Chris Paul Tops NBA Point Guard Rankings

Chrispaul

Chris Paul nabbed the top spot in a landslide.

First before we get into the point guard discussion we have just one housekeeping duty. Sir Charles In Charge is now a networked blog on Facebook. We’d like to have you as followers and you can do just that by clicking here. Ok, onto the point guards!

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.

stevenashside1

This may be Nash's last chance in the Top Ten.

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.

act_aaron_brooks

A big playoffs helped push Aaron Brooks up the list.

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.

(Justin DeFeo is the co-lead blogger for Sir Charles in Charge. For further basketball discussion you can connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.)

Topics: 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

Want more from Sir Charles In Charge?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • Mark

    Rondo is getting so overrated now. One good playoff series does not a top 5 point guard make. Every point guard destroyed the Bulls last year. I’d have him somewhere around 10-12. He’s a rebounding, better version of Brevin Knight – which is a quality point guard but not at the top of the league yet.

  • Mark

    My list would be something like this, though admittedly I did not have cable at all during last season and only watched Bulls games that were on public TV.
    1. Chris Paul
    2. Deron Williams
    3. Tony Parker
    4. Chauncey Billups
    5. Steve Nash
    6. Devin Harris
    7. Derrick Rose
    8. Jameer Nelson
    9. Jason Kidd
    10. Gilbert Arenas
    11. Baron Davis
    12. Jose Calderon
    13. Rajon Rondo
    14. Andre Miller
    15. Monta Ellis
    16. Russell Westbrook
    17. Mo Williams
    18. TJ Ford
    19. Raymond Felton
    20. Mike Bibby
    21. Ramon Sessions
    22. Rodney Stuckey
    23. Aaron Brooks
    24. Chris Duhon
    25. Lou Williams
    26. Derek Fisher
    27. Mike Conley
    28. Super Nintendo Chalmers

  • http://www.twitter.com/justindefeo Justin DeFeo

    Appreciate the feedback Mark.

    But I disagree about Rondo. For these reasons:

    I wasn’t basing his place among the rankings solely on that playoff series, but lets be real here, he did nearly average a triple double.

    Secondly take a look at his regular season numbers. He averaged 12, 8 and 5 with just about 2 steals per game. And that’s not even taking into account the times he’s harassed guys into throwing away a pass to another Celtic.

    After Paul and Deron the guys in the top 10 are all pretty interchangeable so its really splitting hairs.

    I have a hard time putting Rose ahead of him though, at least right now, considering head to head I believe Rondo had the better series not to mention better reg. season for a better team.

    As far as the other three, Arenas, BD and Calderon. BD maybe at some point, but off last years season there is no way you can put him ahead of Rondo. Calderon the same goes, the Raptors got significantly worse since he became full time starter. Not all his fault, but you can’t put him ahead of Rondo. And Arenas has played 15 games in two years, just based off that he can not be among the top 10.

  • Mark

    I went off who is the better player, not whose team won more.

    If Arenas had played last year I’d probably have him better than at 10.

    12, 8 and 5 is okay, looks like Brevin Knight numbers. His defense is not impressive, he just constantly gambles. Rondo isn’t a bad defender, but he’s not some defensive stud that people have been making him out to be. He’s a great fit on Boston, but not a great player.

  • http://fullyclips.com Short White Boy

    One key question is: Are these rankings based on who are the BEST PLAYERS who happen to be point guards, or is it who are the BEST POINT GUARDS? Meaning, like if say Dwight Howard decided he wanted to be called a point guard (kinda like a bizarro version of how Tim Duncan doesn’t like to be called a center), he’d obviously be one of the best players at PG, but he’d also be the worst at PG skills. I ask because players like Monta Ellis are great, but he’s not really a particularly good PG. Even Tony Parker, who’s amazing, is more amazing because of his finishing skills (as you mention) rather than his fair at best job of creating for others.

    It’s also a little unclear if you’re measuring the PGs based on how they are now(or at the end of last season), versus once the upcoming season is done. ‘Cuz you say like Nash is going to eventually slip a bit this year or that Rose will take the next step, which seem to be reflected in your rankings. Versus say Calderon you mention you think will take a step up, but you don’t change his ranking. Does that make sense? I guess I’m asking is this ranking based on how players were at the end of last season, or how you think they WILL BE this upcoming season. I assume it’s not based on how they were ‘cuz then like Arenas would be dead last. So if it’s about how they will be this season, then it seems odd to say you think Calderon will climb this chart — shouldn’t you just list him where you think he will be? Or with Baron or Arenas, don’t you need to pick a side and decide whether they’ll be able to come back? You’re kinda going half-and-half with them saying they sucked last year (obviously true) but maybe they’ll be better this year so I’m grading them somewhere in the middle. Like personally I think Baron will be healthy and inspired this year and be a top ten PG. However if I was someone who didn’t feel he’d be inspired&healthy, I’d probably rank him as a bottom 5 PG (like he was last year). Either be on the BoomDizzle or Agent Zero train or call them the wrecks you think they’ll be. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but isn’t that the whole fun of debating stuff like this?

    -Alex
    FullyClips.com

  • http://www.twitter.com/justindefeo Justin DeFeo

    @Mark-

    Well we’ll have to just wait and see. I was doing the list not soley based off numbers. While Rondo’s numbers may be comparable (somewhat) to that of Brevin Knight, I think common sense would tell you he is superior.

    @Alex-

    These rankings are based on players that play and are listed at the point guard position. Certainly with these NBA guys being so skilled the lines of what position each guy plays is different. I think the idea is, no matter what the style, how effective are they at playing the position? Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups play totally different, but both are effective in their own way. By making your Dwight Howard hypothetical, we may as well scrap “positions” all together and instead just determine guys based off roles (rebounder, scorer, passer etc) which isn’t a far cry from how thing are desinged now. I was just keeping it traditional with the way guys are listed.

    As far as the list is concerned it is based off of only this past season with a little bit of the players history taken into account, which I thought I said somewhere in the post. Any of my speculation of the player for the future had nothing to do with where they stood in the list after this season. For instance, me saying Nash may drop off next season would affect where I have him on the list next season, not this one. He may not drop off at all in which case his spot may be the same.

    BD and Gilbert are two seperate cases. For BD, while his performance last season was indeed poor, for integrity purposes of the list placing him among the Derek Fishers and Chris Duhon’s of the world. Where I have him slated in my opinion was a “knock” at what he did last season. This was based on my opinion/judgement.

    Same goes for Gilbert. He clearly is a better player than Fisher and Duhon despite him not playing. I don’t think it would make things “real” if you had Mario Chalmers ahead of a guy who scored 25ppg two years ago, if that makes sense.

    Finally the list was made of performance and opinion. There are plenty of statistical measures out there that would tell us who’s best at what. I was just infusing some of my own opinion into where I thought these guys may actually be rank wise.

  • Pingback: New England Sports 24/7, Your place for the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins :: Today’s Celtics Links 8/18

  • http://fullyclips.com Short White Boy

    I’m with you Justin that there are tons of statistical measures to see who’s best with what, so I’m thrilled your list is instead based on a combo of performance and opinion. The opinion part is what makes these things fun to debate. That’s also why I was curious what you were basing your opinion on.

    Like you said if we went with my ridiculous Dwight Howard example that we then might as well get rid of positions and instead measure players on their roles, but are those two that different? Like Eddy Curry when he was healthy averaged 6 rebounds which was awful for his role/position of center. Versus when a PG like Chris Paul averages nearly 6 rebounds we are correctly impressed. And if a PG doesn’t rebound great, we don’t tend to hold it against him because that’s not required from that position (or role). Likewise, we don’t fault Pau Gasol for not regularly hitting 3-pointers, but if he was a shooting guard we’d say that was a major flaw and it would be reflected in the way everyone ranks him.

    Now it doesn’t matter HOW they accumulate stats for that position (ie. if Billups gets assists posting people up versus Chris Paul getting them by blowing past people or doing pick & rolls), but isn’t the way we rank players inherently connected to their particular position and how successful they are at that role? Has there ever been a truly great PG who averaged less than 5 assists? Or a star center/PF who didn’t average at least 7 rebounds?

    Anyway, fun debating with you, and good post.

    -Alex