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Ben Gordon narrowly misses cut of NBA’s 100 best players

Zach Lowe of The Point Forward has undertaken the difficult and sure-to-cause-controversy task of ranking the NBA’s top 100 players. Today, he unveiled Nos. 100-91 along with a few players who didn’t make the cut. First of all, it’s important to understand Lowe’s criteria:

That’s what these rankings are designed to do — spotlight the 100 best NBA players, regardless of salary or current team context, based on where they stand at this very moment, approaching the (still theoretical) 2011-12 season.

Ben Gordon didn’t crack the first 10 players Lowe revealed, but he wasn’t too far behind:

Ben Gordon, SG, Detroit Pistons: He was the among the last three or four players cut, even though the memory of his insane shooting performance in Chicago’s first-round playoff loss to the Celtics in 2009 remains strong and scary. His minutes and shots dropped amid the “buffoonery” in Detroit, though his three-point percentage rebounded last season into elite territory. When Gordon’s not shooting, he’s not contributing much in the way of assists, defense or free throws, and two straight subpar seasons — not entirely of his own making — drop him out of this top 100, at least for now.

Which Pistons do you think will make Lowe’s top 90? I initially guessed Greg Monroe first, but then I read this teaser from Lowe:

Ranking sophomores proved especially difficult, and only two made the list. I sought a balance between rewarding the potential for growth next season and punishing bad play already on the record, and that balance tilted against players with only one NBA season to their names. I’m with the group that believes DeMarcus Cousins has a very bright NBA future, but the glaring, near-historic (for a big man) inefficiencies of his rookie season keep him off this list for now, since immediate improvement is uncertain.

The two sophomores almost certainly must be Blake Griffin and John Wall, which would exclude Monroe. I think that’s a mistake. Monroe has an excellent chance of becoming one of the NBA’s top 100 players next season.

But with Monroe out, I predict Tayshaun Prince will rank the highest among the Pistons, and Rodney Stuckey will be the only other Detroit player to make the list.

31 Comments

  • Aug 1, 20113:39 pm
    by neutes

    Reply

    It’s possible he didn’t consider Griffin a sophomore when writing that line, and the two are Wall and Monroe. If not I can’t imagine Nick Collison makes the list and Monroe doesn’t. In fact I can’t believe Collison makes it and McGee, Camby, and Humphries don’t. He’s putting way too much emphasis on nit-picky synergy defensive stats. I’d take McGee over and of those 10 in the 90-100 range, and it’s likely I’ll take him over the next 10 as well.
     
    Monroe and Stuckey would be the only 2 Pistons I could imagine making the list. Although neither should be top 50.

  • Aug 1, 20113:40 pm
    by rob

    Reply

    I dont see how a one-dimensional, undersized SG, who is a career bench player that doesnt defend, rebound, or pass could be even close to a top 100 player. The only thing he can do is shoot 3′s.

  • Aug 1, 20114:09 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    @rob, Gordon is going to start next season if we can successfully trade Rip! How is he a career bench player when he was starting for Chicago for 2 seasons??

    • Aug 1, 20118:58 pm
      by jamie

      Reply

      Stuckey will be starting next season at SG if he stays. If I can remember right a half hour before Knight’s 1st press conference, Dumars mentioned he had a talk with Stuckey and how he see’s them as our future back court. I’m sure quite a few people know I’m not a big Dumars fan but I have to admit that would be nice to watch. Stuckey’s problem is that he isn’t a great shooter but Knight is lights out from beind the arch and stuckey can take it in and without the pressure to make playes I think he could thrive playing next to Knight. I see Gordon as a dominant 6 man that can sub in for either player and contribute right away

      • Aug 1, 201111:10 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Well, Stuckey is only going to be their SG of the future if he signs a new contract.

        • Aug 2, 201112:10 am
          by jamie

          Reply

          Lol yea i did say IF HE STAYS in the very 1st sentence

          • Aug 2, 20119:27 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            My fault. That Knight/Stuckey tandem will be a lot less “nice to watch” if Stuckey gets overpaid, that’s the problem. Stuckey is a good value based on his contract. I’m not ready to call him an asset or anything like that, though, until he signs. If it’s something reasonable, then fine, sign him and start him at SG. But if he gets anywhere near Hamilton/Gordon money, he just becomes another albatross of a contract.

  • Aug 1, 20116:16 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    I think Rip makes the list solely based on the fact that Gordon JUST missed the cut.

    I don’t think anybody who analyzes the NBA can say that Gordon is better than Richard Hamilton. 

  • Aug 1, 20116:33 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    If you think Gordon and Hamilton played about equally as well last season, a reasonable conclusion, who would you rather have for next season? The one who will be 28 or the one who will be 33?

    • Aug 1, 201110:15 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      the one on a shorter contract.
       
      no, but seriously. i don’t consider their ages to be nearly as much of a factor as their respective strengths and weaknesses. it’s a question of which achilles heel you’d rather put up with: rip’s inability to create his own shot, or gordon’s small stature. both have been terrible for us and will continue to be terrible for us until somebody sorts the roster, ships at least one out of town, and puts the other in a system that suits his game (assuming we’re not lucky enough to ditch them both). if they’re basically equally unproductive, i could care less which side of 30 they’re on.

      • Aug 1, 201111:46 pm
        by neutes

        Reply

        Exactly.
         
        Rip and Gordon are both equally bad, or at least have been the last 2 seasons. If that’s the case take the one with the shorter deal. Even if Gordon could be slightly better he’s not going to actually be good, or an asset of any sort. Odds are this team won’t be winning much until both are gone.
         
        Rip has career averages as a Piston of 46% shooting, 18 ppg, 4 apg. Gordon’s career averages are 43%/16/3, and much worse as a Piston. I don’t think Rip is too old yet. Gordon slappies like to point out if Gordon had a solid role he would perform better, well, couldn’t the same be said for Rip, the better player over his career? I’m sure I’ve called for Rip to go in the past but c’mon he’s the Pistons all-time leading playoff scorer, he plays hard, he wants to win, has a funny personality, and he’s won a championship and performed better at his peak than Gordon ever has.

        • Aug 2, 20119:31 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “Gordon slappies like to point out if Gordon had a solid role he would perform better, well, couldn’t the same be said for Rip, the better player over his career?”

          Yes, the same could be said for both. What can’t be said for both, though, is that if Hamilton doesn’t get the minutes/shots/role he exactly wants, he whines, complains and becomes a major distraction. Gordon undoubtedly didn’t have the role he’s wanted over the last two years and there’s no question he’s been a better, more professional teammate over that span.

          Unfortunately because of the locker room problems of last season, the Pistons aren’t in a position where they can make decisions based solely on basketball production. If Hamilton’s personality was a major problem for the previous coach asserting himself in that locker room, Hamilton might have to go regardless of whether or not he’s a slightly better player with a shorter contract.

          • Aug 2, 201110:20 am
            by neutes

            I’m backwards from everyone else on this but Rip complaining is a good thing if you ask me. He’s been a winner his whole career and he’s confident in his abilities. He has a drive and he’s almost always playing hard while he’s on the court. Dumars screwed him over by adding Gordon when he should have just stuck with Rip since he already paid him a boatload.
             
            Gordon has been ‘professional’ if you want to call it that. He’s been quiet, which doesn’t necessarily speak towards his will to win or any confidence in his ability to help the team win. And he has looked like his confidence is shaken and he has moped it on the court. It’s almost like he’s complaining by not trying as hard as opposed to whining.
             
            I don’t get why most say we just need to remove Rip from the picture so Gordon can have more minutes. Gordon’s played over 800 more minutes than Rip the last two seasons and hasn’t shown one bit he deserves more minutes handed on a platter to him. Here you go Ben here’s your 35 minutes a game you don’t deserve.

          • Aug 2, 201110:33 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I don’t get why most say we just need to remove Rip from the picture so Gordon can have more minutes.”

            I’m not saying Gordon deserves more minutes. I’m saying that Hamilton has been unhappy, and a distraction to the point that anonymous players were complaining about how terrible he was to reporters last season. The divide between veterans and young players in the locker room was reported on pretty regularly last season. Rip might be the better player, he’s certainly had the better career, but this team is rebuilding. If, instead of being a leader, setting an example of the hard work it actually takes to become a winning team, Hamilton is just moping and whining about his own lack of playing time, then yeah, I’d prefer they cut ties with him, give those minutes to someone else (preferably Daye to figure out if they actually have anything there) and go on about trying to new pieces.

            “Dumars screwed him over by adding Gordon when he should have just stuck with Rip since he already paid him a boatload.”

            Right. Dumars screwed him over by paying him a huge contract extension, one that I would be willing to bet Hamilton wouldn’t have received on the free agent market had he not signed it. I wish someone would screw me over like that.

    • Aug 1, 201110:50 pm
      by kamal

      Reply

      I’d rather have Rip because I believe he’s the better player.  Rip looked good once he was inserted back into the rotation.  BG didn’t look good when Rip was getting all of those DNPs.  They even slid Stuckey over to the 2 for an experiment.  

      I think Rip has enough left in the tank to still be better than BG if they’re on the same team. 

    • Aug 1, 201111:13 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Even with two straight miserable seasons, Gordon still shot 40 percent from 3 last year. My preference would be neither guy considering how expensive both are relative to their production, but since they already seem committed to one guard who can’t shoot I think I’d rather give Gordon a chance at big minutes and see if he can bounce back anywhere near where he was at in Chicago.

  • Aug 1, 20119:54 pm
    by nohbohdhy

    Reply

    How can they put a Piston in the top 100?
    Prince: Is a prototypical help defender. He is not a lockdown defender. Let him use his arms and mind to anticipate and step into the passing lanes.
    Stuckey: Not a Point Guard! A #2 who can run the point. Can get to the basket. Streaky shooter. Add in his “medical” history; trade him while he has value.
    Hamilton: Why not take the trade to Cle get bought out and go to Boston? Does not have the ability to get to make his own shot. A player that excels in a TEAM. That 6th sense players get when they play with guys for a long time. They blew up the team and his production is down.
    Gordon: Chi let him go because he is a great scorer 17-23 min of a game. Can’t stop anyone so while he’s going off so is the guy he’s suppose to stop.
    Monroe and Jerebko: Both had great rookie yrs. Hopefully Monroe avoids the injury because what a tandem for the Pistons. Both can bang in the paint and don’t have to have “set” plays to score.

    • Aug 1, 201110:16 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      prince is a top 100 player. make no mistake.

    • Aug 1, 201111:15 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @nohbohdy:

      “Why not take the trade to Cle get bought out and go to Boston?”

      Why leave money on the table by taking a buyout when the league was heading for what looks like a long lockout?

      • Aug 1, 201111:49 pm
        by neutes

        Reply

        Aren’t players contract years still moving forward? If the season doesn’t happen Rip misses a full year’s pay and only has one year left correct? Wouldn’t he have made more than $12.5 mil in a buyout?

        • Aug 2, 20119:36 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Maybe.

          But the variable here is no one except Hamilton and his agent know what the buyout offer was. I would assume that if his agent thought that was the way for Hamilton to maximize the money he could make, he would’ve advised him to do it I assume. I don’t know though. My point is just it’s hard to say what Hamilton should’ve done without knowing exactly what was being offered in the buyout talks.

  • Aug 2, 20112:18 am
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    Knight will play plenty minutes off the bench next season!! The starting back court is going to be Stuckey and Gordon next season, when Knight is ready he will start at PG(after about 2 or 3 seasons), and Gordon will go back to our 6th man since he doesn’t mind playing off the bench!! Gordon gets paid starting money for a reason my friends, lets get realistic…

    • Aug 2, 20119:14 am
      by Jake

      Reply

      Gets paid starting money, but too bad we don’t see any production for it. I love the Pistons but it almost seems like the organization is a death trap.

  • Aug 2, 20117:58 am
    by Adrià Pagès

    Reply

    Come on, guys. let’s not watch the numbers. Although Ben Gordon seems to be worse because of his stadistics, he has a higher basjetball IQ. and he can play both PG and SG, so I think trading RIP is better, cause he’s only an “after the screen” shooter. The problem is who would trade for Rip, and what would be the trade like.

    • Aug 2, 20119:38 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      See, I like Gordon because he’s an elite 3-point shooter. But “higher basketball IQ?” I can’t agree with that. Hamilton is a far superior defensive player and Gordon absolutely cannot play PG. The few times the Pistons tried to use him to bring the ball up, he was really uncomfortable doing it.

    • Aug 2, 201110:30 am
      by neutes

      Reply

      Hamilton has a much higher basketball IQ. He understands not only how to use screens to get his shot, but also how to come off them and draw attention from the defense to find the open man with a pass. He averages over 4 assists per game. Rip understands how defense react, he understands where his teammates are on the court, and he understand how to create space. Gordon can shoot, he can iso, but that doesn’t mean he has a high basketball IQ. Most of the shots he takes are contested and would be considered poor shots if he wasn’t so adept at making ridiculous shots.

  • Aug 2, 20111:26 pm
    by kamal

    Reply

    Neutes, you said everything I would have said. 
    -Rip’s better than Gordon
    -Rip’s complaining means that he hates losing, while Gordon’s moping on the court means that he doesn’t even care. 
    -Rip knows how to play the game.  Gordon knows how to get his shot off.
    -Joe jerked Rip by signing Gordon the year after the Iverson debacle. 

    Dan and Patrick, another reason why I believe Rip should be rated higher than Gordon is than in the 2 years he’s been in Detroit, he’s still yet to beat him out as the starting 2.  The only way for Gordon to start at the 2 is if they move Rip.  If they both go into training camp together, you know darn well that Rip will beat him out do to defense and passing ability.

    • Aug 2, 20112:05 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Like I said in another comment, I don’t think Gordon’s better. I just think that, given what has happened in the locker room with reports of the divide between Prince/Hamilton and the young players, it’s probably best to part ways with both guys. I say that knowing that those two are probably better than anyone on the roster who would replace them. But the team is rebuilding and neither guy seems all that interested in being a leader/mentor for the younger group of guys. I’m not hating on that … it’s their right. But it just doesn’t make much sense from the perspective of a rebuilding team to keep veteran players who require a lot of minutes to be happy. It would be much more valuable for Detroit to see if Gordon can rebuild his value some in big minutes so that maybe he could be traded down the road or to see if Daye is capable of becoming a significant contributor.

      • Aug 2, 20114:21 pm
        by Jodi Jezz

        Reply

        Gordon is going to retire a piston!

  • Aug 2, 20111:39 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    We will see that 18-20pts per game next season when Gordon is getting his minutes..Gordon has been playing career low minutes since his rookie year, you cant expect him to be a productive scorer when he isn’t receiving any minutes…I think the main situation everyone should be worried about is our lack of a decent Center that can complement Monroe, and who is going to start at SF, instead of worrying about Gordon who hasn’t received the 6th man minutes or starter minutes he needs to be successful.

  • Aug 3, 20118:45 am
    by Murph

    Reply

    Personally, I prefer Hamilton over Gordon.  But at this point, I don’t care who the Pistons trade, just as long as they trade one or the other.  Trying to split minutes between Rip and BG is seriously damaging both of their careers….not to mention the Pistons’ performance.

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