Welcome to the NBA offseason, where reckless trade speculation lives and Summer League stars like Mac McClung are born.
Along with NBA analyst Ryen Russillo, Simmons placed the 64 players in different categories like “quality starters,” “the upside gang” and “the untouchables.” As Simmons specifies, this isn’t a list of the best players in the NBA but rather purely a ranking of trade assets across the league, using a few factors including salary, age, contract length and happiness.
Unsurprisingly, Steph Curry was near the top of Simmons’ list, slotted at No. 4 overall in the “completely and utterly untouchable” category. The only players Curry was ranked behind were Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Dončić and back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic.
“If Steph was younger, you might move him to No. 1,” Simmons said on the Bill Simmons Podcast. “Steph’s 34 [years old]. None of these guys are ever getting traded.”
“Honestly, it’s a credit for Steph being in the group when he’s 34 years old,” Russillo agreed.
The next-highest ranking Warriors player was Andrew Wiggins at No. 45, coming off a resurgent 2021-22 season which saw him be named an All-Star for the first time in his career and was arguably the second-best player behind Curry in the NBA Finals.
Wiggins was in the “Ginóbilis” category, named after Hall of Fame guard Manu Ginóbili and saved for what Simmons deems as “playoff guys.” Jordan Poole was also dubbed a “Ginóbili,” four spots behind Wiggins at No. 49.
Rounding off Simmons’ list was four-time NBA champion Draymond Green at No. 64, in the “quality starters” category.
“Let’s put Draymond in there,” Simmons said on the podcast. “I know he’s a little older, but he’s had a great career and I think we can put him … at No. 64.”
“He seems to win a lot of games,” Russillo agreed.
Jonathan Kuminga, fresh off his rookie season in which he averaged 9.3 points per game and showed flashes of elite athleticism, wasn’t on the top 64 list but was named an honorable mention along with players like Seth Curry, Anfernee Simons and De’Aaron Fox.
The Warriors and their “two timeline” strategy certainly are hoping youngsters like Moses Moody and James Wiseman will join this list next summer.