The 2023 NBA Finals begin on June 1 between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat.
In a battle between two teams counted out by the national media, it shows off the parity in today’s NBA. And it is set to be a basketball purist’s dream with so many talented individuals on both teams.
For SEC basketball fans, there is a lot to like as well. 7 players in the series are conference alumni, signaling that it just means more.
And it’s a list that includes notable names, and the names of playoff hero’s, either in years past or this postseason.
So with the 2023 NBA Finals upon us, here they are ranked, and how they will fair in the biggest basketball series of the year.
Ranking the SEC players in the 2023 NBA Finals
A couple notes: DeAndre Jordan played at Texas A&M prior to the 2012 conference realignment. So technically he played Big 12 basketball.
I decided to omit him from the rankings due to the technicality and the fact that he has only played in 3 playoff games for Denver this postseason, all of which came against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round.
Although it might be worth mentioning that the Nuggets do lack a shot blocker, and while Jordan is far from that, he could get some minutes as a big body down low.
But that hasn’t happened in the past couple series so he won’t be a part of these rankings.
Also worth mentioning is Udonis Haslem. Essentially the closest thing to a player-coach we’ve seen in the modern era, Haslem helps players buy in and embrace the “Heat culture”.
But as he goes into his 7th NBA Finals during his final season, he isn’t really on the court too much. In fact, during these playoffs he has only logged 2 total minutes on the floor.
So other than a final curtain call, or putting him out for hustle and his six fouls, Haslem’s impact will be on the bench.
Because of this, the former Florida Gator will not be in the rankings.