NBA Offseason: Way-Too-Early 2018-19 Rankings
NBA Offseason: Way-Too-Early 2018-19 Rankings

This article is part of our NBA Offseason series.

The 2017-18 regular season is in the books. You know what that means: it's time to begin our 2018-19 draft prep!

It's obviously absurdly early. Rankings will change over time, especially following the playoffs, the draft and free agency.

It may be early, but a few interesting themes are already emerging:

- The field of possible No. 1 overall picks has shrunk to five, down from last year's all-time high of eight.

- The value of high-end three-point shooters is dropping, and many may be surprised to see how low the Klay Thompson's of the world are.

- Finally, the first four-and-a-half rounds of drafts are as loaded as I can remember – and then the quality of players falls off a cliff. Every player between 25 and 55 is highly desirable. And then I had a lot of trouble finding enough players to fill out the bottom of the fifth round.

Rookies are excluded from this ranking for two reasons. First, it's impossible to predict their performance without a sense of where they will land. Second, most seasons, drafting a rookie is not a good idea. Over the past six seasons, only twice were more than two rookies worth owning for the entire season. The payoff for drafting the right rookie can be large, but it's rare that we know which those will be by October.

Isaiah Thomas is also excluded from this ranking. I haven't the faintest idea what I'm going to do with him. So, for

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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