Do any Spurs crack this list of the NBA's top 53 franchise players?
The San Antonio Spurs are flush with talent, but how many of their pieces qualify as "franchise players"?
The fine folks over at FiveThirtyEight answered this question by making a list of the top 53 franchise players right now in the NBA. A few Spurs made it, including, unsurprisingly, Kawhi Leonard:
Read on to find out who else is on there. It's well worth your time.
We might call Leonard a sleeper — except that the rest of the basketball analysis community has woken up to his talents as the best lock-down wing in the game. Leonard won the Defensive Player of the Year award last season, and ESPN’s #NBARank list places him among the top 10 overall players in the game. Leonard’s offensive game has also developed, and, as Michael Wright notes, he could see fewer double-teams with LaMarcus Aldridge on the Spurs’ roster, leading to even better production. All of this is why Leonard is one of just eight players CARMELO labels as MVP candidates.