Which teams have the strongest starters at each position, and which ones have the weakest? We’re ranking all 30 starters by position at The Sporting News for the 2023-24 season.
Point guard is the deepest position in the NBA, and one of the most high-skill in the league. There aren’t any teams that have a below-average player running the lead guard position for them anymore, and there are a ton of the league’s premier stars in the first half of this list.
One caveat before starting — Devin Booker is a new addition to this list. After playing more point guard for the Suns last season with Chris Paul injured, he and Bradley Beal should have more primary ballhandling duties with the Suns this season.
Here’s how the starters sort out.
NBA point guard rankings 2023-24
1. Stephen Curry, Warriors
Curry was no. 1 on last year’s preseason list. He turned in an even better season to retain that top spot.
After an out-of-character year shooting 3’s at only 38 percent in the 2021-22 season, Curry returned back to form, hitting 43 percent of his 3’s and 49 percent of his shots from the field last season. His 29.4 points per game were the no. 7 mark in the league. Even at age 35, he’s still impossible to guard and one of the most high-skill players in the league.
2. Luka Doncic, Mavericks
Doncic finished second in the league last year at 32.4 points per game, sixth in the league with 8.0 assists per game, and was also the Mavericks’ leading rebounder with 8.6 rebounds per game. It’s only a matter of time before he makes his way to the top of this list.
3. Devin Booker, Suns
Booker took on a lot of different roles for the Suns last year, even moving to point guard for portions of the season when Chris Paul got hurt. That’s the role that he may start this season in. His 5.5 assists per game were second on the team to Paul. He also greatly improved his defensive effort in the playoffs, locking down opponents and racking up blocks and steals.
Booker’s greatest skill is scoring, though. His 27.8 points per game were the no. 11 mark in the league.
4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder
It was a breakout season for Gilgeous-Alexander, who made the All-NBA First Team with averages of 31.4 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game. He’s one of the trickiest drivers in the league, able to change pace and find ways to get to the rim consistently. Defenders could not stay in front of him — his 10.9 free throws per game were third in the league.
Gilgeous-Alexander also improved as a defender. He was the only player in the league to average at least 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game last season.
5. Damian Lillard, Bucks
After being hampered with an ab injury in 2021-22, Lillard showed what he could do at full strength, turning in one of his best seasons at the ripe age of 32 last season.
Lillard’s 32.2 points per game was a career-high. His 71 points against the Rockets was the eighth-highest in NBA history. And his 3-point stroke returned, rebounding from 32 percent two seasons ago back up to his career average of 37 percent. He’s one of the best pure scorers in the league, and he should be unstoppable this year when paired next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
6. Ja Morant, Grizzlies
Morant will miss the first 25 games of the season due to suspension for conduct detrimental to the league. Off-court issues aside, Morant is still one of the best point guards in the league. He’s coming off a year in which he averaged 26.2 points, 8.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game.
Morant is still completely fearless when driving to the basket. His 20.3 drives per game was second in the league behind Gilgeous-Alexander. That was the engine that made the Grizzlies’ offense go. He’s one of the most athletic finishers in the league, making him impossible to stop when he gets in the air.
7. Jamal Murray, Nuggets
Murray had a good regular season, averaging 20.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game. He exploded in the playoffs though, bringing his averages up to 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game. The two-man game between himself and Nikola Jokic was impossible to guard.
Murray proved that he is a very capable three-level scorer. He elevated his game in the biggest moments, pouring in some huge fourth quarters in the playoffs and showing why he’s one of the top point guards in the league.
8. De’Aaron Fox, Kings
Fox is coming off a year in which he made his first All-Star game, led the Kings to a huge 18-win increase, and won the first-ever Clutch Player of the Year Award. His synergy with Domantas Sabonis led the Kings to have the best offense in league history. He’s a crafty guard who can get to his spots and use his speed to wreak havoc on defenses.
9. James Harden, Sixers
No one’s stock has fallen over the past few years more than Harden’s. But he still remains a fringe All-Star-level player. He took on more of a playmaking role for the Sixers last season — his 10.7 assists per game led the league.
Harden doesn’t have that same burst that he used to. His finishing at the rim can be a little shaky these days. But he did manage to put up 21 points per game last year by getting to the free throw line and hitting 38.5 percent of his 3s. He’s a great regular season player that can put up numbers for any team.
10. Trae Young, Hawks
Young’s overall numbers looked pretty good last year. He averaged 26.2 points and 10.2 assists per game. But his 3-point shooting took a huge dip, down to 33.5 percent. That hurt his overall efficiency, as did his ineffectiveness playing off the ball. His defense also remains a massive negative.
If Young can regain that shooting stroke, then he can move back up this list. He’s still one of the best passers in the league.
11. Jalen Brunson, Knicks
12. Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers
13. Jrue Holiday, Celtics
14. Darius Garland, Cavs
15. LaMelo Ball, Hornets
- Brunson took off as the Knicks starter, averaging a career-high 24 points per game. He was also fantastic in the playoffs, easily turning into the team’s best player.
- The knock on Haliburton was that he looked to pass too much. He’s quieted those concerns, averaging a career-high 20.7 points per game. He’s a great pull-up 3 shooter and has some of the best court vision in the game.
- Holiday remains one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. He was overtaxed on offense last year as the Bucks’ second option for much of the season — moving to a fourth option on the Celtics should make him even more efficient as a scorer.
- Garland is a rock-solid point guard. He’s a deadeye 39 percent 3-point shooter for his career, he’s a great passer, and he’s a better defender than one would think given his 6-foot-1 frame.
- Ball fell off the national radar after an ankle injury limited him to just 36 games last year. He had a pretty good year though when he was on the floor, averaging 23.3 points and 8.4 assists per game.
16. Fred VanVleet, Rockets
17. Cade Cunningham, Pistons
18. CJ McCollum, Pelicans
19. Tyler Herro, Heat
20. Russell Westbrook, Clippers
- The Rockets added VanVleet in the offseason because of his toughness and leadership. He had an off year shooting the ball and he still struggles in creating separation off the dribble. But he is a good floor general who will set the tone as a hard-nosed defender.
- Cunningham hasn’t been able to stay on the floor due to horrible luck with injuries. But the no. 1 pick in the 2021 draft has looked good at times when he has been available, averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists last season.
- McCollum can still score the ball — he averaged 20.9 points per game for the Pelicans last season and shot 38.9 percent from 3.
- Herro has great shot creation skills. He scored 20.1 points per game last season and helped spread the floor with his 37.8 percent from 3. But he is routinely targeted defensively. While he’s a fine passer, he can also struggle to make the right decisions against aggressive coverages.
- Westbrook revived his career with the Clippers after a miserable stint with the Lakers. He can still put a ton of pressure on the rim with his aggressive drives.
21. Mike Conley, Wolves
22. Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets
23. Tyus Jones, Wizards
24. Dennis Schroder, Raptors
25. Scoot Henderson, Blazers
- Conley solidified the Wolves’ team, finding Rudy Gobert much more than D’Angelo Russell was able to. He’s lost a few steps defensively but is still a good floor general.
- Dinwiddie’s return to Brooklyn saw a change in roles for him. He was a great distributor, averaging 9.1 assists for the Nets. His scoring dipped, mostly due to a shooting slump. That should be a blip on the radar for him.
- For years, Jones has been one of the steadiest backups and spot starters in the league. He’s a solid veteran that does a little bit of everything.
- Schroder is coming off a FIBA World Cup performance in which he was one of the best players in the tournament. He was a key part of the Lakers’ playoff run, too. His biggest issue in the NBA has been trying to do too much, but he’s got great speed and when he’s locked in defensively, he can be very disruptive.
- Henderson, the no. 3 pick in the 2023 draft, is an explosive athlete that should be able to get to the rim to create for teammates in Portland. He should rise quickly up this list as he gets more experience in the league.
26. D’Angelo Russell, Lakers
27. Collin Sexton, Jazz
28. Jevon Carter, Bulls
29. Markelle Fultz, Magic
30. Tre Jones, Spurs
- Russell is a good scorer who is coming off a rough playoff where he was targeted defensively and had problems with shot selection.
- Sexton is a fiery competitor who can get to the rim and score in bunches. He dramatically improved his 3-pointer up to 39 percent last season, fixing issues with his efficiency in the process.
- Carter isn’t a true point guard, playing more off the ball as a spot up shooter. He’s a tenacious point-of-attack defender who is limited offensively.
- Fultz has completely transformed his game. He still struggles with his shooting, but he’s become good at pretty much everything else.
- Jones is an underrated point guard who should fit in well with Victor Wembanyama. He has good court vision and downhill scoring, but his 3-point shot is shaky.