3. Zach LaVine (No. 44)
If you were to stop watching basketball halfway through last season, I could maybe understand this ranking here. But if you were a legitimate fan of the NBA and followed the action all year long, you’d know better than to rank Zach LaVine as the 44th-best player in the league.
Admittedly, LaVine did struggle coming out of the gate. Still shaking the rust off from injury, he averaged 22.2 points per game on 45.2% shooting through his first 30 games of the season. This relatively poor performance (by Zach’s own standards, at least) resulted in him missing the All-Star Game for the first time since 2019-200.
Despite being one of the NBA’s most entertaining players to watch, Zach LaVine remains underrated by the media.
Once he got back up to full speed, however, he bounced back strong by averaging 27.1 points on 52.3% shooting to close out his final 30 games of the year. The Bulls surged up the standings at the end of the year on the back of LaVine’s strong performance. Even point guard Patrick Beverley took to Twitter to defend Zach, pointing out that his averages for the year may not be entirely indicative of just how well he was playing.
Despite the fact that LaVine averaged more points on better efficiency than he did in the 2021-22 season, Bleacher Report has Zach dropping 17 spots from his No. 27 placement just one year ago. This ranking only looks worse when you look at the players ahead of Zach, though B/R does make note that making the playoffs this season would send shooting him back up this list.