2. Greg Monroe, Pistons
How good has Monroe been this year? Not good enough to get Detroit out of the bottom five of the league, unfortunately, but I’ll tell you this: If Detroit was a better team, then Blake Griffin would have some competition for "best of class."
Monroe is top 12 in the NBA in PER and offensive rebound rate and top 20 in overall rebound rate. And while Detroit is an awful defensive team, only Ben Wallace is playing better defense than Monroe, who has to carry an offensive burden far more than Wallace does.
There are still questions about how Monroe would perform on a better team, or if he’s good enough to be a top-three player on a good team. But all things considered, no one in this class besides Griffin can touch Monroe right now.
Thorpe also ranked Jonas Jerebko fairly high:
14. Jonas Jerebko, Pistons (missed last year due to injury)
Jerebko is proof that tall guys who compete really hard can find their way on an NBA roster and even get playing time on bad teams. JJ hustles everywhere, even when he shouldn’t sometimes, like when he catches in space and tries to dribble attack. As a decent midrange shooter and an adequate defender, his energy is what ultimately gets him on the court.