We had to wait two days after Sports Illustrated named Robin Lopez the 84th-best player in the NBA, but finally we come to another member of the New York Knicks on the Top 100 list. And -- wouldn't you know it? -- that player is Carmelo Anthony.
Despite missing most of the 2014-15 season to a knee debridement, Melo still clocks in at a lofty 15th on the list.
Although rushing to write off Carmelo Anthony would be a mistake, the sand does seem to be shifting beneath his feet. As the 10-time All-Star works back from a season-ending knee injury and attempts to suppress all memories of New York's tank-tastic 2014-15 campaign, he does so with a fleet of young, talented, two-way wings gunning for his spot behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant on the charts.
Holding down a spot between Draymond Green and Boogie Cousins is some fairly august company. My one and only problem -- my eternal NBA ranking pet peeve -- is that they place LaMarcus Aldridge above Melo.
Let's compare Aldridge's 2014-15 (his age-29 season) with Melo's 2013-14 (his age-29 season, and his last full campaign):
Melo is the superior shooter, gets to the line more often, is a better passer, and doesn't lag far behind in many of the stats you'd expect Aldridge to dominate, like rebounding and shot-blocking. Yes, Aldridge is a better defender, but Melo is ridiculously far ahead of him on the offensive end.
Sure, Melo might not be the same player he was before surgery -- we don't yet know one way or the other. And Aldridge will probably fit in perfectly with the Spurs. But based on what they've accomplished over the past few years, Carmelo Anthony is the superior player. Here's hoping he proves it once again in 2015-16.
Stay tuned for the final 10 players on SI's list, where we will undoubtedly find Kristaps Porzingis. Will they dare keep him out of the Top 3?