Read below for rest-of-season points-league ranks.
Below are my first updated points rankings for 2019. It has been a few weeks since my latest rankings, so there have been some significant shifts. Let's check them out.
John Wall underwent surgery on his left heel and is out for the season. This not only dropped Wall out of the rankings but also brought Tomas Satoransky into the rankings as Wall's replacement as the Washington Wizards' starting point guard.
Chris Paul came up holding his left hamstring in late December against the Miami Heat, a macabre mirror image to when the same thing happened to his right hammy during last season's Western Conference finals. Paul has been battling injuries all season, which has affected both his availability and his production on the court, so while this setback dropped him in the rankings, it could have the hidden benefit of letting him get all the way healthy before his next return attempt.
Goran Dragic was in this space several times in November and December as he attempted to recover from and play through consistent knee issues. The injury finally got him put on the shelf for an extended period at the end of December, with the team suggesting that he could miss the next couple of months. This dropped him in my rest-of-season rankings and provided opportunity for Justise Winslow to step up as the starting point guard in Dragic's stead.
Emmanuel Mudiay makes his debut in the rankings this week on the strength of a scorching month-plus of play. He has averaged 19.1 PPG (45.0 FG%, 70.6 FT%), 6.1 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.1 3PG in his past 11 games, and at age 23, he is making the case that he should get serious consideration as the Knicks' point guard of the future.
I have a bit of an ongoing debate with Luka Doncic fans, who feel that I haven't been respectful enough to their guy because I don't necessarily have him as my NBA Rookie of the Year. With that said, Doncic put on a scorching stretch to end December, with averages of 25.6 PPG (46.3 FG%, 71.6 FT%), 7.1 APG, 5.5 RPG, 2.9 3PG and 1.1 SPG in the eight games between Dec. 16 and Dec. 30.
He has cooled slightly in the week since but has moved up my rankings based on that stretch of realized potential. Doncic has been showing the skills that prompt me to suggest that, whether he wins ROY or not, he might be the biggest impact player from the past three draft classes once all is said and done.
Lou Williams returned from his hamstring injury with a bang late last month, notching 26 points in his debut and 25 points two games later. Since then, he has averaged 22.7 PPG (44.1 FG%, 85.4 FT%), 4.5 APG, 4.0 RPG and 2.2 3PG. Williams' main issue earlier this season was finding places to consistently produce with the deeper Clippers lineup, but he remains the most potent scorer on the roster and has top-50 upside (as he has demonstrated in the past), if the team ever relies on him that heavily again.
Justise Winslow has flown up the rankings due to his added value as the starting point guard for the Heat. With Dragic out, Winslow has shown that he can handle the load of running the Heat, and the team is playing its best ball of the season, with Winslow putting up 16.1 PPG (47.0 FG%, 55.6 FT%), 5.6 APG, 5.4 RPG, 1.9 SPG and 1.3 3PG in his past seven games.
Kevin Knox is the second New York Knicks player in this space, as he has finally played up to expectations after a long injury absence and puzzling rotation choices by Coach David Fizdale. Knox has notched double-digit points in 12 straight games, a period in which he has averaged 18.3 PPG (40.5 FG%, 72.1 FT%), 6.0 RPG and 2.5 3PG to get Knicks fans buzzing about the future again.
Brandon Ingram is back for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has taken advantage of extra opportunity with LeBron James out to average 18.1 PPG (43.6 FG%, 64.3 FT%), 6.1 RPG and 3.0 APG in his past nine games. However, his skill set doesn't entirely fit on this Lakers roster, so it'll be interesting to see if he remains a Laker and maintains this role for the remainder of the season.
Pascal Siakim has been having a breakout season for the Toronto Raptors, but until this week, he trailed teammate Serge Ibaka in the rankings. Ibaka has been in the midst of his own renaissance season but struggled for a bit with injury issues that lowered his projections just enough for his younger teammate to pass him. Siakim is averaging 20.0 PPG (60.3 FG%, 88.5 FT%), 8.4 RPG, 3.8 APG and 1.4 3PG in his past five games to help earn his promotion.
Lauri Markkanen is playing his way into shape and starting to look like we expected him to before the injury hit. He has averaged 20.8 PPG (50.0 FG%, 83.3 FT%), 7.8 RPG, 2.8 3PG and 1.3 APG in his past eight games to move up the rankings. With his combo of 3-pointers and power forward skills, he has a very high ceiling.
Karl-Anthony Towns has surged to sixth in the rankings and still has room to go. He has a history of improving in the second half of the season that has been consistent in every campaign he has played, and with interim coach Ryan Saunders replacing Tom Thibodeau, Towns should be looked upon even more as the centerpiece of the team moving forward.
Jonas Valanciunas has been having a very strong and productive season despite his limited minutes because he has been a per-minute monster. He is dealing with injuries now that raise some question marks, especially on a deep Raptors squad, but when he gets healthy and proves himself, he is likely to move back up the list.
DeMarcus Cousins is on the verge of breaking into the top 100 in the rankings. He isn't quite ready to return yet, but he's practicing consistently with the Golden State Warriors' G League affiliate and looks like he's getting close. Once he returns, here's a projection of what his production might look like.
Thomas Bryant makes his debut in the rankings this week, as he has taken advantages of injuries to Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris to establish himself as an impact player for the Wizards. Bryant has averaged 15.3 PPG (74.2 FG%, 88.5 FT%), 8.5 RPG, 1.1 APG and 0.9 BPG in his past eight games, with three double-doubles to help solidify his value.
The rest-of-season rankings are influenced by my projections, current player performance, injury and player situation factors to quantitatively estimate the rest-of-season rankings with more precision.
Also, our rankings include arrows to indicate whether a given player made a notable move up or down the rankings since last week. This helps keep you up to speed with how player values are changing during the course of the season.
Note: These rankings reflect the expected player value for the remainder of this season.