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Ranking the best player by jersey number (00-10)

Jersey numbers are an important part of a players identity. Some have worn he same number since the day they picked up basketball, others pick a new number to honor their idol. But no matter the reason, some numbers are simply iconic, like Kobe’s 8 and 24 or MJ and LeBron’s 23. So today let’s give some recognition to the best of the best to currently wear each number. We'll start with numbers 00-10 in this edition, and move down the list in the future.

#00: Jordan Clarkson

Season Stats: 19.0 PTS | 3.9 REB | 4.6 AST | 2.5 TO | 42.8% FG | 37.5% 3PT

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Jordan Clarkson is hooping for the Utah Jazz. After coming off the bench as a bulk scorer on contending Jazz teams, the 2021 Sixth Man of the Year became a starter in a much less talented Utah lineup that was expected to tank. Clarkson wasn’t having it, though. With help from a seemingly random assortment of scorers, including Lauri Markkanen, Clarkson has the Jazz sitting in second place in the Western Conference at 12-7. The way he seamlessly transitioned from the bench to starting lineup, even evolving his game to distribute slightly more than in the past, is well deserving of his spot as the best #00, although the way any number looks on those awful Jazz jersey’s may have to knock all Utah players down a peg on this list.

Honorable Mention: Bennedict Mathurin

#0: Jayson Tatum

Season Stats: 30.2 PTS | 7.6 REB | 4.6 AST | 1.2 STL | 0.8 BLK | 2.5 TO | 47.3% FG | 35.6% 3PT

Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

It didn’t take Tatum long to establish himself as a star in the league, and he’s done nothing but improve each year. After leading his Celtics to an NBA Finals appearance in 2021-22, he’s come back even stronger. Tatum is now arguably the best two-way player in the NBA, and once again has Boston looking like a strong contender. It really is incredible that he’s done all that and he’s still only 19!

HM: Tyrese Haliburton

#1: Devin Booker

Season Stats: 27.4 PTS | 4.8 REB | 5.8 AST | 0.9 ST: | 2.5 TO | 47.3% FG | 38.0% 3PT

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One of the most maligned stars in in the Association, Booker’s reputation took a hit with the Suns’ playoff collapse at the hands of Luka Doncic, but that doesn’t even come close to defining him as a player. There’s no denying Booker is an absolute bucket, with the ability to singlehandedly win games for Phoenix. In fact, the University of Kentucky product has been far more responsible for the Suns’ 11-6 start this season, with teammates Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton both off to slow starts. I didn’t strongly consider any other players for this one, but if there’s a mascot wearing number 1 it may have to get the nod over Booker.

HM: James Harden

#2: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Season Stats: 31.1 PTS | 4.6 REB | 6.0 AST | 1.8 STL | 1.4 BLK | 3.2 TO | 52.6% FG | 39.1% 3PT

Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

SGA has always been a very good player buried on a bad team. Now, he’s officially graduated to superstardom, and he’ll be buried no more. Gilgeous-Alexander’s 31 point, six assist, and over one steal and block per game averages are amazing, but his 53/39/91 shooting splits make him just an absurd player. It’s exciting to see him getting his flowers on a national level, and I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon. Give Shai even a half-decent roster and he’ll take them to the playoffs. Give him a good one and he’ll run the table.

HM: Cade Cunningham

#3: Anthony Davis

Season Stats: 26.4 PTS | 12.6 REB | 2.4 AST | 1.7 STL | 2.1 BLK | 2.5 TO | 56.0% FG

Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Anthony Davis is staying healthy, and that’s a scary sight for the rest of the NBA. I won’t say he looks like Pelicans AD just yet, but there’s no doubt he’s playing at an All_NBA level on both ends of the floor. His Lakers may be struggling, but Davis leads the team in points, rebounds, blocks, and steals. If he can manage to shake the “street clothes Davis” monoker, he’ll deservedly be viewed as one of the top big men in the league once again. Side note: Already three Kentucky players on this list; they really do dominate the league.

HM: CJ McCollum

#4: Evan Mobley

Season Stats: 15.2 PTS | 8.4 REB | 2.5 AST | 0.9 STL | 1.4 BLK | 2.3 TO | 57.2% FG

Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The number 4 is a battle between three underperforming sophomores in Jalen Green, Scottie Barnes, and Evan Mobley, but Mobley ultimately gets the nod. Mobley has had his struggles early this season, particularly when asked to be the primary rim protector with Jarrett Allen out, but the talent is still there and his production is on the rise. The lengthy forward presents a matchup problem for defenses, and provides the Cavs with an extremely versatile defender. He’s been more aggressive offensively as of late, so improvement can be expected.

HM: Scottie Barnes

#5: De’Aaron Fox

Season Stats: 25.9 PTS | 5.0 REB | 6.4 AST | 1.3 STL | 2.6 TO | 55.5% FG | 40.8% 3PT

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Light the Beam! The Sacramento Kings are officially good at basketball, and it’s mainly because of De’Aaron Fox. The Kings are 10-6, riding a seven game win streak behind career highs from Fox in points, rebounds, and shooting efficiency. Yes, the acquisitions of Domantis Sabonis and Kevin Huerter are paying dividends for Sacramento, but it’s the floor general, Fox, making the difference that has the Kings rolling. So party like it’s 2006, Kings fans, because De’Aaron could be bringing postseason basketball to Sac-Town.

HM: Dejounte Murray

#6: LeBron James

Season Stats: 24.9 PTS | 8.8 REB | 6.9 AST | 1.1 STL | 0.7 BLK | 3.4 TO | 45.7% FG

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The King hasn’t quite been his usual self in his age-37 campaign, but he’s still one of the best players on earth right now. Even on a struggling Lakers squad, his numbers are still up at a clear All-Star level, including his rebounding, which is at an all-time high for James. Plus, despite Father TIme starting to catch up, James still hasnt failed to show the occasional flash of athleticism and explosiveness reminiscent of his younger days. LeBron may not be on this list for much longer, we can certainly enjoy it while it lasts.

HM: Kristaps Porzingis

#7: Kevin Durant

Season Stats: 29.8 PTS | 6.5 REB | 5.3 AST | 0.8 STL | 1.8 BLK | 3.3 TO | 53.5% FG | 32.9% 3PT

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

One of the most consistent players in the league for a decade and a half, Durant hasn’t missed a beat with the Brooklyn Nets despite all the distractions around him. He’s the biggest matchup nightmare in the league, with his guard skills in a 7-footers body making him impossible to stop. KD is up near thirty points per game for the second straight year, keeping the Nets afloat as they’ve navigated absences by both Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons.

HM: Jaylen Brown

#8: Zach Lavine

Season Stats: 20.8 PTS | 4.0 REB | 4.1 AST | 1.2 STL | 2.2 TO | 41.4% FG | 37.5% 3PT

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Zach Lavine’s season has not gotten off to a desirable start. His numbers are down in just about every category, including points and efficiency, and he was even benched down the stretch in a game against Orlando after going 1/14 from the field. But with all that said, he is still a 20 point-per-game scorer with crazy athleticism. And hey, did you really want to see De’Anthony Melton as the best number 8 in the league? I didn’t think so.

HM: De’Anthony Melton

#9: Nikola Vucevic

Season Stats: 15.5 PTS | 11.8 REB | 3.1 AST | 0.8 BLK | 2.2 TO | 47.6% FG | 37.7% 3PT

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Vucevic mans the glass as well as just about anyone in the league, averaging a double-double. He could stand to improve his shooting percentage, but the slight dip is worth it for a center who can stretch the floor and knock down three pointers. His range is especially useful in a Bulls offense that runs through DeMar DeRozan, who doesn’t have a strong deep game.

HM: Jerami Grant

#10: Darius Garland

Season Stats: 23.9 PTS | 2.1 REB | 7.8 AST | 1.5 STL | 4.0 TO | 45.4% FG | 43.9% 3PT

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Coming off his first All-Star season last year for Cleveland, Garland is putting together another very solid. Injuries have prevented him and his new backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell from sharing the court as often as they would like, but Garland has been a key to the Cavs success. He’s averaging a career high in points with very little drop off in his assist numbers, proving that he and Mitchell work just fine together. Garland does have to clean up his play though, as he’s second in the NBA in turnovers, with four per game, but he makes up for it with his playmaking.

HM: Domantas Sabonis

Stay tuned for #11-20 coming soon!


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