I've probably been slacking off for long enough. There hasn't been much fantasy news since the playoffs started and it's always a good opportunity to recharge the batteries. I should end up winning one of my playoff leagues, while finishing second in the other. Ironically, the team that has LeBron in both leagues is likely going to finish in second place, while those of us who loaded up on Grizzlies ended up building a big lead that was tough to overcome. I could lose the 500-point lead I have, as 2nd place owns both LeBron and Dirk, but so far, so good.
The playoffs have been fantastic and while my pick of the Heat over the Thunder didn't come to fruition, it has also left me sitting in first place in a playoff prediction league. I think I'm guaranteed second place, and I just wish my fantasy regular season would have gone as well as my postseason is going. And since I picked the Heat to win it all, I'm sort of rooting for them. But there is no doubt that it's never been harder to root against Dirk Nowitzki
and the Mavs. If the Mavs win and ruin my Heat pick, I'm fine with it. I just hope Game 3 and the rest of them are as fun as the rest of the playoffs have been.
So without further ado, here's an early look at the Top 20 point guards you'll be choosing from in this year's drafts. And while I'm aware Ricky Rubio
may very well be in uniform for the Wolves, he will not make my Top 20. Point guard is arguably the most important fantasy position these days, but it's also one of the deepest, as evidenced by guys like Mike Conley
and Kyle Lowry
being available pretty late in last year's drafts. In fact, narrowing this list to just 20 guys is going to be difficult. Let's also keep in mind that this season isn't even over yet, so many of these players' roles might change before we see the NBA in action again next year.
1. Chris Paul
Hornets – He surprisingly played in 80 games last season despite major concerns about his knee and put up big numbers, as usual. Until he gives us a real concern for being a serious injury risk, he's going to be the No. 1 point guard.
2. Deron Williams
Nets – Derrick Rose
stole most of the point guard thunder this year, but Williams is still a stud. Injuries were obviously a problem last season, limiting him to 65 games, while a shocking trade to the Nets didn't help his numbers. But his wrist should be fine to start the season and he will be playing for a max deal, and possibly setting himself up to end his career with the Nets in Brooklyn.
3. Derrick Rose
Bulls – Rose hit 3-pointers, played very well, won the MVP award and led the Bulls to a role of favorites in the playoffs. Of course, like Russell Westbrook
, Rose didn't exactly live up to the hype in the playoffs, but from a pure fantasy perspective, his numbers should only get better and he could easily end up beating out CP3 & D-Will as the top fantasy point guard.
4. Stephen Curry
Warriors – I was really high on Curry coming into the season and while he didn't fully live up to the hype, the potential is certainly there. He won't hurt you anywhere and many of his issues were related to his ankle problems, which were basically there starting with Game 1 of the season. He recently had surgery to correct that and we still don't know if the Warriors are going to have Monta Ellis
to start the next season (trade). And if Ellis is gone, Curry might even end up being higher on this list by October.
5. Russell Westbrook
Thunder – No one caught as much heat in the playoffs as Westbrook, but the kid's got talent and is going to put up some beastly fantasy numbers again in Oklahoma City. They're not going to trade him and he's going to be a triple-double threat every night. Some threes and better shooting would be nice, but the huge chip on his shoulder should help make up for them.
6. John Wall
Wizards – Like Curry, Wall was really banged up for much of the season, but he should be ready to explode this year. His health is the only thing I'm worried about, but he's worth the risk because of his unlimited ceiling. And the fact he'll hit threes might even make him more valuable than Westbrook.
7. Monta Ellis
Warriors – Ellis was great last season and benefitted from the ankle injury to Curry. Is he a point guard? Not really, but he qualifies as one in most leagues, meaning he makes my list of PGs. We'll have to see if the Warriors keep both guards this summer, but they've proven that they can play together. Obviously, both of their values will change if Ellis is traded.
8. Jrue Holiday
Sixers – Holiday got off to a slow start, but turned it on in the second half of the season. All the tools are there, he'll hit threes and swipe steals, and should come into the season with a ton of confidence. Is No. 8 too high for Holiday? Maybe, but he could average 17 points, eight assists, four boards, a steal, two threes and a block on the year.
9. Rajon Rondo
Celtics – Rondo started off on a tear last season, but nagging injuries and terrible shooting led to him finishing with a thud. He shot under 41 percent over his last 21 games and while he's still a triple-double threat, and a steals monster, his shooting will have to improve for him to rank any higher on this list. But knowing that a guy like Rondo should be available in Round 3 (or lower) in many fantasy drafts means you don't need to grab a point guard in Rounds 1 or 2 (if you want to lock up some other categories early).
10. Tyreke Evans
Kings – Evans is another guy who was plagued by injuries last season, and also spent much of his time playing shooting guard, while Beno Udrih
handled the point guard duties. There's a question of whether Evans will qualify at point guard, but either way, he's due for a big bounce back for the Kings, and will be a nightly triple-double threat. And if Udrih is named the starting PG again to start the season, he might crack the Top 20, as well.