The Point guard position has always been considered the most important part of any basketball team. It is hard to win a championship without a playmaker at the guard position, who can handle the ball with ease, pass effectively, shoot, drive, guard, and most importantly lead.
As we look at some of the great point guards in the league, some of the obvious choices for best in the league would be Steve Nash and Jason Kidd. While they are no doubt great players, this list looks to show the next generation of great point guards.
While these players are already well known, they are still young and have a chance to leapfrog over the likes of Nash and Kidd, to become considered some of the best to play the game.
Russell Westbrook is one of the most physically gifted players in the NBA. A 6’3 point guard, who’s just as lethal off the ball. He has the ability to get to the rim at will, and is known as being a tenacious defender.
Drafted fourth overall in 2008 by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook began his career in the NBA coming off the bench to play good defence and look to slash to the rim.
Later in his rookie season, he exploded down the stretch, earning Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards in December and February, and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting. He also was the first rookie since Chris Paul (you’ll hear that name again) to record a triple double, with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
With a young nucleus of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and James Harden, Westbrook should look to add to his assists total from last year, and continue to grow as a player, now that he is their starting point guard.
At just 20 years old, Derrick Rose has more accolades than some seasoned veterans. He played college ball at the University of Memphis, where he lead the team to the National Championship game, coming up just short in overtime.
He quickly jumped ship to the NBA, and was rewarded with the number one overall pick to his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls. Rose started all but one game in his rookie season, which resulted in the Rookie of the Year award after averaging almost 17 points per game to go with 6.3 assists, which lead all rookies, and 3.9 rebounds.
Rose is already being compared to some of the great point guards before him, as his height and long arms create mismatches with most guards in the league. He has the ability to get to the rim at will, and has a nice mid range game.
If he continues to work hard and develop a more consistent three point shot, he could be the most dangerous scoring point guard in the league.
Rajon Rondo is one of the truly surprising characters in the NBA. He is a gifted athlete, and plays with heart every game. He is known as a rebounding point guard, and is always in the top ten in steals, earning NBA all-defensive second team honours. He has also improved his jump shot to keep defenses honest, but remains a slasher first.
Rondo was drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns, but like many of their draft picks was traded away for nearly nothing. In his rookie year, he split time with the likes of Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West. He put up a respectable 6.4 points, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 3.7 rebounds per game in 78 games as a rookie, earning second team all rookie honors.
It wasn’t until his second season that we truly saw what Rondo was capable of when he was teamed with the big three in Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. He flourished in their system, creating enough looks to keep his superstars happy while upping his own statistics across the board.
Rondo earned an NBA championship that year, and earned the respect of the NBA fans and players alike.
Williams is the oldest member of this list, but there is no doubt he is anything less than one of the great young players in the league. Williams is known for being one of the top assist men in the league year in and year out, and is also one of the bigger guards that can overwhelm the opposition. He is a good lockdown defender, and has a nice midrange game, but gets most of his points near the rim.
Williams was taken third overall in the 2005 draft by the Utah Jazz, and immediately filled the void left by John Stockton. He earned all-rookie second team honours, mainly coming off the bench, yet still putting up an impressive 11 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.4 rebounds per game. He was the only other player besides Chris Paul to receive a first place vote for rookie of the year honours, with one.
Since that first year he has been one of the best guards in the league, yet always overshadowed by the other high profile point guards in the league, having yet to make the All-Star game.
While he doesn’t play with flash, he is the calming presence Coach Jerry Sloan loves in his point guards, and Williams has earned his absolute trust. This alone shows Williams’ value in this league, when he can come in and fill in for the great John Stockton without missing a beat.
He should continue his competitive rivalry with the man at the top of this list for another decade or so, as these two warriors will be forever compared.
Chris Paul is without a doubt the best point guard in the NBA. He possesses the ability to score, assist, steal, and rebound, all at the height of 6'0". He’s one of the quickest players in the league, as well as one of the most elusive.
His shooting has improved dramatically since his rookie season, and he has possibly the best court vision of any player in the NBA. He plays passing lanes well, and has a high IQ for rebounding considering his size and position.
He has been an NBA All-Star twice, an All-NBA first and second team selection, an All-NBA defensive first and second team selection, not to mention Rookie of the Year in 2006 and the first runner up to the NBA MVP award in 2008.
Chris Paul has increased his scoring average every year he has been in the league, plus has lead the league in assists, and steals in the same season, twice, and last year was second in total triple doubles behind LeBron James. He is also the record holder for consecutive games with a steal, which lasted 108 games.
This guy is simply a monster, and a fantasy players dream. He has helped rebuild a struggling franchise in New Orleans, and is the starting point guard on the USA Olympic National team that recently won the Gold medal.
Needless to say, the other players on this list have a lot of work to do to catch Paul.