This is Part 2 of Ranking Every NBA team’s Second Option in the 2020-2021 season. If you haven’t read Part 1, then you should definitely read it before this, as it lays out the rules, how rankings work, and so on. Part 3 will be coming out shortly, and with that, let’s jump into rankings #19-#10.
#19: Cleveland Cavaliers with Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton is doing things that no Cavalier has done before him. Yes, this includes Lebron James! Collin Sexton has had eight straight 20+ point games to start the season, while Lebron’s record throughout all his days on the Cavs was 7 20+ point games to start the season. Sexton is averaging 25, four, and two with a 20 PER being the second option behind Andre Drummond. It’s difficult to believe that a 25+ points per game scorer is a second option and only ranked #19, but he is.
#18: Memphis Grizzlies with Jonas Valanciunas
I have Jonas Valanciunas as the second option on the Grizzlies behind Ja Morant. Some people might argue that Jaren Jackson Jr is the second option behind Ja Morant, but he’s injured right now and I think Valanciunas is a better, more experienced player. Technically speaking, Ja Morant is injured right now, and that makes Valanciunas the first option, but he’s still a second option overall, so I’m keeping him here. Averaging a 15 point-11 rebound double-double on 51% shooting and 40% from three, Valanciunas has established himself as one of the better big men in the game, and now that he’s 28, Valanciunas is really in his prime.
#17: Phoenix Suns with Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton is in my opinion the second option for the Suns behind Devin Booker. One could make an argument for Chris Paul, but when you compare their production, I think it’s safe to say Deandre is the second option. Ayton is averaging near identical stats to Jonas Valanciunas, with a 13 point-11 rebound double-double on 58% shooting and 25% from three. What separates the two of them is that Ayton is the second option on one of the best teams in the Western Conference to start the season. Meanwhile, Valanciunas is on a very below average Grizzlies team that is depleted with injuries.
#16: Dallas Mavericks with Kristaps Porzingis
Even though he’s injured, Tingis Pingis is still the number two option on the Mavericks behind Luka Doncic. Last season was his first playing center, and it was going decently before he got injured. Missing the NBA bubble really hurt the Mavericks, and missing the beginning of this season has them only one game above .500. Last year when healthy, Porzingis averaged 20, 10, and two (if you round up). If he does come back healthy, the Mavericks may end up in contention again. Like the Nets, their roster focuses on the two main stars, but they don’t have the deepest supporting cast.
#15: Toronto Raptors with Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry is the second option on the Raptors behind Pascal Siakam, and here’s why. Lowry may be a six time all-star while Siakam is a one-time all-star, but Siakam has just begun to enter his prime, while Lowry is exiting his. Lowry has, however, thrived in the later days of his career, and that’s why he ranks at #15. Averaging 19, seven, and five on 43.4% shooting, Lowry is very important to the Raptors; even if they rank at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
#14: Portland Trail Blazers with CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum is pretty obviously the second option on the Blazers behind Damian Lillard. I ranked him ahead of Kyle Lowry because even though he isn’t an all-star, he’s averaged 20+ points per game in every season of his career except the first two, and is a great free throw shooter, three point shooter, and is efficient. His PER this season is around 25, and he has helped lead the Blazers into the playoffs in past years, sometimes deep runs, sometimes getting bounced in the first round. Either way, he’s a reliable second option to have on your team.
#13: Houston Rockets with John Wall
As long as James Harden is in Houston, Wall will be the second option. Wall has been proving all of his doubters wrong this season, that he can have a successful comeback. As of right now, John Wall is averaging an amazing 23 points, five rebounds, and 5.5 assists on 48.6% shooting from the field. In his Rockets debut, Wall posted a staggering 22 points, nine assists, and six rebounds to let the world know that he is back. Don’t forget, John Wall is a five time All-Star, a member of the All-Defensive team, and averaged a double-double with points and assists in 2015 and 2016. His incredible comeback and performance so far is the reason I have him ranked ahead of CJ and Kyle Lowry.
#12: Milwaukee Bucks with Khris Middleton
I don’t think Khris Middleton deserves a max contract, but he is an all-star nonetheless. Second option to Giannis on the Milwaukee Bucks, Middleton is averaging 21, six, and six to start the season. This season is looking to be one of his best, as his current points per game is a career high, and he is shooting 54% from the field, 53% from three, and 95% from the free throw line. The two time All-Star is likely to become a three time All-Star after this season.
#11: Los Angeles Clippers with Paul George
In my opinion, Paul George is one of the most misunderstood and hated players in the NBA. Because of one bad playoff run, a pandemic, a three-pointer to the side of a backboard, and a 40 point loss to the Mavericks, people think Paul George has completely fallen off. But this isn’t true. Yes, Paul George had his ups and downs, but so have tons of NBA legends. I’m not saying that Paul George is an NBA legend, but as the second option on the Clippers behind Kawhi Leonard, George is still averaging 25, seven, and five on 49% shooting from the field. He dropped 33 points on the Lakers on opening night, and is averaging a career best 95% from the free throw line. He is also shooting 48% from the three point line. He may not be the player he once was, but he’s only thirty years old, and can still do some damage.
#10: New Orleans Pelicans with Brandon Ingram
One could argue whether the Pelicans are Zion’s or Brandon Ingram’s team, but I think they’re Zion’s. He is the face of the franchise, even though Brandon Ingram is averaging an amazing 24 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game on 45% shooting. It could be either’s, so you can decide. But for this blog, I have Ingram here. Last year’s Most Improved Player, Brandon Ingram was an All-Star and played power forward for some of the season. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, they are currently sitting in the 12th seed of the Western Conference. I don’t doubt that they’ll turn it around, but because of their record and whose ahead of him, this is where Brandon Ingram ranks.
Part 3 will be coming out sometime in the next three days. Comment down below who you think will be number one, don’t forget to follow the blog, and as always, have an awesome day!
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3 thoughts on “Ranking Every NBA Team’s 2nd Option in the 2020-2021 Season (Part 2)”
Curious if Porzingis will bounce back.
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For Mavericks fan’s sake, I hope so!
I appreciate your logic and analysis. As much as I like Zion, in my opinion Brandon Ingram is the better player today. The only reason Zion is included in the “face of the franchise” is because of his name recognition and his accomplishments at DUKE. I am sure in time Zion will earn and deserve to be included in the face of the franchise. He needs to earn the respect and trust of his teammates. But again, that is just my opinion.
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