Wade), Chris Bosh has thrived as an efficient jump-shooter whose range extends beyond the three-point arc. The 20-point outings happen with less frequency than we've seen since he broke into the league, but so do the outings when he scores less than a point per shot. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    12/15

    Very few players at any position received perfect scores for off-ball offense, but Bosh was one of them. His ability to spot up at the three-point arc and spread out defenses did wonders for the Heat, and he was also a solid cutter who willingly set screens for everyone on the court. The passing leaves something to be desired, but Bosh's shooting impact was just superb. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Bosh isn't best suited for protecting the rim, which creates problems when Miami leaves him as the biggest player on the court. However, he's an underrated stopper in man-to-man situations, particularly because he's a smart player who isn't easily fooled. For example, it's hard for a roll man to beat him to the basket, as Bosh tends to anticipate the play and immediately recognize whether he should drop back, trap or hedge on the screen. 

    Rebounding

    9/15

    It's almost inconceivable that a 6'10" combo big man who often functions as the last line of defense for the Heat can't even pull down eight rebounds per 36 minutes. Bosh still makes an impact on the glass, but it's not nearly on the level that we'd expect from a player with his size and positioning on the court. 

    Intangibles

    10/10

    Bosh seems to be a common punchline among NBA fans, but the Heat sure act like they love playing with him. He's a passionate, goofy, exuberant star who genuinely loves playing basketball. What's wrong with that, exactly?

    Overall

    80/100

    If Bosh were still the No. 1 option on a team, he'd be viewed in a far different light. The big man has willingly and graciously ceded touches and offensive involvement to LeBron James and Wade, and he's thrived in his role. He only takes efficient shots, quietly does the little things and remains a crucial star among one of the most dangerous bunches in the Association.

2. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Scoring

    16/20

    Although Tim Duncan posted arguably the worst scoring season of his professional career, he was still able to provide the San Antonio Spurs with quite a bit of value when the ball left his hands and headed for the basket. Those mid-range jumpers are devastating, and he remains the master of using the glass. Expecting Duncan's per-minute numbers to decline significantly is just foolhardy at this point. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    10/15

    Do you actually think a cerebral legend like The Big Fundamental is going to struggle when he's not trying to score? Duncan sets picks as well as anyone, distributes the ball quite nicely within the San Antonio system and spaces out the court on a consistent basis. That said, he's not able to extend his range all the way out to the arc, which limits the movement of defenders. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Duncan is still a great defender, but his off-ball work is now limited by his declining lateral quickness. Though he continued to shut down players, he wasn't able to immerse himself in the flow of the game quite as often, instead hanging back around the rim more than ever before. 

    Rebounding

    15/15

    Even if he were 80 years old, Duncan would be able to snag boards like his life depended on it. Though he's not thriving when other players are within reach of the loose ball, Duncan's positioning is so phenomenal that he often beats everyone to the punch by a rather significant margin. 

    Intangibles

    9/10

    Unless you're named Joey Crawford, you wouldn't even think about giving Duncan anything less than a perfect score in the conduct department. It's only health that forces me to dock the future Hall of Famer a point, as the Spurs were cautious—perhaps overly cautious—with his aging body. 

    Overall

    82/100

    You can pretty much pencil Duncan in for a stellar season—one eerily consistent with the rest of his career, at least on a per-minute basis—until he finally hangs up the sneakers and moves into the post-NBA portion of his life. Hell, use pen if you must, because Duncan is one of the safest bets out there for well-rounded production. 

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

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    Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

    Scoring

    20/20

    Whether he was scoring on post moves, transition buckets, rolls to the basket, alley-oop finishes, put-back attempts or mid-range jumpers, Anthony Davis was putting up monstrous numbers during his sophomore season with the New Orleans Pelicans. The expansion of his range and the ability to create his own shots off the dribble just opened up a whole new world of possibilities. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    10/15

    Though Davis fared well in this category—thanks to his devastating combination of jump-shooting ability and athletic rolls to the basket, which constantly kept defenses vigilant—it's home to his biggest weakness. The Unibrow might have guard-like skills, but he's unable to generate assists for his teammates by the bayou. Only once did he drop even 50 cents worth of dimes in a single game, which is the biggest hindrance to his quest for the ultra elusive five-by-five.  

    Defense

    36/40

    When this 21-year-old gains more experience, he's only going to get better, as his rotations could stand to improve a bit. But Davis is a terrifying sight when he hedges and recovers on pick-and-rolls, he's versatile enough to protect the rim and guard more mobile big men, and he can switch onto any position for short bursts. He's basically a defensive prototype who needs a bit more refinement.  

    Rebounding

    15/15

    Here's a little-known fact about Davis: He won't shave his unibrow because its mysterious magnetic powers magically draw the ball to him after a shot is missed. OK, that's patently false, but it sure seems that way sometimes. 

    Intangibles

    8/10

    If only Davis could stay healthy. He's managed to avoid truly major injuries, but the minor ones take their toll, too. In 2013-14, The Brow was forced to become a spectator with a fractured left hand, a finger injury, a sprained shoulder, a sprained ankle and back spasms down the closing stretch. 

    Overall

    89/100

    It's hard to believe that Davis won't turn 22 years old until the 2014-15 regular season is nearly over, and it doesn't feel as though the days when he challenges for the No. 1 spot in the overall rankings are that far away. The Pelicans star has developed into a standout defender, offensive threat and rebounding phenom, all in only two years. I'd say the sky is the limit, but that might be selling Davis a bit short. 

     

    Don't forget to check back here for the latest updates to the NBA 200 series, but in the meantime, feel free to discuss any or all of these rankings with me on Twitter.