The point guard position is easily has the deepest talent pool for fantasy owners.
Of the projected starters at the position next season, 1/3 have appeared in an All-Star game and five more young prospects could potentially earn a nomination this year.
While double-doubles are a rarity among the group, with only one point guard totaling 25 last year, the scoring output among point guards has dramatically increased.
Seven point guards led their teams in scoring, 26 finished the season with a scoring average in double figures and 10 shot over 40 percent from 3-point range.
Any fantasy owner needs to load up on point guards when rounding out their rosters.
*All projections below are from BasketballReference.com and are based upon 36 minutes of playing time. Projections are not available for first year players.
30. Michael Carter-Williams– Philadelphia 76ers
The pressure facing Carter-Williams next season is tremendous. Not only is he replacing an All-Star at point guard in Philadelphia, the absence of Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick, as he recovers from a torn ACL makes the 21-year-old point guard essentially the face of the franchise. His debut was shaky, as he shot 27 percent from the field and committed 4.8 turnovers per game as Philadelphia went 1-4.
29. Trey Burke– Utah Jazz
Burke was selected ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by Minnesota and his rights were sent to the Jazz to start a flurry of trades on the night. While Burke excelled last season at Michigan, leading his team to the NCAA championship game, he struggled in his professional debut at the Orlando Summer League. Burke averaged 8.8 points and 4.0 assists per game, but shot just 24.1 percent from the field, converting only 1-of-19 attempts from 3-point range.
28. Mario Chalmers– Miami Heat
As the Heat won a championship for the second consecutive season, Chalmers slowly morphed into a specialist on the team. Instead of filling the traditional roles of a point guard, handling the ball and setting up teammates, he developed his 3-point shot, posting career highs with 123 made attempts while shooting 40.9 percent from beyond the arc.
27. Brandon Knight– Milwaukee Bucks
Selected with the seventh overall pick in the NBA Draft just two years ago, Detroit gave up on the 21-year-old as his sophomore season was nearly identical to his rookie numbers. The Pistons opted to make a deal for another point guard as Knight has struggled with his shot, converting just 41 percent of his attempts from the field and he has totaled 10 or more assists just five times in 141 career games.
26. Jameer Nelson– Orlando Magic
Since being named an All-Star in 2009, Nelson’s shooting percentage has decreased each season, to an all-time low of 39.2 percent from the field last year. While his raw statistics provided some fantasy value, as he averaged 14.7 points and 7.4 assists per game, ankle injuries limited him to just 56 appearances and Orlando selected Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick in June with the hopes of developing him into the point guard of the future.
25. Jeremy Lin– Houston Rockets
While he failed to continue his tremendous output from the height of Linsanity, in his return to Houston, he became more of a point guard. Lin became a more efficient ball handler, reducing his turnovers from 3.4 per game in New York to 2.9 per game with the Rockets. Lin’s assist average should increase from 6.1 per game with the addition of Dwight Howard in the post.
24. George Hill– Indiana Pacers
Indiana is hoping its continuity will help Hill continue his development after posting the best season of his five-year career after being named the full time starter. Hill averaged career-highs with 14.2 points, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. An improved bench should help Hill increase his assist numbers, especially with the return of Danny Granger from injury.
23. Raymond Felton– New York Knicks
A return to New York didn’t result in the same All-Star caliber play from Felton. Without Amar’e Stoudemire serving as the focal point of the Knicks offense, Felton totaled just three double-doubles last season after totaling 24 in 54 appearances during 2010-11. The Knicks will be even more reliant on Felton this season, as the only other point guards on the roster are the newly signed Beno Udrih and 36-year-old Pablo Prigioni.
22. Steve Nash– Los Angeles Lakers
Leg injuries limited Nash to just 50 games during his first season with the Lakers and while the team around him struggled, the two-time MVP returned to an efficient shooter. Nash converted 49.7 percent of his field goal attempts, 43.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and shot 92.2 percent at the foul line, falling just short of his fifth career 50-40-90 shooting season.
21. Jose Calderon– Dallas Mavericks
Calderon was one of just nine players to post a triple-double on multiple occasions last season. A pure passer, Calderon has averaged seven or more assists in five of the past six years and has a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.1. The 6-foot-3 guard will benefit from having Dirk Nowitzki on the perimeter as 1.5 of his assists per game throughout his eight-year career have led to 3-point field goals.
20. Jeff Teague– Atlanta Hawks
The 579 total assists Teague dished out were the sixth most in the NBA last season and enough to convince Milwaukee to sign him to a four-year $32 million contract as a restricted free agent. Atlanta matched the deal, hoping he can continue to increase his assist average, after posting 7.2 per game, totaling 10 or more assists in 17 contests a year ago.
19. Greivis Vasquez– Sacramento Kings
No point guard totaled more assists or double-doubles than Vasquez last season. During his first season as a full time starter, the 26-year-old totaled 704 assists and 25 double-doubles but served as the main piece acquired by the Kings in exchange for Tyreke Evans. Vasquez hopes to continue to develop as he plays for his third different team during his four-year career.
18. Kyle Lowry– Toronto Raptors
Lowry made an impressive debut in Toronto by averaging 23.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 3.7 steals per game over his first three games, but a series of injuries derailed his season and forced him to miss 14 games last year. The Raptors are hoping to develop second-year center Jonas Valanciuas into a post threat and need Lowry to excel in the pick-and-roll with him.
17. Goran Dragic– Phoenix Suns
Dealt the impossible task of replacing Steve Nash as the point guard in Phoenix, Dragic excelled even if the team didn’t exactly want him to play well. The 6-foot-4 guard totaled 19 double-doubles and led the team in scoring, assists and steals while converting the second most from 3-point range on the team. Dragic is one of the most competitive players in the league, even spending part of his off season starting fights in what was supposed to be a friendly meeting with Turkey.
16. Brandon Jennings– Detroit Pistons
No player needed a change of scenery more than Jennings, but it took nearly two months after the beginning of free agency for something to happen. After four years in Milwaukee, his erratic shot selection and porous defense resulted in a trade within the division, sending him to Detroit. The Pistons are expecting to have a dominant front court and hope Jennings can become even more of a distributor after averaging a career-high 6.5 assists per game a year ago.
15. Mike Conley– Memphis Grizzlies
The gamble Memphis took on Conley at the start of the 2010 season, signing him to a five-year $45 million deal, as he has taken command of the offense while becoming an elite defender. Conley led the league with 174 steals last season and averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
14. Kemba Walker– Charlotte Bobcats
As one of the few bright spots in Charlotte, Walker has proven to be a dual threat, capable of scoring in bunches or setting up teammates for easy looks at the rim. Even thought he Bobcats averaged just 93.4 points per game, Walker averaged 17.7 points and 5.7 assists per game, with 2.5 of his passes leading to a shot at the basket, a dramatic increase from his rookie year. In his second year in the league, the former Connecticut star totaled 30 games with 20 or more points.
13. Jrue Holiday– New Orleans Pelicans
Thirteen different trades were completed on draft night, but none were more stunning that Holiday’s departure to New Orleans. Just four months after being named an All-Star, the fourth-year guard was dealt despite being the only true offensive threat in Philadelphia. The 23-year-old averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 assists 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
12. Ty Lawson– Denver Nuggets
For all of the changes that Denver underwent last season, the team never wavered in its confidence in Lawson dictating the tempo for one of the most explosive offenses in the league. In each of his first four years, Lawson has been able to increase his scoring, assist, steal and 3-point field goal totals.
11. Damian Lillard– Portland Trail Blazers
Any questions about Lillard’s ability to play against elite competition were answered immediately. Selected with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State, Lillard dominated in Summer League play then ran away with Rookie of the Year honors as he averaged 19 points, 6.5 assists and led the league with 3,167 minutes played in Portland.
10. Ricky Rubio– Minnesota Timberwolves
One of the most underrated qualities of Rubio is his ability to read his opposition. Even after missing 25 games as he recovered from an ACL injury, Rubio had 137 steals, ninth most in the league and while his 2.4 steals per game was the second highest average. A healthy return from Kevin Love should help him increase on his 7.3 assists per game.
9. Deron Williams– Brooklyn Nets
In four of his eight seasons, Williams has been able to average 10 or more assists per game and with the latest infusion of talent in Brooklyn, the Nets are hoping he can once again be an elite passer. Williams averaged 7.7 assists per game, his lowest total since his rookie season, but with an upgrade at the forward positions with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, he doesn’t have to focus on scoring the ball.
8. Rajon Rondo– Boston Celtics
Even with a torn ACL, Rondo submitted 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, his league-leading fifth triple-double of the season, in his final game of the year against Atlanta on Jan. 25. Trade rumors involving Rondo have persisted and as Boston completely rebuilds its roster, the team must decided if the best passer in the game will be a part of its future.
7. John Wall– Washington Wizards
There are no outside distractions for Wall after he signed a five-year $80 million extension with Washington. Since selecting him with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Wizards have went a combined 43-105 and lost 23 of its first 26 games as he recovered from a stress injury in his left kneecap, but went 24-25 upon his return as Wall averaged 18.5 points, 7.6 assists, and 1.3 steals down the stretch of the season.
6. Tony Parker– San Antonio Spurs
There weren’t many firsts that remained for Parker after 12 years in the league, but his 27 point, 12 rebound and 12 assist effort marked the only time he has posted a triple-double. The performance was just one part of another exceptional season for Parker, as he averaged 20.3 points, the second highest of his career and 7.6 assists a night.
5. Derrick Rose– Chicago Bulls
Rose hasn’t stepped onto an NBA court since April 28, 2012 despite intense pressure as the Bulls qualified for the Eastern Conference semifinals in his absence. After missing an entire season, Rose declared himself to be the best player in the NBA and fantasy owners would reap the benefits if he is able to live up to the billing.
4. Kyrie Irving– Cleveland Cavaliers
At every stop during his NBA career, Irving has been able to excel on the biggest stage. The latest came this summer while auditioning for a roster spot on Team USA for the 2014 World Cup. During an intra-squad scrimmage against the best young players in the country, Irving dominated, posting 23 points and seven assists while leading his team to victory. If he continues to develop, Irving will go from an All-Star to an MVP candidate next year.
3. Russell Westbrook– Oklahoma City Thunder
For the first time in his career, high school, college or five-years in the NBA, Westbrook was forced to watch from the sidelines. Westbrook missed the final nine games of the season after tearing his meniscus in his right knee. The surgery knocked him out of the playoffs, but he will be ready for the season opener after averaging 23.2 points, 7.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
2. Stephen Curry– Golden State Warriors
Curry saw 270 of his attempts from 3-point range fall through the net last season, the most in league history. The precise shooting demonstrated by Curry, especially in the post season as he averaged 23.4 points and 8.1 assists in the absence of David Lee. Golden State is going to be even more reliant on Curry this year as it hopes to win its championship for the first time since 1975.
1. Chris Paul– Los Angeles Clippers
There was no dramatic announcement or even a waiting period for Paul to sign his five-year $107 million contract offer from the Clippers. Not only was Paul able to average 16.9 points and 9.7 assists per game, he led the league in steals, posting 2.4 a night, for the third consecutive season and fifth time in his career.