#NBArank 18: Kyle Lowry

For the sixth season in a row, ESPN.com is ranking the top players in the NBA. Who will be the best player this season?

To get the final ranking, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry. Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant. Damian Lillard vs. Chris Paul.

We asked, "Which player will be better in 2016-17?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games.

We'll roll out the rest of our top 200 players over the next two days. If you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along, #NBArank is the Twitter hashtag to use. You also can follow along @ESPNNBA and on Facebook.

On to the list ...

18. Kyle Lowry

  • Raptors | PG | @Klow7

  • Last year's rank: 34

  • 2016-17 projected RPM: 6.14

Insider profile: For all the talk of "skinny Lowry," he was more or less the same player as he was in the second half of 2013-14 and the first half of 2014-15 throughout a single campaign. The result was the best full season of Lowry's career, a second consecutive All-Star start, an appearance on the All-NBA third team and a spot on the USA team that won gold in Rio. Only three point guards (and nine players total) used more than a quarter of their team's plays with true shooting percentages of .570 or better: Lowry, MVP Stephen Curry and Chris Paul. That's the company Lowry has kept recently, ranking as a top-10 player by most all-in-one value stats. Read more »

#NBArank 11-20