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10. Jose Calderon, Toronto Raptors
Ty Lawson may be the guy who is on the rise, but that's not what this is about. This is a conversation about the best point guards in the NBA right now, and over the past two seasons, Jose Calderon has been one of the elite few.
Calderon finished the 2012 season with an average of 8.8 assists per game. That number ranked fourth amongst point guards and topped stars such as Deron Williams, Ricky Rubio and Tony Parker.
Jose Calderon's assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.50 just so happens to rank first in the NBA. Like it or not, Calderon is one of the best point guards in the NBA.
9. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
It's tough to leave Tony Parker out of the top five, but it must be done. His weak play in the Olympic games is incredibly concerning as the injury is not to the usual bone or muscle. It's to the eye.
Nevertheless, we must address the ability. Parker is a three-time NBA champion and the 2008 Finals MVP for a reason. He is one of the best ball handlers in the game and would rack up double-digit assists if it weren't for such incredible ball movement the Spurs always seem to display.
If his eye is okay, Parker is Top 5. With uncertainty, he drops out.
8. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
The "Russell Westbrook isn't a point guard!" argument has grown old. He averaged 8.2 assists per game in 2011 and 8.0 in 2010. Let's put that to rest.
The fact of the matter is, Russell Westbrook is a young player looking to carve out his role in a star-studded lineup. He is in fact an excellent passer and when in the facilitating mode, cannot be stopped. He's also an elite perimeter defender, which even still doesn't do him justice.
Until his decision-making improves, turnovers go down and pass-first mentality returns, however, Westbrook falls. Simply note that he's one of top five players at this position, just not one of the Top 5 point guards.
7. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving won the 2012 Rookie of the Year award by virtue of the fact that he played like an NBA veteran. He was unfazed by the big moments, fearless in the face of double-teams and had no qualms about passing up contested shot attempts.
His .469/.400/.872 slash line doesn't hurt either. Kyrie Irving is ready for the NBA.
6. John Wall, Washington Wizards
John Wall joined Chris Paul and Deron Williams as the only three players in the NBA to average at least 16 points and eight assists per game. He was the only player in the league to also average greater than four rebounds.
John Wall may have a high level of turnovers, but he is already an elite point guard in this league. Apologies to those expecting the Washington Wizards to make the postseason within two years after drafting Wall.
Put your college jealousies aside and move forward.