Even though ESPN hasn’t fully released their annual list of The 100 Best NBA Players of the 2022-23 Season, the Boston Celtics have locked up having the most players on the controversial list.
With Grant Williams barely cracking the list at #99, the newly acquired Malcolm Brogdon (#65), all the way to Jayson Tatum at #7, the Celtics have 7% of the league’s one hundred best players according to ESPN’s experts and scribes Kendra Andrews, Tim Bontemps, Jamal Collier, Jonathan Givony, Andrew Lopez, Tim McMahon, Kevin Pelton, and Ohm Youngmisuk.
|#7||Jayson Tatum||Boston Celtics|
|#22||Jaylen Brown||Boston Celtics|
|#34||Marcus Smart||Boston Celtics|
|#58||Robert Williams III||Boston Celtics|
|#70||Al Horford||Boston Celtics|
|#87||Malcolm Brogdon||Boston Celtics|
|#99||Grant Williams||Boston Celtics|
According to most NBA watchers, talking heads, and gg bet, the Celtics are one of the favorites to go deep into the playoffs again this season. Last season they made the NBA Finals with one of the tightest rotations in the league. With the addition of Brogdon, they’ve added depth without sacrificing any of their core eight players from last season (including Derek White and Payton Pritchard).
The team with the second-most players? It’s not the franchise you think it would be. The only team with six players on ESPN’s list is the Cleveland Cavaliers. After having a surprising season that saw Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen make the NBA All-Star team, the team added another All-Star in Donovan Mitchell. You add to that Evan Mobley, Caris Levert and Kevin Love, and you have a really talented Cavs team going into 2023.
|24||Donovan Mitchell||Cleveland Cavs|
|36||Evan Mobley||Cleveland Cavs|
|46||Darius Garland||Cleveland Cavs|
|52||Jarrett Allen||Cleveland Cavs|
|80||Caris LeVert||Cleveland Cavs|
|97||Kevin Love||Cleveland Cavs|
Surprisingly, Mobley ranked higher (#36) than both Garland (#46) and Allen (#52), that’s how much potential the ESPN head think the second year 6-11 forward has coming into the season.
Teams With 5 Players, 1 Player
After the Celtics and Cavs, there are three teams with five players on ESPN’s list. That includes the Golden State Warriors (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole), the Memphis Grizzlies (Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Brandon Clarke) and the Atlanta Hawks with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, Dejounte Murray, John Collins and Trae Young.
There were only two teams that had just one player on ESPN’s list. The first one is no surprise; the sole Houston Rocket on the list is Jalen Green (#62).
The Charlotte Hornets were the other team; represented by just NBA All-Star LaMelo Ball (#41). The Hornets surely would have had two with Miles Bridges who had a career year last season. However, Bridges immediate future in the NBA is cloudy after off-court troubles this off-season with felony charges of domestic violence and child abuse. ESPN chose not to include Bridges in this year’s rankings because they don’t think he’ll be suiting up this season.
Exclusions Impact ESPN’s List
These type of exclusions are saved for players with injuries as they did with Kawhi Leonard in last season’s list and is the reason why they left rookie Chet Holmgren off the list who will miss the 2022-23 season due to a foot injury.
Had Bridges and Holmgren not missed this upcoming season, it would have impacted this list of teams with the most representation. With those two, it would have pushed Grant Williams (#99) off the list and the Boston Celtics would have tied the Cavs with six players on the list (with Kevin Love barely making the list at #100).
It would have also forced Bogdan Bogdanovic (#100) off the list, too. Meaning only the Warriors and Grizzlies would have five players on the list.