Lauri Markkanen cracks the Top 50 of controversial new player ranking

Lauri Markkanen represents the Utah Jazz in a new player ranking by Bleacher Report, but does this list even calculate the best players?
Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz
Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have had one player selected for Bleacher Report's new Top 50 rankings article. The article, based on Sports Math Network's Rolling Player Rating, boils down an entire season into a singular number that mostly looks at the offensive impact that a player has on his team. It doesn't truly factor in defense, nor does it factor in who is truly "the best' player, just who is the front-runner for the NBA's Most Valuable Player of the Year Award.

The stat also heavily leans in on the winning of the given team that the player is on. So it's far less about how good a player is, and just how likely he is to win the MVP this year. So it's not surprising that Lauri Markkanen is only No. 48 on this list.

The article does claim, however, that Markkanen would be much higher on the list, pushing the Top 20, if he hadn't missed so much time lately due to his hamstring injury. And while the article seemingly takes a jab at his defense, even when the stat in question doesn't factor much defense into their ranking, it's important to note that Markkanen is a solid defender.

He's fifth on the Utah Jazz out of all players in defensive rating for a reason.

Still, while the article claims he'd be near the Top 20, the fact is he's not and he should be. Fred Van Fleet, Rudy Gobert, Paolo Banchero, LaMelo Ball, Scottie Barnes, Tobias Harris, and Chet Holmgren (among others) are not better than Markkanen.

Let it also be known that Jordan Clarkson is nowhere near this list for obvious reasons, so hopefully, Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy realizes this and starts pushing for Markkanen to get more shots, more off-ball actions and just generally more opportunities to lead the offense.

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