Sports Illustrated is counting down its list of “Top 100 NBA Players of 2019.”
There are approximately 420 players in the Association, counting those on the inactive list. So if you make SI’s list, you’re in the top 24 percent.
This is good news for Jazz fans. They have all five starters on the list. Ricky Rubio is No. 57, with Joe Ingles at 56, Derrick Favors at 51, Donovan Mitchell 34 and Rudy Gobert 14.
To lend perspective, Gobert is rated just ahead of the unstoppable Damian Lillard and right behind perennial All-Star Draymond Green.
This list, as much as any, shows what the Jazz front office has done to energize the Jazz. It’s one thing for a fan base to go nuts for its team just because. It’s another when all your starters are rated among the 100 best in the league, by a respected publication that has no part in playing favorites.
Sports Illustrated speculates Mitchell could become “Utah’s most beloved and decorated player since Stockton and Malone.”3 comments on this story
For the “Gordon Who?” crowd, it’s interesting to note Gordon Hayward is ranked well ahead of Mitchell, at No. 25 — despite missing last year with an injury.
“He’ll be great for the Celtics because he’d be great pretty much anywhere,” says the magazine.
But the news here for Utah fans is they’re not alone in their opinion that the Jazz are an up-and-coming team. With five players among the top 57, that puts the entire Jazz lineup in the top 14 percent of NBA players.
Seems people outside Utah are “taking note.”