The point guard position has always consisted of all-time great players. The very best point guards have won individual achievements, team achievements, and have made a mark in NBA history. We have seen how a scoring point guard, like Stephen Curry, can be the best player for a championship team and how a great playmaker like Magic Johnson can be widely regarded as one of the very best players to ever do it.
Concerning the point guard position today, only a handful are selected as perennial All-Stars and even superstar talents. To determine which point guards are truly the best in the NBA, we have ranked the top playmakers and ball handlers with a handful of honorable mentions. Here are all the NBA's greatest point guards, ranked from 10-1.
2019-2020 Statistics: 29.6 PPG, 9.3 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
It might seem baffling how a player like Trae Young, who started for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, can not make the top-10 list. His stats are sensational, as he averaged 29.6 PPG and 9.3 APG for the Atlanta Hawks. His numbers jump out the page as All-NBA standard, but his impact isn't quite there. He shoots a low percentage, 43.7% from the field, and put up these numbers due to his usage rate on a bad team.
Trae Young will have a chance to lead his team to more wins in the Eastern Conference, thanks to the team's additions of Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Hawks will very likely be an Eastern Conference playoff team, and Trae Young will be at the core of it. Trae has the talent to easily be a top-10 player, and he might prove it this season.
10. Kyle Lowry
2019-2020 Statistics: 19.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, 35.2% 3-PT FG
Kyle Lowry was the point guard for the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors in 2018. After bouncing around the league for so long, he finally found a team where he can flourish with the Raptors. Lowry has become a better player every year, adding a very effective deep-range jumper to a game that was predicated on hustle, toughness, and strong playmaking. In fact, Lowry's leadership was one of the main factors that helped the Raptors defeat the Warriors in the Finals 2 years ago.
Kyle Lowry is one of the best leaders in the NBA and is a championship level point guard. Easily one of the top-10 point guards in the league, Lowry is a fantastic shooter from beyond and also a strong playmaker. Lowry will hope he can lead the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals this year, as his future beyond this season remains in doubt with the likes of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol leaving Toronto.
9. Kemba Walker
2019-2020 Statistics: 20.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 38.1% 3-PT FG
Kemba Walker is a great point guard for the Celtics because he is an unselfish scorer. He can get buckets when he needs to, and play a playmakers role when necessary. What Kemba Walker does best is creating his own offense and he is very quick with his release and explosion to the basket.
Kemba Walker is currently the second best player on his team behind Jayson Tatum, and he also happens to be a top-10 point guard. Walker will always be a contender to make an All-Star team and he will likely fight for a place in the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 2021.
8. Jamal Murray
2019-2020 Statistics: 18.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 34.6% 3-PT FG
Jamal Murray’s statistics look decent on paper, but his impact for the Denver Nuggets is far greater. Murray turned on his best performances during last season’s postseason when he put up sensational scoring numbers. Murray was arguably the best player for the Nuggets in the Playoffs as they took on the mighty Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Murray will hopefully have more help with Michael Porter Jr coming into his own, and Nikola Jokic playing like the best big man in the league. Murray will most likely have a massive boost in his scoring and assist numbers, as he will turn 24 years old this year. Murray’s growth as a man and as a player will certainly be fun to watch, and he will be one of the best players for the future of the NBA.
7. Ben Simmons
2019-2020 Statistics: 16.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 8.0 APG, 2.1 SPG, 28.6% 3-PT FG
Ben Simmons can’t shoot, but it is time we appreciate all the great things he does on the floor. Simmons will never be a knockdown shooter, but he will do everything else at a very high level. Simmons is one of the very few triple-double threats every night and he will be the best point guard for the team he plays for, whether that’s with the 76ers or another team.
Ben Simmons will likely have an uptick in his numbers this season as he looks to take another giant step towards being a superstar. If Simmons can take his 3-point shooting to at least 30% this season, he might reach that level already. So far, Simmons is looking up at the top-5 point guards but it might not be long before he gets that.
6. Russell Westbrook
2019-2020 Statistics: 27.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 25.8% 3-PT FG
Russell Westbrook is the greatest stat sheet stuffer at the point guard position since Oscar Robertson. His ability to get triple-doubles is extraordinary, and he has managed to average a triple-double over the past three seasons. His numbers along with his MVP caliber stat-sheet stuffing make him a top-5 point guard easily.
Westbrook took a big of a reputation hit last year after his poor postseason, but he was coming off an untimely injury and also a positive Covid test. Westbrook, when healthy, is very capable of winning the MVP Award because the game comes too easy for him. Westbrook’s athleticism is unmatched, and he will form a dominant duo with Bradley Beal this season.
5. Chris Paul
2019-2020 Statistics: 17.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.6 SPG, 36.5% 3-PT FG
Point guard legend Chris Paul is probably one of the best leaders in NBA history. His hustle, killer instinct, and supreme basketball I.Q. make him a perfect point guard. The biggest knock on his career is only the fact that he never played in an NBA Finals, and he might not have a chance with Phoenix before the end of his career. Nonetheless, Chris Paul isn’t far away from being a top-5 point guard in the NBA.
With age the only reason he is out of the top-five, Chris Paul can still be a knockdown shooter when he creates space for himself or provides easy baskets for his teammates. CP3 will form one of the best backcourts with Devin Booker and is expected to lead a young Phoenix team to the Playoffs this season.
4. Kyrie Irving
2019-2020 Statistics: 27.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 39.4% 3-PT FG
Kyrie Irving managed to win an NBA title with the Cavaliers, and he deserves almost as much credit for it like LeBron James. Kyrie was the closer for the team, and he is one of the most dominant offensive guards we have ever seen. His ball-handling skills rank among the best ever, and he is a box office player who fills out arenas. With the Brooklyn Nets, he has a chance to repeat history and win his second NBA title.
Kyrie Irving has heard all the criticism coming his way the past few seasons, for both on-court and off-court issues, and he will take that as a chip on his shoulder. When Kyrie is motivated and focused, he is one of the top-4 point guards in the league and he will prove it in 2021. With Kevin Durant by his side, Kyrie will put up big scoring numbers.
3. Luka Doncic
2019-2020 Statistics: 28.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 8.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 31.6% 3-PT FG
Luka Doncic is one of the best players in the NBA already, and he will be the main point guard for the Dallas Mavericks this season. He can basically play 4 positions although his excellent playmaking skills will force him to be the main playmaker. The fact that Doncic is already a top-3 point guard is incredible, and he will prove that he will be coming for the top spot.
Luka can do it all on the floor, and he very well could be the #1 favorite for the MVP Award this season. Doncic could be a top-3 shooting guard and even a top-3 small forward if he wants to be, but he will enter and complete the 2021 season as the third-best point guard in the world.
2. Damian Lillard
2019-2020 Statistics: 30.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 40.1% 3-PT FG
Damian Lillard is a box office player who can shoot the lights out from anywhere on the court. Lillard has yet to win an NBA title or even play in the Finals, so he will be at a superstar level once again in 2021. Last year, Lillard was sensational in leading a very average Portland Trail Blazers to a very unlikely Playoff spot. In terms of pure scoring ability and impact on the floor, Lillard has to be a top-2 point guard in the NBA.
It was almost possible that Lillard began making a case for himself as the best point guard in the NBA, but his lack of postseason success besides a Western Conference Finals appearance 2 years ago is preventing him from taking that title. There are no more excuses for Lillard as he has a strong team with the acquisition of Robert Covington and the re-signing of Carmelo Anthony. Lillard will be an MVP challenger this season but will fall short to one man as the best point guard in the NBA.
1. Stephen Curry
2018-2019 Statistics: 27.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 43.7% 3-PT FG
Curry is the most recent all-time great point guard to grace the game of basketball. Stephen Curry is simply unstoppable in today's game thanks to his tremendous dribbling skill and gets his lightning-quick release off. He is also the best shooter we have ever seen and is mostly responsible for how the game is played today. Curry is a two-time MVP and three-time NBA Champion, and one of the best point guards ever.
Although Curry will be 33 years old this season, he will reign supreme as the best point guard in the NBA. No point guard can impact a game like Curry can, and he will be one of the front-runners for the MVP Award despite Klay Thompson’s absence. With the ball in his hands whenever he wants, Curry will once again prove why he is the greatest point guard right now.