Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler too low in ESPN’s top 100 NBA player rankings

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Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dribbles against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

The 2022-23 NBA season is getting closer and the Miami Heat are preparing for another competitive season in the Eastern Conference. They are hopeful that their best player in Jimmy Butler, who is one of the best players in the entire league, will be able to help them make another deep playoff push.

ESPN recently released their annual top 100 NBA player rankings and it is safe to say that they are not in agreement with how good of a player Jimmy Butler is though. Butler was ranked 17th overall, which is way too low, to say the least.

To be fair, to be considered the 17th best player in the NBA is a great achievement for any NBA player. However, Butler deserves to be ranked higher as a testament to his proven skill.

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The only way these rankings make any sense is if they were based on last year’s MVP race. Even then, 17 still feels too low.

Since Jimmy Butler missed several games last season, he missed the opportunity to compete for the MVP trophy. That much seems to be indicated in ESPN’s rationale, as they had this to say about his injury history:

"Butler’s career has been defined in part by his ability to perform at a high level no matter what lingering injury he is dealing with but at age 33 it remains to be seen if all the minutes he has logged since coming into the league in the 2011-12 season have taken a toll. Butler has played in just 109 out of a possible 154 games over the past two seasons."

If this ranking is only based on MVP voting from the previous season, then why make the list in the first place? We already know the results of the MVP voting from last season.

That means ESPN had every intention of making this a true ranking of the best 100 players in the league. But then, that also means they forgot a few things about Jimmy Butler.