NBL Top 15 Player Rankings 3.0: Jaylen Adams makes his move

We're back.

Version 3.0 of the rolling, top-15 player rankings in NBL22 is here and there is plenty of movement in the list.

As always, it's important to remind that these rankings are based solely on what we've seen on the court this season rather than reputation as a player in the league. Brisbane star Nathan Sobey is the perfect example, with the bronze medallist slipping out of the rankings having suited up in just 12 games this season due to a lingering knee concern.

On the back of eight-straight wins, the Sydney Kings have three players in the top 10, with star point guard, Jaylen Adams rocketing on to the list after an interrupted start to the season.

As always, let me know what I got right and more importantly where I got this horribly wrong!


1) Bryce Cotton, Perth Wildcats (No change) - 23.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.7 apg

The clear number one in the preseason and the clear number one right now. The Wildcats are in the championship race once again and at this stage, it feels like the MVP race is over. If Cotton remains healthy, you can put his name on a fourth league MVP award.

2) Jaylen Adams, Sydney Kings (Not ranked) - 20.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.2 apg

Adams was my preseason MVP pick. Simply due to lack of games played at the start of the season I don't think he can reasonably usurp Cotton in the award race, but right now, the Sydney guard is lighting up anyone who gets in his path.

A game winning three, a game winning dunk, scoring and facilitating, Adams has been on an absolute tear.

By the way, if you have plans on Saturday night, cancel them. The Kings visit RAC Arena, giving us the Cotton vs. Adams matchup that we all need.

3) Vic Law, Perth Wildcats (Up 1) - 21.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.9 apg

Believe me when I tell you I struggled in not having the Perth superstar duo at the top of this list.

Law can get his shot up whenever he wants and is an elite rebounder for his position. His 39-point performance against New Zealand without hitting a single long range shot was a masterclass and not the first time he has rendered an opposition defence useless.

Does anyone have the capability of slowing down Cotton and Law in a playoff series?

4) Mitch Creek, South East Melbourne Phoenix (Down 1) - 21.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.2 apg

The Phoenix are scuffling and Creek is bearing the brunt of the opposition defensive focus. Across losses to Illawarra and Sydney on the weekend, Creek managed just 32 points on 34 shots.

It's been an incredible season for Creek to this point, but they need him at his efficient best if they are to make noise in the postseason.

5) Jo Lual-Acuil, Melbourne United (Up 2) - 16.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.4 apg

Sixth in scoring, third in rebounding and leading the league in blocks per game. JLA has arrived as a genuine star in this league and would certainly have eyes for brighter lights next campaign.

I was curious about starter Jo in the preseason but there's no doubt, he has become the best player on the team sitting on top of the standings.

6) Xavier Cooks, Sydney Kings (Down 1) - 14.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.2 apg

It pained me to drop Cooks in the rankings despite his continued excellent level of play. Missing the last two games with an ankle sprain, there is hope he will return for the marquee matchup in Perth.

The injury came at an unfortunate time for Cooks, with three of his last five appearances producing 20+ point outings. The two-way star does it all for the Kings, with his scoring explosion an added bonus for the hottest team in the league.

7) Chris Goulding, Melbourne United (Down 5) - 14.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.9 apg

CG43 has seen a minor dip in scoring this season, with his 3-point shooting at an unusually low 34.7 percent. Regardless, Goulding continues to draw as much attention from opposition defenders as any player in the league.

8) Jarell Martin, Sydney Kings (Up 2) - 16.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 0.9 apg

It's unfathomable to think Martin could be the third ranked player from Sydney given the season he is putting together.

The explosive big man has scored in double digits in 19 out of 20 appearances and has recorded nine double-doubles in the process. He is also a ridiculous lob finisher with his partnership with Adams producing weekly highlight reel players.

9) Duop Reath, Illawarra Hawks (Down 1) - 14.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.9 apg

It's been a curious season for Reath, with the early-season MVP contender seemingly recovering from a midseason slumber.

The big man has got up single digit shot attempts in seven out of 21 games this season, which appears to be a symptom of the individual talent on the Hawks' roster. Everyone has to eat, but Reath needs to be the focus.

Back-to-back double-doubles in wins over SEM and Tasmania last round is a good sign.

10) Yannick Wetzell, New Zealand Breakers (Up 2) - 16.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.3 apg

Forget the record, the Breakers have still been an incredibly entertaining watch for most of this season.

Wetzell has taken over games on a number of occasions and is a throwback in a lot of ways with his ability to overwhelm the defence from the post or as the roll man. With a pair of likely draftees and the emergence of Wetzell as a star, there is plenty to take from NBL22 after another year on the road for New Zealand.

11) Robert Franks, Brisbane Bullets (Down 2) - 17.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.3 apg

The Bullets hopes in NBL22 have faded, but Franks has been a bright light for the franchise. It has felt at times that his teammates forget he is on the floor, with his average of 13 shots per game feeling criminally low.

12) Zhou Qi, South East Melbourne Phoenix (Down 6) - 11.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.5 apg

With the playoffs fast approaching, the Phoenix haven't quite figured out how to maximise the talents of Qi.

While the league trends towards athletic, versatile bigs at the five, Qi is a throwback with excellent touch around the basket. The concern for SEM will be how he stays on the floor in matchups against Perth and Sydney who lean small in the fourth quarter.

It's hard to see SEM doing playoff damage if the Chinese star is on the bench in key moments.

13) Antonius Cleveland, Illawarra Hawks (Not ranked) - 13.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.1 apg

For the first time this season, Tyler Harvey drops off the list and Cleveland becomes the second Hawk. Cleveland is a two-way game changer who has helped spark the Hawks out of their NBL22 struggles.

The import wing takes the opposition's best perimeter scorer, is a major threat in transition and fills the box score on a nightly basis. He should be in the mix for Best Defensive Player and is the only player in the league to average over one block and steal per game.

14) Matthew Dellavedova, Melbourne United (Up 1) - 10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.5 apg

Dellavedova has quietly gone about his business in NBL22. He has his moments taking over the scoring, his defence has been typically stout, and he keeps the offence ticking over as the best facilitator on the team.

In many respects, he was the perfect player for a Vickerman-style system. He's having a really, really good season without receiving the plaudits he deserves.

15) Josh Adams, Tasmania JackJumpers (Not ranked) - 15.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.1 apg

The JackJumpers are hanging on in the playoff mix and their first player comes in the last place on the list.

More than anything, this is a nod to the contributions the first-year franchise has received right down the entire roster. Adams has been inconsistent from an efficiency standpoint but is the one explosive scorer on the squad who can change the game in a matter of minutes if he catches fire.