NBA front offices remain wing-crazy, even though the 2023 champs were led by a 6-foot-11 point-center and a 6-4 guard. Some of this is simply a matter of scarcity: The league is full of of extremely talented backcourt players and pretty effective big men, but it’s not easy to find the type of player teams need on the wing. The “3-and-D” label is misleading now; if you’re a wing, you’re expected to be able to dribble, pass, shoot and guard multiple positions. It helps if you also happen to stand 6-foot-8 and have a plus wingspan.
For the superstars who fit that description, the job is to do everything. If you initiate offense like a point guard and also serve as a backline rim protector, then you are probably a “big wing.” The only reason we haven’t seen a lineup entirely composed of these do-everything stars is that there isn’t a big enough supply of them. The Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors have tried to approximate it anyway.
As long as there are more teams than there are star wings, teams will be willing to pay up for the next best thing: Elite role players. Bruce Brown stands 6-foot-4 and isn’t a go-to guy, but he checks enough boxes — comfortable on and off the ball, defends bigger players, makes open 3s — that he’ll make $22 million this coming season. Cameron Johnson isn’t a high-usage playmaker or an elite defender, but he checks enough boxes — elite shooter, good size, solid secondary creator — that he’ll make $24.5 million this coming season. And neither of them are even on this list.
Here are the 20 best wings in the NBA, according to the panel of writers that collectively produced CBS Sports’ 2023-24 player rankings:
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-wing-rankings-giannis-antetokounmpo-kevin-durant-battle-for-top-spot-among-leagues-best/
Author : James Herbert
Publish date : 2023-09-19 10:00:33
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.