With the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard having switched teams this offseason, it can be argued that the 2018 offseason was even more eventful than the 2017 edition. For those that do not remember the events that took place that season, we saw Paul George shipped to Oklahoma City in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis (a trade that worked out mighty well for both franchises), Chris Paul dealt to the Houston Rockets (a trade which launched the Rockets to the upper echelon of the NBA's hierarchy), Gordon Hayward signing with the Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving dealt to the Celtics for a package headlined by Isaiah Thomas (a trade that very well may go down as one of the most lopsided in NBA history).
Even in the offseason, the NBA is quite the eventful league! Teams are constantly trying to improve in order to dethrone the juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors. Speaking of the Warriors, they have an amazing Point Guard in Stephen Curry - quite possibly the best PG in the league. The former two-time MVP is often lauded as one of the game's most dynamic shooters and most difficult players to guard. The NBA is flooded with talent at the Point Guard position and has arguably never been deeper at the PG position. Without further ado, here we rank all thirty starting NBA Point Guards from worst to best.
30 D.J. Augustin - Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic are loaded with young and promising talent in their front court with the likes of Mo Bamba, Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac but are severely lacking when it comes to the backcourt. D.J. Augustin is slated to be the starter whereas Jerian Grant will be the primary backup.
Augustin is an ideal Point Guard to man a team's second unit, but not lead its first unit.
Grant will be playing in his third NBA season and perhaps Orlando will be a better fit for him than both Chicago and New York respectively. However, as of now, the Magic have the weakest backcourt in the NBA.
29 Brandon Knight - Phoenix Suns
Brandon Knight did not see the court whatsoever in 2017-2018 as he was recovering from injury but he is slated to be the Phoenix Suns opening night starter once the 2018-2019 season commences. Phoenix may be one of the NBA's most under the radar teams as they have a number of talented young prospects such as DeAndre Ayton, Devin Booker and T.J. Warren on their roster. Knight will not be needed to shoulder the scoring load and will more than likely serve as more of a facilitator for the team from the "Valley of the Sun". Knight averaged 11.0 PPG, 2.4 APG and 2.2 RPG in 2015-2016 for the Suns.
28 Jeremy Lin - Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks pulled off a draft day trade for a player who has drawn comparisons to Steph Curry by the name of Trae Young. Young hasn't exactly had a summer league to rave about; on the contrary, it's been quite the disappointment. Nonetheless, summer league doesn't exactly indicate whether or not a player will be successful in the NBA ranks.
The Hawks landed Jeremy Lin via trade in the offseason and he's currently listed as the team's starting PG.
Lin had his 2017-2018 season cut short due to injury but posted a promising 14.5 PPG and 5.1 APG in 2016-2017. Lin and Young should both benefit each other regardless of who starts at Point.
27 Kris Dunn - Chicago Bulls
Having been traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Chicago Bulls was the best thing that could've happened to Kris Dunn, as he was struggling to find playing time in Minnesota (considering that Tom Thibodeau is notorious for not playing Rookies heavy minutes, this isn't surprising at all). Dunn didn't have a problem finding playing time in Chicago as he put up 13.4 PPG, 6.0 APG and 4.3 RPG in his inaugural season in the "Windy City". Dunn will have the luxury of a healthy Zach LaVine, a newly acquired Jabari Parker and a further developed Lauri Markannen at his disposal which will largely impact how he further grows in his game.
26 Trey Burke - New York Knicks
For reasons unbeknownst to anyone other than former Head Coach Jeff Hornacek, Trey Burke struggled to find minutes in the Knicks rotation despite tearing it up more often than not when he hit the court. Burke, who started the season playing for the Knicks G League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, joined the team in January and played in thirty-six games. Burke averaged 12.8 PP G and 4.7 APG in just 21.8 MPG. The Knicks' other Point Guards, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker, didn't show anywhere near as much promise as Burke. Hopefully for Knicks fans, Burke sees more playing time with new Head Coach David Fizdale at the helm.
25 Elfrid Payton - New Orleans Pelicans
Elfrid Payton may look unrecognizable and like a newly drafted Rookie come the 2018-2019 season for two reasons: 1. he will be joining his hometown New Orleans Pelicans and 2. he has cut off that massive mane on his head. Payton's had the unenvious distinction of having played for the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns and the word "playoffs" has never been a part of his vocabulary for the aforementioned reasons.
Payton will get a fresh start in New Orleans and will benefit from playing with the most talented roster he's ever played with.
He'll share a backcourt with Jrue Holiday and has plenty of bigs in Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle to carry the scoring load.
24 De'Aaron Fox - Sacramento Kings
De'Aaron Fox, a.k.a. "Swipa", had a shaky Rookie campaign - then again, thus is generally life when you're a member of the Sacramento Kings. Fox finished his Rookie season averaging 11.6 PPG, 4.4 APG and 2.8 RPG in a backcourt which was rather crowded as it featured the likes of the forenamed Fox, George Hill (prior to him being dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers), Buddy Hield and Frank Mason III to name a few. Fox shouldn't bec concerned about whether or not he'll be starting for the Kings in 2018-2019- that's practically set in stone. Additionally, Fox should benefit from the addition of number two overall pick Marvin Bagley III.
23 George Hill - Cleveland Cavaliers
George Hill is currently listed as the starting Point Guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers come the start of the 2018-2019 season but there's nothing to indicate this is set in stone. With the likes of promising Rookie Collin Sexton and the inconsistent, but promising Jordan Clarkson on the roster the Cavs PG duties are up for grabs. Hill, the veteran, isn't one to take a team to the promise land but he's certainly capable of manning an NBA offense as he's shown in his time in San Antonio and Indiana (let's not discuss his tenure as a member of the Sacramento Kings).
22 Dejounte Murray - San Antonio Spurs
With Tony Parker having opted to sign with the Charlotte Hornets in free agency as opposed to resigning with the San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray will have even more opportunities to showcase to Gregg Popovich and gang that he is indeed the Point Guard of the future for the silver and black. Murray posted averages of 8.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.9 APG in his second season in the NBA. At just twenty-one years of age the best for Murray is yet to come and considering he's had the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of fellow PG Tony Parker, the aforementioned Popovich and several others it's only feasible to think that Murray will only progress in the 2018-2019 season.
21 Jamal Murray - Denver Nuggets
Prior to signing Isaiah Thomas, Denver Nuggets General Manager Tim Connelly informed Thomas that if the Nuggets were to sign him he would not be the team's starting floor general as they'd be rolling with the Kentucky product, Jamal Murray. Despite Connelly declaring confidence in Murray, a player he drafted, by no means does Murray have a stranglehold on starting PG duties in the "Mile High City". Murray improved significantly in his second season as he averaged 16.7 PPG, 3.4 APG and 3.7 RPG. Murray and Thomas should bring the best out of each other and this is a "problem" (if it can even be called that) that Nuggets brass and fans should welcome with open arms.
20 Patrick Beverley - Los Angeles Clippers
Patrick Beverley isn't going to put up numbers in the stats department that wow you, but Beverley is essentially the PG equivalent of Andre Roberson at the SG slot- a defensive stalwart. Beverley may very well be the best starting PG defender in the league today. Beverley's 2017-2018 season and first with the Clippers was cut short due to injury. Beverley will have the opportunity to showcase his worth to the Clippers franchise in 2018-2019 season and will have a decent amount of weapons at his disposal- most notably Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris and Lou Williams. Not to mention, he benefits from Austin Rivers being traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Marcin Gortat in the minutes department.
19 Darren Collison - Indiana Pacers
When fans mention today's Indiana Pacers the first name that comes up is Victor Oladipo; the second name that usually comes up is Myles Turner; the third name that most frequently comes up is Domantas Sabonis. As a result, it's easy to see why Darren Collison is often forgotten. Collison, one of the league's quickest players and arguably the quickest Point Guard in the league (with all due respect to the likes of John Wall and Russell Westbrook) is as consistent as they come. Don't believe me? In his nine year career, he has career averages of 12.7 PPG, 4.9 APG and 2.6 RPG. In the 2017-2018 season Collison averaged 12.4 PPG, 5.3 APG and 2.6 RPG. One word: consistency.
18 Reggie Jackson - Detroit Pistons
Reggie Jackson's biggest problem has been actually staying on the NBA hardwood as he's been bit by the injury bug in the past two seasons. In the 2016-2017 season Jackson played in fifty-two games; in the 2017-2018 season Jackson played in forty-five games. In total, Jackson has missed sixty-five games (seventeen shy of a full season) in the past two seasons. The Pistons could be one of the league's sleeper teams in 2018-2019 as we are yet to see what Jackson can do alongside the "Twin Towers" duo of Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Jackson finished the 2017-2018 season averaging 14.6 PPG, 5.3 APG and 2.8 RPG.
17 D'Angelo Russell - Brooklyn Nets
It can be argued that Spencer Dinwiddie should be starting over D'Angelo Russell or that the Nets should play both in the backcourt based on Dinwiddie's play in the 2017-2018 season. But, as of today, the Nets have Russell slated as the starter at the one spot. Russell only played in forty-eight of a possible eighty-two games for the Nets in 2016-2017 and averaged 15.5 PPG, 5.2 APG and 3.9 RPG during that time frame.
The Nets will have a crucial decision to make at season's end regarding whether or not they'd like to retain Russell's services.
Russell is playing for a contract thus it's more likely than not that he has a season which surpasses his prior three seasons. Russell is rather streaky which is his biggest flaw (other than ratting on Nick Young), but look for him to shed that image come this season.
16 Lonzo Ball/Rajon Rondo - Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are yet to declare who their starting Point Guard will be- sophomore UCLA Bruin Lonzo Ball who was drafted second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft or established veteran and former NBA Champion Rajon Rondo. Considering that Rondo is on a one-year contract and that Ball was taken with the second overall pick just a year ago, it's more likely that Ball is in the Lakers longterm plans when contrasted with Rondo. The injury bug hampered Ball in his Rookie season as he only played in fifty-two of a possible eighty-two games. But, when Ball was on the court he showed flashes of promise as he averaged 10.2 PPG, 7.2 APG and 6.9 RPG. Ball will get to play with his favorite player in LeBron James and that alone will take Ball's game to a higher level.
15 Dennis Smith Jr. - Dallas Mavericks
While the likes of Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum (and Kyle Kuzma to a lesser extent) gobbled up the majority of Rookie headlines, Dennis Smith Jr., the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft had a pretty promising Rookie campaign in his own right. Smith Jr. provided the Mark Cuban owned franchise with 15.2 PPG, 5.2 APG and 3.8 RPG in his first season and started in all sixty-nine games he played in.
Smith Jr. is expected to not just be a proficient scorer for the Mavs, but arguably the go-to scorer for the team.
With exciting Euro prospect Luka Doncic joining the Mavs for the 2018-2019 season, Smith Jr.'s job figures to only get easier.
14 Eric Bledsoe - Milwaukee Bucks
Since "Scary" Terry Rozier technically isn't a starting Point Guard, Eric Bledsoe ranks higher than him. But, if the opening round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs taught us anything (and Bledsoe for that matter) it's not "who is Rozier", it's "who is Bledsoe". Bledsoe, who was acquired by the Milwaukee Bucks after he grew frustrated in Phoenix was expected to be the Robin to Giannis Antetokounmpo's Batman - that didn't exactly materialize. Nonetheless, Bledsoe is still a dynamic Point Guard and was good for 17.7 PPG, 5.0 APG and 3.8 RPG in his first season as a Milwaukee Buck. With the highly respected Mike Budenholzer now drawing up plays for the Bucks it's more likely than not that Bledsoe shows progression and improvement in the 2018-2019 season as opposed to regression.
13 Jeff Teague - Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves were arguably the biggest disappointment of the 2017-2018 NBA season- largely due to Andrew Wiggins significantly regressing from the 2016-2017 season. Along with Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague was the franchise's biggest acquisition of the offseason. Teague hasn't been a flashy player throughout his career and the same carried through in Minnesota.
Quite frankly, Teague is a floor general who simply knows his role and how to navigate an offense.
Teague was good for 14.2 PPG, 7.0 APG and 3.0 RPG in his first season in the Twin Cities - numbers that are consistent with his averages since he became a starter in the 2011-2012 season.
12 Mike Conley - Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley's 2017-2018 was cut short due to injury and as a result he only played in a total of twelve out of a possible eighty-two games. In those twelve games, Conley posted 17.1 PPG, 4.1 APG and 2.3 RPG. Alongside Marc Gasol, Conley is the face of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise and can arguably lay acclaim to being the greatest talent in the Grizzlies franchise history. With promising Rookie big man Jaren Jackson Jr. coming into the fold for the 2018-2019 season, look for Conley to pick up right where he left off and for the Grizzlies to be much more competitive than they were in the 2017-2018 season.
11 Ricky Rubio - Utah Jazz
If you didn't think Ricky Rubio was instrumental to the Utah Jazz's success in the 2017-2018 season look no further than the team's second round matchup against the Houston Rockets in which they desperately missed their floor general. The Jazz were arguably the NBA's biggest surprise in 2017-2018 and while Donovan Mitchell gets the bulk of the credit (and rightfully so), Rubio was a key cog in the team's development as well. Rubio averaged a respectable 13.1 PPG, 5.3 APG, 4.6 RPG and 1.6 SPG. Rubio's biggest downfall is his lack of ability to consistently shoot the basketball, but other than that there are few flaws in his game.
10 Goran Dragic - Miami Heat
Rounding out the top ten is the Miami Heart's Goran Dragic. Dragic was selected to his first NBA All-Star Team in the 2017-2018 season and finished the season averaging 17.3 PPG, 4.8 APG and 4.1 APG. Dragic has been in the league for ten seasons now and has come a long way from his first two stints as a member of the Phoenix Suns. Dragic may not have what it takes to be a number one option on a team but he does have all the characteristics one looks for to be a highly capable and efficient floor general. Like Walker (but not to that degree), Dragic needs more weapons at his disposal. Lucky for him, he has quite the crafty Team President at his hands in Pat Riley!
9 Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
Kemba Walker may not just be the NBA's most underrated Point Guard but he may be the NBA's most underrated player point blank. Having played his entire career for the Charlotte Hornets (a team who has been mediocre consistently and constantly) Walker often goes overlooked. Walker picked up in the 2017-2018 season right where he left off in 2016-2017 season as he finished the season averaging 22.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 3.1 APG.
Walker is arguably the most successful player in Hornets history and is the team's leader in points scored.
Now, if only Michael Jordan and Mitch Kupchak could surround Walker with some much needed talent!
8 Kyle Lowry - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry is a name that often goes unmentioned when discussing the NBA's premier Point Guards; yet, Lowry is a name that is almost always mentioned when naming some of the game's "good" Point Guards. Lowry certainly isn't on the same level as the likes of Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook (to name a few), but he is still one of the game's best PG's. Lowry is productive when it comes to scoring, boarding and dishing as evidenced by his 2017-2018 season which saw him put up 16.2, 5.6 and 6.9 in the respective forenamed categories. With DeMar Derozan now out of the fold and Nick Nurse now taking over as Head Coach look for Lowry's game to develop further (particularly in the scoring department).
7 Ben Simmons - Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers fans will tell you he was certainly a Rookie; Utah Jazz fans and Donovan Mitchell fans will tell you he certainly was not a Rookie. However, what cannot be debated is that Ben Simmons is one hell of a player. Simmons showcased in his inaugural NBA season that he was a triple double threat night in and night out as he finished with averages of 15.8 PPG, 8.2 APG and 8.1 RPG. Simmons has one major hole in his game - his ability to shoot the ball. If Simmons can manage to add a consistent jumper to his game, he just very well may become the NBA's best Point Guard sooner rather than later.
6 John Wall - Washington Wizards
John Wall will forever tell any and all that are listening that he's underrated. In a league which features the likes of Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul and loads of other upper echelon Point Guards Wall is simply a victim of playing in the wrong era.
Nonetheless, Wall is certainly an upper echelon PG in today's game - just not to the level of the forenamed names.
With Dwight Howard joining the Wizards in free agency look for Wall to progress further as he has a much more serviceable big man to dump the ball to than Marcin Gortat. Furthermore, the young core of Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter Jr. figure to progress further which only gives Wall more weapons at his disposal.
5 Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
Part-time rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A. is nothing to scoff at in the recording studio and he's even more of a threat on the NBA hardwood. Lillard had a bitter end to his season as his third seeded Blazers were swept by the sixth seeded New Orleans Pelicans. Yet, the regular season was quite good to Lillard as he was selected to the All-NBA First Team for the firstr time in his career. Lillard averaged an impressive 26.9 PPG alongside 6.6 APG and 4.5 RPG. Lillard only seems to improve annually and therefore it's unlikely fans don't see the former Weber State product improve further in the 2018-2019 season.
4 Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
If statistics were the only thing used to measure the best Point Guard in the NBA Russell Westbrook would easily run away with that title (at least then he'd know what a title felt like!). Just messing with ya, Russ! Despite the OKC becoming the "OK3" with the acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony (a trade that clearly didn't work out) and Paul George (a trade that worked out for both the short and longterm), Westbrook still averaged a triple double for his second straight season. The argument has always been "does Westbrook make his teammates better?". The jury's still out on that debate, but Westbrook's clearly one of the game's premier Point Guards without a shadow of a doubt.
3 Chris Paul - Houston Rockets
Like a fine wine, Chris Paul only seems to improve with age. The thirty-three-year-old former Wake Forest Demon Deacon played in his first season in "Clutch City" alongside James "The Beard" Harden and the results were better than many could've ever imagined. The Rockets made it to the Western Conference Finals and held a 3-2 lead over the Dubs before Paul went down with an injury late in Game 5 which sidelined him for the final two games of the series.
Many NBA fans (both diehard and casual) felt the Rockets would've been able to have pulled off the upset had Paul been healthy.
This is a hypothetical, but what isn't a hypothetical is how Paul transformed the Rockets from a playoff team to one of the NBA's current powerhouse teams.
2 Kyrie Irving - Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving picked off in Boston right where he left off in Cleveland as he notched averages of 24.4 PPG, 5.1 APG and 3.8 RPG prior to his season being cut short due to injury. The Boston Celtics were still dominant without Irving as they reached the Eastern Conference Finals and played in a Game 7 against a LeBron James led Cleveland Cavaliers.
The majority consensus believes had Irving been healthy, the Celtics would've coasted past the Cavs.
Irving will be a part of a starting five that will feature Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford- five players that all have a legitimate chance of being named Eastern Conference All-Stars in 2018-2019. Make no mistake, the attack will be spearheaded by none other than Irving.
1 Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
While Stephen Curry is indeed the NBA's best Point Guard, the scary thing is he may not even be the best player on his very own team! That honor arguably goes to none other than Kevin Durant- but that's a conversation for another time. Curry's stats have largely unchanged since Durant ditched Oklahoma City in favor of the Bay Area as he put up a very respectable 26.4 PPG, 6.1 APG and 5.1 RPG in the 2017-2018 season. Curry may not exactly be a "pass first" Point Guard, but he is the ultimate teammate as evidenced by him being a proponent of the Warriors signing Durant and not being worried about "whose team the Warriors are". The Warriors will one day retire Curry's #30; but, for now he will have to settle for just being the NBA's best floor general.