Sacramento Kings

One King makes ESPN’s and SI’s newest top 100 lists. Is he really better than Melo?

Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade shoots over New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony on Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago. They are two of the most discussed people in ESPN’s #NBArank, a listing of its top 100 players.
Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade shoots over New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony on Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago. They are two of the most discussed people in ESPN’s #NBArank, a listing of its top 100 players. The Associated Press

New rankings of NBA stars are out, but one list is setting off a firestorm of discussion both by players and fans.

ESPN and Sports Illustrated on Monday began posting their newest top 100 lists.

As of Thursday, SI’s list is done, but all but ESPN’s top 10 best have been introduced. Their elite will be announced Friday.

So far, only one of the Kings is on the lists. George Hill, the point guard who signed with Sacramento after leaving the Utah Jazz in free agency, checks in at No. 49 on ESPN, up 18 spots from last season.

“Hill parlayed a career season into a three-year, $57 million contract with the Kings this offseason. If his play mirrors that from 2016-17, he’ll be far more than simply a tutor for top-five pick De’Aaron Fox,” ESPN wrote. “Hill figures to carry a significant scoring load in Sacramento, something that could bode well for the Kings. Last season, the Jazz went 15-1 in games Hill scored at least 20 points, the best such mark for any player that finished with 10 or more 20-point games.”

The ESPN list, called #NBArank, is causing the most talk. Most of it centers on New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade. Anthony dropped a whopping 33 places to 64 this year and Wade, who was 40th last year, didn’t make the list at all.

On SI, Hill jumps from 80 to 63.

“Hill is the best of his kind: a smart, disciplined player who pairs perfectly with a playmaking wing,” SI’s Rob Mahoney wrote. “He can run an offense when asked, but Hill is at his best when part of a more balanced attack. Let the offense flow, and the ball will find its way back to him. ... Don’t be discouraged by the fact that Hill is neither the model of a pure point guard nor an especially prolific scorer. Everything that he is and does creates possibilities.”

Since SI’s top 10 doesn’t include any other Kings and players like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Russell Westbook and James Harden are among those yet to be revealed by ESPN, it’s probably safe to assume no other Kings will make that list.

Here’s some of the social media discussion on #NBArank:

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