B/R NBA 200: Ranking the Top Guards Heading into 2016-17

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2016

B/R NBA 200: Ranking the Top Guards Heading into 2016-17

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    What does Stephen Curry have in store for 2016-17 as he attempts the encore to his sterling 2015-16 NBA campaign? Is it regression after reaching previously untouched three-point heights, providing an endless supply of records and eventually winning MVP honors unanimously for the first time in league history? Or, can he reach a heretofore unimaginable next level?

    Of course, there are no guarantees he even remains atop the heap of elite guards. Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Damian Lillard and others are all primed to mount impressive challenges to Curry's apparent throne. And that's saying nothing of the other young backcourt talents just waiting to break out. 

    We aren't projecting how well everyone will perform during the upcoming season, but where they are as 2016-17 gets underway. Thus, we use the end of last season as our starting point. Not every player starts out on level footing, either; the NBA 200 metric identifies those who performed best during the 2015-16 regular campaign*. Potential doesn't matter, and neither does reputation or playoff performance (too variable)—it's all about what happened this past regular season only.

    In this edition, we're looking at point guards (PG), combo guards (CG) and shooting guards (SG). All positions are graded using the same criteria (rim protection was added into the equation for bigger positions), but the categories are weighted differently to reflect changing roles, with max scores in parentheses: 

    • Scoring (20 for point guards, 23 for combo guards and 25 for shooting guards)
    • Non-Scoring Offense: Facilitating (20 for point guards, 15 for combo guards and 10 for shooting guards) and Off-Ball Offense (5 for point guards, 7 for combo guards and 10 for shooting guards)
    • Defense: On-Ball (20) and Off-Ball (20)
    • Rebounding (5)
    • Durability (10)

    For a full explanation of how these scores were determined, go here. And do note these aren't your father's classifications: Players' spots were determined by how much time they spent at each position throughout the season, largely based on data from Basketball-Reference.com, and we're expanding the traditional five to include four combo positions.

    In the case of ties, the order is subjectively determined by ranking the more coveted player in the higher spot. That was done by a voting committee comprised of myself, three B/R National NBA Featured Columnists (Grant HughesZach Buckley and Dan Favale) and B/R Associate NBA Editor (Joel Cordes).

    There are 71 guards considered, so you can click "Next" to start the whole list or skip ahead to Guards 50-41 if you want.

    Wings are ranked here, with bigs here and our total 200 here.

    Note: All statistics come from Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com unless otherwise indicated. Injury information comes from Pro Sports Transactions. In order to qualify for the rankings, players must have suited up in at least 30 games and logged no fewer than 500 minutes. This intro was adapted from last year's edition.

    A few players you might expect to see in this installment will be showing up elsewhere. They include Kobe Bryant (small forward), DeMar DeRozan (swingman), Evan Fournier (swingman), Klay Thompson (swingman) and others. 

    *Thus, a "retired-in-the-offseason" player like Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant will still show up here as well. Even though they're (sadly) not playing again, they're a valuable placeholder that helps show where 2016-17's bunch stacks up in comparison at the start of the season. 

71. Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio Spurs

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    Scoring

    7/20

    Though less involved than he's been throughout his NBA career, Patty Mills still managed to produce solid per-minute point totals by virtue of his outside shooting. The San Antonio Spurs didn't often depend on his contributions, but he made the most of sparse looks by knocking down 38.4 percent of his long-range shots.

    Non-Scoring Offense

    17/25

    No one dares leave Mills open on the perimeter, but they have fewer reasons to worry when the ball is in his hands, since he hasn't served as the most prolific passer. Even in the ball-sharing San Antonio system, he didn't rack up many assists or secondary dimes, instead stopping the rock when it hit his hands and often looking for his own shot. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Especially when covering pick-and-roll ball-handlers, Mills showed impressive cerebral ability by jumping over the right screens at the right times. But if he was attacked in isolation, disaster ensued. Allowing 1.07 points per possession, he finished in the 11.1 percentile. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    His 6'0" frame prevents him from making much of an impact on the glass, but Mills managed to get a few fast breaks started by drifting toward longer rebounds and grabbing those uncontested opportunities. Just don't expect to see him skying over larger players. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Mills played in 81 of the Spurs' 82 regular-season contests, and the only one he missed came when he was granted a day off by head coach Gregg Popovich. But the limited physicality of his role and his lessened playing time (20.5 minutes per game) still prevent him from earning a perfect score. 

    Overall

    66/100

    Mills spent his 2015-16 campaign hovering between a sniping role and a more well-rounded one. He handled himself nicely in plenty of defensive situations and consistently did what was asked of him by the San Antonio coaching staff. But more than half of his field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc, and that's the most telling number of all.

70. Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Denver Nuggets

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    Scoring

    9/20

    Only volume saves Emmanuel Mudiay, because he was historically bad at maintaining respectable percentages. By hitting just 36.4 percent of his field-goal attempts and 31.9 percent of his three-point tries, he often left the Denver Nuggets in a lurch when they foolishly relied upon his scoring contributions. This was an expected weakness for the rookie as he jumped from the Chinese Basketball Association to the NBA. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/25

    Mudiay was an atrocious spot-up threat during his first Mile High City season, but he could occasionally get the better of a defender with a well-timed cut. Still, he looked best as a facilitator, joining Stephon Marbury and LeBron James as one of only three qualified teenagers to average at least five assists. 

    Defense

    27/40

    It was far too easy to abuse Mudiay during his rookie campaign. Attacking him in isolation, posting him up, letting him wander away to provide help defense before torturing him with a spot-up jumper...all strategies had the same result: lots of points. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    As Mudiay learns how to leverage his 6'5" frame, he should become a true asset on the glass. You could see flashes of that potential, but he didn't turn enough of the chances into actual rebounds. 

    Durability

    10/10

    A sprained right ankle held Mudiay to just 68 appearances, but his workload was large enough that we aren't docking him any points. It's tough enough for any first-year player to handle the grind of the NBA calendar; Mudiay did so while playing 30.4 minutes per game and exhibiting constant movement on both ends. 

    Overall

    68/100

    Mudiay's rookie season was always going to be a learning experience. It was far too easy to (rightly) predict the 19-year-old point guard would struggle with his shot, find himself overwhelmed on defense and turn the ball over too often. But the weaknesses didn't prevent this Nugget from showing his lofty upside on a regular basis. 

69. Shelvin Mack, PG, Utah Jazz

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    Scoring

    11/20

    Shelvin Mack wasn't all that efficient in 2015-16, nor did he score points in bunches. But he did consistently showcase an ability to create his own looks. During his time with the Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz, he required assists on just 66.7 percent of his triples and 29.4 percent of his makes within the arc. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    17/25

    Mack generated 6.9 potential assists per game and recorded 3.6 actual dimes during his average contest, meaning his teammates shot 52.2 percent off his feeds. All season long, he made quality passes that set running mates up nicely, helping make up for his lack of floor-spacing ability. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Mack was fantastic when teams attacked him in one-on-one situations and excelled when thrust into pick-and-roll scenarios. But if a wing or big man held the ball, he drifted over in their direction far too often and afforded his actual assignments too many wide-open opportunities. 

    Rebounding

    1/5

    Some players have a nose for rebounds. Some, like Mack, do not. 

    Durability

    7/10

    It wasn't an injury that held Mack out of the lineup before he was traded to the Jazz. Atlanta head coach Mike Budenholzer didn't have enough minutes for him with Dennis Schroder and Jeff Teague ahead in the rotation, and that kept him on the bench for the majority of his tenure. 

    Overall

    68/100

    Mack was a nondescript third-string point guard in search of a bigger opportunity than the Hawks could provide. But as soon as he was traded to Salt Lake City, he broke out in a larger role as a feasible starter who could legitimately hold his own on both ends. No one would mistake Mack for a star, but he would have ranked far better had we only included his time with the Jazz. 

68. Jose Calderon, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Scoring

    9/20

    Even though Jose Calderon remains an efficient marksmen (41.4 percent from downtown in 2015-16), scoring is a double-edged sword for him. He didn't have a large role in the New York Knicks' offense last season, which depressed the number of opportunities to show off his touch, forcing him to an off-ball role that made nearly all his buckets the product of assists. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/25

    Averaging 4.2 assists and only 1.2 turnovers is no easy task, especially since Calderon was often asked to serve as nothing more than a secondary distributor. His passing was phenomenal in that limited role, and it's not like defenders were able to leave him wide open on the perimeter. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Calderon handled himself nicely in on-ball situations. He was just about average when asked to guard pick-and-roll ball-handlers, and teams failed to attack him in isolation with too much frequency. It was his off-ball work that held him back, as he often failed to stick with spot-up shooters and hemorrhaged points when cheating off his man. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Calderon set new career highs in both rebounds per game (3.2) and rebounds per 36 minutes (4.1) for the Knicks. The problem was that his previous marks weren't even remotely impressive, and he relied heavily on long caroms to grab a board without fighting off another player. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Calderon suited up in 72 games for New York, missing 10 throughout the year: A sore groin kept him out in late January and early February, and a bruised right quad ended his season prematurely. He was on the cusp of losing a point for durability, but his activity level was high enough to grant him the perfect score. 

    Overall

    69/100

    We've known who Calderon is for years, and that perception didn't change in 2015-16. Now in a backup role with the Los Angeles Lakers, he's a deadly off-ball shooter and deft distributor who operates in limited capacity, and those skills have value so long as his squad isn't relying on his defensive chops—or lack thereof. 

67. Jerryd Bayless, CG, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Scoring

    10/23

    Jerryd Bayless played significant minutes for the Milwaukee Bucks, but he devolved into a sharpshooting specialist who took over half his field-goal attempts from beyond the arc. Though he was quite effective (43.7 percent), he relied on assists to generate his opportunities and only connected on 40.8 percent of his minimal attempts from two-point territory, something that should change in his new role as a likely starter for the Philadelphia 76ers. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/22

    Based on gravity and his effectiveness as a spot-up shooter, Bayless was one of the NBA's premier off-ball threats. He also served as a decent secondary distributor, rarely making mistakes when he chose to share the rock and recording 3.9 assists per 36 minutes. 

    Defense

    29/40

    The Bucks often had to adjust so that Bayless was somehow only guarding ball-handlers in pick-and-roll sets or other backcourt members who inexplicably decided to post him up. Every other situation was a disaster for this combo guard—none worse than isolation, where he finished in the 24.1 percentile

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Bayless often struggled on the glass, but he converted the few opportunities he received quite nicely. Even when other players were within a wingspan of the rebounding chance, he showed nice body positioning and quick hands while tracking down the ball. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Plagued by sprained ankles and hyperextensions in both knees, Bayless only suited up 52 games for the Bucks. When healthy, he did maintain a high physical intensity, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights, but he simply didn't play enough minutes. 

    Overall

    69/100

    Bayless sunk to a new low on the defensive end, but his offense was valuable when used properly. Milwaukee benefited from his presence as a perimeter sniper, and he could help with the ball-handling responsibilities when Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks' true point guards needed breathers. Glamorous production wasn't there, but at least he filled his offensive niche well.

66. D'Angelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Scoring

    14/20

    Shooting difficulties plague many first-year guards, and D'Angelo Russell was no exception. His inconsistency was exacerbated by the Los Angeles Lakers' lack of offensive talent, since he was so often asked to take over the scoring load. Fortunately, he still managed to display a knack for getting buckets all over the court, particularly as he settled in during the stretch run. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/25

    As Russell gains experience, his passing should catch up to his scoring. He displayed impressive vision during his brief career at Ohio State, often seeing plays unfold well before players worked into proper position. But that didn't translate as a rookie, and he had trouble balancing his natural aggression with timely feeds. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Russell wasn't truly terrible in any one defensive situation, but it was easy to attack him in just about all of them. He was thoroughly mediocre across the board, and it didn't help that his Lakers, one of the more porous teams in NBA history, left him on an island far too often. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    He was never afraid to create rebounding chances in traffic, and he did a nice job bodying up against bigger players when the ball was in his immediate vicinity. It was turning those chances into actual rebounds that proved problematic, though his mentality offers hope that he could one day become one of the NBA's better glass-crashing floor generals. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Russell missed only two games during his rookie season—one due to illness and another as the result of a sprained ankle—but head coach Byron Scott kept him on the bench too often to earn a perfect durability score.  

    Overall

    69/100

    It's not difficult to see Russell brimming over with immense upside, but it was often held in check during his inaugural campaign. Part of the problem was the Lakers coaching staff's inability to give him consistent minutes or put him in situations that lead to success, but the raw nature of Russell's game proved detrimental as well. 

65. Norman Powell, SG, Toronto Raptors

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    Scoring

    14/25

    It wasn't until later in the year that Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey used Norman Powell as anything more than a defensive specialist, but he could always knock down triples (40.4 percent). Powell's 13.6 points per 36 minutes are far more indicative of his talent than his per-game average of 5.6.

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Powell exhibited an impressive amount of gravitational pull—no doubt stemming from his marksmanship in spot-up situations. His passing was far more lackluster, preventing him from remaining too heavily involved even when Toronto could have used an extra ball-handler. 

    Defense

    32/40

    The UCLA product made his mark as a defensive ace during his first professional go-round, often challenging the other team's most dangerous wing. Experience will allow him to make smarter off-ball decisions, but his ability to navigate a pick-and-roll or body up against a bigger player already leaves him in positive territory. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Powell shows the tools to be a fantastic rebounding guard. As a rookie, he converted an astounding 60.5 percent of his opportunities, and a respectable number came with another player in close proximity. But this 2-guard didn't spend enough time on the court to prove he could maintain these numbers while filling a larger role. 

    Durability

    7/10

    Though Powell's movement was astronomical whenever he was on the floor—the product of running through screens on offense and playing tough, physical defense—he spent too much time on the bench to prove his durability. Despite suffering a grand total of zero notable injuries throughout the year, he played just 725 minutes for Toronto, and we don't get to count his time with the D-League's Raptors 905. 

    Overall

    69/100

    Few young players possess this type of two-way upside—the 23-year-old has established himself as a quality perimeter defender who can knock down shots from beyond the arc. Had Powell maintained his quality of play but logged enough minutes to better showcase his durability and rebounding, he'd have challenged for a spot just outside the overall top 100. 

64. Raymond Felton, CG, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Scoring

    13/23

    Raymond Felton hasn't been a shooter for a while now, and he sunk below even adequate levels during 2015-16. However, he finished his shots from within three feet at a 63.5 percent clip, primarily because he proved quite adept at driving into the teeth of a defense. He scored 3.9 points per game on drives while shooting 50.2 percent and often working his way to the line. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/22

    Though Felton's shooting woes prevented him from serving as more than an off-ball, back-door cutter, he was a solid distributor for the Dallas Mavericks. Rarely turning the ball over, he recorded fewer assists per 36 minutes than ever but unselfishly shared the rock and helped the team shoot slightly better when he was on the floor. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Whether working on or off the ball, Felton was an atrocious defender in 2015-16. Consistently subpar in every single area (but not egregious in any), and without a distinct calling card, it was impossible for the Mavs to hide his porosity. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Despite playing in his age-31 season, the 6'1" guard averaged more rebounds per 36 minutes than ever before. He turned 55.2 percent of his chances into actual boards, and a significant number came in contested fashion. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Felton played 80 games for Dallas, missing a contest apiece for a left eye injury and a strained right groin. Given the grueling nature of the NBA calendar, that's hardly much to complain about. 

    Overall

    69/100

    After previously drawing fanbase ire for his uninspired play and fitness at various NBA stops, Felton revitalized his career with the Mavericks. At his best handling the ball and either working in pick-and-roll sets or driving to the hoop, he shouldn't be a starter for a competitive team. But Felton's newfound ability to also play the 2 has made him an intriguing choice to lead any second unit, as he'll now do for the Los Angeles Clippers. 

63. Marcus Smart, CG, Boston Celtics

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    Scoring

    7/23

    Unless he's playing against the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs, Marcus Smart can't shoot. He hit only 34.8 percent of his field-goal attempts and 25.3 percent of his triples during the regular season, and he didn't frequent the free-throw line enough to make up for it. Until he improves, Smart would be more valuable to the Boston Celtics if he never shot.

    Non-Scoring Offense

    13/22

    Smart is easy to leave alone on the perimeter, though defenders have to watch him in the periphery and make sure he isn't trying to make a quick cut to the basket. He is big and athletic enough to finish alley-oops, and he's dunked at least five times in both of his professional seasons. But it's still his passing that earns a decent score here, since Smart rarely turns the ball over.

    Defense

    35/40

    Tenacious and physical, Smart possesses all the athletic tools you could require from a backcourt defender. He's effective on the ball, rarely challenged in one-on-one situations and he consistently inserts himself in the proceedings when working away from the action. But as is the case for many young guards, he can lose focus and start watching the ball, which leads to trouble for the C's. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    Averaging more than four rebounds as a guard is difficult, yet Smart posted 4.2 per game as a sophomore despite being handed fewer than 28 minutes during an average outing. 

    Durability

    9/10

    A sprained left toe kept Smart out at the beginning of the year, but a deep bruise on his left knee was the more significant injury. Together, they prevented him from showcasing his high-energy work for 21 games.

    Overall

    69/100

    Until Smart develops a reliable jumper—just something that can keep defenders honest—he won't live up to his lofty potential. It's blindingly obvious he has star potential, given his rebounding chops, distributing skills and impressive perimeter defense. But surviving the modern NBA is difficult when you're a detrimental floor-spacing presence, especially in the backcourt. 

62. Devin Harris, SG, Dallas Mavericks

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    Scoring

    14/25

    Everything about Devin Harris' scoring game was rather nondescript last season. He didn't put up points in volume for the Dallas Mavericks and relied on his teammates to create looks more than he had in previous seasons. He failed to assert himself as a reliable perimeter threat, too, but was efficient around the basket and fared well from mid-range zones. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Harris didn't scare defenders as a spot-up threat, but his knack for reading a defense and cutting into space still forced them to pay him mind. His lackluster assist numbers provided no indication he used to primarily be a point guard, but teammates shot well off his feeds, and he often swung the ball around to earn a secondary dime. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Harris has been a defensive liability for the vast majority of his lengthy NBA career, but he turned back the clocks with his first positive defensive box plus/minus since 2006-07. Whether working against isolation plays (95.2 percentile) or guarding a pick-and-roll ball-handler (92.6 percentile), he thrived in off-ball situations. And though he gave up plenty of points when beginning away from the primary action, he at least managed to remain involved. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Even though Harris produced more rebounds per 36 minutes (3.9) than ever before, he eschewed contact and seemed to luck into more boards than actively pursuing them. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Harris played just 64 games for the Mavericks, and the reasons for his absences were rather diverse: rest, sore ribs, a strained right hamstring, back spasms that led to a strained back, a sprained left big toe (the same one that ended his 2014-15 campaign), the birth of his child and a sprained left thumb that knocked him out for the rest of the year. 

    Overall

    70/100

    Calling Harris a shooting guard is accurate but also a bit misleading. He spent a significant amount of time lining up at both point guard and small forward, and that versatility may have been his most valuable aspect, since he failed to stand out positively or negatively in any singular category. 

61. J.J. Barea, PG, Dallas Mavericks

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    Scoring

    12/20

    J.J. Barea didn't receive an exorbitant number of touches for the Dallas Mavericks, but he made them count by scoring efficiently and displaying a masterful ability to create his own looks. Of his two-point makes, only 18.9 percent required an assist—a number that jumped to just 57.0 percent on triples. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/25

    Only 21 players finished with a higher total than Barea in our combined score for gravity and effective field-goal percentage in spot-up situations—11 of whom were point guards. Facilitating drops this guard's score, since he can get a bit careless with the ball when attempting to lead the second unit. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Is it just his size working against him? Barea had trouble leveraging his 6'0" frame against screens, leading to his opponents scoring an astounding 1.46 points per possession in those situations. That left him in just the 2.4 percentile and killed any chance of receiving a respectable off-ball—or overall—score. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Size once again works against Barea, as he doesn't have the requisite height to serve as an effective rebounder. He did well turning the few chances he received into actual rebounds, but those were few and far between, and they rarely came with opponents in his vicinity. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Barea played in 74 games—only missing time due to a sprained right ankle and a strained right groin—but he wasn't an integral part of the rotation and only logged 22.5 minutes per contest. He didn't endure nearly the same physical load taken up by many of the league's elite point guards. 

    Overall

    70/100

    Given Barea's knack for creating his own shot, it shouldn't be surprising that the Mavericks scored an additional 2.1 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor. But given his diminutive frame and undisciplined defense, it also shouldn't be surprising that they gave up 4.7 more points per 100 possessions at the same time. 

60. Courtney Lee, SG, New York Knicks

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    Scoring

    14/25

    Courtney Lee is a capable scorer from every area on the floor, whether he's hitting his shots at the rim at a 60.7 percent clip, knocking down 45.8 percent of his twos from beyond 16 feet or hitting 37.8 percent of his treys. Conversely, neither the Charlotte Hornets nor Memphis Grizzlies relied on him as a go-to scorer, and the vast majority of his opportunities were the result of assists. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Lee didn't log a single minute at point guard for the first time in his professional career, but he remained a capable passer who could draw a defender in with his spot-up ability and then find a cutting teammate. He didn't put up glamorous numbers in any non-scoring category; he just remained above-average in each. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Stop attacking Lee if a pick-and-roll ball-handler. In that situation, he held his assignments to 0.69 points per possession, and it accounted for a massive 36.8 percent of his defensive play. He was far more porous everywhere else, but that overwhelming strength still made him an asset. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Lee was more aggressive on the glass once traded to the Hornets, but he wasn't too much more effective. He prefers to sit back and let his bigger teammates do the heavy lifting while flitting around and grabbing the occasional long carom. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Playing a combined 79 games for his two different squads, Lee only missed time with a bruised left hip. He also played hefty minutes in both locations and finished the season at 29.5 per game. It's only his relative lack of activity that holds him back here. 

    Overall

    70/100

    Lee was a Grizzlies sharpshooting specialist who often conserved his energy on the offensive end. Once traded to Charlotte, he began asserting himself more on defense and became a bit more involved on the glass, but his shooting numbers declined ever so slightly. Either way, he was a solid rotational guard without much glamor to his game, and that shouldn't change in his new job as the potential starting 2 for the New York Knicks.  

59. Dion Waiters, SG, Miami Heat

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    Scoring

    15/25

    Dion Waiters can often fall into the unfortunate habit of calling his own number at the expense of making the proper play. Those tendencies grant him the reputation of a more talented scorer, but his 39.9 field-goal percentage and 35.8 three-point percentage should make it clear he's far from the realm of elites. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    13/20

    Though Waiters was a better shooter in off-ball situations, he's still not dangerous enough to pull defenders away from superior teammates. It's as a playmaker that he does the lion's share of the work in this category. Nonetheless, he's not a productive enough dime-dropper to stand out. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Waiters was more engaged on defense than in prior campaigns, but his lack of vision and anticipation still betray far too often. The shooting guard is a capable stopper if he's left in a simple isolation set or asked to navigate a standard pick-and-roll, but he frequently gets caught behind screens or moving in the wrong direction as he chases a shooter. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Another guard who'd prefer not to bang bodies with bigger players on the boards, Waiters likes to settle around the three-point arc when a shot goes up. He'll either break away in transition or dart in for a quick, uncontested rebound, but he knows his bread and butter is in other areas. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Only a death in the family kept Waiters out of the lineup in 2015-16, and we're not going to hold that against him here. Now with the Miami Heat, he'll have a chance to play in at least 70 games for the fourth consecutive season.

    Overall

    70/100

    Waiters started playing the right way during the playoffs. He began deferring to his superstar teammates rather than hogging the ball, grew as a facilitator and used his energy reserves to play high-quality defense. But for these rankings, it was too little, too late. During the regular season, Waiters kept cementing his reputation as a shoot-first player who missed far too often for a volume-shooting role. 

58. Matthew Dellavedova, CG, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Scoring

    8/23

    Scoring isn't a primary role for Matthew Dellavedova, who was often treated as little more than a floor-spacer on a Cleveland Cavaliers roster dominated by stars. This likely won't change with the Milwaukee Bucks, even if he's the starter. He was efficient when granted opportunities (unless he was trying to finish around the basket), but those came so infrequently and were often the result of a well-timed pass. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/22

    According to ICE data provided by B/R Insights, Dellavedova's improved shooting stroke helped him knock down 75 of his 160 spot-up threes (46.9 percent) and 11 of his 19 spot-up twos (57.9 percent). Even when alongside Kyrie Irving or LeBron James, defenses couldn't leave Delly alone on the perimeter. His passing also improved, as he did far more than throw lobs to Tristan Thompson. It's always positive when your assists and turnovers trend up and down, respectively. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Dellavedova developed a well-deserved reputation as a pest during the 2014-15 campaign. He's a tenacious ball hawk in the half-court set who isn't afraid to play bigger than his 6'4" frame should allow. Only overaggressiveness and a lack of off-ball discipline prevent him from emerging as one of the league's best defensive guards. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    The scrappiness doesn't carry over to rebounding. Dellavedova tends to avoid chasing down long caroms and instead waits for outlet passes or jets to the other end of the court in transition. He creates few opportunities, though he deserves some credit for holding his own when going for a board with another player in the vicinity. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Left calf tightness and a strained left hamstring limited Dellavedova to 76 appearances, but it was a relative lack of movement that kept him from earning a perfect score for durability. He was a physical defender, but his proclivity for standing on the perimeter and watching the stars work on offense limited his workload. 

    Overall

    70/100

    Dellavedova blossomed into a legitimate rotation member during his third NBA season. His perimeter shooting, defensive awareness and vision were significantly better, to the point he was one of the Cavaliers' most reliable snipers, stoppers and distributors. He's by no means a star, but any team could use him, regardless of how much his role shrunk during the 2016 NBA Finals. 

57. Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Scoring

    11/20

    Michael Carter-Williams' shot is starting to come along, but it's still too limited. Though it's great that he's knocking down 37.6 percent of his two-point attempts from beyond 16 feet, he'll never be tasked with more responsibility until he can shoot better than 27.3 percent from beyond the arc. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    16/25

    According to ICE data provided by B/R insights, Carter-Williams hit his spot-up shots with an effective field-goal percentage of just 37.9. That's not going to get the job done in this category, even if he continues to display impressive passing skills as a transition playmaker. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Milwaukee head coach Jason Kidd has figured out how to maximize the impact of Carter-Williams' lanky limbs, turning him into a nightmare when guarding isolation players or slowing down a pick-and-roll. However, the third-year point guard still has too many lapses of concentration, and opponents quickly figured out how to exploit his off-ball work. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    Standing 6'6" helps, but Carter-Williams also continues to prove he has a tremendous nose for rebounding. He recorded 5.1 boards per game in 2015-16actually the worst mark of his professional career. He joined James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook as one of five guards to play at least 40 games and generate no fewer than 10 rebounding chances per outing. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Carter-Williams works hard when on the floor and plays hefty minutes when healthy, but he suffered too many injuries during 2015-16. Suiting up just 54 games, he succumbed to a strained left ankle, patella tendinitis in his left knee and a torn labrum in his left hip that eventually necessitated surgery. 

    Overall

    71/100

    It's clear Carter-Williams' selection as the 2014 Rookie of the Year was more due to opportunity and a weak class of first-year players. He has value as an on-ball defender, tremendous rebounder and ball-handling threat, but his limited shooting and mental struggles on defense have prevented him from turning into even a mid-level starter.

56. Lou Williams, CG, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Scoring

    17/23

    Lou Williams has always thrived creating his own shots. His percentages didn't stand out for the 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers, but the fact he created 70.5 percent of his twos and 34.5 percent of his threes does. If he had more help around him, it's possible he could have fared even better as a scoring threat. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/22

    One of the few Lakers with a consistent jumper, Williams exerted a substantial gravitational pull with his spot-up abilities. But his passing wasn't up to the same standard—probably because he usually calls his own number and can get a little sloppy when working outside his comfort zone.

    Defense

    27/40

    Williams was surprisingly effective against spot-up shooters, but he was still uninvolved in off-ball situations. And...that's the only relative positive we can find. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Though Williams had one of his best rebounding seasons since early in his professional career, it still wasn't enough to stand out. He rarely went out of his way to seek opportunities on the glass, and he often went multiple games before generating a single contested board.  

    Durability

    9/10

    Thanks to personal reasons, illness and a strained hamstring, Williams missed 15 games during the 2015-16 season. That, coupled with his inactivity on the defensive end, prevented him from earning the full 10 points for durability.  

    Overall

    71/100

    If you're looking for a one-way player, Williams would certainly qualify. He's a deft scorer who doesn't hesitate to create his own looks off the bounce, but that's all he brings. He often leaves his team playing four-on-five defense, which negates a significant amount of overall value. 

55. Tyler Johnson, CG, Miami Heat

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    Scoring

    14/23

    Tyler Johnson figured out how to finish around the hoop, and that helped him make the most of his athletic gifts. He constantly crashed the rim with both drives and off-ball cuts, and his finishing ability gave the Miami Heat a new offensive element. That, coupled with his 38 percent shooting from beyond the arc, made him a valuable scorer, albeit in limited doses. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/22

    Johnson's off-ball work was impressive, but his passing left much to be desired. It's not ideal when someone who plays 52 percent of his minutes at the 1 records 2.2 assists and 1.3 turnovers per game. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Though he struggled when thrust into on-ball situations (he only guarded 10 isolation possessions, but those left him in the 1.8 percentile), Johnson was both active and effective working away from the rock. He navigated screens and ran through traffic like a five-year veteran, though some mental lapses still occurred when he tried to provide on-time help. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    A 6'4" guard, Johnson shouldn't be recording nearly five rebounds per 36 minutes, but that's exactly what he's done during each of his first two NBA seasons. Most of his glass-eating comes in uncontested fashion, but he always tries to remain helpful when a shot goes up and rarely takes the easy route by leaking out. 

    Durability

    7/10

    Johnson's left shoulder plagued him throughout his sophomore campaign, limiting him to just 36 appearances before he was shut down for the year. Fortunately, his activity level was quite high for a guard and helped minimize the damage. 

    Overall

    71/100

    Could Johnson have reached an even higher level if his balky left shoulder hadn't required surgery? His outside-inside scoring game offers hope that he could someday become a leading scorer on a competitive team, and he shows the right mentality on the point-preventing side. The 24-year-old guard is still a work in progress, but he's already shown distinct improvement since his rookie season. 

54. Mario Chalmers, PG, Free Agent

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    Scoring

    13/20

    Remember the shot Mario Chalmers hit to send his Kansas Jayhawks to overtime in the 2008 NCAA Championship? If he'd taken it in 2015-16 with the Miami Heat, he definitely would've missed it. If he let it fly once traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, he only probably would've drawn iron. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/25

    When opponents know you're struggling with the mechanics and timing of your jumper, they're not going to shift over. That said, Chalmers' score isn't terrible because he proved himself a careful distributor who could make the Memphis offense function even when key pieces were missing. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Chalmers displayed his quick hands on a regular basis, often swiping the ball away from the opposition and jump-starting a fast-break opportunity. But he bought into his own success a bit too much and was prone to ill-advised gambles that left his squad in a four-on-five situation. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Though he did a solid job turning his rebounding chances into successful boards and wasn't deterred by the presences of bigger players, Chalmers wasn't nearly aggressive enough on the glass. Then again, would you really expect a 6'2" point guard to venture into the paint?

    Durability

    7/10

    Until March 9, Chalmers was the picture of health as an oft-used backup. But he ruptured his right Achilles tendon against the Boston Celtics, and that was the end of his campaign. 

    Overall

    71/100

    Chalmers improved immensely once playing home games on Beale Street, becoming a quality offensive presence and an adequate defender when Mike Conley wasn't on the floor. But that improvement came largely because he started at such a low point. If we only looked at his limited work in Miami, he might not have made a hypothetical NBA 300

53. Danny Green, SG, San Antonio Spurs

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    Scoring

    8/25

    During all but one season of Danny Green's NBA career (2011-12), over half his field-goal attempts have come from beyond the arc. This past season was no different—except he couldn't connect. When you're a sharpshooting specialist who averages 7.2 points, knocking down your triples at a 33.2 percent clip isn't going to earn an impressive score. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Green was slightly better when allowed to spot up on the perimeter, and the San Antonio Spurs often got him easy opportunities. Defenses were still forced to respect his history, even as shot after shot clanged off the rim. And while he doesn't stand out as a distributor, he also rarely makes mistakes and always operates within the flow of head coach Gregg Popovich's schemes. 

    Defense

    35/40

    Fortunately for the Spurs, Green's defense allows him to remain valuable even if he struggles on offense. He makes a positive impact across the board, possessing the athleticism to hang with smaller, quicker players and the size (6'6" with a 6'10" wingspan, per DraftExpress) to slide up in the lineup. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Green's size and tenacity has always made him a rebounding asset. He's never afraid to bang around with bigger players in the paint, and that mentality helped him become one of the few true guards to pull down at least a contested rebound per game.  

    Durability

    10/10

    Given his remarkable workload (largely stemming from his defensive physicality) and the fact he missed only three games for team-mandated rest, Green's durability is above reproach. 

    Overall

    71/100

    Last season was a forgettable one for Green, but only because the three-point stroke that made him one of the league's most dangerous three-and-D contributors all but disappeared. Though the inability to produce momentum-swinging treys hindered his ability to stand out, his overall efforts ensured his value. 

52. Shaun Livingston, CG, Golden State Warriors

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    Scoring

    13/23

    Don't expect Shaun Livingston to drop many treys through the nylon. Instead, he'll make the most of sparse opportunities and impressive length by torturing defenses with an endless barrage of mid-range jumpers and turnarounds out of the post. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    13/22

    Livingston's presence on the perimeter shouldn't scare opponents, but his ball-handling acumen certainly will. When this guard is running the show or playing alongside a true 1-guard, he's comfortable showing off his vision by slipping the ball into tight spaces and generating easy looks for his teammates. Again, a lack of opportunity is holding him back here. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Skilled ball-handlers can put Livingston in a bind by running him through plentiful pick-and-roll sets, but the oversized guard knows how to use his 6'7" frame advantageously. Though he's not the quickest player, his length and intelligence allow him to provide strong contests in multiple situations, and the Warriors have become quite adept at hiding his weaknesses with proper help. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Given his size, Livingston should be a tremendous rebounding guard, but he's not, settling for just four boards per 36 minutes and rarely seeking out opportunities after a shot goes up. When he grabs a rebound, it's more sheer happenstance than anything else. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Only a hip injury and team-mandated rest could keep Livingston out of the lineup during a go-round that saw him make 78 appearances. However, this member of the Dubs played just less than 20 minutes per game, failing to log enough to justify a perfect durability score. 

    Overall

    71/100

    It's tough to survive in the modern NBA with a shaky perimeter jumper, and Livingston made just two of his 12 attempts from beyond the arc in 2015-16. But this lanky guard knows how to make up for his weakness by exerting effort on defense and getting to his spots in the half-court set, from which he can knock down any mid-range jumper or post up. 

51. Josh Richardson, SG, Miami Heat

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    Scoring

    13/25

    Though Josh Richardson averaged just 6.6 points during his rookie season, his assaults on the rim and sniping ability (46.1 percent from downtown) allowed him to fill plenty of roles for Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. The rookie displayed a knack for creating his own shots while finishing 61.3 percent of his looks from within three feet. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/20

    It didn't take long for Richardson to establish himself as a premier spot-up threat. The combination of his spot-up shooting and gravitational pull, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights, left him with the No. 14 off-ball score throughout the league. However, he still has plenty of room to grow as a facilitator, so his non-scoring offense isn't all hunky-dory. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Richardson quickly realized his path to a larger role came on the defensive end, and his efforts paid off. He managed to turn his lanky frame into one capable of stopping most opponents in an on-ball setting while contesting plenty of spot-up jumpers. Discipline will come with time, since this 2-guard still gambled far too often and was often improperly positioned. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Richardson created a solid number of opportunities on the glass, but he had trouble converting them when another player was within an arm's length. Some of that stems from his deferring to teammates who are more comfortable throwing an outlet pass or leading the transition charge, but his box-out technique left plenty to be desired. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Injuries didn't plague Richardson until he hurt his shoulder during the playoffs. Instead, his score is lower because it took him a while to carve out a rotation role with Miami, and he spent a significant amount of time watching from the bench or suiting up for the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce. 

    Overall

    71/100

    Richardson asserted himself as one of the 2015 NBA draft class' gems. Despite being selected 40th by the Heat, he became an impact defender and tremendous marksman, earning a substantial role by the time his first professional campaign drew to a conclusion. He's one of the top 10 rookies in the NBA 200, regardless of position.  

50. Ish Smith, PG, Detroit Pistons

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    Scoring

    14/20

    Ish Smith will never be mistaken for a sharpshooter, but he did take on a relatively large scoring load once he migrated from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Philadelphia 76ers. It's even more impressive that he averaged 14.7 points with Philly, since the Sixers couldn't surround him with any floor-spacing talent and forced him to score over 80 percent of his two-pointers in unassisted fashion

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/25

    Smith's turnover figures are already spectacular, as he coughed up the ball only 2.3 times per contest despite shouldering so much responsibility. But they shine even brighter when you realize that of his 175 total possession-ending mistakes, just 75 were the result of bad passes. Smith could stand to tighten his handles, but he avoided mistakes when he wasn't looking to score. 

    Defense

    28/40

    No matter how the opposition attacked Smith, there was a solid chance they were going to score. That was especially true when they managed to post him up—he allowed 1.04 points per possession and finished in the 15.1 percentile. It's even more troubling that he bled points in pick-and-rolls, giving up 0.86 points per possession (30.1 percentile) on the plays that accounted for 47.7 percent of his defensive work. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Smith constantly attacked the glass and did a fantastic job of attempting to create rebounding opportunities. But his size and hands often betrayed him, as he struggled to wrangle the rock unless no one was within a wingspan of him. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Injuries didn't force Smith to lose points for durability; rather, his style of play did. Compared to other point guards, he didn't endure the same physical load during his average outing.

    Overall

    72/100

    As soon as Smith gave the Sixers a legitimate presence at the 1, the offense started to experience some semblance of flow. His defense and lack of shooting confidence prevent him from emerging as a bona fide starter on a quality team, and he'll now settle in as a convincing backup for the Detroit Pistons. But he still maximized his talents in 2015-16. 

49. Arron Afflalo, SG, Sacramento Kings

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    Scoring

    17/25

    Arron Afflalo remains one of the league's most dangerous post-up threats, often taking advantage of undersized players who aren't used to defending on the blocks. He scored 1.03 points per possession in those situations, putting him in the league's 90.1 percentile. The rest of Afflalo's offensive profile was far less noteworthy. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Once upon a time, Afflalo was a decent distributor who kept his head up and looked to involve his teammates. Perhaps it's because so many members of the New York Knicks struggled to score, but this 2-guard seemed to loathe that role in 2015-16. At least he remained a solid off-ball threat. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Afflalo finished in the 18.7 percentile for isolation defense and was similarly overmatched when caught in a pick-and-roll—33.3 percentile. He's involved off the ball, but his value is still dampened by his struggles in closing out spot-up players in timely fashion.  

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Afflalo may have averaged 3.7 rebounds per game and 4.0 per 36 minutes, but that's largely because he's an opportunistic player who eschews contact after shots go up. Put him in a contested situation, and he's far less likely to grab a board than most backcourt players.

    Durability

    10/10

    Due to a strained left hamstring, a balky knee and a strained right abdominal muscle, Afflalo missed 11 games in 2015-16. That put him on the cusp of losing a durability point, but his significant role in New York's rotation and constant activity prevented that. 

    Overall

    73/100

    He has value as a non-traditional backcourt scorer (thank you, post-ups) who can also fill the archetypal role as a perimeter shooter, and he at least tries hard as an off-ball defender. But as the Sacramento Kings will now discover, Afflalo is no longer able to fill a volume-scoring role, and his point-preventing and assist-creating flaws leave him as little more than a low-end starter who is trending in the wrong direction as he adjusts to life on the unfortunate side of 30. 

48. Darren Collison, PG, Sacramento Kings

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    Scoring

    15/20

    Darren Collison came off the bench for much of 2015-16 and was never a primary scoring threat, but he stealthily maximized his value by coming fairly close to the vaunted 50/40/90 club. While averaging 14 points, he knocked down 48.6 percent of his field-goal attempts, hit 40.1 percent of his treys and connected from the free-throw line at an 85.8 percent clip. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/25

    Collison was solid without standing out. His ratio of assists to turnovers stood at a fine level without topping three. He generated a reasonable number of dimes, given his role in the Sacramento Kings offense. And he excelled as a spot-up marksman, although he didn't exert the corresponding level of gravity you might expect from a shooter of his caliber. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Few point guards were better at playing on-ball defense in 2015-16. However, few were worse when left in an assignment with someone who wasn't dribbling. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    "Nondescript" is the best word to describe Collison's rebounding, whether we're looking at the number of chances he created, his ability to covert them or his knack for earning contested boards. 

    Durability

    9/10

    A sore hamstring was the only thing that hampered Collison during his age-28 campaign, but he still didn't fill a large enough physical role to earn the perfect durability score. In ICE's physio load metric, as provided by B/R Insights, he finished in the 59.5 percentile. 

    Overall

    73/100

    Collison may have filled a backup role, but he played with the talent of a starter. This shouldn't be surprising, since he was coming off a strong 2014-15 campaign before Sacramento decided to push him to the pine in favor of Rajon Rondo. If he could grow a bit more disciplined on the defensive end, his enduring quickness and shooting touch would make him a legitimate mid-tier starter. 

47. Kyle Korver, SG, Atlanta Hawks

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    Scoring

    12/25

    Kyle Korver had a down year, and he still knocked down 39.8 percent of his triples while taking five per game. Particularly at this stage of his career, no one will mistake him for a tremendous scoring threat. Nonetheless, his work as a sniper keeps him valuable to the Atlanta Hawks as he regresses from an All-Star campaign in 2014-15 that was never sustainable. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    17/20

    Schemes are still built around preventing Korver from receiving catch-and-shoot opportunities as he darts through countless screens. He failed to lead the league in three-point percentage for the third consecutive season, but no defender was ever going to forget where he was positioned. Korver's distributing also remained solid, even if he failed to rack up assists. He's an underrated outlet passer and never hesitates to skip the ball around the perimeter while looking for his team's best shot. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Korver finished with an above-average defensive box plus/minus for the fourth consecutive season—interestingly, that coincides exactly with his time in Atlanta—and ESPN's defensive real plus/minus gave him the No. 6 score at shooting guard. Korver doesn't possess the athleticism to play lockdown defense, but his quick hands and innate understanding of schematic advantages ensure he disrupts plenty of possessions.

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Though Korver doesn't hesitate to challenge bigger players, his perimeter positioning and Atlanta's calculated decision to spurn rebounding chances for transition defense and quick outlets prevent him from racking up boards. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Korver suited up 80 games for the Hawks and suffered exactly zero significant injuries. Beyond that, his constant motion while seeking open looks led to an incredible work rate. According to ICE data provided by B/R Insights, he finished in the 92.39 percentile for total physio load, regardless of position. 

    Overall

    73/100

    If you were expecting a repeat of 2014-15—a season that saw Korver average 12.1 points per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the field, 49.2 percent from downtown and 89.8 percent from the free-throw line—you shouldn't have. Even as he suffered inevitable regression, the sharpshooter remained one of the Association's most dangerous perimeter threats and continued to serve as an underrated player in almost every other facet of the game. 

46. Dennis Schroder, PG, Atlanta Hawks

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    Scoring

    12/20

    The jumper that was so broken during his rookie and sophomore seasons is beginning to come around, but Dennis Schroder still knocked down only 32.2 percent of his triples as a junior. The aggressive instincts and knack for getting to the rim are there, and his free-throw shooting (79.1 percent) indicates he should be able to make perimeter jumpers. Consistency, however, is still missing. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/25

    Though Schroder's percentages aren't great, he did excel as a spot-up shooter. When allowed to set up on the perimeter rather than dribble into his offense, he hit a strong clip and forced opponents to respect his presence. Now he just needs to cut back on the turnovers (2.3 per game) as his court vision improves. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Schroder is fantastic on the ball. He has the speed and intensity to hound almost any ball-handler, and his quick hands lead to some easy steals. But he gambles far too much in off-ball scenarios, which puts unnecessary pressure on the Hawks' interior stoppers. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    When Schroder is able to dart into the paint and beat everyone to an easy rebound, he's at his best. But those opportunities don't come too frequently, and he's far more likely to jet out and await a transition pass for the break. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Schroder played 80 games, but his workload was rather light. As quick and nimble as he appears, he takes too many possessions off and still shies away from contact. 

    Overall

    73/100

    Sometimes, Schroder looks like a future star. He can burst past almost any defender and does have stretches where he complements his driving game with a good-looking perimeter stroke and intense on-ball defense. It's the other times that depress his score and have kept him from emerging as an upper-tier floor general at this early stage of his NBA career. 

45. Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns

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    Scoring

    19/25

    Rookies aren't supposed to look this comfortable. Devin Booker battled inconsistent percentages throughout his first season with the Phoenix Suns, but he scored points in bunches and didn't hesitate to shoulder significant offensive responsibilities that often asked him to create his own looks. It wouldn't be surprising if this is the lowest score he receives in this category for the next decade, given his proficiency with and without the ball. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    16/20

    The only flaw is Booker's lackluster passing. He generated only 2.6 assists per game while turning the ball over 2.1 times per contest, and that ratio won't get the job done in the backcourt. He should grow along with the rest of the young Phoenix Suns, but that will require acceptance that he can't look to shoot on almost every possession, no matter how talented a scorer he may be. 

    Defense

    26/40

    Booker was one of the league's worst defenders during his rookie season. According to ESPN's defensive real plus/minus, he was better than only Bojan Bogdanovic (listed as a swingman in NBA 200) and Archie Goodwin among listed shooting guards. Only three more players are added to the list if we open it up to all positions. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    He created a handful of opportunities every game but was atrocious at converting them into actual boards. However, Booker did benefit from playing on an up-tempo team whose games often saw extra shots get lofted up and miss. 

    Durability

    10/10

    An ankle injury hindered Booker at the beginning of his rookie season, but he still played 76 games for the Suns and remained active whenever on the floor. 

    Overall

    73/100

    It's clear that Booker will develop into an offensive stud. He showed flashes of that potential throughout his rookie season, even if he had trouble maintaining respectable shooting percentages and forgot to involve his teammates at times. Defense is the far bigger concern, since it's tough to find anything positive to say. He'll be valuable even if he's a one-way player, but the Suns would prefer two-way strides. 

44. Jarrett Jack, PG, Atlanta Hawks

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    Scoring

    15/20

    Jarrett Jack struggled with his shot from all areas in 2015-16, to the point he almost failed to clear both basketball Mendoza Lines—40 percent from the field and 30 percent from downtown. But he was also playing on a putrid offense that asked him to create almost all of his own opportunities. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/25

    His awful shooting led to the lowest off-ball offense score imaginable. ICE data, per B/R Insights, put him just outside the top 300 for combined spot-up shooting and gravity. But he was fantastic as a distributor, racking up a career-best 8.3 assists per 36 minutes without seeing his turnovers rise into unpalatable territory. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Most point guards who don't thrive on defense tend to experience their shortcomings in off-ball situations. But Jack was different, holding his own everywhere without excelling or falling flat in any one area. He struggled when guarding spot-up shooters, but he made up for that by attacking handoffs well and fighting his way through screens in proper fashion. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Averaging 4.8 rebounds per 36 minutes isn't too shabby. However, the number loses some of its luster when nearly every one came in uncontested fashion. Jack doesn't exhibit much physicality after a shot goes up, and that necessitated a heavy reliance on long caroms. 

    Durability

    7/10

    A sore left hamstring was Jack's first injury concern. But the one that ended his season—and tenure with the Brooklyn Nets, as he's now signed with the Atlanta Hawks—with only 32 appearances on the ledger was a torn ACL in his right knee. He was quite active while healthy, but missing over half the season doesn't bode well. 

    Overall

    74/100

    Before tearing his ACL, he was a solid presence for the Nets. Jack's role forced his shooting percentages into unnecessarily low territory, but he held his own as a shot-creator—both for himself and his teammates. There are plenty of worse options than this primary backup. 

43. Alec Burks, CG, Utah Jazz

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    Scoring

    16/23

    Alec Burks struggles to score unless he's right around the basket or taking shots from beyond the arc. Fortunately for the Utah Jazz, those two areas help mitigate his poor mid-range shooting, especially because he connects on threes over 40 percent of the time and has proved capable of making constant trips to the charity stripe. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/22

    Even though Burks once worked on his point guard skills with none other than John Stockton, he still hasn't turned into a reliable distributor. Despite spending 30 percent of his minutes at the 1, Burks rarely functions as a distributor and often struggles to record more assists than turnovers. 

    Defense

    33/40

    He can easily lose his mark off the ball, but Burks has the physical tools to thrive in one-on-one situations. Whether he was guarding point guards or shooting guards, the fifth-year player held his man to 0.68 points per possession in isolation and finished in the 84.2 percentile

    Rebounding

    4/5

    A limited role and Utah's active, massive starting bigs prevented Burks from becoming one of the league's best guards on the glass, but he still converted 55.5 percent of his opportunities. Nearly one-quarter of them came with another player within a wingspan—those aren't numbers you typically see from backcourt members. 

    Durability

    7/10

    With the exception of his 2013-14 campaign, Burks has had trouble staying healthy. He played only 31 games for the Jazz last season, being knocked out of action first by a fractured fibula in his left leg and then a sore right knee that eventually led to arthroscopic surgery. 

    Overall

    74/100

    Once the future of the Jazz's shooting guard position, Burks has been hampered by near-constant injuries and the emergence of Rodney Hood. He's learned to function at the 1 while operating with a more limited role, but that hasn't prevented this 6'6" guard from exerting himself as a positive offensive force, thanks primarily to his three-point shooting and ability to draw fouls. 

42. Deron Williams, CG, Dallas Mavericks

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    Scoring

    16/23

    Deron Williams' shot is no longer as reliable as during his All-Star days, but two components of his scoring game allows him to do more than tread water. When he draws fouls—another thing he doesn't do as well now that he's out of his prime—he can convert at the line (86.9 percent last year), and he creates a remarkable number of his own looks. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/22

    Even without a reliable jumper, Williams knocked down 39.3 percent of his spot-up triples, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. But it's still his passing that does the majority of the damage, since the talent that once made him a constant double-digit assist threat is still there. His role is more limited, but he correspondingly depresses his turnover figures and remains an efficient distributor. 

    Defense

    29/40

    Williams' physicality once made him a terrifying defender, and that's remained true when he's in on-ball situations that don't require too much lateral movement. Beating him in isolation isn't an easy feat, which is why the veteran point guard finished in the 77.7 percentile there. But he doesn't possess as much quickness anymore, and his off-ball work is unfocused. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Even during his prime, Williams wasn't a dominant rebounder. That hasn't changed, as he averaged a mere 3.2 boards per 36 minutes during his age-31 season. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Williams played in 65 games, missing time because of a lengthy list of various maladies—a sprained left knee, illness, a strained left hamstring, team-mandated rest, a bruised hip and then a strained left abdominal that led to a sports hernia and eventually knocked him out for the year. Fortunately, his physio load—when healthy—was large enough that the absences weren't too damaging here. 

    Overall

    74/100

    Williams isn't an All-Star anymore, and the days of 20-point, 10-assist outings are long gone (he had just two in 2015-16). So he instead minimizes his mistakes and provides timely contributions with spot-up shooting and drives to the hoop. Williams can put together flashes of his old ability, just not sustained stretches. 

41. Elfrid Payton, PG, Orlando Magic

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    Scoring

    12/20

    Even with an improved jumper, Elfrid Payton had trouble asserting himself as a scoring threat for the Orlando Magic. His perimeter game is still too shaky to draw respect from defenders, and the team's sagging style makes it more difficult for him to penetrate and finish around the hoop. Payton could be an aggressive scorer in the future, but he's not there yet. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/25

    No one has much respect for Payton when he's watching the action from the wings, since they only have to worry about him cutting to the hoop. However, they have to fear his impressive distributing, especially now that a lower percentage of his turnovers stem from bad passes and he's racking up even more assists per 36 minutes (7.9). 

    Defense

    31/40

    Payton hasn't been the lockdown defender he was during his time with Louisiana-Lafayette, and his flaws stem from his ball-watching habits when he's working away from the play. However, he'll dominate if you put him in an isolation set—allowing just 0.67 points per possession in iso, he finished in the 86.4 percentile. Unfortunately for the Magic, teams know this and adjust. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Though he didn't show any hesitation to elevate for a rebound in traffic, Payton must do a better job of converting on the chances he earns. He creates plenty of them, but the fact he turned less than half into actual rebounds is troubling and means he would be better served remaining on the perimeter and awaiting kick-out opportunities. 

    Durability

    10/10

    A bruised left ankle and sprained right elbow were the worst blows he suffered, and they kept him out of the lineup for a total of nine games. He was on the cusp of losing one point for durability, but his activity level negated that possibility. 

    Overall

    74/100

    Payton hasn't turned into a star, and it's unlikely he will until he becomes a significant threat from the outside and learns how to remain more disciplined while playing off-ball defense. But there's no doubt this young floor general is slowly improving, and his development was most notable when watching his ability to finish plays around the hoop. 

40. Rajon Rondo, CG, Chicago Bulls

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    Scoring

    16/23

    Averaging 11.9 points won't put anyone in contention for a scoring title, but that's valuable when it comes on 45.4 percent shooting from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. Last year, Rajon Rondo's perimeter game was leaps and bounds better than it's been recently, and he's never had problems creating his own looks. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/22

    Rondo remains one of the league's most creative passers. He'll soon show the Chicago Bulls how he can see alleys no one else can find, and he possesses the requisite skill to squeeze the sphere into that speck of space. Not a single player posted a higher score in our facilitating metric. It's only his off-ball work that's troubling here, since he's not a dominant spot-up threat and defenses treat him as such. 

    Defense

    27/40

    Remember when Rondo was the league's best defensive point guard? Not anymore. Per ESPN.com, his defensive real plus/minus left him as a distinct negative, trailing 28 other players listed as 1-guards. When you watch, he seems even worse. There's an obvious lack of effort both on and off the ball, as Rondo is far too willing to let his bigs clean up behind him. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Rondo's 6.2 rebounds per 36 minutes are impressive for any guard, but too many of those came in uncontested fashion to earn a perfect score. Our metric tries to evaluate how many boards a player would record if every chance was contested, and Rondo fell just short during his lone season with the Sacramento Kings. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Rondo missed 10 games in 2015-16, and the reasons for the absences were rather varied—a one-game suspension for using profanity directed toward a referee and failing to leave the court after he was ejected, back spasms, right thumb tendinitis, a sprained right thumb, a sprained toe and days off for rest. 

    Overall

    74/100

    Rondo may be the NBA's most unique player at this stage of his career, especially now that his improving jumper belies a reputation that defenders can sag off him. He's a talented passer with great rebounding vision and defensive instincts, but he still chases assists at the expense of making proper plays, and his defense is often uninspired, which prevents him from realizing the full extent of his enduring potential. 

39. Cory Joseph, CG, Toronto Raptors

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    Scoring

    13/23

    Apparently, Cory Joseph's shooting strides during his final season with the San Antonio Spurs were fluky. His three-point percentage plummeted to an unsightly 27.3 last year, and that made it hard for him to excel as a scorer in his limited role for the Toronto Raptors. Joseph is capable of getting off his own shots from all over the half-court set, but he needs to tweak his form in order to become more consistent. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/22

    Joseph's cutting ability and knack for creating space allowed him to remain a decent off-ball threat, but he still failed to stand out. His passing fell into similar territory, since he kept his turnovers in check but often served as a secondary distributor when sharing the court with another prominent guard. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Joseph's 6'3" frame prevents him from serving as a true lockdown defender when assigned to a 2-guard, but his off-ball work is often immaculate. He's constantly involved in the proceedings, and it's nearly impossible to lose him through a maze of screens and moving bodies. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Joseph is aggressive after a shot goes up, often seeking caroms and venturing into the painted area for his chances. But he struggles to corral misses and often comes up short by small margins, whether because he can't secure them right away or because he just doesn't possess the necessary size to elevate over bigger rebounders. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Joseph didn't suffer a single injury in 2015-16 and missed just two games late in the campaign. Those were to keep him fresh down the stretch, since he had proved so durable while maintaining a high physio load whenever he was on the floor. 

    Overall

    74/100

    This 25-year-old has become exactly what you want in a backup guard, thriving regardless of the role he's asked to fill. When at the 1, he's capable of minimizing his mistakes and generating easy looks for himself and others while playing solid off-ball defense. When at the 2, he can use his energy on defense to provide stellar off-ball work. 

38. Derrick Rose, PG, New York Knicks

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    Scoring

    16/20

    Even during his MVP campaign, Derrick Rose wasn't one of the league's most efficient scorers. That hasn't changed now that he's in the post-prime portion of his career, but he's making up for the many misses by creating a ton of his own offense. Just 22.3 percent of his made two-pointers came off a feed, though that could change as he joins a New York Knicks squad that has more ball-handling presences. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/25

    Rose's shot isn't consistent enough to demand off-ball attention, but he nearly negates that shortcoming with his passing. The 2015-16 season saw the former MVP record fewer turnovers per game than since his rookie go-round, but he kept putting up respectable assist totals while racking up secondary dimes and often leading his teammates to the free-throw line with timely passes. 

    Defense

    29/40

    Rose has the requisite quickness to close out against spot-up shooters and excels in isolation. But whether he's saving energy for the offensive end or simply confused by some of the more complicated sets, he gets in trouble whenever defense requires more movement around the court. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Slightly above-average in most areas, this point guard aided the Chicago Bulls on the glass, but only by a meager amount. He's not afraid of contact, occasionally goes up against bigger players and is usually active when the ball winds up in his area. However, he rarely goes out of his way to chase rebounds.   

    Durability

    9/10

    It might be shocking to see Rose lose only a single point for durability, but he did play 66 games while fighting through a laundry list of maladies: a fractured left orbital bone, a sprained left ankle, right hamstring tendinitis (twice), left knee patellar tendinitis, general soreness, a strained left abductor and a bruised left elbow. He kept working to get back in the lineup and maintained a high work load while on the floor. 

    Overall

    75/100

    Get used to this Rose, because it's the one we're likely to see going forward. Despite appearing in 66 contests, he completed only a single dunk and was forced to use his declining explosiveness in more acrobatic fashion around the hoop. Developing a consistent jumper would do wonders for his game, because his drives don't inspire the same level of fear they did before his injury woes. 

37. Jordan Clarkson, SG, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Scoring

    20/25

    Jordan Clarkson made strides during his sophomore season as a quality marksman rather than being a huge liability from beyond the arc. Yet, that's only a small part of his impressive scoring profile, since he's comfortable shouldering a lot of offensive responsibility, finishing plays from every two-point zone and creating plenty of his own looks. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    13/20

    Clarkson didn't run the point as often last year as during his rookie season, but he still showed off his passing tools with some regularity. Though the gaudy assist totals weren't there, you don't have to dig deep to realize he was generating secondary dimes and free-throw assists while avoiding careless mistakes. A lack of distributing opportunities and his poor outside shooting hold him back in this category, but it's not like he's an offensive liability when not scoring. 

    Defense

    28/40

    Clarkson is, however, a defensive liability. His lack of lateral quickness holds him back against nearly every assignment, and he still falls asleep when guarding spot-up shooters. The one noticeable positive was his ability to make the right decision going over or under screens in pick-and-roll sets. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Clarkson can't quite hang with the best backcourt rebounders, but he's comfortable hanging around the trees and boxing out bigger players to grab a contested board. He's willing to dart toward a long carom and anticipate the ball's arrival. He's constantly active. Now if only he didn't have quite as many opportunities slip through his fingers. 

    Durability

    10/10

    A sprained right ankle and a minor knee issue were the only things that kept this sophomore out of the lineup. Clarkson ended up playing 79 games and logged 32.3 minutes per contest, which guarantees a perfect durability grade. 

    Overall

    75/100

    After his rookie season, Clarkson had not proved his staying power. It was quite possible he was the product of opportunity on a struggling Los Angeles Lakers squad devoid of quality guards and overall talent. But his sophomore campaign should erase those concerns, as Clarkson coexisted with D'Angelo Russell and Kobe Bryant while continuing to establish himself as an offensive threat. 

36. Jeremy Lin, CG, Brooklyn Nets

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    Scoring

    14/23

    Nothing about Jeremy Lin's box-score numbers stand out: He averaged 11.7 points, shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 33.6 percent from deep territory and 81.5 percent at the stripe. But Lin's ability to create his own looks in pick-and-roll sets, constantly probing until he works his way toward the hoop, still makes him an above-average scoring threat. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/22

    Remember when turnover problems plagued this guard during his Linsanity days with the New York Knicks? Nothing could be further from the truth now, as he averaged just 1.9 cough-ups per game and a meager 2.6 per 36 minutes. He doesn't create for teammates as often anymore, and his spot-up game is lackluster at best, but his knack for minimizing mistakes ensures enduring value. 

    Defense

    32/40

    If you're going to score on Lin, do it away from the primary action. He understands the nuances of pick-and-roll offense so well that he can capably cover both ball-handlers and roll men, and his isolation work is solid. It's his willingness to chase momentum-swinging steals that causes trouble. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Lin won't blow you away with his rebounding totals—he never hit double digits for the Charlotte Hornets and topped out with nine against the Brooklyn Nets in mid-November. But he's a valuable presence on the glass because of his desire to fight for chances against bigger players in his territory. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Playing 78 games during his lone Charlotte season, Lin only missed time to let his sprained right ankle and sore lower back heal. He should continue to showcase that durability while starting for the Brooklyn Nets in 2016-17.

    Overall

    75/100

    Quietly, Lin was one of the league's most valuable sixth men. As strong as Kemba Walker was as the Hornets' starting point guard, Lin was nearly as important because he could come into the game—either alongside Walker or as his replacement—and keep the offense flowing. Turnovers are no longer holding him back, and he's willing to play within a diminished role that lets him exert all his energy in shorter spurts. 

35. J.R. Smith, SG, Free Agent

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    Scoring

    15/25

    J.R. Smith does indeed shoot jumpers better when a defender is right up in his grill (35.7 percent on threes with the nearest defender within two feet) than not (31.5 percent when between two and four feet). But that quirk alone, while subjectively impressive and interesting, can't save him from his struggles within the arc and diminished scoring role for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Non-Scoring Offense

    17/20

    No defender will neglect Smith when he's spotting up on the perimeter, especially as he spent the 2015-16 season torturing opponents in an off-ball setting. He's a bit weaker as a distributor, but his turnover-averse nature and willingness to share the rock benefit him.  

    Defense

    32/40

    Smith is an active defender and can spend significant portions of games producing a simulacrum of shutdown defense. But he's also prone to mental lapses and can be abused by shooting guards who serve as pick-and-roll ball-handlersSmith finished in just the 23.6 percentile, and opponents took advantage by forcing him into that troublesome spot on 28.3 percent of his possessions. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    During his prime years with the Nuggets and Knicks, Smith was a high-quality rebounder who wasn't afraid to compete for boards with far bigger players. But 2015-16 saw a different story emerge, as he produced fewer rebounds per 36 minutes than he has since a rookie season just one year removed from high school. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Though a bruised right knee hampered him at the beginning of his first full season in Northeast Ohio, Smith managed to suit up for 75 games and was quite active while on the floor. 

    Overall

    76/100

    The mercurial Smith accepted his role with the Cavaliers and thrived in it. Though he still had to cede touches to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, he made the most of his possessions by blossoming into a three-and-D shooting guard capable of and—even more importantly—willing to make the right play at the right time. It's no fluke that his team was better with him on the floor.

34. Will Barton, SG, Denver Nuggets

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    Scoring

    19/25

    Will Barton did more than double his previous career high in points per game, jumping from 6.8 to 14.4; he also improved each of his shooting percentages while becoming a versatile threat. Though his 46 dunks highlighted offensive production, he learned how to finish contested plays around the basket and became less of a perimeter liability when working off the ball. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Barton still struggled as a spot-up shooter, but defenses had to pay attention to his whereabouts in case he sneaked a backdoor cut to the hoop. Much to the Nuggets' pleasure, he was also able to mitigate the ill effects of his perimeter weaknesses by serving as a willing passer who could hit cutters and kick the ball out when too much pressure around the rim greeted his drives. 

    Defense

    30/40

    He possesses the requisite athleticism to become an impact defender but was worse in this area than any other. Barton's only saving grace came in isolation, where he realized his physicality and quickness made it difficult for others to get around him. He finished in the 94.5 percentile there, but it accounted for just 7.5 percent of his possessions—the third-lowest mark among qualified Nuggets. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Barton qualified for these rankings as a shooting guard, but he still stands at 6'6" and is capable of skying above many bigger players. Hopefully, he gets a more involved going forward, because he converts a high percentage of his chances and is one of the better contested rebounders in any NBA backcourt. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Though Barton suited up all 82 games and logged 28.7 minutes per contest, he lost a point here for his ball-watching defensive tendencies and his willingness to take possessions off by standing stagnant on the wings. He logged one of the lowest physio intensities of any qualified guard, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. 

    Overall

    76/100

    Barton finished fifth in the voting for Most Improved Player, trailing only C.J. McCollum, Kemba Walker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry. You could make a legitimate case he should have finished even higher, given his transition from a seldom-used role player who occasionally dazzled crowds with transition slams into a reliable scoring presence and key rotation member. Barton didn't make the cut for last year's NBA 200, finishing with a grade of 62 that left him at No. 229. Now, he's one of the league's 100 best players. 

33. Patrick Beverley, PG, Houston Rockets

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    Scoring

    10/20

    Could Patrick Beverley handle a larger scoring load if he didn't play next to James Harden? It's possible, given his ability to create his own looks inside the arc and solid percentages across the board. But we're not dealing in hypotheticals here, and Beverley's limited role forces him into a similarly limited score. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/25

    Beverley thrived in spot-up situations, producing a 61.1 effective field-goal percentage, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. But defenses still didn't respect his shot and preferred to focus on the Rockets' other offensive threats, which led to a lower gravity score. That, coupled with the amount of time he spent off the ball, keeps him from rising into elite territory. 

    Defense

    34/40

    Spotting up against Beverley sometimes works—hallowed 0.91 points per possessions, which left him in the 65.7 percentile. Going against him in a pick-and-roll set almost never does. He gave up just 0.67 points per possession to ball-handlers in those situations, which put him in the 85.5 percentile. Beverley has few defensive weaknesses, but opponents torched him to the tune of 1.21 points per isolation possession, and that's only good enough for the 3.3 percentile. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    Beverley's gritty, aggressive personality worked wonders on the glass, where he was able to average 4.4 rebounds per 36 minutes. That's not an impressive figure in a vacuum, but he converted a large number of his chances and was one of only nine true point guards to average at least one contested board per game. 

    Durability

    10/10

    A concussion and recurring ankle problems kept Beverley from playing more than 71 games, but his physicality made up for the absences. Almost no one at his position surpassed the intensity of his actions. 

    Overall

    77/100

    By hitting 40 percent of his triples and thriving as a spot-up shooter, Beverley became a much more versatile contributor. He maintained his defensive excellence and also turned into a complementary guard for the Rockets' star player in Harden. So long as Beverley starts to prove this shooting improvement wasn't a fluke, he'll reap the benefits when defenses begin to pay him proper respect. 

32. Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs

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    Scoring

    15/25

    Manu Ginobili's oft-ballyhooed creativity will never allow mediocrity in the scoring department. Even though he averaged single-digit points (9.6) for the first time since his rookie season back in 2002-03, he thrived from beyond the arc and created a sterling percentage of his own looks. It's strange to see this Eurostepping legend needing assists on more than half of his made two-pointers for the first time in his Hall of Fame career, but 54.3 percent is nothing to be ashamed of. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/20

    Per ICE data provided by B/R Insights, Ginobili connected on 41.7 percent of his triples when spotting up. No sane defender was ever going to leave him open, especially because that percentage only seemed to trend upward during key moments. And while the Argentine's role in the San Antonio Spurs system was diminished, he still produced plenty of spectacular assists that showcased the full breadth of his savviness. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Ginobili has never been a lockdown defender, but he was solid in most situations during his age-38 season. His quick hands and understanding of situations and schemes benefit him immensely, and he rarely allows himself to get caught in detrimental scenarios. Of course, he could stand to be far more involved off the ball.

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Among the shooting guards we analyzed for NBA 200, only 14 averaged at least 0.8 contested rebounds per game. Only two did so without generating more than five rebounding chances per outing—Ginobili (0.8 and 4.7) and Gerald Henderson (0.8 and 4.8). This 2-guard didn't chase misses nearly enough to establish himself as one of the best backcourt board-crashers, but he made the most of his opportunities. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Ginobili was out more than a month after going under the knife for testicular surgery during early February. Between that, age-necessitated rest and a strained abductor, he played only 58 games. 

    Overall

    77/100

    Ginobili sees angles most other players can't fathom, and he possesses the innate body control to squeeze either himself or the ball through those tight spaces. Even as age saps his athleticism and leads to a diminished role, he remains productive because of his craftiness and enduring skill. 

31. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Detroit Pistons

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    Scoring

    18/25

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can't shoot from outside the arc—which is still a bit weird, given his sniping sophomore season with the Georgia Bulldogs—but he's developed into a tremendous mid-range threat, and his athleticism allows him to finish plays around the hoop that not many other guards are capable of. Those strides, along with his increased ability to create off the bounce, made him one of the NBA's most improved scoring threats last year.

    Non-Scoring Offense

    12/20

    Defenders don't have to stick with him around the perimeter, but they do have to respect Caldwell-Pope's cutting ability. They also don't have to fear his facilitating, since he can find teammates but rarely chooses to do so and turns the ball over nearly as often. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Caldwell-Pope's off-ball defense was incredible. Not only was he involved at all times, striving to insert himself in as many plays as possible, but he also held his assignments to reasonable percentages when they were spotting up. It's on the ball that he struggled, since he still doesn't understand the nuances of pick-and-roll defense and can get beaten to spots in isolation. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Though he's not active enough on the glass to earn a perfect score, Caldwell-Pope deserves a lot of credit for being so efficient. When he chooses to get a rebound, he's going to do so despite the bigger players around him. A staggering 62.7 percent of his opportunities turned into actual boards. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Only a dozen players logged more time on the floor than Caldwell-Pope, who suited up in 76 games for the Pistons and averaged 36.7 minutes. He missed time to let a strained groin and strained core muscle heal, but that didn't hold him back here. 

    Overall

    77/100

    Caldwell-Pope hasn't yet become the perfect fit for head coach Stan Van Gundy's four-out, one-in ideologies, and he won't until he hones his three-point stroke. But his cutting ability, knack for creating his own looks and engaged defense still make him an asset in the scheme. He's a jumper away from throwing his name into the mix as one of the league's elite 2-guards. 

30. Avery Bradley, SG, Boston Celtics

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    Scoring

    17/25

    Avery Bradley isn't a go-to scorer for the Boston Celtics, but he's emerged as a strong secondary option because of his ability to knock down shots from so many different areas. His 36.1 percent shooting from three-point territory doesn't stand out. Nor do his mid-range jumpers. But the combination of so many solid zones and his impressive finishing acumen (71.8 percent from inside three feet) makes him a viable option. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    12/20

    Just above-average in both components of this category—off-ball offense and facilitating—Bradley can hold his own without serving as a game-changing presence. He's rarely asked to fill a distributing role but can find open teammates, and defenses can't treat him as a liability when he's spotting up. 

    Defense

    36/40

    Bradley finished in the 81.5 percentile for isolation (an impressive spot for someone who constantly shifts over to the opposition's tougher backcourt player) and was better than average when covering ball-handlers in pick-and-roll sets. He's a tenacious ball hawk in on-ball situations, and his constant involvement away from the primary action helps cover up for his willingness to gamble and get caught behind screens when chasing shooters. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Bradley is only 6'2", and this is the first time he qualifies solely as a shooting guard, not as a point or combo guard. He would be slightly above-average against those smaller positions, but his rebounding can't stack up against the bigger guards. 

    Durability

    10/10

    A leg injury, a bruised left hip, a strained right hamstring and unspecified personal reasons kept Bradley out of the lineup for a grand total of six games. Those few absences weren't enough to counteract his hefty playing time (33.4 minutes per contest) and two-way activity. 

    Overall

    77/100

    Bradley remains one of the league's most committed defensive presences, as he is willing and able to pick up a tough assignment for the full length of the hardwood. Preventing points is his enduring specialty, but he continues to grow as a perimeter sniper and finisher around the hoop. 

29. J.J. Redick, SG, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Scoring

    18/25

    Say hello to your leader in three-point percentage. J.J. Redick knocked down a staggering 47.5 percent of his treys while taking 5.6 per game, and he still managed to contribute in a number of other areas. He may not finish strong at the hoop, but you can't leave him open anywhere outside the paint (or send him to the free-throw stripe). 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/20

    Few players exhibit stronger gravity than Redick, which shouldn't be surprising. It's only his passing that holds him back here, since he often struggles to record more assists than turnovers even though he rarely coughs up the ball. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Redick has never been a shutdown defender. Instead, he's a risk-averse defender who sticks with his assignment through pick-and-rolls, off-ball screens and perimeter spot-ups; he's eager to help out the Los Angeles Clippers without pushing his limitations. There's value in that, even if it limits his defensive ceiling. 

    Rebounding

    1/5

    Always a rebounding liability, Redick sank to a new low in 2015-16 by averaging just 2.4 boards per 36 minutes. There's no way to make that look respectable. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Redick is active on both ends of the court, and he rarely misses games. Lower back spasms and a sprained right ankle plagued him early in the season, but he was a model of health on a crippled Clippers squad after the All-Star break. 

    Overall

    77/100

    If you looked at Redick's sniping ability and ignored everything else, he'd still be a valuable player. During his career year, he became one of just seven qualified shooters in NBA history to hit at least 45 percent of their threes while taking at least five per game—numbers he exceeded by a substantial margin. But after factoring in his underrated defense and ability to score from inside the arc, he's better still. 

28. Tony Parker, PG, San Antonio Spurs

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    Scoring

    16/20

    Tony Parker doesn't know how to play inefficient basketball. Though he scored fewer points per game (11.9) than he has since his rookie year (9.2), he shot 49.3 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from beyond the arc and 76 percent at the charity stripe. Ever a master of mid-range jumpers, he refused to take shots that fell outside the bounds of either his comfort zone or the San Antonio Spurs' vaunted system. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/25

    Though he isn't a prolific off-ball threat, defenses have to respect Parker's proclivity for working through multiple screens and receiving the rock in an advantageous position. He can torture with his cuts, even if the idea of him shooting a spot-up trey is often laughable. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Whether operating in isolation, posting up or running a pick-and-roll, opponents can often find success against Parker's individual defense. It's his innate understanding of head coach Gregg Popovich's schemes that make him an above-average stopper, since he can shut down passing lanes, time his help and recoveries perfectly and provide proper double-teams. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    If you're expecting a 6'2" point guard who's 34 years old to provide help on the boards, you're foolish. Parker grabs an impressive percentage of his opportunities, but those are few and far between—especially on a San Antonio team that allowed fewer chances than most. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Take this, Father Time: Parker missed only 10 games, and most of the absences were because the Spurs chose to rest him. 

    Overall

    78/100

    Parker is no longer an All-Star floor general, but his craftiness and fundamental understanding of his team's schemes have allowed him to remain a solid starter well into his 30s. He'll never stop knocking down mid-range jumpers and positioning himself well on the defensive end, and those tools have allowed him to combat his slowly rusting wheels. 

27. Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards

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    B. Sevald/Einstein/Getty Images

    Scoring

    20/25

    If there's one thing Bradley Beal can do, it's score the basketball. He's always been a gifted shooter from beyond the arc, and that didn't change in 2015-16 as he knocked down 38.7 percent of his triples while taking 4.9 per game. He could stand to improve his mid-range marksmanship and create a bit more of his own offense, but let's not forget he's still only 23 years old. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    17/20

    Leaving Beal alone on the perimeter is a dumb decision, which is why defenses seldom make that mistake. He can still generate open spot-up looks, but tracking him down is key. Now, he just needs to become more comfortable keeping his head up while dribbling if he's to become a truly elite guard in this category. 

    Defense

    30/40

    As a defender, Beal regressed significantly during his fourth professional season. He held his own when guarding a player with the ball, but he often lost track of his assignments and gambled excessively when placed away from the primary action. Improving against spot-up defenders must become a top priority after he finished in the 5.9 percentile for a scenario that accounted for over a quarter of his defensive possessions. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Beal possesses the athleticism, size (6'5") and instincts necessary to become a standout rebounding guard, but he sometimes plays as if he's afraid to venture into the painted area. Until he earns more chances on the glass instead of letting his teammates do the heavy lifting, he'll be only slightly above-average. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Given his injury history and the indisputable fact he only suited up 55 times, it may seem surprising to see Beal losing just two points for his durability. However, this Washington Wizard was quite active when on the floor, maintaining an upper-tier physio intensity for his position, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. 

    Overall

    78/100

    At some point, Beal will have to develop if he's going to justify the hype and money he receives. No one is denying his prowess as a perimeter scorer, but his inability to stay on the floor (this time, due to a sore left shoulder, stress reaction in right leg, fractured nose, concussion and sprained pelvis), defensive regression and non-elite shooting inside the arc have to temper the excitement about his unrealized potential. Fortunately for the Wizards, it may only take one healthy season for him to expedite his development and prove the doubters wrong. 

26. Zach LaVine, CG, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

    Scoring

    17/23

    The first half of Zach LaVine's sophomore season held him back, but he was one of the league's more dangerous scoring guards after the All-Star break. After Feb. 19, he averaged 16.4 points while shooting 48 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from beyond the arc. Everything clicked when he was no longer tasked with creating so much of his own offense. If his mid-range jumper follows the same developmental path his three-point stroke did in 2015-16, he'll be yet another alpha dog on a Minnesota Timberwolves roster brimming over with them. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/22

    According to ICE data provided by B/R Insights, only 21 players had a higher cumulative score in gravitational pull and spot-up sniping. Defenders had to respect his 43.7 percent deep shooting in those situations, but they also couldn't get too close due to the risk of him darting to the hoop for an alley-oop finish. Only his passing holds him back here, and even that should improve as he's no longer playing at the point and doesn't need to force too many feeds into tight spaces. 

    Defense

    30/40

    It's no surprise the 'Wolves allowed an additional 5.5 points per 100 possessions when LaVine was on the floor. Though his athleticism allowed him to erase some of his teammates' mistakes with quick help, he was entirely undisciplined in just about every situation. Minnesota collectively struggled on defense, but two of the easiest ways to score against it were isolating LaVine in the post (12.1 percentile) or running him through off-ball screens (42.7 percentile). 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    You might expect a player who can almost literally fly to excel on the glass, but LaVine regressed after a strong rookie showing. Though he converted a high percentage of his rebounding opportunities and wasn't scared to go after a missed shot against bigger players, he often was content to hang around the perimeter and let his teammates do the heavy lifting. 

    Durability

    10/10

    LaVine didn't miss a single game and averaged 28 minutes per contest. His defensive woes contributed to a sub-standard physio load for his position, but he still spent so much time on the floor that we can't detract from his durability. 

    Overall

    78/100

    Once the Timberwolves figured out LaVine was best suited as a 2-guard playing next to a primary floor general, everything clicked. He developed into a dangerous spot-up threat and transition terror who could use his energy and athleticism advantageously instead of trying to involve his teammates in a way that didn't maximize his strengths. For example, Minnesota produced a minus-0.8 net rating when Rubio and LaVine shared the court, as opposed to a minus-11.3 net rating when LaVine was on and Rubio off, per NBAWowy.com

25. Monta Ellis, SG, Indiana Pacers

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    Scoring

    19/25

    Monta Ellis scored fewer points per game (13.8) than he has since his rookie season with the Golden State Warriors. Worse still, he shot just 42.7 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from three-point territory. Despite those glaring flaws, he still remained a potent threat because of his ability to create his own looks—only 22.1 percent of his two-pointers came off an assist. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Ellis shouldn't scare a defense when he's without the ball, but his facilitating is still nearly as good as it gets for a 2-guard. While keeping his turnovers in check—specifically, those that stem from bad passes—he constantly searches for open teammates and has the skill necessary to hit them in stride even when he's bursting toward the basket at full steam. 

    Defense

    34/40

    Defense is supposed to be a weakness for Ellis, but the Indiana Pacers flipped the script. Under head coach Frank Vogel's supervision, Ellis dedicated his energy and consistently played above-average defense. He still stole the ball frequently, but his gambles were more timely and often came when another player was in proper position to cover up for him if his efforts were unfruitful. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Ellis is another guard who does fine on the glass when he decides to bother with rebounding. He fared well whether his opportunities were contested or not; there just weren't enough of those for him to emerge as an above-average contributor in this area. 

    Durability

    10/10

    For the fourth consecutive year, Ellis played at least 80 games. This time, his lone absence stemmed from nothing more than a day off. 

    Overall

    79/100

    Ellis remains almost as productive as he was in his prime. According to NBA Math's total points added, he added 16.51 points to the Indiana cause, which is the No. 3 score of his career. The production is just coming in different fashion, as he's suddenly become more valuable on defense than offense and needs to fix his broken jumper. 

24. Jeff Teague, PG, Indiana Pacers

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    Scoring

    16/20

    The perimeter shot finally clicked for Jeff Teague, who drilled 40 percent of his deep attempts for the first time—and not for the last time, the Indiana Pacers now hope. Even more importantly, he improved without dialing back his driving aggressiveness. It was only his lack of opportunities in the ball-sharing Hawks system that prevented him from emerging as a truly elite scorer. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    22/25

    According to ICE data provided by B/R Insights, Teague produced a 73.1 effective field-goal percentage in spot-up situations. That, combined with his gravitational pull, gave him an off-ball score that trailed just Troy Daniels and Stephen Curry throughout the entire NBA. It's only his passing that held him back, and that's partially due to that same ball-sharing system. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Teague proved quite adept at guarding pick-and-roll sets and defending spot-up shooters, but he struggled in many other spots. Though nothing proved too brutal, the combined effect made him look merely average when he wasn't in one of his comfort zones.

    Rebounding

    2/5

    He's not a volume rebounder—his 3.4 boards per 36 minutes were actually well above his career average of 3.0. But Teague does pull in an impressive percentage of the chances he generates, making the most of the sparse opportunities granted by an Atlanta scheme that often eschews rebounds to focus on other areas. 

    Durability

    9/10

    Teague played in 79 games, only missing time when his left ankle flared up. But his physio intensity was beyond awful, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. Only Lou Williams and Chris Paul produced lower scores throughout the entire NBA, and it's not like Teague's came while he was playing hefty minutes.

    Overall

    79/100

    Teague was due for regression after his All-Star campaign in 2014-15. His floaters and touch shots around the basket didn't fall quite as frequently, and he deferred more to teammates when his field-goal percentage began dipping. But even regression didn't push him below the realm of solid starters. 

23. Jrue Holiday, CG, New Orleans Pelicans

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    Scoring

    20/23

    Even without a consistent perimeter stroke, Jrue Holiday can score the basketball. He's an aggressive attacker who uses his physicality and size at point guard; his mid-range success stands out when he's cutting away from the ball as a 2-guard. Holiday's outside shooting is a legitimate weakness, but few backcourt players are better at sustainably creating their own shots. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/22

    Holiday was a competent marksman when spotting up, though he rarely did so. Instead, he worked passing lanes and tried to find easy interior looks. It's his distributing that stands out more in this category, since the 26-year-old is a careful facilitator who can show off his immense talent without turning the ball over too frequently. Along with Ish Smith and Chris Paul, he was one of just three qualified players with an assist percentage above 37 and a turnover percentage below 15. 

    Defense

    29/40

    If you ask Holiday to serve as an on-ball defender, he'll hold his own. If you play him at the 2 and force him to chase around guards in an off-ball setting, he'll look hopelessly overmatched. Unfortunately, the New Orleans Pelicans chose the latter and had him log 65 percent of his minutes at the 2—almost double his previous career-high. It's problematic that he allowed 1.12 points per possession in spot-up situations, which left him in the 15.8 percentile. It's downright devastating that a whopping 29.5 percent of his defensive plays came from that scenario. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Holiday grabs a strong number of contested rebounds, and his overall number of boards is excellent for a player who spends time at both guard positions. The only problem is that he could be doing so much more with the opportunities he earns, since converting only half of them doesn't stack up against the other elite backcourt boarders. 

    Durability

    8/10

    After consecutive seasons playing in fewer than half his team's games, Holiday bounced back and made 65 appearances for the Pelicans. He missed time due to a lower right leg injury, a left toe issue and a fractured right interior orbital wall that led to surgery and knocked him out for the season. But he still maintained an impressive physio load whenever he was on the court. 

    Overall

    79/100

    Holiday's a gifted distributor with the size to line up at either guard position. He can finish around the basket and knock down mid-range shots, using his size and strength to create easy opportunities. He's a talented on-ball defender, even if he struggles immensely away from the action. He's also a tremendous rebounder. He just can't stay on the court, which is making it harder for him to build up a jump-shooting rhythm. 

22. George Hill, PG, Utah Jazz

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    Scoring

    14/20

    George Hill has proved he can score on the interior, often finishing through contact and showing creativity around the rim. He's also an adept shooter who cracked the 40 percent threshold from downtown. But he won't become an elite scorer if he can't either start making his mid-range jumpers at a higher clip or stop taking them at such high rates. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/25

    Thanks to his spot-up prowess and the consistency of his role off the ball, defenses were forced to respect Hill when Paul George or Monta Ellis was dribbling. But while he doesn't rack up turnovers, he's also used sparingly as a primary ball-handler and records fewer assists than most every consistent starter at the 1. Averaging 3.7 dimes per 36 minutes isn't going to get it done. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Unless you catch Hill in a post-up or find a way to isolate him on a roll man, opposing point guards are forced to work away from the action. That's the only way to gain some separation and knock down open jumpers when Hill starts cheating a little too far toward the rock. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Could Hill box someone out without using anything more than his deltoids? Probably. But he rarely ventures into the trees, opting to make his contributions in uncontested fashion by waiting for caroms to meet him at the perimeter. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Hill missed eight games in 2015-16, and none of the reasons were too common—an upper respiratory infection, food poisoning, personal reasons and generic rest. But while he was on the floor, he never stopped working hard. 

    Overall

    79/100

    Gone are the days in which Hill was a defensive specialist who often served as an offensive liability. He's becoming one of the more threatening spot-up 1-guards, and he rarely makes possession-ending mistakes when he's tasked with some ball-handling responsibility. So long as he's not asked to be an offensive leader, he'll get the job done. And now that he's been traded to the Utah Jazz, we can be sure that won't be the case.

21. Brandon Knight, CG, Phoenix Suns

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    Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

    Scoring

    21/23

    This combo guard wasn't the most efficient scorer, but Brandon Knight shouldered immense responsibility for the young Phoenix Suns and often had to do that heavy lifting without the aid of his limited teammates. Only 25.1 percent of his two-pointers resulted from assists. Just 60.8 percent of his triples fell into the same category, which might be even more impressive. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    17/22

    It's the turnovers that hold Knight back. His cough-ups increased for the third consecutive season, and far too many of them—52 percent—stemmed from ineffective passing. If he could play with a bit more control, he'd be an upper-tier facilitator also capable of doing a little spot-up damage. 

    Defense

    30/40

    Phoenix allowed an additional 0.9 points per 100 possessions when Knight was on the floor, and that's particularly troubling when the roster was devoid of any other guards capable of playing lockdown defense. He was active away from the ball and closed out nicely against shooters, but it was far too easy to exploit him when he was the primary defender. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Knight is a capable rebounder when asked to box out bigger players and compete for a board in traffic. He was no stranger to hauling in a contested opportunity and leading the transition charge with nary an outlet pass. But he was still at his best when he could chase down long rebounds and beat everyone else to the right spot. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Knight's gut cost him a few games, as he sat out for food poisoning in January and an upset stomach during late March. But he also missed time with a strained left abductor and a sports hernia that led to surgery, and it was those injuries that proved more significant. 

    Overall

    80/100

    The Suns weren't competitive in 2015-16, but it's hard to pin much of the blame on Knight. Before a sports hernia knocked him out prematurely, he was a strong offensive presence who could contribute in a variety of ways, and his off-ball activity ensured that he wasn't an overwhelming defensive liability. There's plenty of room for improvement, but Knight's age-24 season deserves more respect. 

20. Goran Dragic, PG, Miami Heat

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    Scoring

    16/20

    Even though Goran Dragic struggled with his outside shot for much of the year, the skills that led to the breakout at the end of his Phoenix Suns tenure persisted. His slithering in crowded areas allowed him to get open looks on the interior, and he remained a strong finisher around the hoop. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/25

    Dragic struggled in off-ball settings and was well below-average as a spot-up shooter, but his facilitating skills earned a respectable score in this category. His ability to avoid making mistakes as a passer was valuable to the Miami Heat offense, and his feeds routinely led to secondary assists and free throws for teammates. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Scoring against Dragic in isolation wasn't a tough task. He's not particularly fleet of foot, and his reaction times aren't where they need to be against the league's quicker point guards. But the Slovenian floor general can read a play rather well, and his skills in pick-and-roll defense allowed him to remain an average defender at the position.

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Dragic is by no means afraid of boxing out a bigger player when the opportunity arises, but those don't arrive with overwhelming frequency, leading to Dragic's middling per-game numbers (3.8). 

    Durability

    10/10

    Only a balky left calf and late-season illness kept Dragic from earning perfect attendance. However, he only missed 10 games and was unrelentingly active when in the lineup, so we're picking at nits here. 

    Overall

    80/100

    Ever since he was traded to the Heat midway through 2014-15, he's had trouble justifying the All-NBA Third Team selection he received one year earlier. The beginning of 2015-16 was particularly rough, but Dragic rebounded nicely during the season's second half, reminding the NBA that he could be a dangerous offensive commodity capable of holding his own on defense. He's still a terrifying transition threat, even if his perimeter shooting has dried up.  

19. Victor Oladipo, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    Scoring

    19/25

    It's a positive that Victor Oladipo's outside shot continues to trend in the right direction, but his success as a scorer remains predicated upon slashing acumen. The athletic guard is quite adept at bursting past defenders and finishing plays around the basket, and his burgeoning levels of success from mid-range zones and downtown are only aiding that ability. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    16/20

    Oladipo still isn't much of a spot-up shooter—per ICE data provided by B/R Insights, he had an effective field-goal percentage of just 50.8 in that situation. But he makes up for his weakness with both his cutting ability, which puts defenders on their toes at all times, and his knack for keeping his teammates involved with properly timed feeds. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Three seasons into his professional career, Oladipo still hasn't developed into the lockdown defender he was supposed to become after leaving the Indiana Hoosiers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder now hope that changes after trading for him. You can see flashes when he's guarding isolation scorers or following off-ball marks through screens, but he's still too undisciplined and watches the ball at the expense of making the proper play far too often. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Oladipo had the No. 5 rebounder rating of any shooting guard analyzed, but he still can't stack up against the best of the bunch. (Our top-rated 2-guard was in a league of his own for this category, and that forced everyone else to suffer the indignity of imperfect scores.) Had Oladipo converted a slightly higher percentage of his opportunities, he might've earned that coveted fifth point. 

    Durability

    10/10

    The Magic toyed with his role by bringing him off the bench for 20 games, but he always played a prominent part. While logging 33 minutes per contest, Oladipo suited up 72 times, only missing action to recover from multiple concussions, a sprained knee, a bruised lower back and a sore right wrist. 

    Overall

    80/100

    Though Oladipo hasn't yet blossomed into a household name, his constant improvement has made him a valuable commodity. The defensive lapses are fewer and further between, and his offensive value keeps creeping up as he hones his jumper and continues to excel as a slasher in the Dwyane Wade mold. We might not be too far away from the breakout into the All-Star conversation, even if he certainly hasn't justified that to this point. 

18. Ricky Rubio, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Scoring

    10/20

    Scoring simply isn't Ricky Rubio's game. He averaged just 10.1 points for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and those didn't come in efficient fashion. The point guard shot 37.4 percent from the field, and his 32.6 percent clip from downtown was a marked improvement from 2014-15. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/25

    Rubio's scoring chops may not scare the opposition, but his passing certainly does. The Spaniard remains one of the league's best distributors, routinely working the ball into tight spaces and showing an understanding of positioning that's displayed well before plays develop. Aggressive as he is with the ball, it's downright miraculous that he only turns it over 2.5 times per contest. 

    Defense

    35/40

    Somewhat quietly, Rubio has developed into one of the league's better defensive 1-guards. His quick hands allow him to rack up steals, and his positioning has improved dramatically throughout his NBA career. Even though he constantly gambles in passing lanes, he never seems to be too far from his assignment to recover and contest a spot-up shot. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    It's not just Rubio's 4.3 rebounds per game and 5.1 boards per 36 minutes that are so impressive. The 6'4" point guard knows how to pick his spots and converts an exorbitant percentage (63.2) of his chances into actual rebounds, regardless of whether he's fighting off other players.

    Durability

    10/10

    Rubio has been fragile in the past, but he missed only six games during 2015-16 while dealing with minor injuries to his hamstrings and ankles. His workload wasn't as significant as some of the league's other starting point guards, but the sheer volume of minutes played showcased newfound durability. 

    Overall

    80/100

    Rubio may not be able to shoot, but the Timberwolves were far better when he was on the floor. The offensive and defensive ratings improved by 5.9 and 2.3, respectively, because he does almost everything else well—rebounding, passing, defending, etc. The 25-year-old has become the model for how to succeed at the point with a shaky jumper. 

17. Rodney Hood, SG, Utah Jazz

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    Scoring

    19/25

    It's rare to see a true shooting guard create this much offense for himself. Rodney Hood managed to score 14.5 points per game while using assists on only 20.6 percent of his two-pointers and 75.2 percent of his treys, both of which are substantially lower than from his rookie season. If he maintains those percentages while becoming a more efficient shooter, he'll emerge as one of the NBA's premier backcourt scorers. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    16/20

    Though Hood could stand to become a more consistent spot-up shooter, it's more pressing that he develops as a distributor. Given the turnovers he generates from bad passes, he should be recording significantly more assists, even if the Jazz don't often use him as a primary playmaker and won't now that they boast even more capable point guards. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Hood can hold his own in most situations, but he won't become a standout defender until he's more comfortable navigating pick-and-roll sets. He allowed 0.84 points per possession against ball-handlers in that scenario, which left him in the 40.5 percentile. Those plays accounted for 33.8 percent of his defense, so it's vital that he make quick adjustments for the defensively tilted Jazz. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    If a ball happens to be in his vicinity, Hood has the tools necessary to haul in the rebound regardless of who's surrounding him. But if it looks like it'll fall outside of his wingspan, he's more than content to let one of his bigger teammates fight for it. 

    Durability

    10/10

    sore right foot, right ankle injury and sore lower back hampered Hood at various points throughout 2015-16, but they only kept him out of the lineup for a grand total of three games. Hood played a physical game whenever he was on the floor, which was quite often. 

    Overall

    80/100

    Hood has developed nicely on the offensive end, though his shaky outside stroke and lackluster passing chops leave plenty of room for improvement. He also plays solid defense, even if he won't blow anyone away. Hood isn't yet a star, but it's easy to see one in the near future. It's tough to expect more out of a second-year shooting guard who was selected No. 23 in the 2014 NBA draft.

16. Eric Bledsoe, PG, Phoenix Suns

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    Scoring

    18/20

    Whether you need an athletic slasher, transition threat or capable marksman, Eric Bledsoe can fill the role. He's quite adept at creating his own looks, and the only major flaws are a relative inability to thrive as an off-ball scorer and a tendency to attack the basket with such ferocity that he ends up on the floor, incapable of playing defense during the run-back transition that follows a miss. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    18/25

    Off-ball work is a mixed bag: Defenses don't have to respect his shot, but they can't leave him alone on the perimeter because he's such a dangerous and intelligent cutter—a constant risk to go backdoor and finish the play with an alley-oop slam. His distributing is similarly mixed, since he tends to make impressive feeds but remains prone to unforced mistakes.

    Defense

    36/40

    Bledsoe's a beast against isolation plays, has the quickness to recover against spot-up shooters and understands the fundamentals of pick-and-roll defense. If there are two flaws, they're his penchant for getting caught in off-ball screens and opening himself up to smart cuts toward the hoop. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Don't be fooled by Bledsoe's four rebounds per game. That may be an impressive number for a point guard, but it's aided by many minutes, the extreme number of chances the Phoenix Suns create by their pace and offensive struggles, and the number of uncontested opportunities he draws. It's far less impressive that he failed to convert even half (48.4 percent) of his chances on the glass. 

    Durability

    7/10

    Bledsoe maintained a heavy workload and played 34.2 minutes per game while he was healthy, which still allowed him to finish in the 27.2 percentile for total physio load, per ICE data from B/R Insights. We can't overlook the fact he suited up just 31 times before undergoing surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee. 

    Overall

    81/100

    An underrated defender and a blossoming dual threat on offense, Bledsoe was beginning to assert himself as one of the league's overlooked stars before his left knee let him down. Had he remained healthy and maintained his level of performance in each category, his overall score of 84 would've left him trailing just six other floor generals. 

15. C.J. McCollum, CG, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Scoring

    22/23

    Controlling the ball and attempting to break down a defender before launching a mid-range jumper? Confident launching up shots from the perimeter in all sorts of scenarios? Scoring with enough volume to average over 20 points? Check to all of the above. McCollum is tantalizingly close to boasting a complete scoring game, and he'll get there as soon as he can finish around the rim with more proficiency. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    19/22

    McCollum received a perfect score for off-ball offense—the product of finishing in the top 25 for combined spot-up shooting and gravity, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. He only loses points for his work as a passer. Careless with the ball and prone to keeping his head down while driving toward the hoop, he can miss open teammates and fail to rack up respectable assist totals. 

    Defense

    27/40

    Defense? What defense? Unless you put McCollum in a one-on-one situation on the perimeter, he's getting torched by just about anyone. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    McCollum's saving grace as a rebounder isn't volume or creating plenty of chances; it's not even capitalizing on a remarkably high percentage of the opportunities he does receive. This combo guard does a nice job boxing out bigger players, and that skill leads to a strong number of contested boards, at least relative to his total output. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Even though McCollum's minutes per game doubled (15.7 to 34.8), he stayed quite healthy throughout his 2015-16 campaign. He played in 80 contests for the Portland Trail Blazers, only missing time to rest a minor sprained ankle.  

    Overall

    81/100

    McCollum was the 2015-16 season's Most Improved Player, and not just because he received a much larger opportunity. That certainly helped, but this Lehigh product also grew as a perimeter sniper and shot-creating threat while becoming a better facilitator for the rest of his young Rip City teammates. He's already an offensive stud, and he's a strong defensive game away from having the impact of a true superstar. 

14. Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Scoring

    16/20

    No one would confuse Mike Conley for a premier scoring threat, but he does everything well in lower volume. He can knock down various touch shots around the basket, shoot from the perimeter while maintaining above-average percentages, create his own looks and work his way to the charity stripe. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    21/25

    Perhaps he'd fare even better if the Memphis Grizzlies liked to rely more heavily on perimeter shooting, but Conley is already solid as a spot-up option. Defenses are forced to respect him, and his gravitational pull acts accordingly. But it was as a distributor that he truly excelled last season, becoming the league's lone player to average at least six assists and no more than 1.5 turnovers over the course of 40-plus games in this millennium. 

    Defense

    34/40

    The Grizzlies are known for their defensive intensity, but the team's defensive rating dropped by 3.1 points per 100 possessions, primarily because it was so hard to attack this floor general in isolation. Testing him in pick-and-rolls yielded better results, but that was one of the few areas that saw the southpaw struggle. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Even for a 6'1" point guard, averaging just 5.4 rebounding chances per contest isn't going to pass muster. Conley did a nice job turning those into boards, but he wasn't involved enough overall.

    Durability

    8/10

    Succumbing to left Achilles tendinitis that knocked him out for the season after just 56 games, Conley couldn't stay on the court long enough to earn a perfect durability score. But when healthy, he played hefty minutes and was quite active on both ends.  

    Overall

    81/100

    It's hard to pinpoint a distinct flaw in Conley's game, even if he doesn't emerge as an elite point guard in any one area. He's a solid scorer who can get buckets from all over the court; he turns most of his rebounding chances into actual rebounds; he's a deft passer who manages to minimize his mistakes. And were it not for his Achilles injury, he would've emerged as a clear-cut top-10 point guard in 2015-16. 

13. Reggie Jackson, PG, Detroit Pistons

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    Scoring

    18/20

    Reggie Jackson isn't a terrific marksman, but his ability to score without relying upon assists allowed him to become a terrific scorer. Only 6.4 percent of his successful two-pointers came after a teammate's feed, and just 41.5 percent of his made triples fell into the same category. Averaging 18.8 points while shouldering that type of responsibility is a tough task.  

    Non-Scoring Offense

    21/25

    Jackson's three-point shooting wasn't great off the bounce, but he did fare better in spot-up situations. He had to, given the Detroit Pistons' four-out, one-in stylings under head coach Stan Van Gundy. Still, it was passing that served as his best non-scoring skill. Not only did he rack up plenty of dimes, but he showed the unselfishness necessary to record plenty of secondary assists. 

    Defense

    30/40

    This 1-guard wasn't particularly efficient on the point-preventing end, but his involvement helped him remain an average stopper. He was in constant motion when working off the ball, trying to close out on every shooter while still providing necessary help for his teammates. Effort doesn't trump results, but it helps minimize damage. 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    Jackson seems to have strong rebounding instincts, but his size often betrays him. The 6'3" point guard can't elevate over bigger players, and his hands occasionally let him down when he does end up in prime position. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Illness and a strained abdominal muscle were the only injuries keeping Jackson out of the lineup during a season in which he suited up 79 times. The quantity of minutes played and the work rate while on the floor left him as one of the league's most durable guards. 

    Overall

    81/100

    Remember when Jackson was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Detroit Pistons midway through the 2014-15 campaign, then broke out once he realized he could serve as a dual-threat? That was no fluke. Last year's follow-up campaign was about asserting himself as a legitimate All-Star candidate who can impact the offense in multiple ways. 

12. Isaiah Thomas, PG, Boston Celtics

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    Scoring

    17/20

    Averaging 22.2 points while creating the vast majority of your own shots? That's tough to complain about, though it's still possible to poke holes in Isaiah Thomas' shooting percentages. Knocking down only 42.8 percent of your field-goal attempts and 35.9 percent of your downtown tries won't cut it when seeking a perfect scoring mark. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/25

    Thomas took on more distributing responsibilities for the Boston Celtics in 2015-16, and he did so without turning it over more frequently. He averaged an additional assist per 36 minutes, but his turnovers remained exactly the same. The diminutive point guard still isn't an elite dime-dropper, but he's getting closer.  

    Defense

    32/40

    Looking at Thomas, it's easy to see a defensive liability. He's only 5'9", and his positioning in off-ball settings can sometimes be rather questionable. However, the Washington product thrived when guarding a dribbler in 2015-16. He finished in the 80.7 percentile in isolation, and his pick-and-roll defense led to similar success (75.2 percentile). 

    Rebounding

    2/5

    If we gave credit for overcoming a lack of size, Thomas would be getting bonus points. But that's not how this works, and the undersized 1-guard will have to settle for grabbing plenty of long caroms and earning his rebounds in largely uncontested fashion. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Thomas played in all 82 games and logged 32.2 minutes per contest. That, coupled with a solid physio load for his position, ensured a perfect durability score. 

    Overall

    81/100

    Thomas made his first All-Star roster in 2015-16, and it's tough to argue with his selection. Only four point guards from the Eastern Conference are ranked ahead of him, thanks to his volume scoring, impressive durability and underrated defensive ability. Thomas might not look like an NBA star, but he's quickly becoming one in Beantown. 

11. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Scoring

    19/20

    Even though Kyrie Irving was fighting through injuries and dealing with a shaky jumper during much of the regular season, he still proved himself a top-notch scorer yet again. His handles are nearly unmatchedthey allow him to torment defenders and create open looks from anywhere on the court. Trying to stay in front of Irving is a nearly impossible task. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    21/25

    Defenses have to respect Irving's off-ball presence, or else he'll embarrass with quick jumpers and bursts to the basket. It's his passing that holds him back, since the Cleveland Cavaliers don't often ask him to serve as a primary distributor. Irving can go through dry spells that see him call his own number at the expense of everything else, but he has the vision necessary to produce tough dimes when he decides to. 

    Defense

    31/40

    Defense has always been an Achilles' heel for Irving, but he can play like an above-average stopper when he dedicates himself. That happens far more often in the playoffs than the regular season, but Irving does have moments when he stifles ball-handlers and explodes to the basket to help protect the rim with a momentum-swinging block. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    "Good but not great" is the only way to describe Irving's rebounding. He does a decent job creating chances on the boards and converting them into actual rebounds, and he's not afraid to battle against vertically superior players. 

    Durability

    8/10

    Irving didn't debut until mid-December, as he was recovering from surgery to his fractured left kneecap. Once he returned, he only missed time to stay fresh and heal a minor sprained ankle. The point guard has never been a durable player, but he did remain quite healthy after that knee was fully rehabbed. 

    Overall

    82/100

    Keep in mind this ranking doesn't include the playoffs, where Irving proved himself a legitimate superstar and polished off the championship run with the game-winning three in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. If he can keep that up, he'll challenge for one of the top three spots at his position. But Irving's lackluster play at the beginning of the year and struggles getting back to peak form prevent him from ascending too high. 

10. Dwyane Wade, SG, Chicago Bulls

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    Scoring

    22/25

    It's a testament to Dwyane Wade's enduring effectiveness that he was able to take only 44 three-point attempts—and make just seven—throughout the 2015-16 campaign yet still produce scoring numbers that would make almost every 2-guard jealous. Wade might not get to the charity stripe as often as some of his slashing counterparts, but he still does so quite frequently and possesses an innate ability to carve up a defense from the interior. Plus, that brutal pump-fake is devastating as it's ever been. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    15/20

    Wade doesn't terrify defenses when operating without the ball because they know he won't shoot from the perimeter. They have to respect his ability to cut and torture them as soon as he receives the rock, but most schemes don't shift due to his mere presence. His passing, however, is far better, allowing him to initiate offense for the Miami Heat on a regular basis.  

    Defense

    32/40

    Though he's not the same off-ball defender as in his prime, prone to watching the action unfold and losing track of his own assignment, Wade can make an impact with his on-ball work and ability to help teammates with a timely block.

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Wade's rebounding profile is the exact opposite of what you expect from guards: He's incredible at pulling in contested boards (1.3 per game), but he doesn't display the hustle necessary to beat everyone to long caroms. As a result, his uncontested and overall numbers are slightly short of what we'd need to see for a perfect rebounding score. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Wade isn't even getting any bonus points for remaining so durable during his age-34 go-round. He played 74 games and logged 30.5 minutes per contest, only missing time to let his various sore body parts heal up. The knee concerns are apparently rooted in the past. 

    Overall

    83/100

    At some point, you can't keep referring to a player as "vintage." Once it seems like every game is turning back the clocks, maybe it's because they're permanently turned back. Such was the case for Dwyane Wade, who was even better in the playoffs after spending the regular season dominating on offense and producing spurts of capable defense. He's no longer an MVP candidate, but he keeps making his team—now, shockingly, the Chicago Bulls—a lot better. 

9. Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Hornets

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    Scoring

    17/20

    It all clicked for Kemba Walker, who was able to pair his step-back jumpers and mid-range accuracy with finishing ability and a consistent perimeter stroke. In 2014-15, the former UConn standout hit 49.2 percent of his shots from within three feet and 30.4 percent of his three-point attempts. During 2015-16, those numbers skyrocketed to 59.8 and 37.1, respectively. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    21/25

    Walker's improved marksmanship made him a dangerous off-ball threat, and ICE data provided by B/R Insights showed that his combined spot-up effective field-goal percentage and gravitational pull left him trailing only 14 players. His passing prevented earning a perfect score, since his diminished turnover average masks that many of the cough-ups stemmed from off-target feeds. 

    Defense

    33/40

    Walker has stealthily become an adequate defensive point guard for a few years running, and he continued this trend by playing better off-ball defense. His quickness allowed him not only to strongly contest many spot-up jumpers, but it also let him remain active in passing lanes and provide timely help for his fellow Charlotte Hornets. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Though he doesn't haul in many contested boards, Walker doesn't hesitate to dart into the painted area or out to the perimeter for a long carom—he always seems to be right around the ball when the opportunity arises. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Walked logged 2,885 minutes in 2015-16—a total topped by only Gordon Hayward (2,893) and James Harden (3,125). Enough said. 

    Overall

    84/100

    Somehow, Walker's reputation still lags well behind actual production. Now that he's finishing around the rim with aplomb and knocking down perimeter jumpers, he's become a true two-way threat capable of exploding for an efficient 20 points on any given night while keeping his turnovers under control. Walker may not have an All-Star selection on his resume, but rest assured that he played like one in 2015-16. 

8. Jimmy Butler, SG, Chicago Bulls

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    Scoring

    22/25

    Jimmy Butler never found his rhythm from beyond the arc, but he made up for that by attacking the basket and constantly getting to the charity stripe. Given his ability to knock down pull-up jumpers and finish around the basket, it borders on unfair that he's able to rack up 7.1 free-throw attempts per game and convert them at an 83.2 percent clip. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    14/20

    Though he's not a scheme-altering off-ball presence, Butler still fares well in this category because of his improvement as a passer. As a rookie, he averaged just 1.4 assists per 36 minutes for the Chicago Bulls. Since then, he's trended up each and every season, and 2015-16 contained the biggest jump—up from 3.0 to 4.7 without a proportional increase in turnovers. 

    Defense

    35/40

    Gone are the days in which Butler competes for Defensive Player of the Year as one of his position's true lockdown candidates. He can still fill that role every few games, but he shoulders too much offensive responsibility to have the energy as the stopper each night. Of course, Butler is still an excellent defender. He just needs to show a lot more discipline away from the ball, and the possessions he takes off don't aid his cause. 

    Rebounding

    4/5

    Butler has one of the three highest rebounder ratings at his position, but he still falls well short of the No. 1 ranked shooting guard. A direct comparison will let you see why he's doomed to lose a point in this category: He creates 0.3 more rebounding chances per game, but he turns those into 0.2 fewer contested and 0.6 fewer uncontested boards than the top-ranked 2-guard. 

    Durability

    9/10

    A balky left knee kept Butler out 15 games. Tendinitis and a sprain prevented him from putting on the uniform in early February, and he wouldn't return until the beginning of March. Shortly after his return, he aggravated the preexisting injury, though his recovery was much shorter that time. 

    Overall

    84/100

    If it seems like the Bulls are still trying to figure out how to use Butler, it's because they are. He doesn't have unlimited energy, and it's been a guessing game as to whether he should exert himself as the unquestioned leader of the offense or as a wing stopper on the other end. Vacillating between the two has made it unclear just how good he can be if he enjoyed a more consistent role, though he's one of the league's better two-way players and can thrive enough either way. 

7. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards

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    Scoring

    17/20

    Good luck keeping John Wall away from the basket. His tight handles and relentless physicality allow him to seek out the rim in transition and the half court alike, and he's a strong finisher once he gets into the restricted area. Only a shaky jumper holds him back—Wall's 35.1 percent clip from downtown somehow represents substantial improvement. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    23/25

    Wall was one of just three point guards to receive a perfect score as a facilitator, and he only loses points because his off-ball work can be lackluster. Defenders have to respect his cutting ability, but they can stray to help teammates without fear of him as a spot-up shooter. 

    Defense

    32/40

    Using his athleticism and instincts, Wall can become a disruptive force. He's quite adept at providing help defense in thunderous fashion, and his quick rotations can interrupt the opposition's schemes. But Wall still isn't the most disciplined player off the ball, and his gambles often backfire. The actual production doesn't yet live up to the potential. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Wall is pickier about when he goes after rebounds, but he's remarkably good at converting them. Averaging 4.9 rebounds on 7.4 chances, he turned a gaudy 66.2 percent of his chances into actual boards. Perhaps he should think about showing a little more aggressiveness, because he has the tools necessary to be one of the Association's best rebounders. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Wall missed the season's final five games when a swollen right knee required surgery to remove calcium deposits, but that was hardly enough to make him lose a durability point. During the 77 contests he did play, he averaged 36.2 minutes and a high physio load for the position. 

    Overall

    85/100

    This point guard was the Washington Wizards in 2015-16, just as has been the case for a few years now. Without him, the team was on the wrong end of a minus-3.9 net rating that jumped to 1.0 when he was on the floor. Wall could stand to be more disciplined on defense and needs to continue improving his jumper, but he's such a deft distributor and incredible athlete that he remains ultra-valuable. 

6. Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Scoring

    19/20

    Damian Lillard can go through some cold stretches, but he's one of the league's most talented shooters. Only one player in the league—you can guess who—is better at pulling up from beyond the arc and swishing the shot through the net, as Lillard knocked down 37.5 percent of his deep looks while taking 8.1 per game and creating more than half of them off the bounce. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    24/25

    No sensible defender would ever leave Lillard free on the perimeter—doing so is a recipe for an automatic three-point swing. Only the point guard's carefree passing held him back here, since he could occasionally get undisciplined with the ball and make unforced mistakes. 

    Defense

    29/40

    Lillard's biggest weakness continues to come on the defensive end, where he often loses focus and conserves his energy for offense. Attacking him in isolation isn't the greatest plan, but involving him in a pick-and-roll set or off the ball is an easy way to score against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Rip City's uptempo play helped create plenty of rebounding chances for the Blazers, but Lillard failed to stand out. He put up solid numbers and didn't hesitate to grab contested boards when those opportunities arose, but he rarely did more than you'd expect from an average 1-guard. 

    Durability

    10/10

    This was Lillard's fourth professional season, and it was the first time he missed a single game. A sore left plantar fascia knocked him out of action as the calender flipped over to 2016, but he'd only sit out of seven contests before recovering. Seventy-five appearances and 35.7 minutes per game is nothing to complain about. 

    Overall

    85/100

    Need a big bucket? Lillard's your guy. Need a defensive stop? You're best looking in someone else's direction. The Portland floor general remains one of the league's best offensive players, but he'll fall just short of the elite point guards until he becomes more of a two-way presence. 

5. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets

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    Scoring

    25/25

    It almost doesn't matter that James Harden's shooting percentages declined as he averaged a career-best 29 points for the Houston Rockets. What makes him so dangerous is his ability to earn whistles and finish plays at the free-throw stripe, and he made 10.2 trips per game there while converting 86 percent of his freebies. As a result, he became one of just 13 qualified players in NBA history to average at least 29 points with a true shooting percentage north of 59. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    20/20

    There's zero chance a defender will ever willingly leave Harden open on the perimeter, and most schemes require constant attention of his mere presence. His passing is similarly spectacular, as he routinely challenges for double-digit assists even when carrying such an immense scoring load. 

    Defense

    27/40

    And this is where Harden falls apart. Though he can occasionally make an impact in passing lanes, he's prone to just about every bad habit imaginable—his effort is poor in transition, he often refuses to play help defense, he gets torched in on-ball situations and he doesn't even seem to care. All the criticisms about his one-way play are 100 percent legitimate. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    You can't be a nightly triple-double threat without elite rebounding chops. Harden's ability to haul in contested rebounds is astounding for a man who stands just 6'5", and yet it's not even the most impressive part of his work on the boards. Converting 57.5 percent of your opportunities while generating over 10 per game is flat-out insane for any guard. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Harden played in all 82 games and led the league in both total minutes (for the second consecutive season) and minutes per game. Let's keep moving.

    Overall

    87/100

    Criticize Harden's defense (or lack thereof) all you want—you're perfectly justified in doing so. But so long as you're harping on his flaws, make sure you acknowledge that he's a historically excellent offensive player who can carry a team almost single-handedly. This bearded 2-guard may be a one-way player, but he's still one of the NBA's most valuable contributors. 

4. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Scoring

    18/20

    Chris Paul's incredible efficiency remained in 2015-16. Despite creating 88.5 percent of his looks from inside the arc and 66.4 percent of his triples, Paul shot 46.2 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from downtown and 89.6 percent from the charity stripe. It's only his willingness to function as a pass-first player that prevents him from earning a perfect score. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    25/25

    If Paul isn't the perfect offensive player, he's close to it. Defenses have to respect his spot-up ability and craftiness off the ball, and yet they'd still prefer he's without possession. For the third season in a row, Paul averaged double-digit dimes without turning the ball over more than 2.6 times per game—a feat only two others have ever achieved even once throughout NBA history. 

    Defense

    34/40

    When it comes to off-ball defense, Paul falls just shy of excellent. He's prone to cheating too far from his man, seeking out opportunities for steals. He then gets caught up in screens away from the rock a bit too often. But his on-ball work is superior to that of most every NBA floor general, especially when opponents make the mistake of challenging him in isolation. 

    Rebounding

    3/5

    Paul is masterful at reading caroms before they occur and beats everyone to the right spot, thereby earning a transition opportunity with no outlet pass needed. But he shies away from contested boards, preferring to conserve his energy for areas in which he's more valuable. 

    Durability

    9/10

    A sore right groin plagued him during the season's opening month, then inflamed rib cartilage held Paul back later on. His campaign ended prematurely with a fractured right hand in the playoffs, but that only happened after he'd logged 74 appearances and continued to showcase better-than-before durability. 

    Overall

    89/100

    Paul is no longer the gold standard at point guard, but he's not far off. He has no true weaknesses—work against those pesky off-ball screens notwithstanding—and his leadership helps propel the Los Angeles Clippers to success in the face of unforeseen hardships. If any young floor general wants to watch a master at the craft, they should study tape of Paul's utter control of an offense, constant hesitation moves and eye fakes.

3. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors

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    Scoring

    17/20

    Kyle Lowry can struggle with his mid-range jumper, but his finishing ability and knack for peppering a defense with perimeter shots more than makes up for shortcomings. This Toronto Raptors point guard is constantly on the hunt for buckets, and he's not afraid to use his physicality and improved physique to drive into the teeth of a defense, where he can either complete the play or draw a whistle. Never before has he been so adept at working his way to the free-throw stripe. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    23/25

    Lowry's passing is problematic, as every defender knows not to leave him open on the perimeter. He's careful with the ball and rarely makes mistakes when he facilitates, but he's a bit too hesitant looking for teammates when he focuses on driving toward the hoop. This is a minor flaw but enough to keep him from perfection compared to the league's other premier point guards. 

    Defense

    35/40

    Virtually unbeatable in on-ball situations, Lowry knows how to leverage his frame and physicality into point-preventing prowess. He finished in the 87.5 percentile against isolation sets and the 72.6 percentile when guarding pick-and-roll ball-handlers. Throw in a willingness to sacrifice his body when providing timely help, and you have an elite defender—so long as he's not assigned to covering spot-up shooters away from the ball. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    It's the quality, not the quantity: Lowry averaged "only" 4.6 rebounds per 36 minutes, but he constantly put himself in position to contribute and was one of just nine true 1-guards to haul in at least a contested board per outing while suiting up no fewer than 40 times. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Lowry played 77 games, only missing time to let his sore right elbow heal or when head coach Dwane Casey decided he needed some extra rest. When active, he was a constant presence on the floor, and his physicality made him one of the league's most durable guards. 

    Overall

    90/100

    The world has seen Lowry start strong before, only to fade away as the wear and tear of an NBA season takes its toll. That wasn't the case in 2015-16, as a svelte version of the point guard used his newfound quickness and extra durability to thrive on both ends. His annual playoff decline can't count against him for this exercise, so he was one of the NBA's 10 best regular-season players. 

2. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Scoring

    20/20

    Good luck stopping Russell Westbrook. Despite his unreliable perimeter jumper, the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard is a true scoring force. No one can keep him from getting to the basket in transition—or the half-court set, for that matter—and his ability to rack up free throws is the cherry on top. Only four players produced better finishes in our scoring metric, and our top-ranked guard was the lone player to do so at the 1. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    24/25

    Off the ball, it's a mixed bag for Westbrook—he's a poor spot-up shooter, but his athleticism still commands a high gravity score, per ICE data provided by B/R Insights. It's his passing that truly stands out after averaging 10.4 assists without seeing his turnovers spike. 

    Defense

    34/40

    Westbrook thrives in every situation but one. He knows how athletic he is, and that leads to unnecessary gambles when guarding an off-ball assignment. Sometimes, his risks lead to easy buckets in transition, but they also prevent him from excelling against spot-up shooters. Finishing in the 8.9 percentile there is a huge negative, especially when those possessions accounted for 22.6 percent of his defensive work. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    Apparently, Westbrook is a subscriber to the idea that if he collects a defensive rebound, he can jump-start a transition opportunity with his jets rather than waiting for a slower outlet pass. He does everything you could want on the glass—attacking constantly, converting a high percentage of his opportunities and pulling down boards in spite of pressure from nearby players. 

    Durability

    10/10

    Mortal things like injuries admittedly have hampered Westbrook the last few seasons, but he suited up 80 games during the 2015-16 campaign, only missing time for rest down the stretch. 

    Overall

    93/100

    Almost any other year, Westbrook would've been an MVP front-runner. According to NBA Math's total points added, the combination of his positive defense and unstoppable offense (both scoring and distributing) gave him the No. 32 individual season since 1974. But it wasn't even enough to finish at the top of his position, given the ridiculous nature of our No. 1 floor general's campaign. 

1. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors

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    Scoring

    20/20

    Averaging a league-best 30.1 points per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 45.4 percent from downtown and an NBA-leading 90.8 percent from the charity stripe? Shattering his own three-point record by making an additional 116 treys? Hitting 69.6 percent of his shots from inside three feet? Needing assists on just 37.2 percent of his twos and 54.7 percent of his threes? Stephen Curry's scoring was as close to perfect as possible perfect. 

    Non-Scoring Offense

    24/25

    Per ICE data provided by B/R Insights, Troy Daniels, Jeff Teague and Seth Curry were the only players to produce higher effective field-goal percentages in spot-up situations while taking at least 20 attempts. Carmelo Anthony was the lone man to have a higher gravity score, and that was primarily due to a weak supporting cast. Curry only loses points for an unfortunate habit of throwing careless, unnecessarily fancy passes, since he had a few too many unforced turnovers. 

    Defense

    35/40

    Curry will never be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, but he was one of the league's best defensive point guards in 2015-16. You might have been conditioned to believe otherwise via clips of him getting beat in isolation—where almost every 1-guard struggles—but his quick hands, strong core and knack for forcing his assignment into the right spot helped immensely. 

    Rebounding

    5/5

    Continuing to show an impressive eye for angles, Curry often beats everyone to the location of a carom and quickly hauls it in. But he's also not afraid to mix it up on the interior and can use that strengthened core to box out far bigger players. He's so much stronger than he looks, and the boards are one of his primary places to show it. 

    Durability

    10/10

    It wasn't until the playoffs that we saw the first cracks emerge in Curry's newfound invincibility. He played 79 games during the regular season while maintaining an incredible physio load and only missed time with a bruised lower left leg and tweaked left ankle. 

    Overall

    94/100

    Curry was the clear-cut MVP, even becoming the first player in NBA history to win the award unanimously. Setting three-point records, he redefined what the league viewed as quality offense, asserted himself as the world's best point guard and steered his Golden State Warriors to a best-ever 73rd win. Some regression can be expected going forward, but then again, do we really want to doubt Curry at this point?