The point guard position has changed tremendously over the past decade. The player in this position is no longer required to just run the plays, and lead the team’s offense every night. They must also score the ball, and are often the best scorers on their respective teams!
Some of the game’s greatest players currently point guards, and they make up the majority of team offenses these days. However, some point guards stand out from the rest. As in the case with all sports, some point guards are on another tier than others. And there is always someone who is the cream of the crop.
Here are all the NBA’s starting point guards, divided into tiers.
Average Starters: Jeff Teague, Rajon Rondo, Ricky Rubio, D.J. Augustin, Terry Rozier, Dennis Smith Jr., Delon Wright, Kris Dunn, Ja Morant
To start, these guys are at the bottom of the pack of NBA point guards and do their job at the basic level. They are all worthy NBA professionals who do their job without making too much impact.
Teague was a former All-Star who has slowed down in recent years, similar to Rajon Rondo. These guys were great in the past but must settle for average. Augustin is an excellent shooter that is good to play within a system and not much more.
Rozier, Morant, Dunn, and Wright are still young and have not proven themselves as professionals yet. Especially with Morant, the sky’s the limit and he might become an All-Star someday. Rozier gets his shot to lead a very shorthanded Charlotte team, while Dunn needs to prove his doubters wrong. Dunn was drafted with high regard but has not impressed so far. Wright was recently moved by Toronto and Memphis and may settle in Dallas for this season.
Out of all the tier 5 point guards, Rubio might be the best one thanks to his experience playing for the Spanish national side and his tremendous playmaking. He is a player who can find guys for easy shots all night long, and an effective player in a good system.
Quality Starters: Lonzo Ball, Goran Dragic, Malcolm Brogdon, Trae Young, Derrick Rose, Jamal Murray, Patrick Beverley, Dejounte Murray, Darius Garland
Tier 4 players are quality starters who can be relied upon to play big minutes every night. These guys are either close to All-Stat caliber or have the potential to be All-Stats someday.
Guys with potential include Ball, Murray, Young, Garland, and Murray. These guys are good enough to start and have the potential to increase their numbers tremendously as they mature. Even Brogdon has a chance to shine with Indiana and might have All-Star potential as well.
Dragic and Rose have performed at an All-Star level in the past (the latter a former MVP) but age and attrition have limited their impact to quality starters. Dragic can score and be a playmaker while Rose can do the same with potential for offensive explosions here and there.
Pat Beverley is a bulldog and a player any team would love to have thanks to his hustle and defensive tenacity.
All-Star Caliber: John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul, Mike Conley, Eric Bledsoe, De’Aaron Fox
Tier 3 point guards are players who can potentially make All-Star teams thanks to their very effective play on a consistent basis. These guys can be the best player on their teams at moments but are usually the second or third option.
Wall, when healthy and motivated, is the best of this tier and can maybe make his way back up to a higher status. He is very quick and is a natural playmaker who can score a bit as well.
Conley, Paul, and Lowry all provide consistency in terms of running the offense and draining outside shots. They are most effective playing alongside a high-scoring guard or forward and allows them to get better shots by putting them in easy positions to score. Paul specifically is a future Hall-of-Famer who is also aging.
Bledsoe and Fox are tremendous athletes who can go up and down the floor in seconds. Bledsoe is a powerful player who loves to get in the paint for easy buckets and hustle for rebounds. Fox is just lightning quick and can get anywhere he wants to go on the break.
Elite Stars: Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Russel Westbrook, Kemba Walker, Ben Simmons
This next tier contains the very best point guards in the league. They are easily All-Star players and will be featured on All-NBA teams as well.
Each of these players has spectacular talents that translate into production on the court on a very consistent basis. No matter their specific skill sets, they will perform at the highest level for their respective teams.
Lillard, Kyrie, and Kemba are all point guards who thrive on the ball, and with their tremendous shooting ability. They can get hot from the perimeter and are unstoppable in the pick and roll. Not to mention, they can score in a variety of ways as well.
Westbrook and Simmons rely on their tremendous physical gifts to lead their teams in assists and rebounds. For Westbrook, he is a one-man freight train who can score and pass with the very best. He is also a tremendous rebounder and has averaged a triple-double the past few seasons. Simmons is a similar player who is an elite playmaker and rebounder and seems to just be getting started.
But only one man can be on top.
Best of the Best: Stephen Curry
In a league filled with fantastic talent at the point guard position, Curry is the cream of the crop. His unstoppable offensive production gives him the major edge over the rest, despite his defensive inefficiencies.
Curry is simply unstoppable in today’s game. Even when double-teamed, he is able to create space thanks to his tremendous dribbling skill and get his lightning-quick release off. Not to mention, he is a very effective playmaker who can find the open man with ease.
Curry is a two-time MVP and three-time NBA Champion, and the best point guard in the NBA.