10. Zach LaVine, Minnesota
The tenth spot on the list was probably the hardest to pick. There was a bevy of guys who could’ve landed here: Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyreke Evans, Devin Booker, but the one thing that made LaVine catch my eye was his perfect blend of durability and production. (Evans would’ve had this spot by a mile if his injuries never took place.)
Among the guys listed above, LaVine appeared in the most games (82) and had the most impressive per 36 minutes stats. I know that adjusted stats aren’t the best way to rate a player, but they’re a great indication, especially when you take into account that LaVine will certainly be seeing a bigger role in 2016-17. His shooting is on the brink of being lights out, and his overall field goal percentage (45.2) and three-point percentage (38.9) were tops among the four other guys named alongside him.
Justified by his 67.7 clip from inside the restricted area, LaVine is almost guaranteed to finish around the rim and his supreme athleticism makes it possible; his skill with the basketball also allows that, and LaVine has point-guard-level passing skills to boot. The only real holes in his game are with his mid-range and defense, but it’s hard to be an outstanding defender on a weak team, guys in the NBA are just too talented.
Next: Jordan Clarkson