In an exercise fraught with peril which is lots of fun but ultimately pointless, a panel of SBNation NBA writers attempted to rank the top 100 NBA players -- of 2017. That's four seasons from now, when LeBron James will be 32 years old and Andrew Wiggins will be 22.
The Clippers placed three players on the list, two in the top 20. Blake Griffin came in at number 10, Chris Paul at 16 and DeAndre Jordan was the final pick at 100.
The list is constructed as a draft -- the six participants take turns taking a player. This makes the list not really a consensus but rather allows individual opinion to shoot up the charts. No player should drop more than five or ten spots below their real value, since any one of the six pickers will have their chance to grab that player -- but players can rise as far as one man's hunch can take them.
As for the placement of Clippers on the list, I have no major complaints. Griffin at 10 is fine -- he winds up being the third highest rated big man of 2017, behind Andre Drummond (chosen third, this is one of those individual hunches) and Anthony Davis. Interestingly, when SBNation undertook a similar exercise two years ago, Griffin was predicted to be the fourth best player in the league in 2015, just behind LeBron and Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. It's another interesting example of the backlash against Griffin -- when he was a rookie and almost entirely potential (as opposed to actual results) he was more highly regarded. At the tender age of 24, Griffin is a less intriguing pick than guys like Drummond and Anthony Davis, despite the fact that he has made great strides in his first three seasons in the league.
Paul at 16 is a bigger problem for me, but I'll have more on that later. Suffice it to say that the rankers are worried about his health, particularly his knees. But it's not as if Paul relies on his athleticism, and savvy point guards tend to be at the top of their game at 32, so it's not wishful thinking to imagine that Paul might still be a top 5 NBA player in 2017. Picking Julius Randle, who is about to start his freshman season at Kentucky, ahead of him is just wrong, Mike Prada.
Jordan at 100 is whatever. We'll see what kind of impact Doc Rivers can have on DeAndre this season. After a year with a new coach who can hopefully provide both a level of confidence and some major development, 100 may seem too low for Jordan. On the other hand, if he remains more or less the same player, then it's probably too high. Then again, I find it interesting the Drummond is deemed third on this list and Jordan 100th, given that you could easily substitute Jordan's name into the description for Drummond and it would work fine.
According to this list, the Clippers are one of three NBA teams with at least two top 20 players in 2017, the Rockets and Thunder being the others. The Thunder actually placed three in the top 20, but 19 is way too high for Serge Ibaka if you ask me. The Thunder also placed Jeremy Lamb at number 50, but that's one of those "WTF" picks. Could it happen? Sure. Will it? I'll say no; we can check in four years and see who's correct (spoiler alert, it'll be me).