1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
The inefficiency argument against Westbrook was squashed this year, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can continue to make 45 percent of his shots while being the go-to guy. Putting aside the percentages, Westbrook is on track to have a monstrous statistical season, and could possibly become the second player to average a triple-double.
When KD went down during the 2014-15 NBA season, Westbrook played in 27 games without his cohort, and proceeded to torch everyone in the league to the tune of 31.3p-9.9a-8.7r. Albeit he shot poorly and turned the ball over a lot–5.2 per night–but that’s what happens with dynamic players; it was also easy to turn a blind eye to it because he was so spectacular. For OKC to return to the playoffs with a lesser roster, however, Russ will need to turn it down at points, but that won’t stop him from being the top PG next year. In terms of all-around talent, Russ is right up there with LeBron and James Harden, and he’s a killer who doesn’t stop attacking. Ever.
You can’t overlook the fact that the departure of Durant hurt Westbrook, and how he’ll take his frustration out on whoever dares to matchup across from him.