Every year, ESPN releases their comprehensive list of the top 400 NBA players in the upcoming season. Usually, it takes a good long while before I or anyone else gets upset with the list for putting someone too high or too low. This year it happened on September 24, when they released numbers 400-251.
Some notable names include Nick Collison dropping almost 100 spots to 252, Amar'e Stoudemire doing almost the same dropping to 278, and, (to me and the other writers of this site) most notably, Anthony Bennet sitting at 263.
Look, here's a confession: I can't name 400 NBA players off the top of my head and I doubt you can either, but I could name many, many, many NBA players better than the recently bought out former first overall draft pick Anthony Bennett. Here's three off the top of my head: Jason Terry, Clint Capela, and... I don't know, Sam Dekker. Here's another confession: I'm a liar and I've been lying to you the whole time I named those three people specifically for reasons.
The main reason is that ESPN ranks all three of those Rockets below Bennett at 264, 265, and 277 respectively. Even more confusing is that both Capela and Terry were scored exactly the same as Bennett at 24.4. Though another year closer to his twilight, Jason Terry moved up from his spot last year at 287. Clint Capela, a basically unknown commodity last year, moved up from spot 445.
I've never been as heavy as some on the idea of a national bias against Houston sports. I usually don't find it to be true honestly. That said, I am biased, and I would go as far as to say that almost every Houston Rocket is objectively (read: subjectively) better than Anthony Bennett.
Some other notable players behind those three Rockets include James-Harden-trade-chip Jeremy Lamb at 300 and Corey-Brewer-trade-chip Troy Daniels at 310. Also important for me to mention is that Kendrick Perkins, the namesake of my first TDS article, didn't make the cut. Thank Morey we didn't sign him.
The ESPN top 400 will continue to be rolled out as the 2015-2016 season approaches. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the Rockets get rolled out on the list, especially in comparison to other Western Conference contenders. We should expect to see Harden placed high, but it's the people between the Beard and the bench that should be interesting.