Domantas Sabonis
NBAE/Getty Images

Four Pacers Crack Top 100 of ESPN, Sports Illustrated Player Rankings

by Wheat Hotchkiss Writer/Editor

With training camp set to open next week, the start of the 2021-22 NBA season is just weeks away. As the new season quickly approaches, prominent media outlets like ESPN and Sports Illustrated are partaking in their annual practice of ranking the top players in the league.

In ESPN's "NBArank" project, four Pacers players were ranked within the top 100.

The first player on the list was Caris LeVert at number 80. Despite missing two months after being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma following a trade to Indiana, LeVert impressed in his first games with the Blue & Gold, averaging 20.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 35 contests last season.

Point guard Malcolm Brogdon was ranked 65th by ESPN after leading Indiana in scoring last season. Brogdon averaged a career-high 21.2 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists and shot just under 39 percent from 3-point range in 56 games last season.

Center Myles Turner was the biggest mover among Pacers players in this year's ESPN list. ESPN ranked Turner 44th heading into this season, up 30 spots from a year ago. Turner averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds last season while blocking a career-high 3.4 shots per game, leading the league in blocks per game for the second time in his career.

Unsurprisingly, two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis was the highest-ranked Pacer, coming in at 40th, up 10 spots over last season. The 6-11 big man averaged 20.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 6.7 assists last season, tallying 28 double-doubles and nine triple-doubles.

Sports Illustrated placed all four of those players in the top 70, though the order in which they were ranked was different than ESPN's rankings.

Turner came in at 70th in Sports Illustrated's rankings. LeVert was next at 62nd, while Brogdon came in at 47th (up seven spots from last season). Sabonis was the highest-ranked and the biggest mover in the group, coming in at 36th after being ranked 55th by the outlet a year ago.

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