There can only be five.
That refers both to the number of positions in a typical NBA lineup and the number of players we're ranking at each of the spots. After going through the top five point guards in the league, we'll be moving on to shooting guards, and so on until reaching the No. 1 center in the league.
It's an exercise that we'll be running through each week of the season, so keep in mind that these will be heavily reactive to recent performances. Players will be free to jump around quite a bit, though not at the expense of logic.
Track record does matter as well, so let's go over two notable point guards. That way you can better understand the ranking process.
Derrick Rose is commonly viewed as one of the elite floor generals in basketball, but he entered the season mired in uncertainty. Unlike Kobe Bryant, who dominated last season but entered the year injured, Rose just missed an entire campaign.
So when he struggles at the beginning of the year, I'm going to react accordingly.
Rose has shot just 28.8 percent from the field, recorded a 1.89 PER and produced many more turnovers than assists. Other than one game-winning shot, one that wouldn't have been necessary if he'd played better throughout the other 47 minutes, he's been awful.
Rose has the potential to rise rather easily based on his track record, but the poor performance and uncertainty knock him out of the top five. For now.
On the flip side, take Michael Carter-Williams.
A historic debut and some nice follow-up performances have him looking like the greatest thing since sliced bread, but we're talking about a rookie who was thought of—almost universally—as a raw product who'd inevitably struggle during his first season.
A week of action is enough to gain him some nice press, but he's not going to sniff the top five. Yet.
As I said, these are reactive, but they're also steeped in reality and track records.
Note: All stats, unless otherwise indicated, come from ESPN and are current through Oct. 4.