Heading into the offseason, we rank the top fifteen point guards in the NBA. These rankings are based on who I would want to start at point guard if I was building a team today. This is not a list ranked on what many refer to as a “true point guard.” It is important to point that out, as many would rank Chris Paul at the top of the list because of his exceptional play-making abilities. I also am running this team year-by-year, not a dynasty format, so age has no impact on rankings, aside from potential durability issues.
After celebrating 75 years, this is the most talented group of point guards the National Basketball Association has seen in its history. Partially because a lot of shooting guards also carry the point guard tag, and vice versa. It is worth noting that at the time of writing this, the following players start at either shooting guard or small forward, even though are labeled as point guard on some pages such as Wikipedia, ESPN and Basketball-reference.com: Donovan Mitchell, CJ McCollum and others. None of the recent NBA draft picks were considered when ranking.
15) Jrue Holiday: An NBA Champion in 2021, Jrue has always been a strong contributor out of the backcourt. In the last two seasons, Jrue is shooting 50% from the field. By contrast, oddly his assists per game have dipped some, which is unexpected when playing with an annual MVP candidate in Giannis Antetokounmpo. A good spot for Jrue on the list. He is a very capable player and a hard worker. With Giannis and Khris Middleton Jrue is the third option on the team, making it difficult to post robust numbers, however an increase in assists would be expected.
14) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Shai is one of the better field goal shooters of the bunch. Like De’Aaron Fox, with little to prove on a perennial loser the expectations are low of the team, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has lofty expectations of himself, as does the OKC front office. Now that he is paired with some potential real talent. Things could really start to take off, either way, Shai is on the list because he is incredible with the basketball. He is settling in as a consistent 25-point per game scorer. The greater concern is Shai’s durability, not his talent. Heading into his fifth season, he has only played 70 + games once. Back-to-back seasons averaging 6 assists per game have elevated his stock and reputation as not just a great scorer, but also a great sharer of the basketball, hence why so many are inquiring about him. He was rumored to be a hot trade target, but after the Thunder’s big draft night, it is unlikely he moves.
13) Tyrese Maxey: Maxey really turned it on at the end of the season and stayed hot throughout the playoffs. The absence of Joel Embiid allowed Tyrese Maxey the opportunity to be a go-to option, a relied-upon scoring threat and to highlight his skills more on the fast break. It may not seem impressive that Tyrese doubled his minutes, and subsequently doubled his points and assists per game, but it is not as common as you may think. There is room for improvement on the distribution end. Tyrese putting up four assists per game alongside Joel Embiid and James Harden does slightly miss the mark. I expect this to improve next season.
12) Fred VanVleet: The man once in Kyle Lowry’s shadow as a role player is now the best player on the Toronto Raptors. Fred shines in big moments and is never scared to shoot the basketball. The rare case where a player’s points per game increase every year, is Fred VanVleet. He also has hovered just under 7 assists per game for three consecutive seasons. At game’s end, VanVleet is the go-to guy.
11) De’Aaron Fox: One of the lesser-known guys on the list due to his small market team. If Fox played for the Los Angeles Lakers, he would be considered a top 20 player in the league. Fox has averaged 20 + points three of his five seasons, and 6.8 assists or more three of five seasons. Since his rookie season, De’Aaron Fox has shot nearly 50% from the field, and above 70% from the line every season of his professional career. He has handled the ball well as the floor leader, posting a better assist -to-turnover ratio than Stephen Curry, Ja Morant and Luka Doncic.