2015-2016 NBA Player Rankings: Point Guard

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The NBA is a point guard driven league. The best teams in the NBA have an elite point guard. Point guards control the pace of the offense and are responsible for slowing down teams on defense. A point guard is the most important position on an NBA team. Since there are so many great point guards, ranking only 10 was tough. With the 2015-2016 NBA season less than two months away, let’s look at who the best point guards for the upcoming season.

1.) Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

CLEVELAND, OH – JUNE 16: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors speaks to the media after winning the Larry O’Brein Trophy after Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Stephen Curry is the best player on the best team in the NBA. Named MVP of the NBA last season, Stephen Curry led the NBA with 286 three pointers made breaking his own record of 272. Curry has the ability to stop on the dime and nail a three-point shot from anywhere on the court. He can also play defense, placing top 5 in steals per game with 2.04 per ESPN.comCurry looks ready to lead the Golden State Warriors to another title run. 

2.) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – MARCH 24: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 24, 2015 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

Russell Westbrook is the most explosive point guard in the NBA. If he played all of last season, he would’ve had a legitimate shot at the MVP. Westbrook only played in 67 games, but led the league with 11 triple doubles which was 7 higher than 2nd placed James Harden per ESPN.com. His season stats were 28.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game which are all Westbrook’s career highs. With Kevin Durant coming back, Westbrook’s number’s will dip, slightly. If Westbrook plays with half the energy he displayed last season, no team is going to want to play the Thunder. 

3.) Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket against the New York Knicks on March 25, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the second time in Chris Paul’s career, he led the NBA in assists per game with 10.2 per ESPN.com. He facilitates an offense nicknamed “Lob City,” and was named to the 1st Team All Defense in 2015. Chris Paul thrives off his high basketball IQ, and great locker room presence which is why he is one of the most respectable players in the NBA. Paul may be 30, but he plays much younger. Adding Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, and Josh Smith this offseason will take some scoring pressure off Paul. Paul knows he isn’t getting any younger, so his title chances are now.

4.) Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 27: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2015 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

With LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio, Damian Lillard is the new face of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers also lost Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, and Robin Lopez, so Damian Lillard is basically the entire team. I believe he is ready for the responsibility. Last season, Lillard averaged 21 points and 4.6 rebounds per game which both career highs. His assist numbers have been 5-7 per game throughout his entire career, so with the offense completely revolving around Lillard, his numbers can only go up.

5.) John Wall, Washington Wizards

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 27: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards shoots against Mo Williams #7 of the Charlotte Hornets during a game at the Verizon Center on March 27, 2015 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

With Kyrie Irving out, John Wall, for now, is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Wall needs to take advantage of that status. He has dominated the NBA with his speed and ball handling ability. His numbers were great all season averaging 17.6 points and 10 assists per game per ESPN.comeven placing in the top 10 in double-doubles. But, Wall isn’t elite yet. He needs to improve his jump shot and free throw shooting. Wall has an opportunity this season to go from great to elite.

6.) Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

PORTLAND, OR – FEBRUARY 22: Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies goes up for a shot against the Portland Trail Blazers on February 22, 2015 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

Mike Conley has been so effective for the Grizzlies over the last few seasons, he is no longer the most underrated point guard in the NBA. Conley thrives on the defensive end, trailing only Chris Paul as the best defensive point guard in the NBA. The Memphis Grizzlies, especially Mike Conley, are entering huge seasons. Memphis is trying to make the next step to win the West, while Mike Conley enters a contract season looking for a massive pay-day with the cap rising. Conley is going to have to become a better scorer if the Grizzlies want to make the next step. With millions of dollars on the line, I predict Conley to have the best season of his career in 2015-2016.

7.) Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

AUBURN HILLS, MI – MARCH 24: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors brings the ball up court against the Detroit Pistons on March 24, 2015 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by B. Sevald/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kyle Lowry has emerged as a star in Toronto. He is immediate offense leading Toronto to one of the best offenses in the NBA. Lowry has a competitive edge which has led to a major defensive improvement. Lowry’s one issue is consistency. The Raptors always start the season on fire, then take a dip in production towards the playoffs leading to a 1st round sweep. Last season was better than others and the Raptors are much improved from last season. If Lowry can be consistent all season, he will be higher on my list next season.

8.) Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 4: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game One of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 4, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving should be much higher on my list, but there is a possibility Irving is out until January. Irving is, and always be an elite NBA point guard. Last season, Irving was able to average 21.7 points per game and he was marked as the teams second scoring option. He flies up and down the court and is a perfect player to play aside LeBron James. Since the Cavaliers are so good, they can will patient with Irving’s rehab. When he returns, he won’t be under pressure to lead a team into the playoffs. When Irving is back to 100%, he will bounce back to star status. 

9.) Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 11: Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks hadnles the ball against the Washington Wizards in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the Verizon Center on May 11, 2015 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jeff Teague’s play last year led to the Hawks surprise dominance in the Eastern Conference. Teague may not be elite, but he is a great point guard. He can defend, pass, and now score with the best in the NBA. He was an All-Star for the first time in his career which made him a household name in the NBA. But, this season will be tougher than last. Teague is going to have to adapt to a new game without DeMarre Carroll, who became the teams best scorer in the playoffs. Teague will have to feed the ball down low and create space for Kyle Korver if the Hawks want to find the same success as last season.

10.) Goran Dragic, Miami Heat

ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 27: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat shoots against Dennis Schroder #17 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on March 27, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The difference between Dragic on the Heat than the Suns is that he feels wanted in Miami. Back in 2013-2014 when Dragic was the face of the Suns, he averaged over 20 points per game. When Dragic feels wanted, he plays at his best. Dragic is a perfect fit in Miami. He can create shots for himself and for others, but most importantly, he takes the scoring burden off of Dwyane Wade. Also, Dragic makes others better. This starting 5 in Miami (Dwyane Wade, Loul Deng, Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside) is the best team he has ever been on. A happy Dragic is great news for the Miami Heat.

Follow me on Twitter @AlecWalt

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