With the potential top overall pick and a number of potential lottery picks and as many as 10+ first rounders, it’s safe to say that this is an extremely strong point guard draft. Here are our top 10 point guards available.
1 LaMelo Ball, Illawarra, Australia
Arguably the best prospect in this year’s draft class, Ball has shown up on some draft boards as the projected #1 pick. Ball in his season overseas, averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game for Illawarra. He struggled with efficiency, as he shot 37.5% from the field and 25% from the three-point line. He managed to hit 72% of his free throws as well. As a 6’7-point guard, he will have a height advantage over most of the guards he faces in the NBA. His offensive game is polished. He is shown the ability to read defenses and has the handles necessary to beat his man off the dribble. His ability to make flashy passes is like his older brother Lonzo’s ability. He is a good shooter, as he’s shown the ability to shoot off the catch and he’s capable of hitting off the dribble as well. He is a crafty finisher around the rim, and he’s displayed good touch on his floaters. His shot selection can be head scratching at times, but that will improve as he gets more experience in the league.
He isn’t an explosive athlete like some other players in this class. On defense he tends to roam a lot and gamble for steals, which in the NBA will cost his teams points due to the shooting on a lot of teams. He is skinny and lacks strength in his upper body, although that will with age. What he does bring to the table is his wizardry with the ball and potential as a lead guard that makes everyone around him better, if everything falls into place. Lamelo is high on a lot of team’s draft boards, with teams like New York and Detroit potentially moving up to 1 for him. The Timberwolves are said to be enamored with him, giving him a chance to go #1, if not, he could slide to the 4-5 area.
2. Killian Hayes, France
After Ball, he is quite possibly the best point guard in this draft. After starting a professional career at the age of 16, Hayes has played three seasons in Europe. Luka Dončić has shown that tall, multi-skilled guards from overseas can be highly successful in the NBA. At 6’5, he is taller than the average NBA point guard. Overseas, he showed off his ability to create shots for his teammates, as well as score in isolation. He earned a reputation as a French James Harden. His last season, he averaged 12.8 points, and 6 assists per game on efficient shooting splits. With his 210 pound body frame he’s able to overpower smaller defenders on his way to the way to the basket. Once he gets by his defender, he’s strong enough to protect the ball on his way to the rim. To compliment his strong driving game, he’s shown to be great at pull up shots. 42% of his shots off the dribble found the bottom of the net last season. His court vision is very good as well, as he’s able to hit his teammates with accurate passes with good timing. Being as big as he is, he’s able to switch defensively between either guard position.
He’s is left hand dominant and that is very obvious when you watch him play. He avoids using his right hand unless he must, due to it being noticeably weaker than his left hand. He struggles when he has to dribble, finish or pass with his right hand. In the NBA, teams will look to expose that weakness. He will have to remedy that quickly in order to become one of the elite players in the game. He’s not a consistent defender and he will have to become one as he faces the NBA’s elite on a nightly basis. He is a lot better shooting off the dribble than he is at catch and shooting. He won’t have the ball in his hands all the time so being able to shoot off the catch will be pivotal.
3. Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State
A 6’5 guard out of Iowa State, Haliburton looks ready for the NBA. He has an irregular, but effective shooting stroke, as he shot 50% from the field, 42% from beyond the arc, and 82% from the free throw line. He averaged 15 points, 6.5 assists and 6 rebounds per game for the Cyclones. His versatility will land him a spot on just about every team. He can play with the ball in his hands, off the ball, and can guard the 1-3. He’s a very team-oriented player has shown the willingness to make the extra pass when it’s available.
He struggles at creating shots for himself. While he has shown the ability to hit from range, he has a painfully slow release, similar to Lonzo Ball of the Pelicans, which will allow defenders to easily contest him. Shooting off the dribble is something he’s clearly not proficient at. He’s projected to be more of a role player in the NBA than a star player, though he has received some top 5 hype from some. He has proven in multiple settings, including USA Select Basketball, that he has the intangibles and make up of a winner.
4. Tyrell Terry, Stanford
The 6’2 sharpshooter looks poised to make a big impact on the team that is fortunate to draft him. He averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. He shot a very intriguing 41% from beyond the arc on five attempts per game. He’s a sniper when shooting off the catch and coming off of screens. He’s showed himself to be a smart player and makes good decisions in game, garnering some comparisons to Steph Curry and Trae Young due to his pure stroke and style of game. He doesn’t waste many dribbles. He’s great at moving off the ball, he gives the ball up and is quick to relocate to an open space on the floor. He has shown the ability to run the pick and roll effectively, which is a staple of NBA offenses today.
He’s pretty small, at just 175 lbs, with very thin legs and struggles with contact on drives. On the defensive end, this leads to him not being able to recover fast enough after being hit with screens. His strength limits his ability to keep defenders from powering on by him on the perimeter. He’s a solid defender, but he won’t be able to handle the elite guards in the NBA until he’s able to add some strength to his frame.
5. Theo Maledon, France
A French guard with the ability to play the 1 or the 2. He came into the season rated higher, but slipped some due to lack of consistency. He has shown the ability to run the pick and roll in the half court, but he does need to quicken his release. On the defensive end of the floor, he has the ability due to his length, to defend point guards and shooting guards. He will need to improve his strength in order to become a better defender. He plays with a nice level head and knows when to pick his spots. He’s a good finisher at the rim and he has shown good touch and body control when finishing at the basket.
His lack of strength can present issues in the NBA when he gets matched up against stronger guards. He turns down opportunities to drive to the basket in favor of settling for jumpers. His stroke from the free throw was only 69%. On the defensive end he can get caught watching the ball all to often. He’s an outstanding point guard specimen, who still needs to improve his skill level and consistency.
6. Nico Mannion, Arizona
A big point guard with a lot of moxie who has shown good ability to play off and on the ball. Great ability to shoot off the dribble, he’s able to stop on a dime and shoot effectively. He’s a very good catch and shoot player when off the ball coming off screens. He knows how to position himself on the defensive end of the floor. He’s showed good timing and decision making as he averaged five assists per game during his only year at Arizona. In transition, he likes to play uptempo, as he’s displayed great vision in open court and is capable of making highlight passes.
He has a tendency of bailing out defenses by pulling up for tough jumpshots, rather than attempting to get to the rim and making something happen. He also needs to improve his shot selection, instead of trying to play hero ball, making the extra pass or setting up offense would be a better solution. He struggles to finish over taller players and will need to add strength to his frame to deal with the stronger players he will be going up against. His best stretch of the year may have been coming, before COVID-19 cut everyone’s season short.
7. Cole Anthony, North Carolina
A score first point guard, arguably his greatest trait is his confidence in himself to put the ball in the hoop. He has above average quickness and athleticism that allows him to effectively attack defenses that aren’t set up or in isolation. He’s arguably the best in the class when it comes to making tough shots. He can finish with both hands around the basket. He helps contribute on the boards, as he averaged almost six rebounds per game his freshman year. He doesn’t shy away from contact when he attacks the rim.
Despite being a top 5 recruit nationally entering North Carolina, Anthony has slipped on draft boards primarily because there are questions surrounding his team make up. What makes him so effective may in turn be a detriment, similar to Russell Westbrook, in that sense. Is he a guy that can elevate those around him? He needs to improve his shot selection, as he shot only 38% from the field last year. He has a tendency at times to over dribble which leads to turnovers. He played well last season, but he did struggle against higher levels of competition. While he has the potential to be a good defender, at times he puts himself out of position by gambling and going under screens. He isn’t a knockdown shooter, as he only shot 34% from beyond the arc. He will need to improve on that in order keep defenses honest at the next level.
8. RJ Hampton, New Zealand
He’s on the taller side for a point guard, he’s 6’5 with a 6’7 wingspan. He’s good at breaking down defenses off the dribble. He’s a good ball handler while using the pick and roll. He has displayed good vision and decision making while in the halfcourt. He showed great ability to draw fouls as he shot 6.6 free throws per game during the Under Armor Association during 2018. He’s able to get wherever wants with the basketball and he’ll be a good scorer at the next level. In transition, he’s explosive, able to lead the break and finish at the rim.
He needs to improve on his shot selection, he has a bad habit of settling for deep contested shots. He hasn’t shown much of an in between game, he doesn’t have a mid-range game, or a floater. He needs to work on his efficiency from 3pt range, he shot only 33% from the 3pt line during the Under Armor association. He also needs to work on his ability to finish in traffic, as he will have to do that a lot at the next level.
9. Jahmius Ramsey, Texas Tech
At 6’4, 195, he’s a combo guard as well. He’s shown a good ability to score off the dribble. This skill be very important for him in the pros. He’s a good shooter from beyond the 3pt line. He shot 42.6% from beyond the arc on five attempts per game. He’s shown the ability to handle the ball pretty well. He can score from all three levels and he shows a lot of hustle. He has shown the ability to guard multiple positions. In the open court, he’s been very effective.
He can be very streaky at times when it comes to his shooting. He needs to shoot better from the free throw line, as he only shot 64% from the line during his rookie season. He doesn’t have an explosive first step off the dribble. He struggles at times to finish in traffic. His passing ability needs some work as he averaged almost as many turnovers as he did assists. At times, he becomes too focused on the offensive end of the floor, but doesn’t put in as much effort on the defensive end.
10. Kira Lewis, Alabama
Lewis is a long, quick athlete that knows how to use his size. Defenders have a hard time staying in front of him on the perimeter. He’s good at pushing the ball in transition, while using his good ball handling skills. His first step is very quick and he shows a good ability to get to the rim against anyone. He’s able to weave his way through traffic in order to finish at the rim. He’s a good spot up shooter, shooting 36% from beyond the arc this past season at Alabama. He is a good free throw shooter, having hit 80% from the stripe last season. His length and anticipation skills allow him to jump passing lanes and a lot of transition opportunities. He almost doubled his assists last season, showing improvement in his decision making.
He’s not as dangerous of a threat from isolation. He’s not good at shooting off the dribble, rather he prefers to shoot from spot up situations. He needs to polish his pick and roll game, as a point guard, he will be running that a lot. At just 163 pounds, he needs to add more bulk to his frame in order to be able to absorb contact in the pros. His lack of strength affects him in regards to finishing through contact as well as playing defense.