As far as basketball positions go, the point guard spot can be arguably the most important position on the floor. As I present my top 50 point guards of all-time, my rankings are based on numerous statistical categories such as assists, steals, and All-NBA Teams.
|43||Michael Ray Richardson||556||14.8||45.7||22||5.5||7||2.6||0.4||0||4x||2x||0|
|47||Nick Van Exel||880||14.4||40.5||35.7||2.9||6.6||0.8||0.1||0||1x||0||0|
1. Magic Johnson
Looking back on Magic’s career, he’s arguably the best passer in NBA history. He’s also one of the few players on this list to average double-digit assists for their entire career and did so nine times in his thirteen-year career. Johnson was also the centerpiece on several great Laker’s teams, bringing “Showtime” to Los Angeles while winning five championships during his career. The three-time MVP brought an unmatched amount of charisma to his already generational passing ability.
2. Oscar Robertson
The “Big O,” as Robertson was referenced as throughout his career, was the first player to average a triple-double during the course of an entire season. That alone could make an argument to be on this list. Nevertheless, Robertson will go down as one of the best all-around players ever. He was also a great scorer and averaged a near triple-double in his first five seasons in the NBA.
3. Stephen Curry
The only current player to even crack the top 10 on this list, Curry could reach the top two when his career is finished. As the best shooter that this game has ever seen, it’s hard to argue Curry’s value to the sport. He single-handily revolutionized the game and was the league’s first unanimous MVP. We’ve never seen a shooter and ballhandler quite like him before, and if he maintains his health, Curry could move up on both scoring and assist lists.
4. Isaiah Thomas
Perhaps underrated a bit, and overshadowed by other players in his era, “Zeke” is one of the best point guards ever to set foot on a basketball court. Not only was he a twelve-time All-Star, but Thomas won two championships with the infamous “Bad Boy” Pistons. Zeke brought a toughness to the game that few have ever matched and was one of the best pound-for-pound players in NBA history.
5. John Stockton
When you’re number one in both career steals and assists, you’re going to make this list. Stockton was the focal point, along with Karl Malone, on a ton of great Jazz teams that would challenge Michael Jordan’s Bulls. Had Stockton won a championship or two, he might be higher on this list. Still, the point god is one of two players to average double-digit assists for his entire career and made 10 All-Star appearances.
6. Steve Nash
Nash is one of the more forgotten NBA players by fans today. In addition to 8 All-Star game appearances, Nash was the focal point for some explosive Suns teams. In his prime, Nash was an MVP candidate and an annual member of the 50/40/90 club. Not only was Nash a great assist man, but he was a sniper from deep and one of the best free-throw shooters of all-time.
7. Bob Cousey
One of many Celtic legends on this list, Bob Cousey, was a thirteen-time All-Star and a six-time NBA champion. Cousey also made an All-NBA team twelve times, tied for the most on this list.
8. Jason Kidd
Like Nash, Kidd’s dominance is largely underappreciated by fans today. Kidd posted a 12/6/9 stat line during his career and was one of the best all-around point guards in NBA history. Not only was Kidd a transcendent passer at his position but was a terrific shooter (35% career 3PT%) who could be counted on to hit many timely shots in his career. Kidd capped off his career by winning one of the most impressive championships in NBA history, alongside Dirk Nowitzki, as he guided the Dallas Mavericks to a title over the Miami Heat in 2011.
9. Walt Frazier
Frazier is one of the more underrated players in this list, as he was one of the first great scoring point guards in the NBA. Frazier posted terrific numbers in an era dominated by big men and was a part of some great Knicks teams. In an age where the pace of play was much slower than today, Frazier went on to average 18.9 points and 6 assists per game while winning two rings and making seven All-Star appearances.
10. Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson was one of the greatest pound-for-pound players that the league has ever seen. Standing at just 6’0” tall, Iverson is one of the best scorers of all-time, having averaged 26.7 points per game during his seventeen-year career. As a rookie, Iverson would average 23.5 PPG while taking home ROY honors. The Philadelphia 76ers legend would make the All-Star game eleven times and win an MVP award while doing so. The only knock on Iverson is that he has no championships, but it’s hard to argue against his greatness as a scorer and for the passion, he played the game with.
11. Gary Payton
Nicknamed “The Glove,” Gary Payton is perhaps the best defensive point guard in NBA history. He ranks 4th all-time in steals, won DPOY in 1995, and made the All-Defensive team nine times. Payton is best known for his time on the Seattle SuperSonics, as he and Shawn Kemp led Seattle to the 1996 NBA Finals against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
12. Chris Paul
At number 12, CP3 continues his brilliant play at the age of 35. Paul currently sits at 7th in both career steals and assists, and he should crack the top five before his career is finished. In his prime, Paul was regarded as the NBA’s best point guard and has made the All-Star game 10 times. Paul also led the NBA in assists four times in his career while averaging 9.5 assists in his 15-year career. Like many others on this list, his lack of championship pedigree knocks him down a few spots on this list, but he’s still one of the best at his position ever to play.
13. Nate Archibald
Nate “Tiny” Archibald was one of the first great points guards after the ABA-NBA merger. The Hall of Famer put up 18 points and 7.4 assists on 47% shooting for his career. In 1972-73, Archibald would lead the NBA in assists and points per game while also playing an absurd 46 minutes per game. He’s also a 6-time All-Star selection and made 5 All-NBA teams. Archibald also won ASG MVP during the 1980-81 season.
14. Derrick Rose
As perhaps the biggest “what if” in NBA history, Derrick Rose was one of the most exciting NBA players to watch during his prime. Rose entered the league in 2008 as the number one overall pick and would win ROY. He later became the league’s youngest MVP (22 years old), taking home the award in 2010. Despite his career being sabotaged by injuries, Rose has still averaged a respectable 18 points and 5.6 assists in his career.
15. Tony Parker
As a core piece of the San Antonio Spur’s dynasty, Tony Parker went on to win four championships with the franchise. More importantly, Parker and his teammates would establish a culture in San Antonio that NBA execs have raved about for decades. Parker would go on to make 6 All-Star appearances and won Finals MVP in 2006. With career averages of 15.5 points and 5.6 assists per game, he is one of the best international players to ever play in the NBA.
16. Lenny Wilkens
In his 15-year career, Wilkens was one of the most solid all-around point guards, posting career averages of 16.5/4.7/6.7. The Hall of Famer is a 9-time All-Star and led the NBA in assists during the 1969-70 season and won ASG MVP the following season in 1970.
17. Dave Bing
The Pistons great was one of the top scorers throughout the late 1960s and early 70s. Bing would average a little over 20 points and 6 assists per game during his career while making the All-Star game 7 times. Dave Bing also won ROY during the 1966-67 season and averaged 20 points per game.
18. Chauncey Billups
Another Piston’s great, Chauncey Billups is one of the more underrated point guards in recent memory. Nicknamed “Mr. Big Shot,” Billups led the Pistons to a championship in2003 while taking home Finals MVP honors. During his career, Billups shot nearly 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free-throw line. Billups also made the All-Star game 5 times and was a member of the All-Defensive team twice.
19. Dennis Johnson
Johnson was a huge part of some great Celtics teams and won three NBA Championships during his career. Although he wasn’t a great scorer, Johnson was one of the best defenders of his era and made the All-Defensive team 9 times. The Hall of Famer was also the 1978 Finals MVP with Seattle. The following year, Johnson help the SuperSonics win their first NBA title.
20. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook is one of the most electric players in NBA history. Since entering the league in 2008, he’s led the NBA in assists and scoring twice. Westbrook is also one of only two players (the other is Oscar Robertson) to average a triple-double throughout the course of an entire NBA season. Westbrook has accomplished the feat a whopping three times. He’s also 9-time All-Star and won the NBA MVP award during the 2016-17 season. Westbrook currently sits 14th in career assists and has averaged double-digit rebounds three times.
21. Lafayette Lever
Another terrific all-around point guard, “Fat” Lever was a dominant scorer and assist man during his time with the Denver Nuggets. He made the All-Star game twice and made the All-Defensive team in 1987. Averaging 2.2 steals per game, Lever is 25th all-time in career steals.
22. Anfernee Hardaway
Like Rose, Hardaway’s career was ravaged by injuries that kept him from reaching his tremendous potential. As a rookie, Hardaway averaged 16 points, 6.6 assists, and 2.3 steals per game for the Orlando magic. He would also team up with Shaquille O’Neal to form one of the more dynamic young duos in NBA history. He would make the All-Star game 4 times before his career was taken over by injuries. In his prime, Penny was a terrific two-way guard and was a top 10 point guard in the league.
23. Kyrie Irving
Since being selected number one overall in 2011, Irving has been nothing short of spectacular, averaging 22.4 points and 5.7 assists per game on nearly 40 percent shooting from deep. One of the best finishers and ball handlers off all-time, Kyrie has received much consideration as the most skilled player offensively in history. Irving took home ROY honors in 2011, has made 6 All-Star appearances, and helped the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first title in franchise history during the 2015-16 season.
24. Kevin Johnson
One of the best scoring and playmaking guards in NBA history, Johnson sits 24th all-time in assists. He is a 5-time All-NBA Team member and made three All-Star Game selections during his career. Johnson also averaged double-digit assists for four straight seasons and won the NBA’s MIP award during the 1988-89 season.
25. Damian Lillard
At number 25, Damian Lillard could very well crack the top 15 by the time his career is over. A 5-time All-Star, Lillard entered the league in 2012 and won ROY. Lillard has been one of the most clutch players of his era and has compiled numerous game-winners in the regular season and the playoffs. Trailing only Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, Lillard is second all-time on the Blazer’s scoring list and holds the team record for most points in a single game (59).
26. Tim Hardaway
In 15 NBA seasons, Hardaway averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. In the early 1990s, Hardaway was part of the famous “Run TMC” squad that included Chris Mullion and Mitch Richmond. He was famous for his killer crossover, and Hardaway was also a solid defender, averaging 1.6 steals per game. Hardaway also contributed significantly to a Miami Heat team later in his career and would wind up with 5 All-NBA and All-Star selections.
27. Sidney Moncrief
Sidney Moncrief is regarded as one of the best defensive players at the point guard position in NBA history. Although he averaged just 15.6 points per game during his career, Moncrief’s production on the defensive end was one to behold. He made the All-Star and All-Defensive teams five times each and won Defensive Player of the Year two times. Moncrief remains one of the few guards to win DPOY and for multiple times.
28. Mark Jackson
While Mark Jackson may be more known for his commentary and coaching career by some younger fans, Jackson is one of the greatest assist men to ever suit up in the NBA. He finished his career 4th on the all-time assist list, trailing only John Stockton, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash. As a rookie in 1987, Jackson put up nearly 14 points and 11 assists per game, which helped him take home ROY honors. Jackson went on to average double-digit assists three times during his career and even made an All-Star game.
29. Mark Price
Before LeBron James came to Cleveland, their best player was arguably Mark Price. Price would play 12
seasons in the NBA and made the All-Star and All-NBA teams four times during his time as a Cavalier. In addition to his passing ability, Price was a knock-down shooter, shooting 47% from the field, 40 % from three, and 90.4% from the free-throw line throughout his career.
30. Maurice Cheeks
Cheeks was one of the best two-way point guards of his time. In his 16-year career, Maurice Cheeks averaged six or more assists 11 times. The Hall of Famer made 4 All-Star game appearances and made the All-NBA Defensive team 5 times. Cheeks also sits 4th in career steals and 13th in career assists. Although scoring wasn’t his calling card, Cheeks did finish with an impressive 52.3 shooting percentage from the field. Cheeks also won a title with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1982 season.
31. Norm Nixon
In his 10-year career, Norm Nixon averaged at least 6 assists per game. He is one of the more underrated Lakers from the “Showtime” era, having averaged 15.7 points per game on a terrific 48.3 percent shooting from the field. Nixon also won 2 championships with the Los Angeles Lakers during his career.
32. Rajon Rondo
From 2008-14, Rajon Rondo was widely recognized as one of the top point guards in the NBA. The four-time All-Star has averaged double-digit assists career times in his 14-year career, including three straight (2010-12). The Laker point guard currently sits at 15th on the all-time assists list. Rondo is also a 3-time assist leader and 1-time season steals leader. He is most remembered for his time with the Celtics, which included winning an NBA Championship in 2007.
33. Gail Goodrich
Goodrich was one of the better scoring point guards during the late 1960s and early-mid 1970s. Goodrich was also an excellent free-throw shooter, with a career percentage of 80.7%. Goodrich is also a one-time NBA Champion and All-NBA team member.
34. Kyle Lowry
Although Lowry’s first 6-8 years in the NBA were somewhat average, his career took off when he switched teams to Toronto. His career averages aren’t eye-popping, but Lowry’s impact on the culture of basketball in Toronto might be unmatched. He joined a struggling franchise and has turned them into a perennial playoff power. In 15 NBA seasons, Lowry has made the All-Star game 6 times and is fresh off of the first title in Raptors history (2018-19). Some also regard Lowry as the best Raptor ever, pretty good considering his impressive company (Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Demar DeRozan, Tracy McGrady).
35. Deron Williams
Depending on how you look at it, Deron Williams could very well be the second-best point guard in Utah Jazz history (behind John Stockton). From 2007-13, Williams was one of the most dominating scorers in the league. Williams also averaged double-digit assists for four straight years (2007-11). After retiring in 2016, Williams finished 22nd on the all-time assist list.
36. Kemba Walker
Walker’s place on this list would be much higher if he weren’t a part of the Charlotte Hornet’s losing culture. Before arriving in Boston this season, Walker has been one of the best scoring guards in the NBA. He’s a career 20 point per game scorer and shoots the three-ball at an excellent clip (36%). Walker is a 4-time NBA All-Star and made the All-NBA team in 2018 when he averaged 25.6 points per game. Walker also leads the Charlotte Hornets in many of the franchise’s statistical categories.
37. Terry Porter
Although overshadowed in Portland by Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, Porter was one of the best passing guards of his era. He finished 17th in career assists and averaged 8 or more assists five times in his career. Porter was extremely efficient on offense, compiling a career 46.3 field goal percentage. Porter also made two All-Star appearances in his 17-year career.
38. Baron Davis
Davis is one of the more forgotten players in the modern NBA era. In his prime, Davis put up 19 points and 8 assists on a nightly basis and played a considerable role on some overachieving Warrior and Hornet teams. Davis is a 2-time NBA All-Star, and NBA steals champ. He also made the All-NBA team during the 2003-04 season. As a playmaker, Davis recorded 8 seasons in which he averaged at least seven assists.
39. Stephon Marbury
“Starbury,” as many fans know him by, is one of the best scoring and assist men in NBA history. Before becoming a legend in China, Marbury was one of the most popular players to ever come out of New York. During his career, Marbury recorded 9 seasons in which he averaged at least 20 points per game. As a passer, Marbury was equally as impressive, recording 13 seasons of at least 7 assists per game. Marbury could’ve been higher on this list but lacked the championship pedigree and playoff experience of those before him.
40. Gilbert Arenas
“Agent Zero,” as many fans have come to know him, was one of the most electric players of his era. Arenas was a tremendous scorer and averaged nearly 30 points in consecutive seasons. Despite having little playoff success, Arenas made 3 All-Star appearances and won MIP during the 2002-03 season.
41. Andre Miller
Number 41 on the list, Andre Miller, was one of the best passers of all-time. Although he never made a single All-Star or All-NBA team, Miller brought plenty of value to his squads with his incredible playmaking ability. He finished his career 11th on the all-time assist list and played an incredible 21 seasons in the NBA. In thirteen of those seasons, Miller averaged 6 or more assists. Miller also made the All-Rookie team during the 1999-00 season.
42. John Wall
Another number one overall pick on this list, Wall was one of the most talking about prospects coming into the league in 2010, and for a good reason. He’s one of the fastest point guards in the NBA when healthy but has yet to play since 2018. At full strength, Wall is a blur in the open floor and was an elite scorer and playmaker. From 2014-17, Wall recorded three consecutive seasons with at least 17 points and 10 assists per game. If Wall hadn’t struggled with injuries, he might have been a few spots higher on this list.
43. Michael Ray Richardson
Richardson was one of the top points guards in the league before struggling with the NBA’s drug policy. Not only was Richardson a terrific playmaker, but he was elite defensively. During his career, Richardson led the lead in steal three times and made the All-Defensive team twice. Richardson made 4 All-Star Game appearances in his short, 9-year career.
44. Derek Harper
Derek Harper is still one of the most underappreciated and more unknown players of his time. One of the few players to finish on the top 25 in both assists and steals on this list, Harper finished 25th in assists and 15th all-time in steals. His 2 All-Defensive team selections highlight his terrific defense.
45. Ron Harper
Known most notably for his time with the Chicago Bulls, Ron Harper was a tremendous defender at the point guard position. In his 16-year career, Harper averaged more than 2 steals per game seven times. Harper made the All-Rookie team in 1986 and would win 5 championships in his career.
46. Kenny Smith
“The Jet,” Kenny Smith, had a solid 13-year career. He was as efficient as it gets on the offensive end, finishing with a 48% career field-goal percentage. Smith was also a great outside shooter, recording a 39.9 life-time percentage. In 1994 and 1995, Smith helped guide the Houston Rockets to back-to-back titles.
47. Nick Van Exel
Van Exel was a critical piece on some great Laker teams in the 1990s. The crafty lefty was known for his flashy passes and playstyle throughout his career. Van Exel is a one-time All-Star and made the All-Rookie team in 1993.
48. Steve Francis
Francis was a terrific all-around guard on both ends of the floor. In 6 of his 10 NBA seasons, Francis averaged at least 16 points per contest. He made 3 All-Star teams and was awarded ROY honors during the 1999 season.
49. Mike Bibby
In his prime, Bibby was a terrific shooter and scorer, averaging 15 points per game seven times in his 17-year career. Bibby was a core piece on a few great Sacramento Kings teams that included Peja Stojakovic, and Chris Webber.
50. Scott Skiles
Despite not making a single All-Star or All-NBA team, Skiles makes my list based on his excellent shooting line and an impressive single-game performance. In his 10-year career, Skiles posted a 43.5 field-goal percentage, a 37.9 three-point percentage, and an elite 88.9 free-throw percentage. In one of the most impressive performances in NBA history, Skiles recorded an all-time single-game record 30 assists in one game in a game against the Denver Nuggets.
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