The other day I was thinking about all the talent there is in the NBA and I realized the deepest position out there is at point guard. I started thinking about Chris Paul and Derrick Rose; the obvious choices, but then there’s Brandon Jennings and Kyrie Irving who are enjoying great years as well. That led me into creating my top 5 point guards and my top 5 up-and-comers.
Top 5 Point Guards:
- Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers- Subtracting his injury that left him out a couple of games early he has been everything the Clippers hoped he would be averaging 18.9 points and 9.1 assists per game. At 26, Paul still has a long career ahead of him and will most likely improve on these numbers as the season goes on. He also possesses the uncanny ability to re-build franchises (starting with New Orleans).
- Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls- This is really 1a and 1b but I gave Paul the slight nod because he is the better shooter. Rose is last year’s MVP and has continued his success into this year. At 23, he could easily be on my up-and-comers list, but he is mature beyond his years on the court. I enjoy watching him play because he is so driven to win, which is something you don’t see all the time. He also never shies away from taking the final shot. (LeBron)
- Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets- He has been a little disappointing, and has even looked a little disinterested at times this year, but he continues to put up good numbers (20.5 points and 8.5 assists per game). A trade out of Brooklyn looks imminent and that could help rejuvenate his interest. Talent wise he could be number one on this list, but he needs to get it done more consistently.
- Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder- At 23, there is no question he has a bright future ahead of him, and athletically he would be number one on this list, but he turns the ball over way too much. Over time I would like to see him establish himself as more of a true point guard because I think it would benefit his team more, but for now he can light it up and play with anyone.
- Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns- He is one of my all-time favorite players and at 37 he can still get it done. His defense has dropped off significantly, but I’m going to be honest and point out defense it lax as a whole in the NBA. He is a magician in the open court averaging 9.9 assists and 15.2 points this year as well as shooting over 40% from beyond the arc.
Top 5 Up-and Comers:
- Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks- I was tempted to put him at three, but thought better of it. The sky is the limit for Jennings (22) and he is putting together a fine season averaging 20.5 points and 5.6 assists. He is an electrifying talent that can get it done at both ends of the court when motivated.
- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers- He is the hands-down rookie of the year averaging 18.1 points and 4.9 assists a game right now. I have to imagine he is capable of averaging more assists once he gets some more talent around him. He is the NBA’s future star and is only 19 years old.
- Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets- Denver has been a pleasant surprise this year, and that starts with their third year point guard. He is a bit older at 24 than some of the others on this list, but he is just getting his feet wet in this league and is improving, averaging 15.6 points and 6.4 assists a game.
- John Wall, Washington Wizards- It scares me how little a threat he is from beyond the arc, but he is averaging 15.5 points and 7.2 assists with almost no talent around him. He still has some games that confuse you, but at 21 he has plenty of time to translate his immense potential into consistent production.
- Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves- I appreciate the fact that he is a true point guard. Some will say his inability to shoot consistently makes him overrated, but I believe at 21 his superior passing skills makes up for his shooting deficiencies. Over time he will need to improve on his 11.4 points and 8.7 assists a game, and Rubio-Kevin Love tandem could be lethal.
Honorable mention: These are young players that have talent, and could, over time, jump ahead of the players I ranked above.
Lou Williams (24) Philadelphia 76ers 15.3pts. 3.6ast.
Brandon Knight (20) Detroit Pistons 12.3pts. 3.4ast.
Jeff Teague (23) Atlanta Hawks 12.6pts. 5.2ast.
Tyreke Evans (22) Sacramento Kings 17.0pts. 5.0ast.
Kemba Walker (21) Charlotte Bobcats 11.9pts. 3.9 ast.