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.
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 two days. 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 ...
9. Paul George
Insider profile: George returned in full force in 2015-16 from his horrific broken leg after a brief cameo at the end of the preceding season. With a summer to work back to full strength, he was as good as ever. His brilliant playoff performance against the Toronto Raptors solidified his standing as perhaps the East's best two-way wing. George is on the short list of players, along with Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, who can be the primary creator on offense while shutting down the opponent's best wing threat. Read more »