The face of all point guards is Steph Curry right now, but "The Chef" is 32 years old. Curry just passed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list and owns three NBA championships. When he gets to 37 years old, there might not be much more he needs to accomplish before he hangs up the shoes for good.
Regardless, there are a ton of young players in the NBA right now that hold the future of professional basketball at the point guard position. By rankings the 10 best players at point guard in the NBA over the next five years, here are the new faces of the league at the position.
Collin Sexton (27)
Sexton is having a breakout season this year with 24.1 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers. At 6-foot-1, he possesses quick agility that allows him to slash when he gets into the lane. His assists would likely be higher if he had better players around him besides an aging Kevin Love. When it comes down to it, Sexton could break the top-1o list by the time he is 27 years old. This is only his third season, but other players have proved more.
10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (27)
Every ranking needs a high-flyer and that is going to be Gilgeous-Alexander. Considering the Thunder shipped away Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams last offseason, the third-year player is performing well. Al Horford is no longer playing, while George Hill was traded at the deadline, yet Gilgeous-Alexander remains with a stat line of 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists.
When the Thunder are ready to compete, it feels that Gilgeous-Alexander is going to be centered around that success. For now, he remains at No. 10 on our list with caution. We have seen great point guards not develop because of surrounding talent. The Thunder own a copious amount of draft picks over the next five seasons. If the Thunder can surround Gilgeous-Alexander with talent, he could fly all the way to the top-5 assuming the Thunder are following the process.
9. De'Aaron Fox (28)
Despite the Kings continuing to struggle, Fox is having one of the best seasons in his career. Fox is averaging 25.0 points and 7.1 assists per game. While these numbers are great offensively, Fox is a very one-sided player. Defensively, opponents are shooting close to 49% from the field against him. In comparison to Trae Young, Fox does not yield the range, nor the playmaking abilities to make up for these mishaps.
Not to mention, Fox has not been considered for an All-Star in any of his seasons. Fox erupted for a career-high 43 points against the Pelicans in January, but that is what he is going to be. He is going to be a serviceable point guard that needs to be the No. 2 option on the team. He has the ceiling of being a Khris Middleton at the point guard position, but he is still searching for that Giannis to help carry the team towards contention.
8. Jamal Murray (29)
The biggest question on Murray coming into this season was if his Disney bubble play would carry over. In the early parts of the season, he was held to under 20 points in 12 of his first 30 games. Consistency has always been Murray's problem. He can go that long of a stretch, but then scored 50 points one night against the Cavaliers. The back-and-forth go-around is going to prevent Murray from ever making an All-Star appearance.
Now, he has bigger worries after tearing his ACL in his left knee. We have seen players not be the same when they come back. Murry is a boom-or-bust player, and his future took a major hit after sustaining his injury.
7. Ja Morant (26)
After winning Rookie of the Year, Morant's progression remains consistent. He is averaging 18.9 points per game and 7.4 assists this season. Once again, the Memphis Grizzlies are in playoff contention and a lot of that has to do with the sophomore leading the team. In comparison to players like Fox and Gilgeous-Alexander, Morant has proved he can lead a team to the playoffs, even if it's a first-round exit.
In the future, Morant has the explosiveness of Russell Westbrook and the passing eye of Kyrie Irving. What holds Morant back is his three-point shooting, a number that stands at 27.0% this season. Morant is either going to need to develop an outside shot or hope that he can play defense like Ben Simmons to make up for it. The problem is that Morant stands only at 6-foot-3. If his game doesn't take a step in the right direction in Year 3, that will hold him back from moving up in the rankings.
6. LaMelo Ball (24)
It might have been a limited sample size, but what LaMelo did in 41 games this season gave Charlotte Hornets fans hope that the next coming of Russell Westbrook is in North Carolina. At 19 years old, Ball became the youngest player ever to record a triple-double. He averaged 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. He's only going to get better.
What will be in the way of Ball is the great point guards that will have nearly a decade of experience playing in the league. However, Ball has the intangibles to be a top-5 point guard in this league down the line. He has a chance with a franchise to make his own name and his own brand. He is going to put the work in and develop over time.
5. Trae Young (27)
There is a fair case that Young was a snub to be an All-Star this season. Young is currently averaging 25.4 points and 9.5 assists. He has taken fewer three-point attempts this season, yet neither his field goal nor his three-point field goal percentage has improved. Defense continues to be Achille's heel as opponents are shooting close to 50% when he guards them. With his offensive upside, Young has the potential to be a top-5 point guard in the league.
James Harden can make up for his lack of defense by changing the course of games and playing at near triple-double level. Young does not rebound enough to separate himself from the pack. Young has the upside of having prime seasons like John Wall, who was a top-5 point guard in his prime seasons.
4. Ben Simmons (29)
On February 15th, Joel Embiid sat out when the Philadelphia 76ers played the Utah Jazz. Despite losing, Simmons scored 42 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and recorded 12 assists. He did all of that without recording a three-point shot. While many are still hopeful that his deep stroke is going to develop, we shouldn't hold our breath.
Simmons owns triple-double potential and plays great defense. At 6-foot-11, he is one of the lengthiest point guards in the league. Even though his offensive repertoire is not consistently growing, opponents are shooting close to 40% when he guards them. When it comes to two-way players, he could be the best in the league by the time he gets to 30 years old.
3. Kyrie Irving (34)
For now, Irving is considered a shooting guard but that could all change after next season. Right now, Irving is being a team player and letting James Harden orchestrate the offense in Brooklyn. Since Irving took the change, it's showed his scoring abilities, where he is averaging a career-high 27.6 points per game. This is also the third straight season he is averaging at least 6.0 assists per game.
This also goes by saying that Irving will be around in five years. Irving nearly walked away from the game this season and is only 29 years old. If Irving can win one more championship within the next two years, it's not unrealistic to believe that Irving will retire before the age of 32. If he doesn't, he will remain one of the best point guards in this league.
2. Damian Lillard (35)
Putting Lillard at No. 2 is no disrespect to Lillard and it should be taken as a sign of respect. At 35 years old, who knows how the wear and tear will affect him. Seeing Lillard average 30 points per game might be a thing of the past, but that's how good Lillard is that even at the age of 35, we still believe that there is a chance he could still do it.
We have seen the Chris Paul effect on teams in his mid-30s and Lillard has that type of leadership and charisma that he could be a key part of teams in his later years. The biggest question will be if it is with Portland or a younger team on the rise? Given Lillard's loyalty, it will likely be in Portland, but anything is possible after Lillard closes in on Clyde Drexler's all-time scoring record.
1. Luka Doncic (27)
What makes Doncic stand out from the best is how he has continuously developed in each of his three seasons. Doncic is averaging close to a triple-double and is only 22 years old. His 28.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 rebounds are numbers that we have seen from the likes of Russell Westbrook in his late 20s. Doncic hasn't been able to legally drink in the United States for more than one year and he is already putting up these types of numbers.
The looming question remains for Doncic: How much better can he get? In Year 3, he has already developed his mid-range shots compared to last season, averaging almost 1.2 more shots from 10-14 feet. He's taking fewer threes and relying on his explosiveness; he possesses range when needed. Assuming that the Mavericks retain Doncic when his contract runs out, the best point guard could reign in Dallas five years from now.