Choosing between the top floor generals the Association has to offer is a nearly impossible endeavor, as their skill sets are all so dissimilar.
Some are sharpshooters who prefer to play off the ball, while others can also make it rain from deep, but prefer doing so with the rock in their hands from the beginning of possessions. Certain top point guards take pride in their defense, others are forced to hide on lesser offensive players. Some top lead guards are ball-handling maestros, while others don’t need to get creative with their dribbles since they’re such athletic monsters they can blow by any defender.
Regardless, a ranking of this kind is sure to ruffle feathers; no matter how obvious the totem pole of top floor generals may appear to some, there will always be others who disagree, whether it be due team-centered biases or whatever else.
At the end of the day, that’s the beauty of basketball fandom: We can see things differently from each other while agreeing that all of these players are incredible to behold on a nightly basis.
Without further ado, let’s get into projection the Top-30 point guards for the 2018-19 season.
30. patrick beverley, Los Angeles clippers
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley missed most of 2017-18 due to a knee injury, but has already been cleared to play. The lengthy period of time missed is a bit concerning as far as projecting his 2018-19 campaign, as is the fact he’ll be heading into his age-30 season. But if Beverley’s able to regain his pre-injury form, there’s a good chance we’re underrating him by calling him the league’s 30th-best floor general.
After all, before going down, he was playing some of the best basketball of his career. To go with his already-incredible defense, the Arkansas product was averaging career highs in points (12.2), three-point accuracy (40 percent) and steals (1.6) in 2017-18, helping the Clippers fill the massive void left behind by a certain point guard coming up on our list.
When building a playoff contender, there are few complementary options at the lead-guard spot teams would rather have than Beverley; he can handle the ball or play off of it, he can knock down triples at an above-average rate and, most importantly, there may not be a more tenacious point-guard defender than him in the Association. Here’s hoping he’s fully fit for 2018-19 and proves this ranking wrong.
29. spencer dinwiddie, brooklyn nets
In his fourth year, Spencer Dinwiddie had a breakout season as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. The long 6-foot-6 point guard averaged 12.6 points, 6.6 assists and 1.8 three-pointers per game, while turning the ball over merely 1.6 times nightly. His 4.1 assist-to-turnover ratio was the second-best mark in the league among guys with more than 50 games played last season, trailing an underrated floor general coming up on our countdown.
For his troubles, Dinwiddie finished third in Most Improved Player voting, and had his shooting not fallen off late in the season, he may have garnered more consideration for a higher finish. Over his first 32 games of 2017-18, Dinwiddie shot a respectable 36.3 percent from beyond the arc. In his final 47 contests, that number plummeted to 29.7 percent, which had an adverse effect on the rest of his game.
The Colorado product is now heading into an important season. If he can maintain respectable shooting marks for the entire 2018-19 campaign, he’ll enter free agency as a hot commodity, because as is, his pick-and-roll prowess, his ability to finish over smaller defenders and his solid defense, make him an intriguing player. Dinwiddie’s shooting, though, is going to have to improve for him to both make a jump on this list and to receive more interest as a free agent.
28. rajon rondo, los angeles lakers
Last season proved that although he may have lost a step, the player known as Playoff Rondo certainly hasn’t. In the regular season, Rajon Rondo averaged a decent 8.3 points and 8.2 assists per contest, but the New Orleans Pelicans were outscored by 2.4 points per 100 possessions during his time on the floor.
Then the postseason came around, and the veteran floor general took his play to another level. Rondo led all players in playoffs assist average with 12.2 per outing, played outstanding defense in the first round against the dynamic duo of CJ McCollum and the No. 4 player in our ranking, and helped New Orleans outscore postseason foes by 6.9 points per 100 possessions when he was in the game.
Not bad from the 32-year-old, who will now be looked on to make the same impact playing with LeBron James in Los Angeles.
27. Dennis schroeder, Oklahoma City Thunder
A chance of scenery may be exactly what the doctor ordered for Dennis Schroeder. Although the German floor general averaged a career high in points (19.4) and steals (1.1) last season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, it wasn’t his best year in any advanced metric other than the flawed PER, which places too much value on players with high shot attempts. On top of that, the rebuilding Hawks landed a high-upside point guard in Trae Young in June’s draft, and Schroeder is about to turn 25, making him an awkward fit with the team’s new timeline. That, plus his public discord with the franchise this summer meant the marriage had to end.
Luckily for the mercurial player, Schroeder couldn’t have hoped for a better landing spot than the Oklahoma City Thunder. Head coach Billy Donovan‘s men have contention in mind, but have lacked competent backup point guard play for years. Schroeder could fill the Reggie Jackson role and do a better job at it than Norris Cole, Semaj Christon and Raymond Felton did. What’s more, as HoopsHype’s Bryan Kalbrosky detailed here, Schroeder’s iso-centric skill set should fit nicely on a Thunder team so dependent on the one-on-one play style.
He’ll have to become more efficient and turn the ball over less, but there’s a good chance Schroeder may find his niche as a backup, since he clearly struggled in a starting role with Atlanta.
26. dejounte murray, san antonio spurs
Last year was the beginning of the Dejounte Murray-as-starting-point-guard era for the San Antonio Spurs, and the early returns were mixed. Murray averaged 8.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while chipping in just 2.9 assists and 1.8 free-throw attempts nightly. He’s a complete non-threat from three-point range, his floor vision is limited and even his finishing around the rim isn’t great yet.
He’ll have to make a serious jump this summer to be considered among the league’s elite.
But Murray’s still young (turns 22 a couple of weeks before next season rolls around) and has the benefit of playing for one of the best coaches in the NBA, who clearly has a lot of faith in him. Plus, even despite his relative struggles, the Spurs were still 5.6 points per 100 possessions better with Murray on the floor. 2018-19 could be the year the Washington product breaks out.