The steals list is not going to look too dissimilar from the assists list. I don’t know enough about the incoming rookies and their pilfering prowess to dare put any of them up here, although I can probably guarantee that there will be at least one rookie with more than 120 steals.
The beauty of steals is that you don’t even need to get huge minutes to get them. He just have to place yourself in the right place on the court.
The numbers in parentheses reflect last years steals numbers.
Tier 1 (160+)
- Rajon Rondo (189) – Rondo is currently the best thief in the league and there is no reason to doubt that he’ll achieve that honor again.
- Monta Ellis (143) – Injuries reduced Ellis’s numbers last year, but I think he’ll be returning to form this year.
- Stephen Curry (152) – Stephen Curry might challenge Rondo. He’s very quick, and he’ll have an even better feel for the game than he did last year.
Tier 2 (130+)
- Jason Kidd (145) – Despite his age, Kidd still gets a great amount of steals. There is no reason he won’t continue.
- Dwyane Wade (142) – As long as he can stay healthy, Wade will get a lot of steals.
- Andre Iguodala (141) – Iguodala is a great all around player, getting threes, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. His steals are among the best in the league.
- Stephen Jackson (132) – Jackson is likely to continue getting a lot of steals for the Bobcats.
- Josh Smith (130) – Steals and blocked shots are Josh Smith’s specialties. There is no reason to think that Smith won’t improve in both of those categories over the upcoming season.
- Baron Davis (126) – I’m not sure if Davis will get to 130 or not, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Most of it will be contingent on whether he can remain healthy for another whole season or not.
- Trevor Ariza (126) – Ariza has long prided himself on playing good defense. As long as he can be healthy, he should get 130 steals.
- Lebron James (125) – I think Miami will help his steals numbers, even as it lowers his points scored.
- Raymond Felton (123) – The move to New York and D’Antoni’s system should help Felton get more steals.
Other players to consider for steals, especially in later rounds: Corey Brewer (13th round), Mike Conley (9th round), Ron Artest (12th round).