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When the list of our annual top 100 NBA player ranking is revealed, an interesting exercise to do is to look at the differences from last year's list. In a league like the NBA where comparison is always a hot topic, we can't help but rank, rate and do side-by-side comparisons of just about everything. From the greatest of all time, to the greatest right now. Even something as innocuous as ranking jersey designs or best home-court advantage can turn into a heated debate when it comes to this league. 

But unlike those debates that seem to be never ending, comparing Top 100 lists is a good way to see how a player's value has skyrocketed or declined in the matter of a season. In a league that is ever evolving in terms of how the game is actually played, you can go from top of the pack to bottom of the barrel if you can't evolve with the times. Sometimes injuries are the culprit for a fall in ranking, or maybe just an overzealous ranking aged poorly. Whatever the case, this year's list of players saw some significant movement up and down the ranking, with 24 names from last year falling completely out of the Top 100. Among those 24 players were Ben Simmons, Kyle Lowry and Russell Westbrook. While many names stumbled out of the list, there were also 21 new names that weren't featured on last year's ranking, including Lauri Markkanen, reigning Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero and Markelle Fultz.

Aside from newcomers and players who didn't make the cut, there was also some notable movement of guys who either fell significantly from last year or made a huge jump in the ranking. We'll have to see how spot on these rankings turn out to be once the season gets going, but for now here are the top five risers and fallers from last year's list of Top 100 NBA players to this year's. 

Top five biggest risers

Franz Wagner Orlando Magic SG
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 97
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 47
  • Difference: +50
Coming off a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup for Germany in which he was named Player of the Game in the final against Serbia, Wagner certainly turned heads during the international tournament, and he should be a solid candidate for Most Improved Player this upcoming season. He's coming off a season in which he put up 18.6 points, on 48.5% from the field and 36.1% from 3-point range, and he's in line for another big leap in his third year. Wagner is the type of versatile player on both ends of the floor that every team wishes they had. He's just as effective with the ball in his hands as he is scoring off a backdoor cut or coming around a screen for a jumper. He's also showed in his first two seasons he's capable of being a switchable defender with the potential to get better. While these rankings were done before the World Cup, his performance for Germany certainly gave credence to this jump in our Top 100 list.
De'Aaron Fox Sacramento Kings PG
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 57
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 19
  • Difference: +38
Fox won Clutch Player of the Year, earned his first All-Star and All-NBA nods and led the Kings to their first playoff berth in 16 years last season. He was the head of the snake on a Sacramento team that produced the highest offensive rating in league history, in large part because of Fox's other-worldly scoring efficiency. He ranked first amongst guards last season in scoring efficiency at the rim, per Cleaning the Glass, where he shot 77%, something that's aided by his lightning quick first step that leaves most defenders in his dust. You could argue that his ranking going into last season was rather low, so this major jump to crack the top 20 not only makes up for what could be viewed as a mistake, but signals that he's not being as underrated like he was in the past. And with the Kings hoping to build upon the success they had last season, Fox should be in store for another All-Star worthy season.
Kristaps Porzingis Boston Celtics C
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 86
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 49
  • Difference: +37
If you weren't watching too much Wizards basketball last season, you missed what was a career year for Porzingis, who rehabbed his value to the point where the Boston Celtics traded for him in the offseason. This 37-spot jump in our Top 100 list is in part due to last season's success for Porzingis, which included playing in 60+ games for the first time since his second year in the league, and potential he has on a loaded Celtics team this upcoming season. While it'll be Porzingis' fourth team in his nine-year career, he's bounced around from team to team primarily because of his injury history, which has kept him sidelined for large chunks of time. When he's actually on the floor, he's an efficient scorer, can spread the floor to make even the best defense's work a little extra and can be a shot-blocking presence on the other end. While he'll have to acclimate to a new Celtics team that already bolsters two All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, it'll be the best team he's ever played on. His stats might dip, but he can be the X factor on a Boston team that can use an additional playmaker outside of the two All-Star wings.
Brook Lopez Milwaukee Bucks C
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 84
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 50
  • Difference: +34
Lopez making a major leap is in part because heading into last season he was coming off a year in which he only played in 13 games due to injuries, so expectations were low. But after a career year last season, which included averaging nearly 16 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game, he jumped up on our list, and for good reason. Lopez helped anchor a fourth-ranked Milwaukee defense alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo in the frontcourt, ranked second in the league in blocks and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting. When opponents step inside the 3-point line against the Bucks, they're met with the decision to settle for a long 2-pointer or dare to test Lopez at the rim or from mid range. With Lopez's long arms he can get a hand on mid-range jumpers, and as one of the league's best rim protectors he's not going to surrender many easy looks around the rim. Though the Bucks' season ended in disappointing fashion in the first round, they figure to remain a mainstay among Eastern Conference contenders, and Lopez should one again play a major role in that as long as he remains healthy.
Jalen Brunson New York Knicks PG
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 60
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 27
  • Difference: +33
You could argue that Brunson should've won Most Improved Player last season instead of Lauri Markkanen after receiving national attention in his first year with the New York Knicks. The stocky guard had a career year, and helped lead the Knicks back to the playoffs. He's not the biggest guy on the floor, but he certainly plays above his size, especially when he gets around the rim where he uses his strength to finish through contact. He also has an arsenal of moves to create just enough room to get his shots off. He was a calming presence on a New York team that desperately needed a playmaking guard who could take some of the scoring responsibility off Julius Randle and highlight RJ Barrett's strengths. He's a natural leader, and after stepping out of the gigantic shadow cast by Luka Doncic's talents in Dallas, Brunson seems to be just getting started. He should take another step in his development on a Knicks team positioned to get back to the postseason.

Top five biggest fallers

Chris Paul Golden State Warriors PG
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 18
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 73
  • Difference: -55
Two seasons ago, this would've been a major shock considering Paul was coming off a season where he led the league in assists. And there's a debate to be had about whether this current ranking is maybe a bit too low, but that's the harsh reality of the NBA: one day you're hot, the next you're not. Paul most certainly is in the "not" category entering this season after being traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Washington Wizards and then again to the Golden State Warriors. This all followed a lackluster performance in the postseason in which Paul averaged just 12.4 points, the lowest in his postseason career. To make matters worse he suffered a groin injury which held him out of the last four games of Phoenix's second-round loss to Denver. At 37 years old, Paul is starting to show his age a bit, especially on defense, where at times he looks a bit stuck in the mud against faster opponents. However, he's still amongst the best facilitators in the league, and perhaps with less responsibility with the Warriors he'll have a rejuvenated year and we'll look back at this ranking and laugh at how wrong we all were.
Robert Williams III Boston Celtics C
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 56
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 94
  • Difference: -38
When Williams is fully healthy, he's proven to be among the best rim protectors in the league, as evidenced from his 2.2 blocks a game during the 2021-22 season. He's an aggressive offensive rebounder, and is an effective cutter which often creates lob opportunities for the big man. But in a game that is always evolving, it's extremely important to evolve with it. Outside of catching lobs or rolling to the rim for a bucket, Williams' offensive game is rather limited, and on a team with championship aspirations like the Celtics, you constantly have to prove you're valuable to that goal. There's also the matter of his health, which has always been a sticking point. Williams was limited to just 35 games last season due to various ailments, and as the saying goes, the best ability is availability. If he's hampered again this season, or doesn't seamlessly fit into a Boston offense that is clearly signaling towards spacing the floor even more with its trade to land Porzingis, then he could be a potential trade target down the line.
CJ McCollum New Orleans Pelicans PG
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 39
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 70
  • Difference: -31
McCollum was the reason the Pelicans managed to stay afloat in many games when Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram were sidelined. He took control of the offense with ease, and while his efficiency dipped, he still showed why he's one of the league's best shooters. You would think that would result in a steady hold in our rankings, but that's not the case. This likely has less to do with McCollum's actual talent slipping, and perhaps more to do with there just being better players ranked ahead of him. There's also the fact that despite the positives that McCollum brings on the offensive side of the ball, he's a bit of a liability defensively.
Rudy Gobert Minnesota Timberwolves C
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 29
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 55
  • Difference: -26
Gobert's stats declined across the board in his first season with the Timberwolves after being traded by the Jazz. He's still a walking double-double and a quality defender that many teams would want...for the right price. Minnesota essentially emptied its cupboard of draft capital in order to pair Gobert with Karl-Anthony Towns, only to discover that Anthony Edwards is actually the player they should be building around. The gargantuan lineup yielded a pedestrian net rating of +0.6 points per 100 possessions, showing that Gobert's presence didn't make a significant impact alongside Towns in the lineup. While singularly Gobert positively impacted Minnesota's defense (the team allowed 5.7 fewer points per 100 possessions when he was in the lineup) he negatively impacted the offense more, with the Wolves scoring 6.1 fewer points per 100 possessions with him out there. He's a defensive workhorse, and in Minnesota's matchup against the Nuggets he reminded everyone how valuable he can be on that end of the floor, but he's also very limited on offense and we've seen him get played out of postseason games depending on the matchup.
Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks SF
  • 2022-23 rank: No. 23
  • 2023-24 rank: No. 46
  • Difference: -23
After missing much of the 2022 playoffs, Middleton had another injury-riddled season which limited him to just 33 games. In those games, there were definitely highlights, but for most of last season he looked like a shell of his former self. He looked to knock off some rust during Milwaukee first-round playoff loss, but it wasn't enough for the Bucks to avoid an upset to the Heat. He signed a three-year, $102 million deal to keep him in Milwaukee for the time being, but it's worth wondering if the version of Middleton that we saw in the Bucks' championship run is behind him. The silver lining in this is that he's had a healthy offseason and won't be working back from any injuries like he was last season, but if he still isn't the dynamic scorer he was a couple seasons ago then it'll significantly impact Milwaukee's championship chances.