The current basketball season is nearing completion. In Europe, it remains to identify the winners of the national championships. The long-awaited final four in the Euroleague will take place in Cologne in the very near future. In North America, things are just starting to get really hot as the NBA has kicked off its playoff season. It will take a couple of months and a new title holder will be determined. In the meantime, just before the start of the playoff series, experts name the top NBA players on the planet, who will be remembered for their successful game in the 2020-21 season.
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Top NBA Players of 2020-21
Player Success and Salary
It is necessary to decide what is considered to be the success of basketball players. What is it: his playing statistics for the year and the achievements of the team for which he plays, or the size of his annual salary?
Probably, we are talking about both. After all, if a basketball player shows an exorbitant level of play, then the salary under the contract must also be appropriate. Of course, there are situations when an athlete enters into an impressive contract, but his game, for some reason, does not correspond to the level of his salary. But, most likely, these are rare exceptions to the rule. Usually, a great basketball player makes money according to his skills and abilities.
Leaders of the Rating
The current basketball season in the NBA has been somewhat truncated by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the minimal pre-season training, all teams held a very standard “regular season”, in which there were both their heroes and their “losers”.
In the rating of the most successful basketball players, for the most part, there are the same people who pulled their teams up in previous seasons. Of course, new rising “stars” have appeared, which in a short time managed to declare themselves in full voice. So, let’s move on to the top eight of our ranking.
8. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, last year’s Most Valuable Player, showed an unprecedented level of play in 2019-20. This year, he did not look so convincing. However, he still ended up in the ranking both in terms of the game and in terms of salary, which, with all sponsorship contracts, amounted to a little more than $50 million.
7. Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
In many ways, it was thanks to Chris Paul and his inspired performance that the Suns were finally able to overcome a long streak of failures. They finally managed to make their way to the playoffs. And, they got there from the second place in the West, ahead of such strong teams as the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets. Therefore, his final $40 million shouldn’t surprise anyone.
6. Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
Julius Randle is the real leader of the New York Knicks. They managed to make partners and bring an impassable outsider to the playoffs in the East. His excellent attacking play is confirmed by excellent statistics, and everyone is already talking about the excellent defense of the team. This is the first season of its kind for a 26-year-old with major achievements yet to come, so $25 million is not the limit. Now it’s worth waiting for worthy sponsorship contracts.
5. Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers)
Damian Lillard could have turned out to be higher in the rating, but fatigue and an annoying injury had an effect. These factors did not allow him to overcome the 30 point mark in a game. But even without this, the leader of Portland ended up in the top five best basketball players in the world. So he doesn’t get his $40 million in vain.
4. Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Luka Doncic is the first European in this ranking. The boy from Slovenia immediately became a real star in America, which he confirmed in his second season. He is the true leader of the team and will lead them forward in the fight for the title. He would still have to increase the percentage of implementation of three-point shots. Doncic is also a real contender for the Most Valuable Player for any of the following seasons.
3. Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
Injuries and traumas. If it were not for them, Joel Embiid would have already been the Most Valuable Player of one of the previous years. And so, he already seems to have played enough for the prize, but all the time something is missing. Again this season, he missed almost half of Philadelphia’s games. God willing, titles and awards await him in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, you can be satisfied with a salary of $35 million a year.
2. LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
LeBron James is the planet’s premier basketball star with a salary of $95 million. He has been proving his unique level for more than 15 years. Experts say that he will be able to show such a game for several more years. As the saying goes, you can’t drink talent.
1. Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Nikola Jokic is another great European who has won the Most Valuable Player award of the current season. He was good at everything: both under the basket and in three-pointers. The real leader of a team that can compete for the championship. He rightfully receives about $30 million, although he can count on more.
If you play excellent basketball in the NBA, then you will be paid in full accordance with your skills and merits. It has been proven by numerous examples of both American players and Europeans, who are growing in the league every year. This is especially true of the “stars” pulling their teams forward.