This has been the week of the point guard. With all the Rajon Rondo trade talk, Chris Paul trade talk, Rondo-for-Paul trade talk, and Deron Williams planning to opt out of his Nets deal, point guards have dominated the NBA landscape.
One of the most heated arguments of the week was over who would you rather have, Rondo or CP3? With that in mind, I decided to rank my Top 10 point guards in the NBA right now.
These rankings are about who is the best. Straight up. Not who’s the best fantasy player or who has the most long-term potential. This is about who I’d pick for my NBA squad if I had a game tonight:
10. Brandon Jennings – One of my personal favorite players on this list. [Check out “The Official Brandon Jennings Lockout Mixtape“] I absolutely love his game and he’s a great guy. He’s a phenomenal passer with a great handle and a good shot and and he’s super athletic. The only things keeping him from being at an All-Star level are consistency and shot selection. Jennings averaged five 3-point attempts per game and hit 32% of them last season – with an overall FG% of 39. In fairness to Jennings, though, he’s got to shoot. It’s not like he’s surrounded by weapons in Milwaukee.
9. Jason Kidd – J-Kidd’s still a master floor general, as we saw in the playoffs last year. Yes, he’s slowing down and doesn’t do a lot of the things he used to do when he was dunking on people at Cal. But it’s not like he’s hobbling around out there on the court every night. He played in 80 games last year and averaged 33 minutes (more games played and minutes than Tony Parker, Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris and Darren Collison). He’ll never be a great shooter, but he’s one of the best decision makers in the game and has a knack for hitting big shots when the Mavs need them.
8. LeBron James – No, he’s not a pure PG. But I’d argue he could be, and he sort of is given how much he handles the ball. What really separates LeBron from Magic, other than athleticism (and rings) si that LeBron averaged 7 assists per game last season, matching his career average. Call him a 2, call him a 3, call him a 1 – it doesn’t really matter, because the game has changed to where positions are more loosely defined. But I’d argue LeBron belongs on this list.
7. John Wall – You know how we feel about John Wall here at Dime. We love him, we put him on our most recent cover, and we picked him to have a monster breakout season. He is going to be a superstar and an All-Star for many, many years to come. He’s got the athleticism, skills and a true passion for the game. The only question surrounding Wall actually isn’t even about him – it’s can the Wizards surround him with enough talented players?
6. Russell Westbrook – He could easily be No. 1 or No. 2 on this list in a few months. He is sooooo close to being a dominant force, and the best in the league at his position. If you watched the playoffs last year, you know what we’re talking about. Westbrook is extremely confident in his skills, as he should be. There’s pretty much nothing he can’t do on a basketball court. He’s an off-the-charts athlete who can handle, pass, drive, score. But, and this is a big one, he has to know when to pick his spots and when to defer to Kevin Durant. There were way too many key possessions last season where Durant didn’t touch the ball. It’s Westbrook’s job, as the point guard, to help KD get his so he stays in rhythm.
5. Steve Nash – Mr. Consistency. If you don’t like watching Steve Nash play, then you don’t like basketball. He’s the true definition of a floor general. He’s a master at the pick-and-roll, is a phenomenal shooter, and is still one of the best in the world at the position. No, he’s not the world’s best defender, but that doesn’t matter enough to knock him down any further on this list. There isn’t a player in the NBA who wouldn’t love to play alongside him.
4. Deron Williams – An absolute beast. A killer on the court. Deron will take your basketball soul and not think twice about it. He is perhaps the fiercest competitor on this list. D-Will can do it all – shoot, pass, drive, handle, finish. He was the only player in the league to go for averages of 20 and 10 last year. [Watch highlights of D-Will getting a light 50 in Turkey]
3. Rajon Rondo – With all the “Rondo can’t shoot” talk, don’t lose sight of the fact that he’s a career 49% shooter. No, that doesn’t mean he’s a good shooter. But it means he plays within himself and makes good decisions. Yes, defenses sag off him and dare him to shoot. But that’s also the equivalent of letting Tom Brady sit in the pocket without a pass rush. He will KILL you. And like CP3, Rondo can single-handedly control the tempo and feel of an entire game.
2. Derrick Rose – The most explosive player in the league. Period. I sat a few rows back for a Celtics/Bulls game last season, and I swear Rose had 2 gears that Rondo didn’t have. D-Rose is lighting fast and can jump out of the gym. There’s not a PG in the league who can stay in front of him, and he’s a master at finishing the play – whether it’s with english off the glass or a dunk on someone’s head. He manages to successfully walk that line between scorer and floor general – getting buckets when the Bulls need them but feeding his teammates enough to keep them happy.
1. Chris Paul – Watching Chris Paul play point guard is just a thing of beauty. It’s that simple. He can literally get anywhere he wants on the court at any time. He never picks up his dribble. He can shoot (with 3-point range), pass, rebound, and completely control the tempo of a game. He’s got an arsenal of offensive moves – step backs, spins, in-and-out, crossover – and the strength to finish in the lane. When healthy, which he was last season (played 80 games), he’s the best there is.
These are my rankings – how would you rank the best PGs in the NBA today?
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