The 10 Best NBA Superstars of 2023

With the 2022-2023 NBA season firmly in our rear view, and the flurry of free agency in full swing, it is time to look back and wax poetic about the best NBA players this past season. While compromised largely of the usual suspects, there are some surprise appearances as well. Importantly, this list does not display the ten best players in the league right now, but rather the players with the ten best seasons.


Nikola Jokić
PER 31.5, VORP 8.8, OWS 11.2
best 2023 NBA players

After leading his Denver Nuggets to a franchise first NBA championship, it is easy to assume that Jokic’s playoff success is being heavily weighted here. Nothing could be further from the truth however. Even without the benefit of a legendary playoffs run, the former MVP had far and away the best season this year. With numerous think pieces being written about Jokic’s status as the best offensive player in the league, or arguably the best big man in NBA history, it is fair to say that he has had an incredible year.

Luka Dončić
PER 28.7, VORP 6.6, OWS 7.3

While things took a turn for the worse for the Dallas Mavericks after acquiring the mercurial and ultra-talented Kyrie Irving, this should not subtract from Luka’s individual brilliance this past season. Luka continues to demonstrate an uncanny ability to control the pace of the game and bring a level of versatility that few in the Association can match. Should the Mavericks manage to retain Irving, their on court chemistry would need to improve drastically or Dončić’s efforts will be for naught.

Joel Embiid
PER 31.4, VORP 6.4, OWS 8.4
best 2023 NBA players

This year’s reigning MVP was not the best player this past season. It is hardly uncontroversial to acknowledge that the statistics do not support his selection. That being said, he still had a stellar season. Along with his inconsistent running mate, James Harden, Embiid ensured that the Philadelphia 76ers were a contender all season. With some better injury luck, we could be having a different conversation.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
PER 29.0, VORP 5.4, OWS 4.9
best 2023 NBA players

Like Jokic, Giannis is a former two-time NBA MVP. Statistically, it seems that Antetokounmpo’s best days are slowly slipping away from him. But the days of Giannis no longer being a member of the NBA elite is not yet upon us. Still a defensive juggernaut, Giannis can still get into the lane like no other, making him one of the league’s most viable two-way threats. All of this without a viable jump shot. As long as Giannis continues to play like he did this past season, the Milwaukee Bucks will remain in the mix for title contention.

Anthony Davis
PER 27.8, VORP 4.0, OWS 5.5
Anthony Davis

Davis was a revelation for the much improved Los Angeles Lakers this past season. His 56 games, while hardly impressive, is still the most he has played for the franchise since the Lakers won it all in the 2019-2020 season. With a nickname like “day to day Davis”, it was easy to write Davis off as washed. The Lakers big man proved that when healthy however, he is as potent a defensive weapon as there is in the league. And with LeBron James missing extensive time as well, Davis proved more than capable of picking up the offensive load as well.

Stephen Curry
PER 24.1, VORP 4.7, OWS 5.8
Stephen Curry

As an undersized guard in the NBA, Curry is supposed to be aging terribly, barely capable of giving the Golden State Warriors 15 minutes of elite execution per night. Somebody forgot to tell him that though. The baby faced assassin continues to drink from the fountain of youth, carrying a team whose best days are ostensibly behind them into the playoffs. And though many were quick to write the Warriors off, Curry and a revamped roster can never be counted out.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
PER 27.2, VORP 5.6, OWS 8.4

The soon to be 25 year old Shai took a leap forward this season. Undoubtedly a superstar, the mega-sized point guard has vaulted his name into the conversation of the league’s elite. Unfortunately his talents are wasted on an Oklahoma City Thunder team that seems to be permanently re-building. Though progress is not always linear, Gilgeous-Alexander’s trajectory could have him being a top three player in the league soon.

Jimmy Butler
PER 27.6, VORP 5.8, OWS 9.4
Jimmy Butler

Whether you call him Playoff Jimmy or Himmy Butler, makes no difference. The Chicago native continues to be praised for elevating his play in the post season but truthfully he is no slouch in the regular season either. The 2023 NBA season saw Butler emerge as one of the best players in the league. He may not be a top ten talent, but through sheer will and ingenuity, Butler continually finds a way to get it done.

Damian Lillard
PER 26.7, VORP 4.9, OWS 8.2

If the rumor mill proves to be accurate, the Portland Trailblazers will miss Dame Time if he is traded. Lillard is not known for his defensive prowess, which makes his ability to consistently rank among the NBA’s best all the more impressive. A sharp shooter with the ability to sap the will of his opposition, Lillard continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Though the outcome was disappointing for his team this season, it was certainly not from his lack of trying.

LeBron James
PER 23.9, VORP 4.0, OWS 3.2
LeBron James

Undoubtedly motivated to beat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s record, James had a run this past season that would be incredible for a player 15 years his junior. Though he is continuously written off due to age, James ‘ only slippage has been in his ability to stay healthy. When on the court LeBron has shown an incredible ability to compensate for his sapped athleticism with his otherworldly basketball IQ.


The best NBA players  of the 2023 season all buoyed their teams with a combination of talent, grit, and a bit of luck. There is certainly no guarantee that any of them will repeat their success next season, but they remain some of the best the Association has to offer.

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