No. 30: Darius Garland
Darius’ ranking might be closer to accurate than I would like to admit. Garland set a high standard for himself by making an All-Star game in his third full season. SInce then, he has had to be a witness to the rise of another point guard in the division (Tyrese Halliburton) and sharing the ball more with a ball-dominant guard in Donovan Mitchell. Throught it all, Darius has been the steady hand that has guided this Cavaliers team from 17 wins in 2019-20 to 51 wins last season. That all being said, I do think there are guys around him that should not be ranked ahead of Garland.
First off, the criteria of the list is Top 100 players RIGHT NOW. So when I see LaMelo Ball at #28, I don't get it. Ball was injured on Nov. 26 and is not expected to be back any time soon. How can Ball, who is on an awful team (6-12 on Dec. 5), and is not even available to suit up, be ranked this high up?
One that I go back and forth about is should DG be ranked ahead of Brandon Ingram. DG has more aspects to his game, being scoring, passing and perimeter defense, but Ingram has scorer’s demeanor and can carry a team by himself some games. Both Darius and Brandon are one-time All-Stars and both of their teams are probably underperforming based on the expectations. The next couple of weeks might determine who ultimately is a more impactful player going forward.
My re-ranking: #27 Tyrese Maxey, #28 Darius Garland, #29 Brandon Ingram, #30 Trae Young