This post is inspired by SLCDunk’s Clark, who was inspired by David Locke on his Tip Off podcast a few months back. Clark went through each position on the Jazz and ranked where each of the starters would fall if you ranked them among the starters of all 30 NBA teams. I found this remarkably interesting, and over the coming weeks I plan on examining where the Jazz starters rank at each of the five positions among the rest of the NBA’s starters.
To make things less complicated, I’m going to take injured players into account. For example, instead of including Avery Bradley, Kirk Hinrich, and Jamaal Tinsley I will be including a healthy version of Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, and Mo Williams in these rankings. I believe that it will give us a better idea of where the Jazz stack up for the future if we look at our team and other teams at full strength.
Without further putzing around, here are your NBA starting point guards, ranked 1-30:
- Chris Paul-The NBA’s best floor general, and perhaps the most important piece to ANY NBA team.
- Derrick Rose-We’ve forgotten just how good he was during an MVP season.
- Russell Westbrook-Has weaknesses, but his strengths make you forget about them.
- Tony Parker-The king of consistency doesn’t get the accolades he deserves.
- Kyrie Irving-The best young up-and-coming PG in the league.
- Steph Curry-Helped turn around the Warriors, and should be an All-Star.
- Rajon Rondo-Interesting to see the Celts turnaround since he’s been out.
- Jrue Holiday-First time All-Star has stepped his game up this year.
- Deron Williams-Stark digression since leaving Utah. Can he come back?
- Ricky Rubio-One of the game’s most creative passers.
- John Wall-Wall has changed the Wizards. Fastest in the league?
- Damian Lillard-Rookie PG’s aren’t supposed to be this good…
- Grievis Vazquez-Under the radar, but leads the league in total assists.
- Steve Nash-Injury bug has hit, and his age isn’t helping.
- Kyle Lowry-He has the keys to Toronto; we’ll see what he’s made of.
- Brandon Jennings-Started out All-Star worthy, now chucking for a contract?
- Ty Lawson-Really coming on during the second half of the season, powering Nuggets.
- Kemba Walker-His improvement over last year is very encouraging.
- Mo Williams-Missed 29 games so far this year. How effective will he be coming back?
- Jeremy Lin-Has given Rockets a nice backcourt piece to go with James Harden.
- Goran Dragic-Playing decently for a Phoenix team that has been rough this season.
- Mike Conley-Overwhelmingly average.
- George Hill-He keeps the Pacers’ ship steady, but the offense needs work.
- Jeff Teague-Steady year-over-year improvement.*
- Raymond Felton-He’s helped NYK a lot when he’s been healthy.
- Brandon Knight-Now sharing a backcourt with a capable Jose Calderon.
- Isaiah Thomas-Sacto’s guard situation is crazy, but Thomas has been starting lately.
- Jameer Nelson-He’s been playing decently for one of the worst teams in the league.
- Darren Collison-Started off well, then fell off a cliff. Replaced by Derek Fisher at one point.
- Mario Chalmers-Good shooter, but let’s be honest-LeBron’s the point.
- Interesting that Clark and I ended up pegging Mo Williams at the exact same spot (#19) among the league’s starting point guards. For me, it came down to determining who I would rather have between Mo and another starter, and that’s what I came up with.
- It’s unfair to put Mario Chalmers at the bottom of the list. He’s probably not the league’s worst starting point guard. But, for a point guard who doesn’t have to worry too much about regular point guard duties, I decided that he has to be the “somebody has to be at the bottom” guy.
- After about the first 13 or so point guards on this list, you can pretty much just bunch the rest of them all together, and not have a crazy talent separation between them. Obviously, the Jazz could really use a point guard that would be considered one of the 12 or 13 best points in the game. They would help maximize the potential of the youth of the team, and add more options into the Jazz offense than the ol’ “dump it to Al” that fans are so fond of these days.
- Mo is serviceable. If he was our backup next year for reasonable money if we could pry an Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers in the offseason, I’d be more than ok with that. In fact, we’d probably go from having one of the worst backup guard lines in the league (sorry, Jamaal and Earl) to having a very solid backup point guard. Would he be willing?
- If Chris Paul re-signs with the Clippers this offseason, then Eric Bledsoe becomes more valuable as a trade chip to the Clippers than he does as an actual player. They would be able to move him and get some solid pieces in return. Let’s hope Paul stays, and Bledsoe becomes more or less a trade chip and the Jazz get in on those talks.
- Again, when I hit the bottom half of this list, it was very tough to determine who should go where. I’m sure there are some who deserve to be higher, and some who you think should be the bottom of the barrel. How is your list different? Let me have it in the comments.
* Full disclosure, I’m not sure I’ve seen a single Hawks game this year (including vs. Jazz), so I could be completely wrong on Teague.
One thing I hope I always do is admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong about Mike Conley when I made this list:utahsportsnet.com/blog/2013/02/1…
— Braeden Jensen (@CanadianBraeden) February 14, 2013