With the NBA season right around the corner, I'm sure many of you are starting to contemplate your fantasy drafts.And there aren't any more difficult positions to deal with than the point guards. You could make a case for six of them to be drafted in first round this season, with guys like Tony Parker and Jason Kidd falling just short.
It's easily the deepest position as well, with as many as many as 20 or so worthy of being fantasy starters, and that's not including Gilbert Arenas once again, who'll miss the first month of the season or more.
That said, getting one of the top guys is important. Franchise players are everywhere, so don't be left behind by passing up on them early, because they will go early.
Top 20 Point Guards
1. Dwyane Wade, Miami
When he's healthy, there's nobody better. And he proved during the Olympics he's good as new. With Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley there to help him, this has all the making of being a monster season for D-Wade. I'd be shocked if he didn't go for 25 points, 7-8 assists, 7-8 rebounds, 2-3 steals and a block every night. What that equals is a top five pick, maybe even as high as third behind LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
2. Chris Paul, New Orleans
The best pure point guard in the league, Paul will give you everything but blocks this year. He's a big-time scorer, ranks first in the NBA in both assists and steals, and shoots over 35 percent from three-point land. He's the man who gets it all started for the Hornets, with every play running through him. It's natural that his numbers are just going to continue getting better.
15. Rajon Rondo, Boston
Rondo's an interesting case. You know his points will never be huge, thanks to having three All-Star scorers next to him every night. But with a world title season's worth of experience under him, expect a lot more in every other category. His assists will obviously go up (5.1), as will his rebounds (4.2), and his free throw and field goal percentages have nowhere to go but up. With a ring already on his finger, this could be the year his numbers begin to skyrocket.
16. Devin Harris, New Jersey
Harris sneaks up on you. You wouldn't think he scores more than 15 points a night, but he does. He also averages more than five assists too. His steal numbers are really nice, and he has nice percentages as well. He's just a solid player all around, and all those numbers were decidedly better after being traded to New Jersey halfway through last season. Given a full year with Vince Carter and rookie Brook Lopez, he may be able to put up some really exciting numbers.
17. Jamal Crawford, New York
This is tough to call right here. As of now, Stephon Marbury is still on the Knicks' roster. If he plays, then Crawford's numbers will undoubtedly suffer. Why? Because Marbury's a stat whore and a ball hog. Pick one. Without him around, though, Crawford's the No. 1 scoring option on this team. His threes are huge, the percentages are surprisingly high, and he still finds the time to dish out five assists a night. Again, this is all dependent on Marbury's status. Without him around, Crawford moves up at least 2-3 notches on this board.
18. Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix
He keeps doing his thing each and every year. If Steve Nash wasn't around, he'd be getting 35-40 minutes a night and scoring 18-20 points. However, for now he'll have to live with his backup status, which is still good for 15.6 points, 2-3 threes and a steal per game. Not many people would turn down those kind of numbers for a second point guard.
19. Mike Bibby, Atlanta
When he was finally spared by being traded to the Hawks last season, Bibby started playing like we remember him a few years ago. In 33 games with his new team, he put up 14 points and 6.5 assists a night while playing with an improving team of athletes who are only going to get better. Now turning 30 years old, he's in the prime of his career. In a lineup that will include such stars as Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and Marvin Williams, there will be plenty of assists to be had and a lot fewer double teams than he faced while in Sac-Town. Those numbers should all improve in '08.
20. O.J. Mayo, Memphis
It was tough to decide where Mayo's supposed to go on this list, but I think this is fair. You know he's gonna play consistently, but you also have to know this is a really young team that will likely struggle most of the year. Rudy Gay's the star, and he'll be the one getting the big shots. Mayo will get his too, though, but he'll also have to share the backcourt with last year's No. 1 pick, Mike Conley, and two other talented point guards in Kyle Lowry and Javaris Crittenton. How many balls are there? Mayo's obviously too good to get only 20 minutes a game, but I wouldn't expect any more than 13-14 points a game and 4-5 assists, at least right away. The percentages will likely keep him down too.
Stephon Marbury, New York: I won't lie to you I wouldn't go anywhere near Marbury. However, when he does play, he's good for solid scoring, assists and steals. Is he anywhere near the same player he was five years ago, though? Doubtful. He played in just 24 games last season, scoring 13.9 points and dishing out 4.7 assists, while getting nearly a steal per night. What's the upside? Well, you give him a starting role, and he'll dominate the shots, which will give him 18 points or so a game, not to mention closer to 6-7 assists. Those aren't bad numbers. The negatives? Playing more than 50 games is always in question. The percentages are ugly, and he doesn't rebound anymore. Not to mention, he's a team killer. But if you're into that sort of thing, he can be a halfway decent second point for you.
T.J. Ford, Indiana: Similar to Calderon, it's time for Ford to finally be free and play without the other man looking over his back for playing time. He'll be the starter here with a bunch of young, athletic scorers running the break with him. The assist numbers could go through the roof.
Raymond Felton, Charlotte: Could be one of the more underrated fantasy point guards on here, and I'm not just saying that because I'm the only Bobcats fan in the state of California. All Felton's numbers went up last season, his third in the league, with his points eclipsing 14 a game and his assists a career-high 7.4, a total that ranked eighth in the NBA. With an ever-improving team around him, improving shooting percentages each year and almost 1.5 steals a night, he's one of the most consistent No. 2 point guards going right now.
Mike Conley, Memphis: It's inevitable he'll improve in his second season, basically because he didn't do much at all in year one. He'll have his work cut out for him, as Memphis has a loaded backcourt all of a sudden (Mayo, Lowry, Crittendon), but you know he'll be getting his PT. You don't bench No. 4 overall draft picks on a last-place team. He's a deep sleeper, but one who could pay off.