NBA's Big Debate: Power Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards in the League
Now that the NBA has become "the age of the point guard," many wonder who the best one actually is.
What exactly do you grade a point guard on? Who is the best passer? Who has the best vision? Who is the best leader in crunch time? What point guard can score on his own? Which point guard do you want to build your team around? Who has the most explosiveness? Or just who is the best all-around player?
All of these categories are very essential when grading a point guard.
So for this article, we will take them all into account, and decide what point guard is currently the best in the NBA.
Let's get started, here are your top 10 point guards in the NBA today.
10. Raymond Felton
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Biggest Strength: Well-roundedness
Biggest Weakness: Lack of flash
This Season's Statistics: 16.4 points, 8.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.1 turnovers per game
Breakdown: In his sixth year in the NBA, Raymond Felton was thriving under Mike D’Antoni in New York. Felton was running, scoring, and finding teammates at an all-new rate.
Felton was posting 17.1 points, nine assists, and 1.8 steals per game. All of those numbers are career-highs for Felton.
In six games since his trade to Denver, Felton is just looking for his place. He is currently averaging 10.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Those numbers are all in an average of eight less minutes per game.
Felton is a smart point guard, who doesn’t do a whole lot to “wow” you. However, consistency is what it’s all about, right?
Whether or not Felton can find a concrete role in Denver is up to George Karl. Even if Karl doesn’t want to award him big time minutes, he will still be a top 10 NBA point guard.
9. Brandon Jennings
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Biggest Strength: Amazing quickness
Biggest Weakness: Undersized physically
This Season's Statistics: 15.5 points, 4.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 turnovers per game.
Breakdown: Outside of Rajon Rondo, nobody can touch Brandon Jennings quickness ability.
Jennings is small, super quick, and has a cat like awareness and movement on the court.
Brandon Jennings is in his second year in the NBA, and is in somewhat of a “sophomore slump.” Emphasize the “somewhat” because Jennings is still having a great year.
While you are supposed to improve almost every year in the NBA, Jennings has nearly identical numbers from last year. He has the exact same averages in points and steals from last year.
The one (concerning) number that is down is assists. Jennings is down from 5.7 to 4.7 assists per game this year, something you don’t want to see out of your star point guard.
Jennings has a very bright career ahead of him, so singling out his assist numbers is simply nitpicking.
If Milwaukee had a little more firepower surrounding Jennings, there would probably be a whole different conversation surrounding his assist numbers.
8. Jason Kidd
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Biggest Strength: Basketball IQ
Biggest Weakness: Age
This Season's Statistics: 8.5 points, 8.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Jason Kidd is truly an “ageless wonder.” At 37 years of age, Kidd can still ball.
Kidd is in his 17th NBA season, so it’s hard to expect him to play like he used to.
There’s a common phrase that Kidd should probably adopt. It states “with age comes wisdom,” and that is the case for Kidd.
J-Kidd still has the ability to stuff the stat sheet, and shows it by posting multiple triple-doubles every year.
Kidd still averages 1.7 steals per game, showing he can still play defense.
Not only stealing the ball, Kidd is one of the smartest players in the NBA. He will never take a bad shot, make really bad turnovers, throw the ball away, or get burned on defense.
Like a point guard should, Kidd is really good at finding the open man. Nothing has changed for him even though he is on his last leg.
He averages 8.3 assists per 33.5 minutes, good enough for one every four minutes he’s on the court.
7. Steve Nash
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Biggest Strength: Game control
Biggest Weakness: Age
This Season's Statistics: 16.1 points, 11.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.6 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Much like Jason Kidd, Steve Nash’s career seems to be winding down. While he may have only a few years left, Nash is nowhere near done.
He is 37-years-old like Kidd, but averages double digits in points and assists every game.
Unfortunately for Nash, he lost his best head coach he’s had in Mike D’Antoni. He is still playing at an elite level, though the run-and-gun offense of D’Antoni was better suited for him.
Trade rumors involving Nash surfaced this year, which would be crazy for Phoenix to pursue.
Nash is easily a top point guard in the NBA, and it’s hard to imagine they would get good enough value in return for Nash in what they would lose.
Phoenix’s roster is down significantly from the past few years, but it won’t stop the team from pursuing the playoffs.
They sit at ninth in the West right now, just a game and a half behind Memphis. Expect Nash and company to make a second half push for one more playoff run.
6. Tony Parker
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Biggest Strength: Ability to create/finish in the paint
This Season's Statistics: 17.1 points, 6.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.5 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Tony Parker and the Spurs are having their best regular season in quite some time.
San Antonio is 5.5 games ahead of the second place Dallas Mavericks in the West, with the best record in the NBA.
Parker got off to an explosive start this year but has since cooled off.
With San Antonio well in line for a playoff berth, don’t expect the real Tony Parker to come back until the playoffs start.
The playoffs will truly be Parker's time to shine, and it remains to be seen how the veteran group will perform.
5. Rajon Rondo
Biggest Strength: Passing and court vision
Biggest Weakness: Shooting
This Season's Statistics: 10.9 points, 12.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.7 turnovers per game
Breakdown: If Rajon Rondo wasn’t playing for Boston and their core group of veterans, it’s hard to imagine what his statistics would be.
The fifth year point guard out of Kentucky is not much of a scorer. He is visibly left open for 15 foot jumpers all day, but refuses to take them.
However, Rondo is probably as bad at shooting as he is good at passing.
Rondo has great vision, and uses it every game to find open teammates every possession.
He is also a suffocating defender.
It is well documented that Rondo has huge hands, and he uses them to steal the ball 2.4 times per game.
Don’t be surprised if Rondo steps his game up in the playoffs, possibly scoring more than 10.8 points per game.
4. Russell Westbrook
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Biggest Strength: Explosiveness
Biggest Weakness: True point guard skills
This Season's Statistics: 22.1 points, 8.4 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.8 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder have burst onto the NBA scene in a big way this year.
With young studs like Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder will take over the Western Conference in a few years.
Russell is a newer breed of point guard, possessing the physical strength to bully defenders out of the way.
Westbrook is great at getting to the rim, where he finishes more often than not.
While he gets better every outing, Westbrook is still short on the stereotypical point guard skills.
He isn’t big on running plays every time, instead just looking to drive to the bucket.
Westbrook, Durant and company will figure out this whole NBA thing over time, whether it’s this year or down the road.
3. Deron Williams
Warren Little/Getty Images
Biggest Strength: Overall consistency and effectiveness
Biggest Weakness: Speed
This Season's Statistics: 20.8 points, 10.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.6 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Deron Williams is probably the “smoothest” point guard in the NBA.
He rarely makes a bad decision, and always makes everyone around him better.
Williams was having a career year in Utah until he was traded to New Jersey right before the trade deadline.
However, there is reason for optimism in New Jersey.
In five games with the Nets, Williams is averaging a staggering 15.2 assists per game! That number will surely come down, but it’s still a great start for Williams.
When New Jersey can surround Williams with another piece or two, the tide will turn in New Jersey.
Williams is an elite point guard, whether he gets enough credit for it or not.
2. Derrick Rose
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Biggest Strength: Explosiveness, scoring ability
Biggest Weakness: Score first point guard
This Season's Statistics: 24.6 points, 8.1 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.6 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Now don’t get this wrong, Derrick Rose is having a phenomenal season this year.
He has done everything possible to win the MVP award, and is the front runner for it right now.
There is just one big flaw I commonly see in Rose’s game. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it could hurt the Bulls come playoff time.
When is the last time a team won it all with a point guard as their primary scoring option?
Not sure it has been within 20 years, which scares me from saying he is the best all-around point guard in the NBA.
Saying Rose scores too much is extremely nit-picky, but the guy has to have some flaws, doesn’t he?
Derrick Rose is extremely explosive, and almost gets to the rim at will. He can also knock down jumpers, find open teammates, and play good defense.
If Rose isn’t already the best point guard in the NBA, he has the chance to claim that spot in this years playoffs.
1. Chris Paul
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Biggest Strength: Do-it-all point guard
Biggest Weakness: Body strength
This Season's Statistics: 15.9 points, 9.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.3 turnovers per game
Breakdown: Chris Paul has anything and everything you want in a franchise point guard. You name it, Paul can do it.
He has the brains to run a team, and shows it with his overachieving Hornets.
If you placed just about any other point guard on the Hornets roster, it would be tough to say they would be in the same position.
Paul is truly a do-it-all point guard, even if he isn’t having a “CP3-esque” season.
With lingering trade talks involving Chris Paul, it’s pretty visible he has been hearing them.
Rumors of him joining forces in New York with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are the most popular and enticing for Paul.
Making another “Big Three” in New York would be amazing, and having Paul run the show would be fun to watch.
Even though his numbers don’t show it, Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA.