30. Kevin Love
Despite deficiencies on the defensive end of the floor, Love still registers currently as a top-30 NBA player. The former UCLA Bruin averaged 17.6 PPG and 9.3 RPG this past season. It included 41.5-percent shooting from three-point range, 45.8-percent from the field, and also a PER of 22.4. Though not asked to facilitate with LeBron James dominating the ball a great deal of the time, Love has above-average passing skills for a big. There’s not a better player in the league than Love when it comes to flinging a two-handed chest pass down court to a streaking teammate. It’s almost akin to a quarterback finding his receiver downfield for a long gain. If Love was asked to be more of a focal point on offense, he’d put up even bigger numbers.
29. Al Horford
Horford is the quintessential winning basketball player. He does things on the court which can’t be quantified in a box score. However, there wasn’t a more important player this past year on Boston’s team than Horford. The big man out of Florida plays the game with a sophisticated elegance. Horford is excellent at setting screens for teammates. This lost art has been a large reason for the offensive emergence of Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown.
The 5-time All-Star can block shots in the paint, and plays exceptional positional defense. This further supports the Horford narrative of him being a very intelligent basketball player. Furthermore, he shot a blistering 42.9-percent from beyond the arc. On pick-and-pop plays, Horford was downright lethal. He edges Love for this spot due to a more well-rounded game on both ends of the floor.
Image Sources: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports, Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports