The point guard position is different today than it was 20 years ago. It’s much different than it was 50 years ago. But make no mistake, it is as strong in the NBA as it ever has been.
Whether it is scoring or passing, the reigning emphasis seems to be more on ball-handling than ever before. More players today are excellent dribblers with agility, foot-speed, and quickness than at any point in NBA history. The invention of the combo guard, and even the spread of forwards who handle the rock and make decisions with it complicates the definition of the position point guard. It can be argued it devalues it, but a point can also be made that you are playing short-handed if you do not have a great one.
There are some teams with sensational point guards. There are some teams with scoring point guards. There are some teams with old-school pass-first point guards. There are veteran point guards and young point guards. But there are very few teams that have question marks at the position.
Magic– Jameer Nelson was steady, but somebody new needs to take the controls.
Knicks– Raymond Felton was decent earlier in his career, but this spot needs a big upgrade.
Heat– In some respect, Miami has one of the best passers in LeBron James, but the Mario Chalmers/Norris Cole combo was exposed this postseason.
Lakers– Steve Nash is one of the all-time greats, but he can’t stay healthy now.
Pacers– George Hill is a solid player, but not really giving Indiana what they need out of that spot.
That’s it. Seriously. Nobody else in the league is looking to address the position. Not to say they have an all-star at the spot or that I am sold on the guy, but they aren’t looking or shopping for a new one.
Only to further emphasize the depth, there are teams like the Suns and Mavericks that have a couple of good options at the point guard spot.
This is a pretty good rookie point guard draft class, but many of them will be rendered to back-up status to begin their careers.
Also when you hear that guys like Rondo or Deron Williams might be available, keep in mind they could be an upgrade for certain teams, but very few teams need a new point guard. This could also effect the market for free agents like Kyle Lowry and Devin Harris.
Point guard probably isn’t the most important position in basketball if you are ranking them in importance to winning. It is however the most talked about and criticized spot on the floor. We might find things to complain about each of them, but never has the NBA seen so much versatile talent at it’s lead position.