SI’s Top 100 NBA players of 2018: Kings Zach Randolph a biggest snubs

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 27: Zach Randolph
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 27: Zach Randolph /

Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover released the first part of its Top 100 NBA players on September 11.  This article takes a look at their biggest snubs list and current King Zach Randolph’s inclusion.

Each year, Sports Illustrated puts out its Top 100 NBA players, and it is always perfect for discussion and debate.  The list kicked on Monday, September 11 with players 50-100 and it’s “biggest snubs” list.  I like to look at that list as the players ranked just outside the top 100 and new Sacramento Kings big man Zach Randolph made the article.

Today, we will take a look at why Randolph missed the top 100 and if he could return to the rankings next season.  Without further ado, let us jump right into it.

Why Z-Bo missed the cut

Rewind one year and Zach Randolph ranked 64 in SI’s Top 100 NBA players of 2017.  A lot has changed for Z-Bo in that time.  Randolph was demoted to a bench role at the start of last season for the first time in his eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.  Coming off the bench allowed him to play just 24.5 minutes per game, his lowest output since 2002-2003.  His field goal and free throw percentages also took a hit from past campaigns.  Overall, it was not an outstanding season for Z-Bo.

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This offseason, Randolph left the Grizzlies after eight years and joined forces with former coach Dave Joerger in Sacramento.  He got paid, but a recent arrest has muddied the offseason too.

Ultimately, Z-Bo dropped from the rankings because of his poor on-court play and at 36 years old the likelihood that he does not bounce back.

Will he return to the top 100 in 2019?

I tend to think Zach Randolph will not revert to the top 100 next offseason.  You can read the full write up on Z-Bo from SI’s Biggest Snubs article here, but in short, the review was not glowing.  They made light of the changes to the NBA game and how a player like Randolph may not be a great fit.

If you have read my articles this offseason, you know I am in agreement with them.  Randolph is now best served as a center playing a maximum of 25 minutes a night.  When he comes in, I expect him to be a force on offense and rebounding the ball, but at 36 he just cannot be counted on for 30 minutes a night.  The notion that Z-Bo can keep up with the plethora of small ball fours around the league on the defensive end is a non-starter for me. It is why he belongs playing the five.  A role I think he flourishes in.  I expect Randolph to be productive in Sacramento, but his best seasons have passed including his inclusion in the top 100 players.

Final thoughts

According to Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover, Zach Randolph is one of the biggest snubs of the Top 100 NBA players.  That is an accomplishment in itself.  Basically, Randolph is one of the 125 best NBA players.  I was selfishly disappointed he did not crack the top 100, but I was happy he got a little recognition.

Hopefully, Randolph’s legal situation finds its resolution, and he is ready and able to play on opening night.  The Kings need his production and leadership on the court.

Next: 2018 NBA mock draft 1.0

A Royal Pain is the place for all things Sacramento Kings this season.  We have a ton of draft, free agency and summer league articles up on the site.  We will now shift our focus to all the information you need for the upcoming season, so please check back often.  Thank you for reading.