Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is still alone in the world

They exploded this year, they reached a new milestone, their names now remain among the elite of the League, they are the candidates for the title of Most Improved Player, or the player with the most development in great Frenchy. Our first ranking saw the success of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, is this year 2023 off to the same start?

(Statistics from January 4)

# Mentions injuries

We think about them but it’s hard to include Desmond Bane or Tyrese Maxey in this ranking. Great performances by both sides but too much damage on the clock. You will probably need an impeccable health record to give yourself a competitive chance.

#10 – Kevin Huerter (starter)

Moved this summer to Sacramento, Kevin Huerter has become one of the darlings of the Kings fanbase. Sactown’s official sniper “Kéké” is the perfect counterpart to a De’Aaron Fox who has certainly made progress from distance but is most effective when he eats up space. With a trigger like Huerter ready to fire, defenders know there’s nothing they can do. High scoring career, high percentages, high collective results, the new Californian life of the former Hawk is temporarily a dream. The kid even received compliments from one… Kevin Durant, who compared him to the Splash Brothers. It’s a nice tribute.

Stats in 2021-22: 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 45% shooting including 39% from long range

Stats in 2022-23: 15.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 48% shooting including 42% from distance

#9 – Nic Claxton (starter)

Another new one for our Leading and we’ll see it in a moment. Signed by the Nets last summer, Nic Claxton is currently proving Sean Marks’ decision right. Defensively good, able to switch from position 1 to 5, the kid clearly has fangs as he already envisions himself in the race for DPOY. Perhaps a bit ambitious but appetite goes with food after all and he has everything to try to win the statuette. It should be noted that at the offensive level, the pivot has also grown with small moves in the post, more and more initiatives and real efficiency under the circle. Latest example: the great holiday masterclass against Greek Freak Bucks.

2021-22 stats: 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 67% shooting.

Stats in 2022-23: 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 74% shooting.

#8 – Devin Vasell (+1)

We leave the teams celebrating at the top of their Conferences to go and see in the shallows and we find great treasures there too. If San Antonio’s future should come down to a big pick in the next Draft (Wemby?), the talent is already there at Fort Alamo with Keldon Johnson but also the talented Devin Vassell. The swingman is loving his new responsibilities in Texas and is taking the opportunity to show us his skills night after night. It is not always regular but you have to remember the work done. Not enough to offer San Antonio some wins but enough to please a fanbase that can only rely on the development of youth to smile.

Stats in 2021-22: 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 43% shooting including 36% from long range

Stats in 2022-23: 19.4 points, 4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 45% shooting including 40% from long range

#7 – Jalen Brunson (+1)

At the bottom of last year’s cliff, New York had the good idea to bet on Jalen Brunson during last Free Agency and the leader continued to respond. What’s new in a month? The percentages were much more presentable in the long distance but also a period that was not so good during the holidays, with some not so good performances (as his team said) and especially the first injuries that came. Nothing to worry about compared to what we’ve seen so far, it’s still that solid.

Stats in 2021-22: 16.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 50% shooting including 37% from long range

Stats in 2022-23: 20.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 46% shooting including 37% from long range

#6 – Alperen Sengun (+1)

Eric Gordon might say to the press that there is no progress with the Rockets, we must make him lie. Alperen Sengun has taken a step forward since the departure of Christian Wood and his inclusion in the holders. Despite the stats being a little less flashy than last month, the Turkish pivot remains one of the great (but also rare) delights of the season in Texas. Hands full of talent, huge room for improvement and… only 20 years old. If he continues his momentum, his future looks bright.

Stats in 2021-22: 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1 block, 47% shooting

Stats in 2022-23: 14.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1 block, 55% shooting

#5 – Bowl Bowl (+1)

He pushes the freak on the Orlando side and we are not talking only about the Paolo Banchero phenomenon. On tiptoe, Bol Bol urges everyone to embrace his potential. Height, mobility, shooting, defending, good qualities with the ball in hand, quite a stylish combo for a man who is 2m18 tall! The man is so tall, look at those bent arms. And then what is this dunk in Space Jam during the holidays? If it develops to its full potential beware!

Stats in 2021-22: 2.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, 56% shooting including 25% from long range.

2022-23 stats: 12 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 rebounds, 59% shooting including 39% from long range.

#4 – Anfernee Simons (=)

The Blazers’ favorite ant is still hot in our Top 4, it’s hard to imagine him coming out anytime soon. The main fault of the man is clearly not talent but more regularity. Know how to manage even in the nights without, not to slam us with 38 points on 58% shooting one night and 11 points on 6/19 the day after. A detail that he always erases but what is important is that above all he succeeded in succeeding CJ McCollum without the shadow of his elder being too heavy. Damian Lillard has found himself a worthy new sidekick in the backcourt.

Stats in 2021-22: 17.3 points, 3.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 44% shooting including 41% from long range.

Stats in 2022-23: 22.6 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 44% shooting including 38% from long range.

#3 – Lauri Markkanen (=)

He’s still there, your favorite Finn your favorite Finn and as time goes on, we think the Jazz will have a home representative at the next All-Star Game. If the classification of Utah can clearly complicate the situation, the blond in any case gives himself reasons to believe in it. Since the votes opened, the winger has averaged over 30 points! Problem, the Jazz won only two of the seven games in this series, leaving the Top 8 in the West… Not enough to condemn the Scandinavian and we have seen it in recent years. In any case here we strongly believe in it.

2021-22 stats: 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 45% shooting including 36% from long range

Stats in 2022-23: 23.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 53% shooting and 42% from distance.

#2 – Tyrese Haliburton (=)

If you’re wondering who to watch at the start of the night, consider checking out the Pacers, you’ll rarely be disappointed. Over 20 points, 10 rebounds, all while going almost 50/40/90 (49/41/88 to be exact), this is an XXL season that Tyrese Haliburton is giving us and we just have to see the list of players of NBA already dropped a season at 20/10 to realize this. This is a very elite club and if it keeps up the momentum, the leader will be a part of it. We keep him in the second position for the moment and to hope for the best, probably the leader needs to calm down a bit. It didn’t win…

Stats in 2021-22: 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 50% shooting including 42% from long range

2022-23 stats: 20.7 points, 10.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 49% shooting including 41% from long range

#1 – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (=)

For the first rank, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander really dictates his law for the best development. Weeks pass but one constant remains, SGA continues its madness. Aside from the Sixers at the end of December, the guard roamed the end of 2022, even setting a new career record against the Pelicans (44 points). If the Thunder are still in the play-in race, it’s thanks to him. The postseason remains a somewhat distant goal, but making it to the All-Star Game box seems as inevitable as it left its mark at the beginning of the season. A potential All-Star and our MIP attack in 2023.

Stats in 2021-22: 24.5 points, 5.9 assists, 5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 45% shooting including 30% from long range.

Stats in 2022-23: 30.8 points, 5.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1 against, 50% shooting including 35% from long range

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