NBL Top 15 Player Rankings 4.0: Jaylen Adams reigns supreme

NBL22 is in the books, which brings us to the last top 15 player rankings of the season.

Like previous additions, these ranking are based on this season alone, with postseason play carrying weight in the final placings.

The Sydney Kings are champions, with their superstar quartet all appearing on the list for the first time this season, while the insane shot making of Josh Adams ensured he finished at his highest mark for the season.

As always, these rankings are sure to spark conversation so let me know where I went wrong!

1) Jaylen Adams, Sydney Kings (up 1) - 20.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.1 apg

An unfortunate hamstring injury cut the regular season MVP's Grand Final series short after just one game, but Adams still did enough playoff damage to finish the season on top of the rankings.

Averaging 29.5 points across the two-game sweep of the Illawarra Hawks, Adams was simply unstoppable as a scorer, while also leading the team and league in assists across the entire season.

As soon as this man got healthy, the Kings looked like the best team in the league. A deserving MVP.

2) Bryce Cotton, Perth Wildcats (down 1) - 22.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.9 apg

It didn't quite feel right watching the NBL postseason with Bryce Cotton sitting at home.

The shorthanded Wildcats fell just short of the postseason, but Cotton was back to his superstar levels.

As usual, there was speculation about what the offseason might hold, and as usual, he re-signed with Perth in what is a huge win for the entire Australian basketball community.

3) Xavier Cooks, Sydney Kings (up 3) - 15.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.6 apg

Unable to stay healthy in his first two seasons with the Kings, Cooks reminded everyone why he is an NBA talent.

The Grand Final MVP, Best Defensive Player finalist and All-NBL second team member, Cooks believed he owed the Kings in NBL 22. He did more than pay them back.

Only question is whether he the big show in America is up next.

4) Vic Law, Perth Wildcats (down 1) - 20.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.8 apg

For much of the season, it appeared we were heading for a showdown between the Kings and Wildcats in the postseason.

Unfortunately for Law, an ankle injury cut his season short, ultimately ending the hopes of Perth making a serious championship run.

It's the second consecutive season injury has ended his run early, but when healthy, Law is indisputably a top-five player in the league. Perth will be hoping they can run back the dynamic Law-Cotton duo. If they do, they'll like their chances to once again contend for the NBL23 title.

5) Mitch Creek, South East Melbourne Phoenix (down 1) - 20.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.0 apg

An MVP candidate early in the season, Creek tailed off a little to end the season, which may have simply been virtue of the load he was asked to carry for the inconsistent Phoenix.

Second in the league for scoring with 20.4 points per game, Creek remains virtually unstoppable in transition.

6) Jarell Martin, Sydney Kings (up 2) - 16.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 apg

Martin provided us with one of the more beautiful stories out of the Grand Final, with the Game 3 win allowing him to jump straight on a plane to be home with his partner in the final stages before becoming a father.

He was desperate to end the series, and played like it, finishing with 22 points and 17 rebounds in the clinching game, giving Sydney fans a performance, they will never forget.

He's another guy on the Sydney roster who could eventually eye a return to the NBA.

7) Jo Lual-Acuil, Melbourne United (down 2) - 16.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.5 apg

From Sixth Man of the Year to MVP finalist in one season. JLA took the step United desperately needed him to.

Averaging 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds, Lual-Acuil proved he can carry an NBL offence while also providing rim protection on the other end where only Cooks averaged more blocks per game across the league.

8) Duop Reath, Illawarra Hawks (up 1) - 15.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg

Reath had his ups and downs through the season, admitting he was taking time to adjust to a featured role on offence.

Despite the newfound touches, it felt like he leant into the role as offensive leader in the postseason, averaging 23.0 points against a tough Sydney defence

9) Antonius Cleveland, Illawarra Hawks (up 4) - 14.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.3 apg

Many within the Hawks organisation point to Cleveland as one of the major catalysts for the Hawks turning their season around.

Awarded the Best Defensive Player, Cleveland was the only player in the league to average over one block and one steal per game.

10) Josh Adams, Tasmania JackJumpers (up 5) - 16.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg

No player in the league made me question my eyesight with their shot making more than Josh Adams.

On a team lacking scoring, Adams continuously bailed out the JackJumpers offence, creating perimeter opportunities out of nowhere. He wasn't always efficient, but in the biggest moments of the season he attempted to carry Tasmania over the line.

30 points to clinch a Grand Final spot on the road in Melbourne was backed up by 31.5 points per game across Game 2 and 3 against Sydney. He did all he could.

11) Yannick Wetzell, New Zealand Breakers (down 2) - 17.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.3 apg

It was another brutal season for the Breakers, but Wetzell was absolutely the shining light.

Averaging 17.6 points and 8.2 rebounds, the Breakers could reliably lean on Wetzell on a nightly basis. He was rewarded with a late season contract with Baskonia in Spain.

12) Robert Franks, Brisbane Bullets (down 1) - 18.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1,6 apg

At times, it felt like Franks was not getting anywhere near enough shots, particularly with Nathan Sobey on the shelf for the bulk of the season.

Despite that, he still put up 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per night on 49 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three.

With Sobey locked up for NBL23, the Bullets would be hoping Franks can stick around for another season.

13) Ian Clark, Sydney Kings (not ranked) - 12.9 ppg, 2.5 ppg, 2.0 apg

As good as he was on the floor in Game 3, the Kings locker room won't stop talking about the influence the veteran had in the locker room since arriving mid-season.

When Adams went down, the Kings had the luxury of slotting Clark into the starting lineup and his stretch of three triples in just over two minutes in the fourth quarter of Game 3 helped spark the run that won the title.

As far as mid-season acquisitions go, this one couldn't have been any more perfect

14) Tahjere McCall, Cairns Taipans (not ranked) - 16.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5.6 apg

It was another tough season for the Taipans, with injuries ruining what was for the most part a competitive team led by McCall.

McCall joined Jaylen Adams as the only player in the league to average 15+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists on the season. He was required to do a little too much on most nights, but he was by far the best player on both ends of the floor for the snakes.

I would love to see him on a healthier/more balanced roster next season.

15) Chris Goulding, Melbourne United (down 8) - 15.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.0 app

If you were wondering about the value of Chris Goulding to Melbourne United, you just simply need to go back and watch a replay of Game 3 against Tasmania.

I wanted to get Shea Ili on this list who had a brilliant NBL22 season, but Goulding clearly remains vitally important to the championship hopes of the club moving forward.

Despite being guarded the step he crosses the halfway line, he still put up 15+ points a night on 36 percent from long range. CG43 remains a star.