This is the beginning of a very long series that will delve into the top 40 NBA players at each position. Now, ranking players can be extremely controversial because you’re likely to have a different overall ranking list than 99.9% of people in the world, but I’m going to do it anyway. I based my rankings largely off of statistics (the best way to judge a player), using PPG, RPG, APG, BPG, SPG, and PER to calculate an overall “score” for the player. My ranking was then determined based on that score total. I only factored in BPG for power forwards and centers, and only used SPG for guards and small forwards because those are the positions that would most likely have stats in those categories. Is it really fair to judge a PG based on his BPG? No, not at all. Are there guards who get blocks and centers who get steals? Sure, it definitely happens, but I can only take so many things into account.
Another thing I’d like to mention is that I only looked at their stats for the 2013-2014 season, meaning this is a ranking for just this past season. I took into account even players who barely played such as Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant, but just because they have a lower ranking doesn’t mean I think they’re worse players overall than some of the players that are above them. If you only play in 6 games, you’re obviously not deserving of a top 5 SG role (yes Kobe, I mean you). There’s really no fool-proof way to measure it without creating constants, and this is what I chose. Is it likely that you’ll probably disagree with many of my picks? It’s very likely, but just remember, saying “this guy is way better than another guy” without actually looking at their stats is naive. Stats don’t often lie, and they’re a lot more telling than a blind opinion.
So, now that I got my explanation out of the way, here are the #31-40 point guards in the league, ranked in ascending order. I included 40 instead of 30 because there are some backups that are better than starters on other teams, and I thought it would be unfair to leave those players out. Here they are:
40. Mo Williams, Portland Trail Blazers
Stats: 9.7 PPG, 2.1 RPG 4.3 APG
Williams rounds out the bottom of the list for point guards, but that in no way suggests he’s bad. Williams is a backup, that’s what he’s been meant to do in his NBA career, whether he has actually started games or not. He backed up Damian Lillard this year and did a pretty solid job, especially for being on a team where backups barely played. Those are just about the stats you’d expect from a player like Williams, and he’s the perfect player to be coming off the bench. He’s the type of backup PG a team wants.
39. Jarrett Jack, Cleveland Cavaliers
Stats: 9.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.1 APG
Jack hasn’t been on the same team for two full seasons in a row since about 7 seasons ago when he played 3 years in a row with the Blazers. Because of an injury to Kyrie Irving, Jack actually started 31 games last year and played in 80 of them, but his numbers were down from the last few years, especially his impressive year as a backup for Golden State two years ago. Jack largely under-performed and shot a lot less efficiently than other years, and the one time candidate for Sixth Man of the Year has fallen back to “above average backup PG.” Not bad, but probably a slip from where his ranking would have been two years ago.
38. Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
Stats: 10.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.7 APG
Beverley started in almost every game he played for the Rockets last year, which was 56. He then got hurt and missed the rest of the season. I don’t think this was a terrible thing for the Rockets, who were probably expecting more from the young PG. He’s not a very efficient scorer (and no more than a 3rd or 4th option on most teams) and has extremely low assist numbers for a starting PG. As the QB of the offense, Beverley should either be scoring or passing, and he doesn’t do much of either. He has potential to do more though, and he’s still young, so look for him to improve.
37. Greivis Vasquez, Toronto Raptors/Sacramento Kings
Stats: 9.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 4.1 APG
Yes, this is the same player who averaged an astounding 9.0 APG two years ago with New Orleans as their starting PG. How did he not get the starting gig somewhere? Well, he ended up on Toronto, who already had Kyle Lowry, and they were set to battle for the starting job. Lowry exploded and left Vasquez in the dust, who received lesser minutes in 61 games with the Raptors. He was then traded to the Kings where he started all 18 games with them, passing the ball better but largely not performing much better. Vasquez is Rondo-like in his stat distribution, but he needs to be a starter to deserve it. This past year he was kind of just lost in the shuffle.
36. George Hill, Indiana Pacers
Stats: 10.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.5 APG
Hill is one of my least favorite starting point guards in the league (next to two guys I’ll be mentioning soon). He’s just not a big enough part of the Pacers offense to even be remembered. When people think of the Pacers, they say, “oh yeah, they have Hibbert, West, George, and Stephenson! What a great four guys!” No one really talks about Hill because he’s a starting PG that averages less assists per game than rebounds. That would be fine if his assist totals were high, but they’re quite low. Considering the Pacers traded Kawhi Leonard on draft night for this guy is saddening, because Hill is more of a backup quality than anything else.
35. Raymond Felton, New York Knicks
Stats: 9.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.6 APG
A lot of people think Felton is good until they look at his stats. Then they think, “eh, he just had an off year.” Well, he certainly had the worst year of his career last year, but he’s never been overly talented. He’s very inefficient on the court, which is a surefire reason to get rid of a PG. They’re supposed to be very efficient. It was his first season in the NBA where he didn’t average double digit PPG, so the Knicks were smart to get rid of him. He ranks as my second least favorite PG in the league, next to…
34. Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat
Stats: 9.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.9 APG
Yes, Mario Chalmers, my least favorite PG in the league. He’s a little better than Felton and Hill stat-wise, but so would anyone with LeBron James on their team. Put this guy on the Knicks or Kings and he’s sure to struggle beyond belief. How can he not be more of a distributor on a team that has so many crazy scorers? That’s the part that continues to confuse me over the years. Any starting PG who averages single digit PPG is already in a special category of mediocrity, but Chalmers being ranked below multiple backup point guards says something. Yet the Heat still chose to re-sign him…
33. Jordan Farmar, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 10.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.9 APG
Farmar came out of the blue last year when the Lakers had already lost 100 other guards to injuries. Farmar was actually one of them, playing in only 41 games and starting just 5. But he had what was probably his best year of his career and second season in a row of double digit PPG. The Clippers were smart to snag him after losing out on re-signing Darren Collison. Farmar is a solid backup if he can continue to produce like he has been.
32. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Stats: 15.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.3 APG
This is about where most people would explode in anger at my rankings, because they see Derrick Rose ranked so low. Well, take a look at his stats. His points are already lower than usual, his assist numbers are terrible, and his PER is atrocious at 9.82. He’s the only PG on this whole list with a PER below 10. He may have only played 10 rusty games where he was already trying to come back from an injury, but he shot 35% from the field. That’s terrible. I think Rose can turn it around next year, but as for this past year, he was awful, and his PPG were the only thing keeping him on this list at all. Getting #32 on this list is a gift if you ask me.
31. Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics
Stats: 14.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.4 APG
I was pretty sure that Bradley used to play SG, but I could be wrong. After Rondo got injured, Bradley was asked to step in as the starting PG, which he did for 58/60 games he played. 1.4 APG for a starting PG. Yes, you read that right. Less than one and a half assists per game, for a guy backing up the former assist leading in the league. No wonder the Celtics were so bad! That’s absolutely terrible. He’s a pretty good scorer, rebounder, and defender, which get him this high on the rankings, but these are more of stats for a SG. If he wants to play PG, he has to act like it. Pass the ball.