Too often when people discuss the superstars in the NBA today, there are players mentioned that should not be in the discussion. The sole goal of this post is to try to label the players in the NBA who are superstars.
To begin, I want to define what I believe is a superstar. A superstar is a player who does it all on the court. He is one who can be relied on late in games and is supremely talented.
In my opinion, there are between 10 to 20 superstars in the league today. Below is my list of the superstars in the NBA today.
Anthony Davis- AD possibly has the most potential out of anyone in this league. He’s had trouble staying away from the injury bug, but we’ve all seen what he can do. He’s still only 23 years old and continues to improve each facet of his game.
Carmelo Anthony- Carmelo is one of the players on this list that is on the lower end of the spectrum, but he’s still a superstar. Anthony hasn’t had the best past few seasons with New York, but things are looking up for the Knicks and Anthony for the foreseeable future.
Chris Paul- Don’t ever forget that Chris Paul should be on this list. It’s unfortunate that Chris Paul has not been able to win a championship yet, but he’s still a top 10 player in this league year after year. Paul is a terrific leader and one of the best point guards of all time.
Damian Lillard- It’s odd to consider Damian Lillard a superstar given the fact that he didn’t make the All-Star Game in the best season of his career. Lillard stepped up in a big way this past season, proving everyone wrong and leading Portland to a playoff appearance and series win when no one had them doing anything this season.
DeMarcus Cousins- DeMarcus Cousins is the most dominant player in the league today. You can trust that if you are going to throw the ball to Cousins in the post, he’s going to get you a bucket. Talent is everything for DeMarcus, and while he might have a bit of a temper and hasn’t been on a winning team, his talents alone make him a superstar.
Dwyane Wade- This might be one of the more surprising choices considering his age, but if you watched him intensely this year, you’d have no disagreement with labeling D-Wade as a superstar. Father Prime is defying all odds and has continued to be a trusted go-to guy for the Heat.
James Harden- Many would consider Harden a superstar and I am as well, but this was harder than you’d expect. James Harden doesn’t put the effort in defensively and that is very discouraging. But, James Harden is still one of the best slashers this game has ever seen and can draw a foul like no one else in the league. His offensive game makes him a superstar.
Kawhi Leonard- Kawhi, notoriously known as the best defender in the NBA, is a superstar. Leonard has pushed himself into the top 5 conversation and has proved himself to be a late game assassin as well.
Kevin Durant- Fans of the NBA, for one reason or another, have forgotten about Kevin Durant. Not entirely, but in the sense that he was one of the best players in the NBA next to LeBron. We’ll see where he decides to go this off-season but, either way, he’ll be the best player on that team.
Klay Thompson- Klay Thompson has always been labeled as Steph Curry’s partner in crime. He hasn’t had the chance to show what kind of player he can become. In the Western Conference Finals this year against the Thunder, Klay saved the Warriors and proved that he’s one of the best two-way players in the game.
LaMarcus Aldridge- LaMarcus Aldridge is the top power forward in the league behind Anthony Davis and arguably the best mid-range shooter in the league. He performed in the playoffs for the Trail Blazers when he was with them and did so as well for the Spurs this year. With the talent that he has, he should continue to find success in the playoffs.
LeBron James- The best or second best player in the league. There is no argument against LeBron James being a superstar.
Paul George- PG carried the Pacers to a Game 7 against the Raptors in the 1st round. Yes, they ultimately lost, but George proved once again that he can be the leader for a team. He’s a terrific player on both ends and has officially put his injury in the past.
Russell Westbrook- Russell Westbrook is incredible. His acceleration is unmatched and so is his hustle. Westbrook has made earning a triple-double seem like a very easy task. He’s a unique talent in this league and is one of the best.
Steph Curry- Right now, he’s the best player in the league…so yea, he’s a superstar.
Who Barely Missed The List?
Blake Griffin- Blake Griffin has suffered from too many injuries as of late and just isn’t progressing his jump shot as much as we’d like. Chris Paul is the perfect point guard to have and it’s just concerning that Blake and him haven’t found success yet.
Draymond Green- This is not a good time to say that Draymond Green is not a superstar, given the game he had last night in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Still, while Green is a terrific player, he doesn’t have the kind of offensive impact that is required of a superstar. I just don’t think he can be trusted with the ball late in a game.
Gordon Hayward- Gordon Hayward might be a surprising name on this list. He’s a fantastic player on both ends, outplayed LeBron head to head more than once, and has had his share of late-game heroics. To become a superstar, he’ll need to command a greater offensive load as Utah needs him to step it up and take over the offense.
Jimmy Butler- Before this season, Jimmy Butler would have been considered a superstar. Rather easily actually. But, this year was just too disappointing for Butler and the Bulls. Yes, it seems like he was dealing with injuries all year long, but if he was really a superstar, he would’ve been able to lead Chicago to the playoffs with how good that team was.
John Wall- Like Jimmy Butler, John Wall would be considered a superstar if I had made this article a year prior. Because of the disappointing season that Wall had, I can’t label him as a superstar. His jump shot was still not there and he failed to lead a promising Wizards team to the playoffs.
Karl-Anthony Towns- Give him time. He’ll be a superstar soon.
Do you agree with these choices? Is there a person that you believe should be labeled as a superstar that was not on the list? If so, hit us up on Twitter @BBallSociety_ and let us know your thoughts!