The Point Guard position is the most important position in basketball. Every team needs to have a good point guard to contend for the championship. A great point guard can elevate a mediocre team into a top team. Point guards traditionally run the offense and are the main facilitators on their teams. They are generally the on-court leaders as well as the off-court leaders of their teams.
The point guard is the deepest position in the NBA. Out of the 5 positions, this is the hardest one to rank, because of the depth at the point guard position. The point guard position is also filled with a lot of youth. Lots of the top point guards have only been in the league for a couple of seasons.
When ranking the top point guards in the league there are a few things to consider. The first is stats, as well as overall impact and team success as well as their play on both sides of the ball. This list ranks the point guards off their play of the 2019-2020 season. Past seasons do not affect their rankings on this list. Players like Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and John Wall will not be on this list due to injuries. The way positions are determined are based off Basketball Reference.
10. Ja Morant
In his rookie season, Ja Morant already makes the top 10 point guards list. The Memphis Grizzlies were expected to win under 30 games this season but Morant has led them to a playoff spot as a rookie. The point guard position is the hardest position to succeed in as a rookie, and Morant has shown no signs of hitting the rookie wall that most rookies hit. He has been very consistent and hasn’t had a major slump this season. Morant is shooting above league average from the field as a point guard, and he is also shooting above league average from 3-point range this season. Morant is the favorite for the rookie of the year award and is only going to get better in future seasons.
9. Kemba Walker
Although Kemba Walker was named an All-Star starter this season, he still only places as the 9th best point guard. His role has adapted a lot since last season. Last season when he was with the Charlotte Hornets, he was their go-to scorer and took a high volume of their shots. This season, he’s has taken a step back to let the young stars on the Boston Celtics shine, such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Kemba is still being very productive and efficient. He’s averaging 21.2 points and 4.9 assists per game with 42% from the field and 38% from 3. Walker has been a key contributor on a winning team. He has been a great leader and team player for the Celtics and he’s doing what he needs to do for the Celtics to win. Walker has also been putting in more effort on the defensive side of the ball this season and fitting perfectly into the Celtics system. Walker hasn’t been playing the same after his knee injury he suffered in February, but he is still a great all-around point guard who is playing a huge role for the Celtics success this season.
8. Kyle Lowry
The Toronto Raptors have a record of 46-18 and are the second seed in the Eastern Conference, even after losing Kawhi Leonard in the offseason. Lots of the Raptors success this season can be credited to Kyle Lowry. The Raptors have faced lots of injuries this season, but Lowry has been the glue that’s held this team together. He’s been a great leader for the Raptors and is averaging 19.7 points and 7.7 assists this season. What gives Lowry the edge over Kemba Walker is his defensive play. Lowry is a great defender and his gritty play helps the Raptors have the best ranked defense in the NBA. Lowry ranks among the top of the league in charges drawn and is still playing at an all-star level at the age of 34.
7. Trae Young
The Atlanta Hawks have a record of 20-47 and are among the bottom of the league. Their young point guard struggles on defense. Although this list heavily values defense and winning, you can’t deny Trae Young’s talent. Young is having an amazing individual season. He’s averaging 29.6 points at the age of 21, improving his points average by 10 this season. Young doesn’t have a lot of help around him, but he still averages 9.3 assists per game. Once the players around him develop more, those assists number are only going to go up.
He is the face of the Hawks and is helping them have an identity. This team is very young and is only going to improve in future seasons. Young has put up impressive numbers while dealing with opposing teams sending double teams at him. Although the Hawks don’t have a great record, they are still one of the most fun teams to watch because of Young. He has so much swagger and confidence and he’s only going to be ranked higher on this list in the future.
6. Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is very limited on offense due to his unwillingness to attempt a jump shot. Despite this, Simmons is still an all-star player. He took a huge step on the defensive end this season. Simmons has proven himself as an elite defender this season; he will without a doubt be named to an all-NBA defensive team. Simmons is also an elite passer and floor general. He’s been clutch for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. When Joel Embiid suffered an injury in early January and missed 9 games, Simmons averaged 21.5 points, 7.8 assists, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals. The 76ers also went 6-3 in this span. Simmons proved he can be a player you can build around successfully. He’s still young and has lots of time to improve and further develop his game.
5. Chris Paul
Going into this season, The OKC Thunder had very low expectations. They weren’t expected to be a playoff team; now they’re the 5th seed in a stacked western conference. Lots of this can be due to the leadership and phenomenal play of Chris Paul. When he was dealt to the Thunder, lots of people were writing off him as washed and overpaid, while many were even saying the Thunder should trade him. Paul has proven the doubters wrong and has been a great mentor and leader for this Thunder team. He’s helped the development of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and has helped establish a winning culture in Oklahoma. Paul has been one of the most clutch players in the NBA this season and has helped the Thunder in crunch time scenarios. Paul has been a very impactful player and has been one of the biggest surprises this season.
4. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is having an MVP caliber season. He’s having a career high in points, assists, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. He is averaging the 5th most points this season with 28.9 points per game and the 6th most assists this season with 7.8 assists per game. The Trailblazers are the 9th seed in the western conference this season. They have been struggling with injuries this season but Lillard has kept his team in the playoff hunt. If the Trailblazers had a better record, Dame would be in the MVP discussion. Lillard had a crazy 10 game span in January where he averaged 41.6 points per game. He can effortlessly create his own shot, as well as creating shots for his teammates. Lillard is easily an elite point guard and is having an MVP type season.
3. Russell Westbrook
Before the season started, there were questions of if the duo of Russel Westbrook and James Harden would translate to wins and if they could play well together on the court. Westbrook started out slow for the first 2 months of the season, so he reinvented his game midseason. He started attempting less 3’s and attempted more midranges and drives. Westbrook cut his 3-point attempts from 5 a game to 3. Westbrook increased his drives per game and leads the league in drives and leads the league in field goals made on drives. The Houston Rockets even traded starting center Clint Capela and converted to a 5-out offense to better support Westbrook.
There has been times this season where Westbrook has looked like the Rockets best player. When Harden’s having a bad game, it’s nice to have Westbrook who you can rely on to get you the win. Once Harden and Westbrook click at the same time, they’ll be a major threat to look out for.
2. Luka Doncic
At 21 years old, Luka Doncic is leading the Dallas Mavericks offense to the highest offensive rating in NBA history. He has shown massive improvement this season, taking a 7 point jump in points per game and improving his assists by 2.7. Doncic and the Mavs have the 7th seed in the western conference, and are only 2 wins behind the 4th seed. Doncic is a player who makes everyone around him better. Players like Maxi Kleber and Seth Curry are having career years, while others such as Tim Hardaway Jr and Dwight Powell are having career years in efficiency.
Doncic has been very consistent this season. He’s only had 3 games this whole season where he scored under 20 points. One of them he scored 19 points and another game he only played 1 minute before he left the game with an injury. He doesn’t rely heavily on athleticism and knows how to get to any spot he wants on the court. At the age of 21, Doncic is already an elite player and has the potential to be the best player in the league.
1. Lebron James
Lebron James has always been the primary ball handler for his team throughout his career, but this season is his first year playing the point guard position. This is his first season averaging above 10 assists per game as well as his first time leading the league in assists. The Lakers have an 8.1 differential rating with James on the court and a net rating of 10.3. He’s the consensus second choice in the MVP race behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. James has led his team to the best record in the western conference even at the age of 35. James has been the best player in the league for about a decade and is currently the best point guard in the NBA.