* Please keep in mind that you will not see any rookies on this list, beings they have yet to play a single minute in the NBA. It’s impossible to rank them with the veterans before the season begins.

#30 Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets)

2016-17 Stats: 11 PPG, 3 RPG, 4 APG, 2 TO (38% FG) (32% 3 Pt) (78% FT)

#29 Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee Bucks)

2016-17 Stats: 10 PPG, 3 RPG, 4 APG, 1.5 TO (46% FG) (40% 3 Pt) (87% FT)

#28 Ish Smith (Detroit Pistons)

2016-17 Stats: 9 PPG, 3 RPG, 5 APG, 1.4 TO (44% FG) (27% 3 Pt) (71% FT)

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks

#27 Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

2016-17 Stats: 10 PPG, 2 RPG, 5 APG, 1.4 TO (47% FG) (33% 3 PT) (73% FT)

4

#26 Rajon Rondo (New Orleans Pelicans)

2016-17 Stats: 8 PPG, 5 RPG, 7 APG, 2.4 TO (41% FG) (38% 3 Pt) (60%)

5

#25 Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics)

2016-17 Stats: 11 PPG, 4 RPG, 5 APG, 2 TO (36% FG) (28% FT) (81% FT)

6

#24 Darren Collison (Indiana Pacers)

2016-17 Stats: 13 PPG, 2 RPG, 5 APG, 1.7 TO (48% FG) (42% 3 Pt) (86% FT)

Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks

#23 Patrick Beverley (Los Angeles Clippers)

2016-17 Stats: 9 PPG, 6 RPG, 4 APG, 1.5 TO (42% FG) (38% 3 Pt) (77% FT)

23

#22 Reggie Jackson (Detroit Pistons)

2016-17 Stats: 14 PPG, 2 RPG, 5 APG, 2.2 TO (42% FG) (36% 3 Pt) (87% FT)

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons

#21 Jeremy Lin (Brooklyn Nets)

2016-17 Stats: 14 PPG, 4 RPG, 5 APG, 2.4 TO (44% FG) (37% 3 Pt) (82% FT)

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets

#20 D’Angelo Russell (Brooklyn Nets)

2016-17 Stats: 16 PPG, 3 RPG, 5 APG, 2.8 TO (41% FG) (35% 3 Pt) (78% FT)

20

#19 Elfrid Payton (Orlando Magic)

2016-17 Stats: 13 PPG, 5 RPG, 6 APG, 2.2 TO (47% FG) (27% 3 Pt) (69% FT)

19

#18 Ricky Rubio (Utah Jazz)

2016-17 Stats: 11 PPG, 4 RPG, 9 APG, 2.6 TO (40% FG) (31% 3 Pt) (89% FT)

18

#17 George Hill (Sacramento Kings)

2016-17 Stats: 17 PPG, 3 RPG, 4 APG, 1.7 TO (48% FG) (40% 3 Pt) (80% FT)

17

#16 Derrick Rose (Cleveland Cavaliers)

2016-17 Stats: 18 PPG, 4 RPG, 4 APG, 2.3 TO (47% FG) (22% 3 Pt) (87% FT)

16

#15 Dennis Schroder (Atlanta Hawks)

2016-17 Stats: 18 PPG, 3 RPG, 6 APG, 3.3 TO (45% FG) (34% 3 Pt) (86% FT)

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic

#14 Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans)

2016-17 Stats: 15 PPG, 4 RPG, 7 APG, 2.9 TO (45% FG) (36% 3 Pt) (71% FT)

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns

#13 Jeff Teague (Minnesota Timberwolves)

2016-17 Stats: 15 PPG, 4 RPG, 8 APG, 2.6 TO (44% FG) (36% 3 Pt) (87% FT)

13

#12 Goran Dragic (Miami Heat)

2016-17 Stats: 20 PPG, 4 RPG, 6 APG, 3 TO (48% FG) (41% 3 Pt) (79% FT)

11

#11 Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix Suns)

2016-17 Stats: 21 PPG, 5 RPG, 6 APG, 3.4 TO (43 FG%) (34% 3 Pt) (85% FT)

10

#10 Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies)

2016-17 Stats: 20 PPG, 3 RPG, 6 APG, 2.3 TO (46% FG) (41% 3 Pt) (86% FT)

11

#9 Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)

2016-17 Stats: 23 PPG, 4 RPG, 5 APG, 2.1 TO (44% FG) (40% 3 Pt) (85% FT)

9

#8 Isaiah Thomas (Cleveland Cavaliers)

2016-17 Stats: 29 PPG, 3 RPG, 6 APG, 2.8 TO (46% FG) (38% 3 Pt) (91% FT)

7

#7 Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)

2016-17 Stats: 22 PPG, 5 RPG, 7 APG, 2.9 TO (46% FG) (41% 3 Pt) (82% FT)

#6 Chris Paul (Houston Rockets)

2016-17 Stats: 18 PPG, 5 RPG, 9 APG, 2.4 TO (48% FG) (41% 3 Pt) (89% FT)

8

#5: Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics)
2016-17 Stats: 25 PPG, 3 RPG, 6 APG, 2.5 TO (47% FG) (40% 3 Pt) (91% FT)

Is there a better 1 on 1 athlete in the league than Kyrie Irving? Not in my book. The league hasn’t seen a ball handler like Kyrie Irving since Allen Iverson left us in back in 2010. Now that Kyrie Irving is his own keyholder in Boston expect his numbers to inflate in the 2017-18 season. The East is even weaker than it was last season and he is no longer sharing the ball with the best player on the planet in LeBron James. Kyrie Irving is about to show out.

#4 Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
2016-17 Stats: 25 PPG, 4 RPG, 7 APG, 3 TO (47% FG) (41% 3 Pt) (90% FT)

The numbers between Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving are scary similar, so it was tough for me to pick one over the other. Thus…I selected the guy that stepped up higher in the Finals. Kevin Durant was the obvious MVP for Golden State, but Stephen Curry hit shots and made plays in the Finals that ended up being the deciding factor in some games. He failed to do that in the 2016 Finals, but the former MVP silenced the doubters when it mattered most in the 2017 Finals.

#3 Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
2016-17 Stats: 27 PPG, 5 RPG, 6 APG, 2.6 TO (44% FG) (37% 3 Pt) (90% FT)

Most sports writers/bloggers won’t place Damian Lillard this high because he has failed to reach an NBA Finals thus far. But I disagree. Considering the talent that Lillard has been surrounded with he’s done an amazing job in his first 5 seasons. Now you might say, “How has Lillard not been surrounded with talent?” Yes, CJ McCollum and Nic Batum are great players but they’re nothing compared to what Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Chris Paul have been surrounded with. Other than Kawhi Leonard, I’m not sure you’ll find a player in the league that’s more underrated and underappreciated. Damian Lillard is without a doubt a top 5 point guard.

#2 John Wall (Washington Wizards)
2016-17 Stats: 23 PPG, 4 RPG, 11 APG, 4.1 TO (45% FG) (33% 3 Pt) (80% FT)

Early this summer John Wall claimed that he’s the best two-way player in the league. Probably not John. I can think of three guys off the top of my head that are better two-way players than you…but you’re definitely the best two-way POINT GUARD in the game. John Wall doesn’t have the greatest jump shot, but he’s a consistent slashing scorer, shoots plenty of free throws to inflate his stat line, and dishes the rock as good as anyone. On the defensive, he’s arguably the best defending point guard in the league. John Wall is an incredible floor general, passer, and defender. Thus…my argument for the 2nd best point guard in the NBA.

#1 Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
2016-17 Stats: 32 PPG, 11 RPG, 10 APG, 5.4 TO (43% FG) (34% 3 Pt) (85% FT)

Where do I start? Russell Westbrook is a freak. You want to talk about Damian Lillard not having the help that other point guards do? This guy single-handedly willed his team to the NBA Playoffs last season, on his way to a unanimous MVP award. Westbrook averaged 32-11-10 last season. Who does that? He’s the most aggressive point guard in the league. When Westbrook attacks the rim, it looks like he does it out of anger and it’s incredibly fun to watch, and he always plays the game with a chip on his shoulder like he always has something to prove.

His stat line isn’t going to look the same in 2017 though. With the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in OKC, he’ll have to split his touches with his newly acquired teammates. My guess is he’ll have no problem doing that as long as he has a chance to face Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors in his route to his first career championship. This is a unanimous decision in my opinion. Russell Westbrook is the best point guard in the league…and it’s not close.

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