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Over the next few weeks I plan to do rankings for all positions, but I decided to lead off with point guard. This is a ranking of all the NBA point guards who I believe will be starting next year. This does not take into account any rookies though, as they have a seperate ranking.
My list takes into account on-court performance from this past season first but prior seasons were looked in order to complete the rankings. Your prior seasons may hurt or help you. Enjoy.
When you’re done with this, click here for the Rookie Point Guard Rankings.
1. Chris Paul – Pretty obvious choice for number one here. Chris clearly has elevated himself and is beginning to creep into the “all-time” discussion. He’s just about at 20 and 10 for his career and for a perceived “small-guard” he’s rebounding at just under 5 per game. What’s next for his career though is some post-season success. I’d like to see a deep playoff run for him. Things looked promising for him at first. In 2007 Chris led the Hornets to the second round, but was beaten in seven games by the Spurs. His reputation took a small step back this post-season however. His team was simply bullied by the Nuggets, resulting in a quick five game first round exit. The whole series was marred by an inexcusable 58 point loss at home. Paul’s proven he can lead an elite team in the regular season, now is time for him to do so in the playoffs.
2. Deron Williams- Similar to Chris Paul in that he’s clearly the second choice here and he too needs some sustained playoff success in order for his career to bump up a level. His size and strength make him a match-up nightmare for other smaller point guards and Deron has enough quickness to blow by defenders when he needs to. He was a little banged up this past season, so hopefully he puts those (small) injury concerns behind him this season. There is no doubt though that Paul and Williams are the two best playing the position today.
3. Tony Parker- I don’t think anyone would disagree with Parker being a level below the level of Paul/Williams, yet not by much. Parker proved a lot last year, but mainly he proved he’s good enough to be a primary scoring option on a playoff and possibly elite team. Last year he finished averaging 22 ppg and had a 55 point game. His improving jump shot is making him unguardable and for a player who finishes everything below the rim, his 50% field goal shooting is impressive. He already has a Finals MVP to his resume and with the Spurs re-loaded, he could grab another.
4. Rajon Rondo- Really, what is this guy’s ceiling? 17-9-9? Say what you want about Rondo, but he has made himself into an elite level point guard. He gets to where he wants to go on the offensive side of the ball and defensively he’s made himself out to be quite the pest. He’s become Jason Kidd like in that he’s a threat for a triple-double every time he laces em up. He’s already won a championship, albeit with a loaded team, but nonetheless he won it as the starting point guard. This year he is going to be an even bigger part of a team that will again be contending for a championship. I’d be shocked if Rondo was not suiting up for the Eastern Conference All-Stars this year.
5. Chauncey Billups- Change of scenery did wonders for Billups last year. He was getting a little stale in Detroit but was re-motivated in Denver. His worth was really magnified when his former team went from perennial East power to barely alive in the playoffs and his new team went from perennial under achiever to two games away from the NBA Finals. Sure, Chauncey is surrounded by some studs, mainly Carmelo Anthony, but you can’t take away the impact Chauncey has as a leader.
6. Derrick Rose – Eventually it’s going to come. I think the playoffs showed that “it” may be even closer than we all originally thought. What I mean by “it” is the time when Rose makes the jump from “good” to “GREAT”. He already made the jump last season from rookie, to good. Now it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when and how far. But, let’s look at this year. For this year, I’d have a hard time jumping him in front of the other point guards ahead of him. He is good. He is a force to be reckoned with. He’ll in all likelihood lead his Bulls back to the playoffs again. Is it possible he makes that elite level jump this season? Yes, it’s possible but not likely. Still, Bulls fans can be happy he’s at the reigns of their team and opposing point guards can never rest when he’s in the game. He pretty much has the total package as far as size, skill athleticism. Personally, I’m excited to watch his season unfold.
7. Steve Nash- Nash remains in the Top 10, but for how long? Last season he still put up good if not unspectacular numbers. A shade under 16 and 10. He only missed 8 games due to injury, but played only about 33 mpg. Eventually his body is going to breakdown totally and he’s either going to miss significant time, or his haplay is going to drop off. This is the season I think we begin to see his play slip. Still though, he possesses the skills and smarts to keep himself among the best.
8. Devin Harris- Finally “unleashed” if you will and allowed to justve the ball and attack at will, Devin delivered. He scored 30 or more points 12 times last season and topped 40 three different times. That’s some high level production from the point guard position. The rest of the league noticed too as he was named to the Eastern All-Stars. Though not as consistent, he’s become a little like Tony Parker in that when his jumper is falling, he’s unguardable and he’s adept at finishing creatively. Harris is far from a complete player though. I think he became slightly one dimensional last season and he needs to find ways to make himself a better player when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands. Secondly, I think Devin needs to do a better job in helping his teammates get better. I’d say last year he was a 70% offensive first, 30% distributor. Granted, at the beginning of the season, before Brook Lopez started coming on it was by necessity, but I’d like to see him get those numbers a little closer towards 50/50. He’s the type of player that needs to be attacking to be dangerous, so it’s a fine line, but I think Devin can do a little better of a job getting his teammates more involved and still making himself a threat.
9. Jameer Nelson- With Jameer’s injury, some say went the Magic’s season. They quickly made a trade for Rafer Alston and ended up making the NBA Finals despite Nelson’s injury. Does this say something about Nelson’s worth? Possibly, but not likely. Nelson makes the Magic a much more dangerous team. He gets them more easy baskets and adds an element to their offense they can’t get elsewhere.
10. Jason Kidd- While no longer the Jason Kidd of old, Kidd has become very good at what he’s asked to do and that’s what makes him effective. He’s still the best rebounding guard in the league, he still was 5th in the league in assists and while never being known as a “shooter” he ranked 31st in the league in 3pt fg pct. The Mavs have gotten themselves a few more able bodies this season and may look to get out and run more and still nobody manages a fast-break as good as Kidd does.
11. Monta Ellis- Monta can certainly play. To a certain extent he played under Baron’s shadow at the beginning of his career, then last year when it was finally his time to shine he suffered a big setback with his injury. Still when he came back he showed that not much has changed. Playing in the Nellieball system helps, but no matter what system he plays in, Ellis is going to score. He’s also a better rebounder than you would think too. As a scorer, Ellis is among the best. What keeps him from the top of the list is his lack of playmaking. It’s going to be interesting to see how two gunners, himself and Stephen Curry, fit alongside each other in the GS back court. Let’s see if this season Ellis can morph a little more into a traditional PG.
12. Andre Miller- Certainly Andre Miller is going to improve the Blazers. He’s durable (he hasn’t played less than 80 games in a season his whole career) he can score, he can pass and he can rebound. Over his ten years he’s played for five different teams, so to me that is a subtle flag. He’s been to the playoffs five teams, yet his team hasn’t advanced a round yet, that’s another flag. Is he an upgrade over Steve Blake? Yes. Will he take some of the playmaking pressure of Roy? Yes. Is he the answer to get the Blazers over the hump, well in my opinion no, but we will see.
13. Baron Davis – The world saw in the 2007 Playoffs what a motivated Baron can do. This is not 2007 anymore though, and Baron doesn’t seem too motivated playing for the Clips. I still think he has a lot of good basketball in him, but last season Baron looked out of shape and disinterested with basketball. Here’s hoping he gets the swagger back.
14. Mo Williams- Mo Williams had an interesting season. Throughout the regular season he was being hailed as the “difference maker” and the reason for the Cavs getting over the hump. This was true. He had some big regular season games, scoring 40 or more points twice. Then the playoffs came and suddenly LeBron’s “supporting” cast wasn’t good enough. Mo has an obvious ceiling on him, but playing sidekick to the game’s best player makes his value higher. Even with that however, he’s not on the level of the players above him.
15. Jose Calderon- I hate to use this word and try to avoid when possible, but I’m going to use it for Calderon – underrated. I do indeed feel that Calderon is underrated in a sense. I really think this guy can play. Last season, his first as a full-time starter was maybe his worst and certainly his team’s worst. He was battling injury and the Raptors went from playoff team to a team in disarray. It’s going to be interesting to see how Turkoglu fits alongside him or rather vice-versa, but I believe we’ll see Calderon’s name higher up on this list next season.
16. Russell Westbrook – This guy is coming. He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with real soon. He’s got all the talent needed and defensively is a beast too which really sets him apart. He needs to get his turnovers down and his team needs to start winning for him to move up along with the heavy hitters.
17. Raymond Felton – A solid NBA point guard. He’s been playing in Charlotte his whole career, so his numbers go somewhat unnoticed. Over the past three seasons he’s put up a steady diet of 14 and 7′s, and shoots around the 40% range. I doubt he’ll ever be an All-Star in this league, but he could be a starting point guard for an NBA Champion.
18. Aaron Brooks- Talk about a post-season to boost your importance. There were times in the playoffs, at least against the Lakers, that Brooks was unstoppable. Now Brooks is going to get the opportunity to see if he can carry that success into the regular season. What once was a crowded Rockets back court has now cleared out some, so Brooks will have the ball. He’s a scoring point guard which is fine, but his assist numbers need to start going up for him to climb this list.
19. Gilbert Arenas – Was once an elite point guard, he’s been hampered with injury the past two seasons. This is the season he needs to prove he’s all the way back from his troubles. Still can heat up like few others.
20. Mike Bibby- He’s turned into mostly a spot up shooter and his 2009 numbers were modest. 14 ppg and 5 apg. At this point in his career he’s underwhelming, yet his teams always manage to do well.
21. Ramon Sessions – Nobody really saw Sessions coming. Out of Nevada he was drafted in the 2nd round and first served a stint in the D-League before he got his shot at NBA stardom. Sessions delivered though last year for the Bucks. I think he’s a fit player though, and what I mean by that is, depending on where he ends up is how he’ll do. I think his destiny in this league is as a really good reserve guard.
22. Rodney Stuckey – Sure he can score. Detroit fans are hoping he can lead also. He’s big and strong so he poses match-up problems, but again it’s going to be what gets done in the win column with which he’ll be defined.
23. T.J. Ford- With Jarrett Jack breathing down his neck last season T.J. did alright. His game is really taylor made for up-tempo systems so hopefully the Pacers can get out and run more this season. T.J. is still just a stiff bump away from extended time in street clothes which is still a worry.
24. Lou Williams- The crutch of Andre Miller has finally been removed from beneath Lou Williams and now it is up to him to prove he can stand alone. He has rookie Jrue Holliday to contend with, but I’d imagine that Williams will be getting the bulk of the time with the ball in the PG slot. In an up-tempo system he can thrive, what I’d like to see is him get things done in the half-court as well. He’s going to get a real shot though this season to prove he can run a team.
25. Chris Duhon- Playing PG in the D’Antoni offense is a little like the boys of Entourage mooching girls off Vince. Duhon’s stats come simply through the system. Is Chris Duhon really 11 and 7 good? No, I don’t think so. He’s really a solid back-up masked as a starter. He’s going to get pushed now by Toney Douglas and Nate usually takes his crunch time minutes, so we’ll see what kind of season CD can put together this year.
26. Derek Fisher- If you’re a Lakers fan you’re happy with last season’s end result. I would also imagine that all the frustrations one may or may not have had with Derek Fisher melted away as his two huge three pointers in Game Four of the NBA Finals fell through the net, basically securing the Lakers series win. But for everything he brings intangibly, it’s his tangibles that have him low on this list. While Fisher may still be the figure head “starter” it’s going to be Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown who do the lion share of the work in the regular season, and it should be.
27. Mike Conley – Slowly but surely Conley is figuring out the NBA game. Last season from February on this guy was playing some real good basketball. He has to add more to his game, but the back court of him and O.J. Mayo is a nice little pair for the Grizzlies moving forward.
28. Mario Chalmers- In his first season Chalmers proved if nothing else that he can be a worthy compliment to DWade. Tough to evaluate through one season, if this season he can grow his game and maybe bump that 3pt% up a little it will make all the more valuable.
And again, if you’re looking for guys like Jonny Flynn or Tyreke Evans, you can find the complete rookie point guard rankings by clicking this link.
Tags: Aaron Brooks Andre Miller Baron Davis Chauncey Billups Chris Paul Deron Williams Derrick Rose Devin Harris Gilbert Arenas Jason Kidd Jose Calderon Mike Bibby Mo Williams Monta Ellis Rajon Rondo Russell Westbrook Steve Nash Tony Parker