Feb 26, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Western Conference guard Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (0), Tony parker of the San Antonio Spurs talk to Eastern Conference guard Rajon Rondo (9) of the Boston Celtics in the second quarter at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Best Point Guards in the NBA: Jason Kidd says Rajon Rondo is No. 1

Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

There is often debate among who the best point guard in the NBA is. The league is deeper than ever these days at the point position and there are a lot of worthy candidates to be mentioned as one of the best.

Jason Kidd gave Rajon Rondo the highest compliment when he told Jason Terry that Rondo was the best in the league.

“He said, ‘There’s no question Rajon Rondo is the best point guard,” Terry told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “‘Chris Paul is great. Deron Williams is great, but Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the NBA.’’’

Who is Kidd leaving out here? Russell Westbrook. It’s understandable and he wasn’t providing his top five or anything. Plus Westbrook doesn’t really fit the mold of point guard like the others here.

But for argument sake, Westbrook is included in the discussion and has a very good case to be considered the best point guard in the NBA or more accurately, “the best player in the NBA who technically plays the point guard position.”

Let’s look at and compare some of the top point guards in the league right now. Paul is definitely right there at the top with Williams, Rondo and Westbrook. Tony Parker will be left out because he is always overlooked. Leaving Derrick Rose out too just for now because of the knee injury.

Chris Paul PER USG% TS% PPG APG RPG SPG
2009-10 23.7 22.2 0.584 18.7 10.7 4.2 2.1
2010-11 23.7 21.1 0.578 15.9 9.8 4.1 2.4
2011-12 27.0 24.3 0.581 19.8 9.1 3.6 2.5

Paul has been the best overall in the last three years especially by PER standards. His shooting percentages are very good too and he’s right at the top of the league in assists and steals every season. He’s probably the best pure point guard in the league and became the league’s clutchest player hands down last year.

Deron Williams PER USG% TS% PPG APG RPG SPG
2009-10 20.6 23.8 0.574 18.7 10.5 4.0 1.3
2010-11 21.1 25.8 0.566 20.1 10.3 4.0 1.2
2011-12 20.3 30.1 0.527 21.0 8.7 3.3 1.2

Williams puts up some impressive numbers too. His scoring is a little higher than Paul’s and his assists are right there as well. Williams is definitely not on the same defensive level of Paul yet though.

Rajon Rondo PER USG% TS% PPG APG RPG SPG
2009-10 19.1 20.2 0.540 13.7 9.8 4.4 2.3
2010-11 17.1 18.3 0.495 10.6 11.2 4.4 2.3
2011-12 17.5 20.7 0.483 11.9 11.7 4.8 1.8

Rondo’s regular season numbers don’t do him all the justice. He’s had his biggest moments in the playoffs where he routinely turns in triple-doubles for the Celtics. He is an elite defender for his position and has become the best in the league at racking up assists. His shooting woes are without a doubt his biggest downfall.

Russell Westbrook PER USG% TS% PPG APG RPG SPG
2009-10 17.8 25.7 0.491 16.1 8.0 4.9 1.3
2010-11 23.6 31.6 0.538 21.9 8.2 4.6 1.9
2011-12 22.9 32.7 0.538 23.6 5.5 4.6 1.7

Looking at the stats it kind of feels like Westbrook plays a different position than the other three. His usage rate is much higher and most familiar to a scoring-two than a traditional point. Westbrook is the youngest of the four players too and has shown significant improvement from season to season.

Right now, the title of best point guard in the NBA belongs to Paul. It’s toughest to argue against that. Westbrook is a more rare commodity though and has the potential to evolve into a top five superstar in this league. He has a Dwyane Wade-like ceiling and the impact he makes on the game is as dramatic as any of these players.

Westbrook isn’t quite there yet but if you’re predicting the future, you’ll have Westbrook overtaking these three in no time.

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Tags: Boston Celtics Chris Paul Deron Williams Jason Kidd Oklahoma City Thunder Rajon Rondo Russell Westbrook

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