NBA PG Rankings part 2

Yesterday, we debuted part 1 of the NBA point guard rankings. Today, we conclude the list with the best of the best among the NBA point guards.

Tier 3

17. Steph Curry Last season stats – 14.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 3.4 rpg, 21.23 PER
If Curry could ever stay healthy, he could potentially be an all-star. If he played 35 minutes per game for 82 games, he’d easily be bumped 10 spots up on this list. He’s a heady player who shoots the ball extremely well. I could easily see him developing into a smarter version of Gilbert Arenas in his prime. That being said, I have zero confidence in his ability to stay healthy right now. Predicted season stats – 15.9 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.2 rpg, 21.7 PER, 47 games played

16. Jeff Teague Last season stats – 12.6 PPG, 4.9 APG, 2.4 RPG, 15.83 PER
Teague is at that point in his career where he’s either going to make the step or just be that guy that is good but not great (like a Devin Harris-type). He either needs to become a better three point shooter or playmaker to jump to that next tier. Predicted season stats – 13.9 PPG, 5.0 APG, 2.5 RPG, 16.5 PER

15. Jrue HolidayLast season stats: 13.5, ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.3 rpg, 14.74 PER
After a very average rookie year, Holiday really emerged over the last two years as a solid NBA pg. I think his numbers are deceiving since his main asset is his ability to be one of the best defenders at the PG position in the league. If he can improve his shooting and get to the foul line a little more, I think he can become a fringe NBA all-star (like a Mike Conley or Kyle Lowry). Predicted season stats – 14.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 rpg, 15.5 PER

14. John WallLast season stats – 16.3 ppg, 8.0 apg, 4.5 rpg, 17.77 PER
It’s unfortunate that John Wall is going to miss the start of the season because I was really optimistic that he was going to have a breakout year. Coming out of Kentucky, I thought he had a little D-Wade to his game. I was sure he was going to be a good pro. Of course, he struggled alongside a bad bunch of teammates. He’s shown flashes of what was expected, but his complete lack of shooting is killing him right now. I think he’s on his way to being a Russell Westbrook-type player, but he needs some more pieces around him and he needs to hang out with a shooting coach. Predicted season stats – 18.0 ppg, 8.2 apg, 4.5 rpg, 19.2 PER

13. Brandon Jennings Last season stats – 19.1 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.4 rpg, 18.46 PER
I have a feeling Jennings is going to make a sizable jump this season. I’m not convinced the Jennings/Ellis combo is going to work, but they are streaky enough they are going to outplay some of the top 5 teams in the league at times this year. He’s handling the ball better and shooting slightly better. He’s got the skillset to be a Tony Parker-type, but it’s anyone guess as to what he becomes. Predicted stats – 20.0 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.5 rpg, 20.0 PER

Tier 2
12. Kyle Lowry14.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 4.6 rpg, 18.89 PER
I’d imagine if you had a poll of NBA point guards, Kyle Lowry who be high on the “who do you really dislike facing” list. He’s so strong and a great defender at a position where there aren’t a lot of great defenders. It will be interesting to see what the change of location brings although I’m guessing Dwane Casey is going to be very excited to have such a defensive presence on a team sorely lacking defenders. One thing that separates Lowry from every other PG is his uncanny ability to rebound. Predicted stats – 15.0 ppg, 6.1 apg, 5.0 rpg, 19.0 PER

11. Mike ConleyLast season stats – 12.7 ppg, 6.5 apg, 2.5 rpg, 16.79 PER
Conley is sneaky good. His stats don’t wow. Watching a random few minutes of Memphis on League Pass, he likely won’t stand out. He’s a sneaky good steals guy alongside Tony Allen. He shoots well from three and from the charity stripe (although I’d like to see him get there a little more). He’s made slow but steady improvements every year. I don’t see him every moving up on this list, but could see him being an Andre Miller type who’s surprisingly good for a really long time.

10. Ty LawsonLast season stats – 16.4 ppg, 6.6 apg, 3.7 rpg, 19.43 PER
Lawson looked fantastic in his first full season as a starter. He’s the perfect fit for the way this Denver Nuggets team plays. He’s fantastic driving to the basket and shoots well enough that teams have to respect him. I don’t think he’ll ever make the jump into the top tier of PGs in the league, but I could see him have a similar career arc to Mike Bibby (for those younger readers, before he was a terrible PG for every team in the league, Bibby was the engine that made a fantastic Kings team run). Predicted season stats – 17.4 ppg, 7.9 apg, 3.5 rpg, 21.0 PER

9. Ricky RubioLast season stats – 10.6 ppg, 8.2 apg, 4.2 rpg, 14.64 PER
Much like Rondo, Rubio is a heady PG who’s PER doesn’t seem to match his output. While he’s got to improve his shooting from all over the floor, he showed enough creativity and court vision for players to make believers out of any doubters who might have been lingering. It took Steve Nash until the age of 26 to really emerge as an all-around star, so there is still time for Rubio. I expect he’ll miss the first two months of the season, but come back nicely off of ACL surgery because, unlike Derrick Rose, he’s not as reliant on explosion as an integral part of his game. Predicted season stats – 11.0 ppg, 9.1 apg, 4.0 rpg, 16.5 PER

8. Steve NashLast season stats – 12.5 ppg, 10.7 apg, 3.0 rpg, 20.29 PER
I think we’re going to see Nash take another dip in minutes played, but his (best in the league?) shooting along with his playmaking ability should fit nicely in LA. And by nice, I mean Nash is so much better than Ramon Sessions it’s not even funny. There are some chemistry questions mostly involving Kobe and Dwight, but Nash might find him in the middle of some drama. Another question is what exactly the Lakers are going to do defensively against the teams with really good backcourts. Still, I expect a solid season from the maestro. Predicted season stats – 13.0 ppg, 9.9 apg, 3.0 rpg, 20.0 PER

7. Deron WilliamsLast season stats – 21.0 ppg, 8.7 apg, 3.3 rpg, 20.34 PER
I’m guessing this is one of the more controversial choices (not including Williams in tier 1), but I really struggled watching him coast the past two seasons. I don’t think basketball is a sport you can turn off and on like a light switch. He was completely disengaged at times last year. Even when Chris Paul has been on some mediocre New Orleans teams, he’s competed. I smell too much Baron Davis in Deron Williams game. Predicted stats – 19.5 ppg, 10.0 apg, 2.9 rpg – 20.0 PER

Tier 1
6. Tony Parker Last season stats – 18.3 ppg, 7.7 apg, 2.9 rpg, 22.04 PER
I’ve spent the entirety of the last five years saying “…this might be it for the Spurs.” Mostly because their best player (Tim Duncan) was getting old and showing signs of decline. Their second best player (Manu) is old as well. And to be honest, I thought their third best player (Parker) was just average. Last season, I was proven wrong in a very big way. Parker is elite. He completely was deserving of being mentioned in the NBA MVP conversation. At 30, it will be interesting how many years he has left at this level and if any of the younger Spurs (Kawhi Leonard?) can team with him as Duncan and Manu continue to decline. Predicted season stats – 18.0 ppg, 7.5 apg, 2.9 rpg, 22.0 PER

5. Derrick Rose Last season stats – 21.8 ppg, 7.9 apg, 3.4 rpg, 23.10 PER, 1 torn ACL
If healthy, he’s no worse than the 2nd best PG in the NBA depending on your preference between CP3 and Rose. Of course, he’s not healthy. I expect him to play somewhere between 20-40 games this year, but likely to be very effective by playoff time. Predicted season stats – 19.0 ppg, 7.5 apg, 2.6 rpg, 20.0 PER

4. Rajon Rondon Last season stats – 11.9 ppg, 11.7 apg, 4.8 rpg, 17.55 PER
Rondo is a great example of how a limited player can still be great. He can’t shoot. Every team he plays knows he can’t shoot. Stat nerds would argue he’s the most overrated player in the league. Yet anyone who watches the game can tell you he’s one of the smartest players in the game. I expect a big year from one of the most fun guys to watch on a nightly basis. Predicted season stats – 13.0 PPG, 11.1 APG, 5.0 RPG, 18.0 PER

3. Russell Westbrook23.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.6 rpg, 23.00 PER
Westbrook can’t play point. Westbrook has to defer to Durant. Westbrook shoots too much. For the entirety of Russell Westsbrook’s career, he’s been told what he can and can’t do. All he’s done is compete and play harder than any player in the league while elevating his game to elite status. Without Harden, he may have to try to do even more (which is scary). Predicted season stats – 24.5 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.5 rpg, 23.5 PER

2. Kyrie Irving Last season stats – 18.5 ppg, 5.4 apg, 3.7 rpg, 21.49 PER
Being a former Dukie (although barely), every ounce of me wanted Irving to be a bust. He came out guns blazing as a 19-year old rookie, though. I think within the next three years, we’re mentioning the name Kyrie Irving when we say start the “best point guard in the NBA” conversation. I expect a huge year from him. Predicted season stats – 21.3 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.0 rpg, 24.7 PER

1. Chris Paul Last season stats – 19.8 ppg, 9.1 apg, 3.6 rpg, 27.09 PER
Chris Paul was undoubtedly the top PG in the league last year. The only way I see him not maintaining that crown this year is due to injury. He’s in a contract year. He’s on a team that’s expected to compete in the West surrounding by veterans like Grant Hill, Chaucey Billups, and Caron Butler. They aren’t the most talented team in the league, but I expect them to compete. Predicted season stats – 21.0 ppg, 9.8 apg, 3.2 rpg, 27.0 PER