If you thought this year’s class of point guards was strong, think again. In fact, go back three years to 2009 to find a draft class deep enough to hide the Hulk. Eight of the point guards drafted in the first round are now starting in the NBA, and while none of them can boast the star power of Derrick Rose or the potential of John Wall, they can all play. As offenses have slowed to a crawl this year, and with shooting percentages melting, having a point guard that can make plays and create for others is almost a necessity.
No one on this list has made an All-Star Team yet, but beginning this year, you’ll start hearing these names when the February showcase comes up.
Here are the 10 best point guards from the 2009 NBA Draft.
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10. Jonny Flynn (No. 6 – Minnesota)
Being a ‘Cuse graduate myself, and having met Flynn a few times (seriously one of the coolest dudes in the league), you can’t fault me for rooting for him to succeed. Flynn’s problems all start at the free-throw line. He just… can’t… get there. A scoring point guard that isn’t a great shooter, is undersized at barely 6-0 and doesn’t draw enough fouls (2.3 attempts a game for his career)? That’s a deadly combination. This all is tough for me to stomach, especially considering he wasn’t THAT bad as a rookie (13.5 points, 4.4 assists a game). Hopefully he has a My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-level comeback somewhere up his sleeve.
9. Eric Maynor (No. 20 – Utah)
You know people like the way you play when they’re calling your name to replace an All-Star. The people clamoring over Maynor during the postseason last year were a little over the top. Okay, they were actually more over the top than Slick Rick‘s pyramid chains. The backup point averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 assists a night last year. But he’s smart, he knows his role and already has playoff experience. When he was lost for the season earlier this year, it felt like the Thunder were taking a blow. He’s never going to replace Westbrook, but being one of the better understudies in the game ain’t a bad thing.
8. Jeff Teague (No. 19 – Atlanta)
If the argument that all great point guards must run their team like Dan Marino, then Teague is acing his first test. So far this year, the Hawks are scoring nearly 12 points more with Teague on the floor, and the former benchwarmer is tripling his minutes (14 to 35), his defense (0.6 to 2.1 steals a night) and his scoring (5.7 to 12.6). My fantasy team is feeling the love too.