Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal breaks top 20 in ESPN’s Top 100 list

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

It took ESPN three days to finally name a member of the Washington Wizards on their Top 100 Players list, but they’ve got high hopes for Bradley Beal.

Sports Illustrated recently came out with their rankings of who will be the best NBA players this season. Bradley Beal received the highest ranking of his career, coming in as the 22nd best player in the NBA according to their rankings.

Well, now, ESPN is putting together a list of their own. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no Wizards were named as ESPN counted down from 100 to 50. None, still, as they went from 50 down to 30. Through two days, there were no Wizards. Then, just beyond the top-20 threshold, sat an otherworldly shooting-guard donning the red, white, and blue.

Bradley Beal is ranked as the NBA’s 19th best player heading into this season, according to ESPN.

The top-20 honor is totally arbitrary, and these ranking are far from definite. ESPN, not unlike Sports Illustrated, is not without some questionable rankings. Luka Doncic, despite a pretty jaw-dropping rookie season, should not sit three spots above Beal at 16. I know he now has Kristaps Prozingis by his side, but he’s not a borderline top-15 player. Not yet.  And Karl Anthony-Towns’ shaky defense ahead of Beal at 18? No, these ranking are far from infallible.

However, the rankings are fun (especially in the NBA wasteland of September). And they are—at the very least—a high-level overview of who’s who in the NBA. Even if they didn’t get Beal’s ranking quite right, it’s great to see him consistently talked about amongst the league perennial all-stars. Despite last season’s All-NBA snub, it seems Beal is finally getting the respect he deserves.

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With his 25-point, five-assist, and five-rebound season last year, Beal propelled himself from 29th on ESPN’s 2019 list, to 19th on their 2020 list. Could another high-usage year be what Beal needs to take the final step into the NBA’s top-tier?