The ESNY panel votes on the five best players in the NBA ahead of this year’s All-Star Game. Honorable mentions are up first.

Let’s get this right out of the way: Elite Sports NY talks NBA in great deference to our friends at SLAM Magazine. But we do know our basketball — very well, thank you — and have some things to get off our chest before this year’s NBA All-Star Game.

We’ve convened a 17-writer ESNY panel to vote on and make arguments for the five best players in the league today. The task for each writer was straightforward, but not so simple: sift through the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas and more, and pick just five.

Who’s number one, who got snubbed and where is Zaza Pachulia?! We’re here for every last argument. But first things first, we reveal our honorable mentions. These two players received votes from our panel but fell short of cracking the top five.