The point guard is in many respects the quarterback of the basketball squad. Point guards are the floor generals. They are the driving force before offensive sets and the engine that pushes a team up the floor.
In this day and age, point guards come in many shapes and sizes and have very diverse skill sets. Some are score-first players who can drop 30 on any given night. Others are pass-first distributors who are double-double machines. Regardless of their individual characteristics, an elite point guard can elevate the players around them and win a ton of basketball games.
As the 2022/23 NBA season quickly approaches, who are the most elite, game-changing point guards in the game today? Let’s dig a little deeper and count them down:
5. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is the elder statesman on this list and has been one of the truly elite point guards in the world for the better part of two decades. Since joining the Phoenix Suns before the 2020/21 season, Paul has helped build a winning culture in the desert and has helped mold his young teammates (particularly Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton) into stars in their own right.
Moreso than anyone else on this list, Paul’s impact on the court goes far beyond the box score. At 37 years old, his scoring numbers have dipped (just 14.8 points per game) but he is still arguably the best facilitator in the game, leading the league in assists this past season with 10.8 per game. He is also still a tenacious defender when called upon, averaging 1.9 steals per game last season.
Paul is an intense leader and has fully earned his nickname the “Point God.” While he may be entering the twilight of his career, he is still a top-five point guard in the NBA.
4. Damian Lillard
The stage is set for Damian Lillard to make a massive comeback in 2022/23, after playing in just 29 games this past season before succumbing to an abdominal injury. The team completely fell apart in his absence. It seems like a safe bet that Lillard, who claims to feel better than ever these days, will be on a revenge tour this coming season.
When we last saw him fully healthy, Lillard was one of the most dangerous scorers in the world. He finished the 2021/22 season with averages of 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game while shooting nearly 40% from three-point range. At 32 years old, Lillard certainly still has a few seasons left at this superstar level, and he will be hellbent on finally getting his Portland Trail Blazers over the hump.
3. Ja Morant
Ja Morant had an incredible breakout campaign in 2021/22, cementing his place as a legitimate NBA superstar this past season. He led the Memphis Grizzlies to a 56-26 record, claiming the second seed in a highly competitive Western Conference while averaging 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game and making his first All-Star appearance. He led his team to the second round of the playoffs and took the eventual champion Warriors to six games.
Morant is a leader on the court. His high-flying athleticism thrills the fans. Best of all, he is just 23 years old and is getting better by the day, which should be a terrifying prospect for the 29 other NBA franchises.
2. Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is a one-man army on the basketball court. He is a triple-double machine, a consistent threat to score 30+ on any night, and an elite passer while running the point often as one of the bigger players on the court at 6’7″ and 230 lbs.
Doncic once again put up MVP-caliber numbers in his fourth NBA season, making his third straight All-Star appearance at just 23 years of age. He came uncomfortably close to averaging a triple-double last season with incredible averages of 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game.
He also achieved his highest level of team success this past season, leading the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals before ultimately falling to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. If the franchise can give him just a little more help, Doncic and company should be championship contenders for the next decade, and the MVP votes will start climbing even further in his favor.
1. Stephen Curry
It seems impossible to place anyone else in the top position on this ranking, particularly as he is coming off his fourth NBA championship, and second without the aid of Kevin Durant.
Curry continued to put up elite individual numbers in 2021/22 with averages of 25.5 points, 5.2 boards, and 6.3 assists while hitting 38% of his three-point attempts (averaging over 11 attempts per game). He led a re-tooled lineup, featuring Durant’s replacement Andrew Wiggins and familiar faces Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, to the promised land while capturing NBA Finals MVP honors.
Steph Curry deserves a lion’s share of credit for the way professional basketball is played today (for better or worse). Entire generations of young ballers are raised mastering their three-point touch from infancy to replicate the incredible range the Curry shows night after night. He is the greatest shooter of all time and is without question the best point guard in the NBA at age 34.