Chris Graythen/Getty Images
1. Chris Paul, NOH
After an injury plagued season, Paul will look to come back strong and take back the crown of top point guard in the league from Deron Williams.
Chris is one of the most competitive players in the league and he wills his team to victory. He has one of the highest IQs in the league and uses it to exploit defenses and find the open man
As one of the top slashers in the league with a dribble drive that is near unmatched, he can break down defenses and draw multiple defenders. This will be vital as Marcus Thornton and Trevor Ariza are great knock-down shooters that will be sitting on the wings waiting for that open look.
Also, you can't forget about the "17-foot assassin", David West. He has great chemistry with Paul and is one of the most reliable and efficient power forwards in the league.
Even Emeka Okafor, with a full season under his belt in New Orleans, should be more effective this upcoming season.
2009-10 season average: 10.7 assists per game
2010-11 projected season average: 11.5 assists per game
2. Deron Williams, UTA
The general consensus around the league appears to be that the Utah Jazz offense will not be as potent as it was in recent years. This is simply not the case.
Carlos Boozer signing with the Chicago Bulls during the offseason? No problem.
The Jazz front office went out and traded for Al Jefferson, a player that is not only younger, but has far higher upside. Deron told Al Jefferson over the summer that he intends to make him an All-Star, and I, for one, will take him at his word.
However, it doesn't stop there. After coming off the bench for years, Paul Milsap is finally starting for the Jazz. While his offense is not as polished as Boozers—at least not yet—he will easily replace Carlos's numbers and make him an afterthought in Utah.
Deron has mastered the pick-and-roll and he'll make even the best defenses in the league sweat as he creates havoc with his two big men.
2009-10 season average: 10.5 assists per game
2010-11 projected season average: 10.9 assists per game
3. Steve Nash, PHO
Nash continues to defy expectations as he continues to be one of the elite point guards in the league, even at the age of 36.
While Phoenix added some firepower over the summer, they lost their most devastating weapon in Amar'e Stoudemire. Make no mistake about it, Nash will continue to drop dimes, but they won't be as easy to come by.
Still, in Alvin Gentry's up-tempo offense, Nash will continue to orchestrate the offense to perfection, but don't expect him to break that 11 assist barrier.
2009-10 season average: 11.0 assists per game
2010-11 projected season average: 10.4 assists per game
4. Rajon Rondo, BOS
Rajon continues to get better and make a case for the top point guard in the league.
He has wrestled control of this Celtics' team as he has forced the big three moniker out of the collective thoughts of those around the country. Now, calling the Celtics' team anything less than the big four would be an insult.
With Kevin Garnett purportedly at his healthiest in two years, the Celtics will look to make another run at a title.
This is arguably the deepest team the Celtics have had since their title run and Rondo has yet to reach his ceiling. Expect nothing short of a career season.
2009-10 season average: 9.8 assists per game
2010-11 projected season average: 10.1 assists per game
5. Jason Kidd, DAL
Kidd has been one of the most productive guards in the league for the past 16 years and he is without a doubt a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.
This is arguably the most talented team he has ever been on, and now that the team has had a full summer to get their bearings, they will be a dangerous force in the West.
Jason is likely to see a drop in playing time as the Mavericks look to keep their aging guard fresh for the playoffs. Even so, Kidd is as consistent as they come, and this nightly triple-double threat will continue to thread the needle as he racks up dimes.
2009-10 season average: 9.1 assists per game
2010-11 projected season average: 8.9 assists per game