Another season and another year filled with exciting all-around action in the NBA, thanks to the league's current style of play as well as the many stars active today. When it comes to rating greatness, fans are more likely to have similar opinions, since that's usually based on the numbers. But that isn't the case when it comes to favorite players! It's a more subjective topic that will always generate different opinions. Fans may lean towards supporting a specific player for personal reasons, such as being a member of their favorite team.
Since players have unique talents, it means that their style of play may not appeal to all viewers. Some are able to entertain crowds through impressive dunks, while others put on a show with their three-point shooting. Generally speaking, the better the player, the more likely that his popularity points skyrocket - making him a household name even among casual fans of the NBA.
From young players who recently joined the league and have already made an impact, to veterans who have left their mark on the game - today's league offers plenty of options to pick from, making it more difficult than ever to determine favorites.
Pick or Pass: LeBron James
LeBron James may be nearing the end of his reign but he remains the most popular and discussed basketball player in the world. After falling short of his goal to lead the Los Angeles Lakers into the Playoffs, James will aim to return to full health in the offseason as he looks to add to his impressive resume next season. With three NBA Championships, 4 MVP awards and 15 All-Star appearances, James has already established himself as an all-time great.
Pick or Pass: Stephen Curry
When it comes to Stephen Curry, his resume speaks for itself. He progressed from being an undersized injury prone player to arguably the greatest shooter in history. He also happens to be at elite at various aspects of the game, making him unguardable on the offensive end due to his remarkable ability to hit shot from all over the court. Curry has also been credited for changing the game of basketball as teams are now shooting three-pointers more than ever.
Pick or Pass: Kyrie Irving
Since his arrival into the NBA, Kyrie Irving has remained among the most popular players. His Uncle Drew persona helped him become a mainstream name, while his play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics was the cherry on top. Irving also played a crucial part in assisting the Cavs in their 2016 Championship triumph against the Warriors, scoring one of the most vital shots in history to give the Cavs a two-point lead in the final minute of Game 7.
Pick or Pass: Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant enjoyed greater popularity as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, as his reputation took a turn for the worse once he joined the Golden State Warriors - despite winning two championships with the team. But there is no doubt that Durant is still as elite as ever with a strong case for being the best player in the world. At 30 years old, Durant still has many years left in the tank to add on to his legacy.
Pick or Pass: Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo's year came to an abrupt end due to a season-ending injury after enjoying a breakout campaign in 2017-18. At a time when the league has changed significantly, Oladipo stood out among guards due to his athleticism, dribbling and all-around offensive talents. That's not to mention that he is more than capable of also locking down his opponent. In the past year, Oladipo gained a much bigger following among fans as he finally reached his full potential with the Indiana Pacers.
Pick or Pass: Russell Westbrook
Love him or not, Russell Westbrook has been an elite Point Guard for nearly a decade now. He has won the MVP Award in 2017 with 8 All-Star appearances to go along with it - not to mention a trip to the Finals in 2011. And for the third consecutive year, he is averaging a triple-double for the regular season - showing that he remains as good as ever. Westbrook has now shifted his focus towards winning a Championship as a member of OKC as their window closes with every passing year.
Pick or Pass: Kevin Love
Nagging injuries have affected Kevin Love's play this season, but he remains a force on the offensive end when he is healthy. While he may not be putting up major numbers as he once did for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love can still provide the Cleveland Cavaliers with consistent double-double performances. He would likely benefit from playing on a better team as he is no longer able to carry the load for 82 games as he once did, especially now that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have both left the Cavs.
Pick or Pass: James Harden
Coming off an MVP winning season, James Harden continues to exceed all expectations with one of the greatest offensive years in NBA history. His style of play has earned him plenty of criticism from the media and fans alike - many of whom believe that Harden greatly benefits from favorable officiating. Even Harden's biggest doubters can't overlook his undeniable talent on the offensive end, as he has been among the best scorers and playmakers in the league for the past few seasons.
Pick or Pass: Karl-Anthony Towns
When it comes to Karl-Anthony Towns, it's safe to say that he is already considered to be one of the best big men today, but his supporting cast hasn't done him any favors. As he continues to put up monstrous numbers for the Timberwolves, the team is once again missing the Playoffs due to lack of help. In order to compete in the stacked Western Conference, Towns may need better teammates or a change of scenery in the future if all else fails.
Pick or Pass: LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge has always gone under the radar regardless of his level of play. This year, he got off to a slow start that led some fans to speculate about his decline, but Aldridge returned to form to lead the San Antonio Spurs to another postseason berth. The versatile big man remains one of the most unguardable players in his position, and has even extended his range to adjust to the surging style of high volume of three-point shooting. Pick or pass?
Pick or Pass: Lou Williams
It's very likely that the Los Angeles Clippers would find themselves outside of the Playoff picture if it hadn't been for Lou Williams. He has played the role of a Sixth Man to perfection - which he is no stranger to as he has previously picked up the award twice with a third likely on the way. Williams is one of the very few bench players who are capable of lighting it up on any given night, thanks to an impressive range.
Pick or Pass: DeMar DeRozan
When the Toronto Raptors traded their former star DeMar DeRozan this past offseason, the All-Star didn't take too kindly to the move as he felt betrayed by the organization. In his first season with the San Antonio Spurs, DeRozan has fit in just fine with his new teammates, replicating the same performances that fans had been used to in previous years. While DeRozan has been among the most consistent scorers in recent years, he has fallen short of expectations in the Playoffs.
Pick or Pass: Blake Griffin
Coming into this season, Blake Griffin knew that a crucial year awaited him following an underwhelming season. Some fans were critical of the Detroit Pistons for taking on Griffin's massive contract, but it appears to be already paying off as he has taken his game to another level. Griffin has become a complete player on the court, who also shoulders huge responsibilities away from it as the leader of the Pistons - a role which he has accepted and shone in since joining the squad.
Pick or Pass: Kawhi Leonard
Considered by many to be the best two-way player in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard bounced back with another great season as a new member of the Toronto Raptors. Unlike most All-Stars, Leonard didn't come into the NBA with plenty of hype and had to work his way up with the guidance of Gregg Popovich. These days, Kawhi Leonard is able to do it all on the court whether the Raptors need a bucket, a crucial rebound or a defensive stop.
Pick or Pass: Kyle Kuzma
Unlike many of the Los Angeles Lakers' prospects, Kyle Kuzma wasn't taken with a top draft pick, and yet he managed to impress the most. Kuzma has been a positive contributor on the court, carrying the Lakers' offensive through rough stretches. The Lakers have declined including Kyle Kuzma in trade talks, which should show how much the franchise values him at the moment. Next year, Kuzma will be expected to improve in other facets of the game as he has already proven to be an efficient scorer.
Pick or Pass: Donovan Mitchell
When the Utah Jazz were rising back up as a relevant team, they were fortunate to also grab a top young player who has become the face of the franchise. Donovan Mitchell managed to lead the Jazz to a Playoff appearance for the second year in a row, doing so in an impressive fashion as well. He has carried the offense for the majority of the season, proving himself to be a remarkable scorer in various ways, whether it's through shooting or driving to the hoop.
Pick or Pass: Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker has been the driving force behind the Charlotte Hornets since getting drafted by the franchise in 2011. Following years of underwhelming seasons, Walker is headed to free agency in the summer of 2019 and may opt to start a journey elsewhere, as the Hornets have failed to surround him with the right pieces. That didn't slow down Walker who put up highs in many categories this season, including points and rebounds - while also playing in all 82 games.
Pick or Pass: Buddy Hield
When the Sacramento Kings received Buddy Hield in a trade package for DeMarcus Cousins, many believed that the team should have received more assets. Fast forward to 2019 and Cousins is now struggling with various injuries while Hield has become one of the best guards in the league. The trade worked out for the best when it comes to the Kings, who had their best season since 2005 - 06 thanks to the scoring efforts of Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox.
Pick or Pass: Andrew Wiggins
The first overall pick of the 2013 Draft came into the league with major expectations to become a star player. Andrew Wiggins did have moments of brilliance early into his run, although he hasn't quite progressed at the desired rate. Wiggins drew comparisons to legendary players such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant when he was still in high school, but it's clear that he is going to have to show much more to live up to his ceiling as a prospect.
Pick or Pass: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Leading the Milwaukee Bucks to top the Eastern Conference and the best NBA record, Giannis Antetokounmpo has solidified himself as one of the better players today. Not only is he a force on the offensive end, but he happens to be one of the top defensive players as evident by his ability to efficiently guard various positions. His lack of postseason success is the last question mark when it comes to Antetokounmpo, who usually allows his game to do all the talk for him.
Pick or Pass: Anthony Davis
It's very likely that Anthony Davis will be on his way out of New Orleans in the summer after making a trade request this season. The circumstances surrounding his wish to play for the Los Angeles Lakers have led to plenty of criticism from fans, but it's no secret that all 30 NBA teams would love to have him. Davis is an elite player on both ends who could change the fortunes of a franchise through his incredible level of play.
Pick or Pass: Mike Conley
There is a strong argument to be made for Mike Conley as the best player to never an All-Star selection. He remains among the most underrated players in the league despite having played at a high level for nearly a decade now. Conley may not be quite as flashy as his peers, but he happens to be a complete player who can change the game on both ends. Luckily for the Memphis Grizzlies, Conley has only played for them thus far.
Pick or Pass: Chris Paul
Considered to be one of the greatest Point Guards in history, Chris Paul is a few years away from hanging it up. While he is no longer the best active PG in the league, Paul is still great as a playmaker just as he is as a scorer, and that was clear throughout the Rockets' run in the Playoffs of last year. His usage may have gone down since joining the Rockets, but Paul can still deliver when called upon.
Pick or Pass: Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday has been one of the most overlooked players in the NBA for the past few years. Despite being named as an All-Star in the past, and also making an All-Defensive First Team in 2018, Holiday still doesn't get the props that he deserves. There aren't many guards who are more complete on both ends than Holiday, who is able to turn it up a notch for his team at any given moment by getting a crucial or hitting a much-needed shot.
Pick or Pass: Ben Simmons
The first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft is off to a brilliant start to his journey. While he continues struggling to shoot from the three-point land, Simmons impacts the game in every other way. He is able to get to the basket at ease, while also creating plays for his teammates. With the potential to bloom into a top 10 player in the NBA, Ben Simmons will look to take the next big step in his third season.
Pick or Pass: Derrick Rose
Following years of struggles due to mounting injuries, fans had counted out Derrick Rose. This year, he made a surprising comeback into the spotlight, emerging as one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year. The former MVP proved that not only did he belong in the NBA, but he was also able to play at a high level. Rose did have to make some changes to his game to put himself in the best position going forward.
Pick or Pass: Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon gained a large following due to his participation in the Slam Dunk contest, where he put on an unforgettable showing. But that's not to dismiss his overall talent as Gordon remains one of the better prospects in the league. He was an integral part in helping the Orlando Magic book a Playoff berth for the first time since 2012. At 23 years old, Gordon still has time on his side to reach his full potential in the NBA.
Pick or Pass: Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine is certainly one of the most exciting players to watch in the league. He always aims to put on a show for the fans with highlight dunks in nearly every game. But LaVine has been unable to escape criticism regarding his all-around game with some fans questioning his status as the face of the Chicago Bulls franchise. Next season will be major for him going forward as it may determine his role in the league for the foreseeable future.
Pick or Pass: John Wall
At his best, John Wall is certainly one of the better Point Guards in the NBA despite the lack of a consistent three-point shot. Injuries and chemistry issues led to an underwhelming year that was cut short due to season-ending surgery. He has a major year coming up as Wall not only looks to will himself back into top shape, but also aims to prove that he is still worthy of being dubbed a franchise player for the Wizards.
Pick or Pass: Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert doesn't earn nearly as much praise as some of his peers despite having an identical impact on the game. What makes him different is that he does it through his defense, which puts the Utah Jazz at an advantage against opponents. Defense wins games if you ask most basketball experts, but it doesn't provide any extra points in popularity contests as Gobert is still not quite as famous as he deserves to be - which became evident by the lack of votes as an All-Star.
Pick or Pass: Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid has been asking fans to trust the process since getting drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. And while his journey did get off to a slow start, Embiid is now considered as a premier player who could lead his team to a championship in the near future. He has earned a reputation for being outspoken due to his tendency to get at opponents during games and away from the court. More often than not, Embiid delivers through his amazing play on both ends.
Pick or Pass: Lonzo Ball
When the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, they were hoping that he would lead them back to the postseason. While his production hasn't matched the hype yet, Ball remains one of the most popular players today. Some fans may have already given up on him as a prospect, but Ball still has plenty of believers. Given his playmaking and defensive ability, Ball could reach his ceiling if he were to develop a shot.
Pick or Pass: Jamal Murray
Coming into the season, the Denver Nuggets weren't expected to make much of an impact in the stiff Western Conference. The combination of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has made the team a true contender. This year, Murray stepped into a bigger role - knowing that the Nuggets needed him to take the next big step. Murray rewarded the Nuggets' belief in him through a series of brilliant performances over the course of the season. It's safe to say that sky is the limit for 22-year-old Murray.
Pick or Pass: Devin Booker
Devin Booker has taken the league by storm through his efforts for the Phoenix Suns. And while he may be one of the top scorers around, Booker's impact on winning games has been brought into question as the franchise remains one of the bottom teams. It's going to take more out of Booker to get the Suns back into relevance. He certainly has all the tools to establish himself as a legitimate top player - and now it's on him to deliver up to expectations.
Pick or Pass: Danilo Gallinari
There was a time when Danilo Gallinari was seen as the potential savior of the New York Knicks. Injuries may have slowed him down to an extent, but that didn't stop Gallinari from being an effective player. Since his trade to the Los Angeles Clippers, Gallinari has played a major role in keeping the team competitive at a time when experts believed they would tank. At 30 years old, Gallinari still has some years left in the tank considering that his game isn't reliant on athleticism.
Pick or Pass: Damian Lillard
Not many Point Guards have been quite as consistent as Damian Lillard in the past five years, as he has been the heart and soul of the Portland Trail Blazers - keeping them relevant through postseason appearances. Lillard has a great all-around game that makes him a tough challenge for opponents on any given night as he is capable of dropping 40 points with ease. His on-court play has gathered the attention of fellow NBA players, many of whom have expressed interest in playing with Lillard.
Pick or Pass: Trae Young
Trae Young has had huge expectations on his shoulders since arriving in the NBA. While a slow start to his season affected his reputation, Young was able to come out of his slump in an impressive manner - giving Luka Doncic a good run for his money as the Rookie of the Year. Young has earned comparisons to Stephen Curry, who was also known for his shooting ability coming out of college. Based on what we have seen so far, that may very well turn out to be accurate.
Pick or Pass: Eric Gordon
In a league where star players get far more shine than the rest of the players, Eric Gordon is one of the few role players who has shone through for different teams. In his current role for the Houston Rockets, Gordon has provided the team with an offensive spark off the bench. As one of the best scoring role players, Gordon is able to take over the game whenever his teammates are in dire need of a bucket - whether it's through a three-pointer or a dunk.
Pick or Pass: Paul George
Nine teams passed on Paul George before he was finally drafted in 2010. Considering how he turned out, there is no doubt that many teams would love to re-do the draft. George is now an elite player on both ends, who is coming off an MVP calibre season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is also clearly popular with the fans after having been voted in as a starter for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game ahead of some major names.
Pick or Pass: Kyle Lowry
You won't see Kyle Lowry dunking, nor does he have too many flashy highlights. But what Lowry does give on the court is all his effort in order to win the game, whether that is through scoring, creating shots for teammates or taking a charge. Lowry has been the reason behind the Toronto Raptors' success in recent seasons, leading them through the best stretch in franchise history. This year, he finished second out of all players in the NBA in assists with 8.7.
Pick or Pass: Bradley Beal
Most fans recognize Bradley Beal's ability as a scorer, and yet he remains under the radar. With John Wall out of the picture due to injury, Beal took over the Washington Wizards and put his talent on display for all to see. Beal has a unique game that makes him tough to guard as he can easily slash to the basket just as he can step back behind the arc to make a three-pointer - proving as to why he is an All-Star after all.
Pick or Pass: Brandon Ingram
During the least successful stretch in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, Brandon Ingram has been among the few bright spots with the forward leaving the league on notice. As he continues to improve every season, Ingram will be aiming to take the next big step by becoming an All-Star caliber player. Ingram could find himself playing for a different team by the beginning of next season as he has been in high demand around the league since the Anthony Davis rumors.
Pick or Pass: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has a big summer coming up with his last major contract on the line. Several teams are expected to chase Butler in free agency while the Philadelphia 76ers aim to retain his services beyond this year. Despite the ups and downs from Butler's year, he remains among the most complete players in the NBA. It will be essential for Butler to find the right fit in the long run if he wishes to be a star player on a winning franchise.
Pick or Pass: Hassan Whiteside
As a late bloomer, Hassan Whiteside went from being out of the league for two years to a regular starter on the Heat. Whiteside is one of the many players with a big summer ahead of them that will be crucial for their future in the league. With the Miami Heat missing the NBA Playoffs, the franchise could be shaking things up to return to top competition. In the 2018-19 season, Whiteside's numbers were down across the board although he still managed to average a double-double.
Pick or Pass: D'Angelo Russell
Coming out of Ohio State, D'Angelo Russell enjoyed plenty of hype that made him the second overall pick of the 2015 Draft. It took a change of scenery from Los Angeles Lakers to Brooklyn Nets for Russell to put it all together, leading the latter into a postseason appearance. Thanks to his breakout year, Russell earned his first ever nomination as an NBA All-Star in February of 2019. Teams will be eyeing Russell once he becomes a free agent in the summer, although the Nets are favorites to retain him.
Pick or Pass: C. J. McCollum
It took C. J. McCollum a few years to settle in the NBA, but he has yet to look back since the 2015-16 season in which he won the Most Improved Player. Forming one of the better backcourts with Damian Lillard, McCollum has been integral behind the success of the Portland Trail Blazers. As a top scoring guard in the league, McCollum has also refined other areas in his game to improve as an all-around player, which in turn has helped the Blazers' record.
Pick or Pass: Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets' remarkable success this year was no fluke. It can be largely credited to Nikola Jokic, who led the franchise to one of the better records around the league. Jokic has been unstoppable on the offensive end - a combination of his scoring prowess and brilliant playmaking makes him a true superstar. This season proved to be significant from a popularity standpoint as Jokic has become a household name among most fans. It is possible that the Nuggets may become a contender if Jokic retains his level of play beyond this year.
Pick or Pass: Klay Thompson
One half of the Splash Bros, as well as one of the best shooters in NBA history, Klay Thompson has already accomplished plenty in such a short time. The three-time NBA Champion has played an integral role behind the Golden State Warriors' success and rise to the top as one of the biggest threats in the NBA today. This upcoming summer, he is set to be a free agent and Thompson has already generated plenty of interest around the league.
Pick or Pass: Caris LeVert
Caris LeVert is currently one of the most important players for the emerging Brooklyn Nets, assisting the team in reaching their first postseason appearance since 2015. LeVert put on some great showings throughout the first few months before going down with an injury. While he has yet to return to the same production, LeVert is still expected to play a vital role for the Nets going forward. He certainly has shown flashes of brilliance that justify the Nets' faith in him.
Pick or Pass: Luka Doncic
After only one season under his belt, Luka Doncic has already taken the world by storm. Favorited to claim Rookie of the Year, Doncic has lived up to the hype so far. The Dallas Mavericks appear to have a true franchise player who could lead the way for the next decade, much like Dirk Nowitzki did. Doncic is renowned for having a complete game at the age of 20 years old, so it would be wise to claim that the sky is the limit for him.