For the sixth season in a row, ESPN.com is ranking the top players in the NBA. Who will be the best player this season?
To get the final ranking, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.
We asked, "Which player will be better in 2016-17?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games.
We'll roll out the rest of our top 200 players over the next week. If you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along, #NBArank is the Twitter hashtag to use. You also can follow along @ESPNNBA and on Facebook.
On to the list ...
29. Isaiah Thomas
Insider profile: On a Celtics team with few creators, Thomas' ability to make plays out of the pick-and-roll was invaluable. He pushed his usage rate to a career-high 29.6 percent, far higher than his Hall of Fame near-namesake ever managed (Isiah Thomas topped out at a 27 percent usage rate) without sacrificing much efficiency. Thomas is a good enough shooter off the dribble to keep opponents from going under screens (his 59 unassisted 3-pointers ranked 10th in the NBA, per Basketball-Reference.com), and his ability to finish with either hand from a variety of angles makes Thomas an above-average finisher at 5-foot-9. Read more »