A playmaker is defined as someone who creates opportunities. Whether it's their own scoring opportunity or finding an open teammate and delivering a timely assist, they impact the game with creative scoring or passing -- and sometimes both.
Playmakers are not locked into a position. In today's game, they can be either an elite scoring threat or a facilitator reading the floor and reacting at a moment's notice. The opposing defense fears them. They are stars who can make something positive happen, and make winning plays with the ball in their hand.
In today's game, Steph Curry, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Chris Paul come to mind. Going back decades, playmakers run the full gamut of different kinds of players. Names such as Steve Nash, John Stockton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson were legendary. Simply put, playmakers are difference-makers.
Below is a list of playmakers -- seven of whom will be playing in the fourth annual GEICO Top Flight Invite (ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN+) from Oct. 13 to 15 -- across all of ESPN player rankings who could make major impacts this season.