2018-19 NBA player rankings: 10-1
theScore

Ahead of the 2018-19 season, theScore's basketball editors ranked the top 30 players in the NBA. As a reminder, these rankings are based solely on how we project players to perform in the coming season.

Player Rankings 30-21
Player Rankings 20-11

10. Chris Paul - Houston Rockets

Paul will turn 34 during next spring's playoffs, but even a slightly slower Point God is a top 10 player. With the Rockets exploiting iso ball in a revolutionary way last season, Paul ranked third in the NBA in win shares per 48 minutes and 15th in PER. - Chick

9. Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Though Embiid's perimeter shooting slipped last season, and he'll always come with injury concerns, it feels like "The Process" can go nowhere but up. He's the only true center to crack the top 10. - Chick

8. Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder

For a moment, forget Russ' shortcomings, like his frequently stubborn focus on attacking the basket or his lack of an outside shot. He's a force of nature - a whirling dervish of basketball explosiveness who, if he retired tomorrow, would go down as one of the NBA's all-time most memorable players. - Chick

7. Kawhi Leonard - Toronto Raptors

Whether due to injury or general discontentment with his situation in San Antonio, Leonard played just nine games last year. The Raptors hope those hangups are in the rearview, as the two-time Defensive Player of the Year is arguably the league's preeminent two-way player when healthy. - Potter

6. Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks

Antetokounmpo has measurably improved between each of his five seasons to date, and he enters the 2018-19 campaign still shy of his 24th birthday. With a steady guiding hand in new Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, Lord have mercy on the rest of the league if the Greek Freak continues to get better. - Potter

5. James Harden - Houston Rockets

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

That the reigning MVP ranks fifth here is a testament to the absurd amount of talent in the NBA today. Harden led the league with 30.4 points per game and still found the touches to dish out 8.8 assists a night. There's no greater symbiosis in basketball than the one between Harden and Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni. - Potter

4. Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors

Curry is able to collapse the league's top defenses even when he doesn't have the ball in his hands. Since the 2014-15 season, the 6-foot-3 sharpshooter has put up ridiculous splits of 48.8 percent from the floor, 43.4 percent on 3-pointers, and 90.9 percent from the free-throw line. - Potter

3. Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans

Health was an issue early in his career, but Davis has now played 75 games in back-to-back campaigns. He's a terror around the rim, leading the NBA in blocks per game in three of the past five seasons. An emergent 3-point stroke is quickly making Davis one of the hardest players to guard in the NBA. - Potter

2. Kevin Durant - Golden State Warriors

Playing for the Warriors allows Durant to pick his spots in the regular season, but when the right moment arises, few players can make a 40-point outing look so effortless. His improvement on the defensive end in recent years is the cherry on top. - Potter

1. LeBron James - Los Angeles Lakers

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

In his 15th season, LeBron averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9.1 assists; led the league in minutes; and dragged one of his weakest supporting casts in recent memory to a fourth straight Finals appearance. James was the unanimous No. 1 pick by all eight contributors to theScore's player rankings. There's no sign he's close to slowing down. - Potter

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2018-19 NBA player rankings: 10-1
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