The point guard is probably the most popular player in basketball. Always handling the ball, the point guard is known for his handling skills, playmaking ability, and shooting. It is probably the deepest and most competitive position in the NBA as well. A lot of point guards could be considered all-stars, and there is not a huge difference in the talent levels of many. Here are my rankings for the starting point guards in the NBA for this upcoming season.
30. Elfrid Payton (Orlando Magic)
I really have nothing to say other than the fact is that this man is horrible. He is probably the worst shooting point guard I have ever seen. Although he is a capable passer and defender, he is nowhere near special in those categories. Payton would be a solid backup point guard, but as a starter, I’d have to say he is the worst.
29. Darren Collison (Indiana Pacers)
Darren Collison is well passed his prime during which, he was a decent starting point guard. Now, he’s getting older, slower, and less effective on both ends of the floor. I wouldn’t say Collison is awful, but he definitely isn’t good. He is average at best with really no room to grow.
28. Kris Dunn (Chicago Bulls)
Kris Dunn had a rough first year in Minnesota after being selected as the 5th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Now on a weak Chicago team, expect Dunn to improve greatly. He has the raw athleticism to succeed but will need to work on his jump shot and decision making. Dunn will improve as the season goes on.
27. Rajon Rondo (New Orleans Pelicans)
You never know what you are going to get with Rondo. You could get the player who showed up in the first two playoff games last year against the Celtics, or you could get a mentally weak player who was benched last year during the regular season. Rondo has never been a shooter but can be an excellent playmaker and defender if he gets his head straight. Passing to Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will help.
26. Frank Ntilikina (New York Knicks)
Later on in his career, Ntilikina can very much be a top point guard in the NBA. The rookie will have to wait on that though. He is very young and inexperienced and will have to settle into the league to reach his full potential. Nevertheless, Ntilikina will be a decent D and 3 player now. He will hope to refine his already existing defensive skills and jump shot while developing passing and playmaking skills.
25. Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets)
Murray played more shooting guard last season, but expect him to take over point guard duties from Emmanuel Mudiay and Jameer Nelson. Murray is a great shooter who can score inside and beyond the arc. Once he gets used to the point guard position, he can be a solid starter. When will that happen though?
24. Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
Mills was recently signed to a contract extension with the Spurs. The veteran is familiar with the NBA and has proven to be a great scorer off the bench in recent years. With Tony Parker still injured, Mills will have to take on an even bigger role in starting on a championship contending team. I think he will do just fine considering his past record.
23. Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee Bucks)
Brogdon won the Rookie of the Year last year, but don’t let that fool you. The rookie class last year was incredibly weak. Bucks fans love to overrate the youngster, but he is nowhere near the top 10 like they say. Brogdon can shoot well but is not an incredible defender or passer. He will improve though mad will be a solid point guard.
22. Reggie Jackson (Detroit Pistons)
Jackson has not lived up to expectations since being traded to the Pistons. Still however, he is averaging over 14 points per game. An extremely athletic guard, Jackson has the ability to reach his potential soon. If he stays healthy, (a big if for the injury prone man) he will have a bounce back season this year.
21. Patrick Beverley (Los Angeles Clippers)
Beverley is perhaps the best defensive point guard in the league. He has efficiently defended top guards such as Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook in the past. He would be higher on this list if he was better on the offensive end. Beverley will be a solid addition to the Clippers in replace of Chris Paul.
20. Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers)
The number one overall pick this year has been touted to be a future great. Fultz is an all around player who can score from any part of the floor, create for his teammates, and defend good scorers on the other end. His lack of effort, inability to take over games to win in college, and his injuries have held him back. If Fultz can fix these issues, he will be an all-star.
19. Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas Mavericks)
This rookie was a complete steal in the draft. After a lackluster performance in college which was plagued by injuries, Smith fell from being a top three pick to the 9th pick. He was extremely impressive in the NBA Summer League season though. Smith can shoot, pass, facilitate, and throw down ferocious dunks. This athletic guard could be just as good if not better than Fultz.
18. D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets)
Russell will be the main scorer for the Brooklyn nets this year after being traded from the Lakers this past summer. The former 2nd overall pick will have a breakout year this season, but he has lacked inconsistency in his first two seasons. Russell can be an elite scorer if he becomes more consistent, and will also need to improve on his passing and defense before he can crack the top 10.
17. Lonzo Ball (Los Angeles Lakers)
The only reason Ball isn’t higher on this list is because he has never played an NBA game. The rookie probably sees the game better than any player since LeBron James. Not only does Ball have great game IQ, he is an all-round player. He is an amazing passer and could lead the league in assists. He is tall, athletic, a good defender and a good shooter (even though he has an ugly form).
16. Jeff Teague (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Teague does not deserve to be ranked this low. In fact, he could be ranked up to 13th best in the league as the players ranked from 13-16 could be interchangeable. Teague is a former all-star who will play a big role for the Timberwolves this year. He is fast and an impressive three point shooter. He can distribute the ball well and is a workhorse on both ends of the floor.
15. George Hill (Sacramento Kings)
The veteran guard is coming off the best year of his career, in which he averaged around 17 points per game. Like Teague, Hill is a very solid and consistent point guard. There seems to be no specific weak part of his game. Even with highly rated point guard De’Aaron Fox joining the Kings this season, Hill will still get a large amount of minutes.
14. Dennis Schröder (Atlanta Hawks)
Paul Millsap’s departure to the Denver Nuggets and Dwight Howard’s trade to the Charlotte Hornets leaves Schröder as the best player on the Hawks. The German’s biggest strength is driving to the basket and scoring inside. His improved outside jumper will make him even more of a scoring threat this year. Schröder possesses great court vision and athleticism as well.
13. Ricky Rubio (Utah Jazz)
After spending his entire NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rubio now replaces George Hill as the Utah Jazz’s starting point guard. He is considered arguably the best passer in the NBA racking up close to 10 assists per game last year. Rubio will excel even more this year setting up Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors down low.
12. Goran Dragic (Miami Heat)
Dragic scored over 20 points per game last year with the Heat making him one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA. Dragic has a great jump shot and can score from all over the floor. He is definitely a top ten offensive point guard in the league. His defense isn’t great, but his ability to create plays evens it out.
11. Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)
Conley has been probably the most consistent point guard in the NBA for the past years. There is no weak point to his game. He can shoot, pass, and defend all at a high level. If the point guard position in the NBA wasn’t this strong, Conley would be higher. He definitely deserves to be in the top 10.
10. Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix Suns)
There has been speculation that the Suns would be looking to trade Bledsoe this summer, but that didn’t happen. Bledsoe will play alongside Devin Booker to form an amazing backcourt. If he can stay healthy, he could be the best player on a much-improved Suns team.
9. Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)
Walker scored over 23 points per game last year en route to his first NBA All-Star Game. The scoring guard is coming off his best season, and he only looks to be getting better. Expect Walker to lead the Hornets back to the playoffs after a one year absence.
8. Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
The Raptors were able to resign Lowry after he decided to test free agency this past summer. This is a major victory for them as Lowry has been a top player in the Eastern Conference for a few years. His most valuable trait is the ability to take over in close, late game scenarios. Like many of the others, Lowry’s lack of lock down defense is made up for by his ability to create for himself and others.
7. Chris Paul (Houston Rockets)
Once the best point guard in the league, Paul has fallen off a bit since then. The veteran isn’t the same elite scorer that he once was, but he is still a top passer, playmaker, and defender. He consistently averages around 10 assists per game and makes the All-NBA Defensive Team every year. Playing alongside James Harden this year could finally take him far in the playoffs.
6. Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Lillard is a top-tier point guard playing on a bar average team. Without Lillard, the Blazers definitely would not have snuck into the playoffs last season. He improves his all-around game every year, and this year will be no different. Lillard could very well be considered a top scoring guard after this year.
5. Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland Cavaliers)
I know that I’m going to get a lot of hate for this one, but Isaiah Thomas proved that he deserves to be in this conversation last season. His quickness, scoring prowess, and sharp shooting are so good that Thomas deserves to be considered here even though he can’t play defense. When he gets healthy, he will continue to prove the haters wrong while playing alongside LeBron James.
4. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Curry is the best shooting point guard in NBA history. That alone is saying something. He is a three-way scorer, and a capable passer and playmaker. However, Curry is not a good defender. Nevertheless, I would have ranked Curry higher if he wasn’t so streaky. Most of the time, he is incredible, but on occasion, he will miss many shots he should be hitting.
3. John Wall (Washington Wizards)
Last year, Wall solidified himself as a top three point guard in the league. Wall improved his three pointer a great deal. He has added an outside shot to his already established scoring game. Wall is very difficult to guard. His strength and athleticism make him dangerous in the lane and on fast breaks, and his court vision allows him to break down defenses with flashy assists.
2. Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics)
Kyrie Irving is not here because I am a biased Celtics fan. I fully believed that even last year, he deserved to be in this spot. The best ball handler in the league is an elite isolation scorer and is lethal in clutch situations. Playing in Boston’s free running offense will make the all-star even better. And that’s impressive considering how good he already is. The Celtics are Kyrie’s team now, and Kyrie will no longer live as a sidekick to LeBron.
1. Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
All you need to know about Russell Westbrook is that he averaged a triple-double for the Year last season. At the time of this article, there is no point guard better than Westbrook. There is no debating that. John Wall is not the best two-way point guard in the league as he claims; Westbrook is better by far. The Thunder superstar does everything not only well, but excellently. He can shoot, score, rebound, defend, and distribute the ball at the highest level.