#NBArank 34: Gordon Hayward

For the sixth season in a row, ESPN.com is ranking the top players in the NBA. Who will be the best player this season?

To get the final ranking, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry. Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant. Damian Lillard vs. Chris Paul.

We asked, "Which player will be better in 2016-17?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games.

We'll roll out the rest of our top 200 players over the next week. If you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along, #NBArank is the Twitter hashtag to use. You also can follow along @ESPNNBA and on Facebook.

On to the list ...

34. Gordon Hayward

Insider profile: After early growing pains as a shot creator, Hayward has settled into a comfortable role as the first option in a balanced Utah offense. He has used better than a quarter of the team's plays the past two seasons, with true shooting percentages solidly above league average (.559 in 2015-16). Somewhat surprisingly, Hayward has never become a major 3-point threat (his 34.9 percent mark last season, down slightly from 36 percent career, was almost precisely average). But Hayward has developed into an excellent playmaker off the dribble, capable of getting to the basket and finishing or finding teammates (3.7 assists per 36 minutes). Read more »

#NBArank 31-40