Once the NBA playoffs start, most of the focus shifts to point spread betting or at least betting on the games in some way. When people aren’t watching or following the NBA in order to bet on the games, debates continue to go on about the best current players in the league.

The NBA appears to be in good hands with all of the young talent that is currently playing, but some of the veterans are still among the best in the league. For the last 30 years there has been a clear top player in the league most of the time, but it’s hard to pick a consensus best player in 2022.

It does appear that there is a group of five players that have jumped ahead of the pack, and that group doesn’t include LeBron James. Here are the five best current players in the NBA, and a list of some players that just missed the cut. 

Honorable Mention

Depending on who you are talking to, you are going to get a different list of the best players in the NBA. There are probably 15 players that might be included in a top 5 list, but some are just a bit short of breaking into the elite group.

Here is a list of players that might end up being top five at some point, or some players that have fallen off of that list recently:

  • LeBron James
  • Anthony Davis
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Ja Morant
  • Trae Young
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Devin Booker
  • Luka Doncic

5. Kevin Durant

It’s hard to figure out where Durant should end up on the list as it is kind of hard to define his game on the floor. It’s easy to argue that Durant is the best scorer in the league, but that hasn’t always translated to team success.

Durant and the Brooklyn Nets were supposed to be a team that could win an NBA Championship in 2022, but they didn’t even win an NBA game. He has already put together a Hall of Fame career, but his legacy is taking a bit of a hit as his teams keep falling short. 

4. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry changed the NBA forever when he broke into the league, and his game has been imitated by many over the past decade. Many have tried to play and shoot like Curry, but all of them just continue to fall short in the end. 

Curry is the best shooter in NBA history, and it’s not really even that close. The fact that Curry has his Warriors team back at the top of the league this late in his career is another thing to add to his resume. 

3. Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has always been one of the best players in the NBA, but he has become an elite player in the league. Embiid can score the basketball at will, and his improved FT shooting makes him nearly impossible to guard. 

There are still some concerns about his ability to defend on the perimeter, and he isn’t an elite passer. Those are about the only knocks on a player that will only keep getting better as time moves on. 

2. Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic gets the nod over Embiid at this time, because Jokic has done it in the playoffs in the Western Conference. Jokic is also a better passer than Embiid and he has the ability to make his teammates better. 

The center position in the NBA has changed drastically over the past few decades, and Jokic is the poster child for that transition. Watching Jokic is an absolute joy because he is able to showcase his skills every time that he has the ball in his hands. 

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo won two-straight NBA MVP awards with the Milwaukee Bucks and he just led his team to a title a season ago. Despite all of those records and accolades, it appears as if the “Greek Freak” has actually been underrated by many around the NBA.

It’s hard to put into words just how dominant Antetokounmpo has been during his career, and he just continues to get better. Few players play harder than he does, and he is nearly unstoppable when he is attacking the rim. 

With apologies to the other four players on this list, but Antetokounmpo is clearly the best player in the league.