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Where the Houston Rockets’ stars fit in the top 10 players in the NBA

By Tevin Williams
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images /
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93. . . Center. Joel Embiid. 6

The 7-footer from Cameroon just seems to have everything you’d want in a star center. He can nail open 3’s, clean the board, punish just about any defender in the low post and he can protect the rim.

Joel Embiid put up 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season, and he’s just 24 years old. Jojo’s best years are still ahead of him, but the Sixers won’t have to wait to be a contender. Ben Simmons will be another year closer to his peak next year and with the additions of Al Horford and Josh Richardson, Philly will be amongst the best teams in the east once again.

Joel Embiid’s ability to stay healthy, and maybe The Greek Freak, will be the two biggest things standing in Philly’s path to the Finals next year.

20. . . Guard. LeBron James. 5

LeBron James has been considered the best player in the NBA for a very long time. After leading his teams to the Finals eight consecutive times between 2011 and 2018 and winning three Finals MVP’s over that stretch, it’s been hard for anyone to challenge The King’s throne.

However, last year in LA was an odd one for James. LeBron missed 27 games last season, by far the most of his career and the Lakers missed the postseason once again. LeBron missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season. To put that into perspective, none of the other players on this list were in the NBA back then, or even in college for that matter. By the time LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers were officially eliminated from the postseason back in 2005, Joel Embiid had just turned 11 years old.

LeBron’s longevity is one of the most impressive things about his career, but with his age, injuries, poor team record and bad defense last season, he has definitely dropped a few spots amongst the league’s best players.

Next: Nos. 3-4

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