Luka Doncic of the Mavericks is the third best player in the NBA by ESPN

With the 2022-23 NBA season steadily approaching and teams set to start training next week (including the Dallas Mavericks), ESPN is counting down its annual list of the league’s top 100 players.

Counting down in segments, numbers 10-6 were released on Thursday, and there was no appearance from Luka Doncic until that point. That made it pretty obvious that he was in ESPN’s top five once again, and when it was released on Friday, Doncic was actually listed as the third-ranked player in the entire NBA. He is in a 4th place spot last season, behind two-time MVP Nikola Jokic in 2nd place and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in 1st place.

Tim MacMahon: “At 23 years old, Doncic has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the top superstar, an eternal All-NBA selection and an MVP contender. He cemented that status last season when he was the only All-Star on a Dallas team that went to the Western Finals.”

Doncic’s roster also notes the Mavericks’ record (32-12) to close last season after Doncic returned from a three-week absence due to an ankle injury. MacMahon surmises that Doncic could climb to the top spot in the league and perhaps earn an MVP if Dallas earns a top four spot in the West next season.

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Finals MVP Steph Curry round out the top five. LeBron James is in sixth place, and Kevin Durant surprisingly arrives in 8th place.

Other Mavericks appearing on the list are commercial acquisition Christian Wood at 92nd and Spencer Dinwiddie at 69th. Dorian Finney-Smith was left out of the top 100.

“[Dinwiddie’s] The ability to make saves count with decent long-range looks is especially important when Dinwiddie, who will replace Jalen Brunson in the starting lineup, plays alongside Luka Doncic.” wrote MacMahon.

On the former Maverick front, Kristaps Porzingis of Washington arrives in 86th and Jalen Brunson in 67th. Seth Curry and Harrison Barnes also appear at 96th and 74th, respectively.

Twitter: @coylio33

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