The top 10 point guards in the NBA right now
10) Kemba Walker
Walker was always a fine NBA point guard (using fine here in the complimentary form, not in the, "Hey, how was that homemade meatloaf?" "Oh, it was fine," form). Still, though, there was always this feeling that he had yet live up to the hype he reached in college. But then last season happened. The 26-year-old set career highs in points per game (20.9, more than three ticks higher than his previous best), shooting percentage, three-point shooting percentage, free throw percentage and rebounding. His assist numbers also stood at 5.2 a night, making 2015/16 a breakout year for Walker. It also may be the first step in his journey to become Kemba Walker: NBA stud instead of Kemba Walker: College stud.
9) Mike Conley
Conley's new $153 million dollar deal would lead you to believe he is the inventor of the point guard position. But, while a league where he's the recipient of the most expensive contract ever is definitely wacky, he does deserve a large chunk of the change he got from Memphis. Next year will mark a decade in the NBA for No. 11, and he's actually gotten better with age. Though injuries have bothered him lately, Conley can be counted on to average 15 points, six assists, a few boards and a few steals every time he suits up, while also maintaining his shooting efficiency. With today's up-and-down pace, it's hard to find an option at the point who can flourish on both ends. Conley, though, is one of the remaining two-way guys. Hopefully his heavy pockets don't prevent him from continuing in that role.
8) Isaiah Thomas
Like Walker, Thomas also elevated his numbers to a never before seen level this past campaign. Using a devastating array of floaters, winding layups and plays that required DVRs to be rewound multiple times, the five-year veteran poured in 22.2 points per contest for the Celtics. He also dished out more than six assists each time he took the floor and persisted as one of the Association's most reliable free throw shooters. The 5-foot-9 27-year-old is as tough as they come, and it looks as if he has finally found a home in Boston.
7) Kyle Lowry
A difficult playoffs notwithstanding, Lowry still rests comfortably inside of the top 10. Since joining the Raptors in 2012, the 30-year-old has fully capitalized on his increased playing time and responsibility. An All-Star of the last two years and a member of 2016's All-NBA Third Team, No. 7 is fresh off a season in which he posted averages of 21.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 steals. In other words, Lowry stuffs a stat sheet like Drake stuffs a closet with random jerseys. After a rough start to his career in the league, Lowry has established himself as a superb all-around player.
6) Damian Lillard
At his best, Lillard is a store-brand version of Steph Curry: The Blazers' cornerstone was the NBA's sixth-best scorer in 2015/16 at 25.1 points per matchup, and he nailed 37.5 percent of his long-range attempts (he hoisted a hearty eight per 48 minutes, by the way). He's not just a Pop-A-Shot with arms and legs, though, and his career mark of more than six assists each game will happily back up that statement. He could stand to improve as a defender, but in terms of point guards who can get you a bucket when a bucket needs getting, there aren't many choices better than Dame.
5) John Wall
After watching a free agency period in which Evan Turner, the man picked one spot behind Wall in the 2010 draft, inks a deal that'll pay him an average of $17.5 million a year until through 2019/20, it's hard not to think of Wall as one of the best bargains in the entire NBA (the Wizards' leader is set to be paid just under $17 million next season). During the last three seasons, he's been named an All-Star, and over the course of the last two he has respectively registered 17.6 and 19.9 points a night to go along with more than 10 dimes, too. Throw those stats alongside the fact that he routinely dresses despite being dinged up and competes with the effort of a Summer League invite, and Wall doesn't just make the top 10, he makes the top five.
4) Kyrie Irving
In an alternate universe, one where Steph Curry doesn't throw mouthguards and Draymond Green keeps his hands to himself, Irving may not be an NBA Champion and wouldn't be fourth on this list. But in this universe, where he dropped a heavy helping of points against the greatest regular season team the NBA has ever seen on the sport's grandest stage, he belongs here. Sure, it's putting a large stake on a small sample size, but even for a 24-year-old who has been sterling throughout his entire time in the Association, that Finals performance was one for the ages. He's shown previously that takeover potential in flashes, but he displayed it at all times against the Warriors. Now, if he can remain close to that form from here on out, LeBron won't just have a sidekick — he'll have a full on running mate.
3) Chris Paul
The only thing missing from Paul's résumé is a title. Aside from that blank space, however, CP3 has been a standout longer than anyone else on this list: Nine All-Star appearances, four All-NBA First Team selections, six All-NBA Defensive Team selections and career averages of 18.8 points and 9.9 assists. Furthermore, he's never failed to score fewer than 15.9 per and his field goal percentages are exceedingly high for the position. The two phenoms above him are better than him at the moment, but they still have a ways to go before they can match his era of dominance.
2) Russell Westbrook
If a lightning bolt and a volcano could have offspring, that offspring would play basketball like Russell Westbrook. One of the most entertaining athletes in any sport, the California native has the typical numbers of a topflight point man (splits of 21.5 points, 7.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds in eight seasons), but he goes about getting those numbers in far from typical ways (looking to snatch the souls of his opponents, trying to break the rim on every dunk, etc.). His last two years have been his most absurd, and with his former buddy Kevin Durant moving out to Oakland, his stats could bump up more if he stays in Oklahoma City. 50 a game (points or shots, it'll vary) is possible every time this superstar steps on the hardwood.
1) Stephen Curry
While Westbrook is right at his heels (a frightening position for anyone to be in), Curry still reigns supreme in this countdown. The two-time defending MVP is revolutionizing basketball like the Internet revolutionized the world — things that were once supposed to be impossible now occur regularly when Chef Curry is cooking. His passing and rebounding have long been steady with the Warriors, but it's obviously his scoring and shooting that slot him in at No. 1. When it comes to point guards, Golden State's golden boy is the best the NBA has to offer.