ESPN is back with their third annual NBA player rankings, and the list is littered with Atlanta Hawks players.
ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player for the third straight year — and counting them down on Twitter (@ESPNNBA), from No. 500 to No. 1.
This year, we asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season. This includes both the quality and the quantity of his expected contributions, combined in one overall rating.
We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, in terms of “the overall level of play for each player for the upcoming NBA season.”
New Hawks backup shooting guard Jared Cunningham cracks the list at the 408 mark with a 2.44 rating. His 2013 ranking shot up 55 spots from his 2012 ranking of 463.
Atlanta acquired Cunningham through a trade with Dallas in June on NBA Draft night. The Hawks dealt their 18th overall pick (Shane Larkin) to the Mavericks in exchange for the 16th overall pick (Lucas Nogueira), the 44th overall pick (Mike Muscala), and Cunningham — yeah, it was a steal.
In his rookie season last year with Dallas, Cunningham hardly got any action, only playing 8 games at 3.3 minutes per contest, but was successful in his short stints. The 6’4″ Oregon State product shot 42.9 percent from the field, 66.7 percent from behind the arc, and a perfect 100 percent from the foul-line. Cunningham averaged 2.0 points per game and posted a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 14.86 (leave avg is 15.00).
The first Hawk to make ESPN’s list was newly signed Macedonian big man Pero Antic. Antic is ranked 465 out of 500 players, despite never suiting up for an NBA team in his pro career. The 6’11″ PF/C was signed by the Hawks on July 25.
Hawks third-string point guard Shelvin Mack made the list at the 431 slot with a 2.29 rating. Mack’s 2013 ranking dropped 35 spots from his 2012 ranking of 396.
Check back soon as we continue to roll out all of the Hawks’ players rankings.