Top 10 Point Guards of All-Time

Who is the greatest point guard of all time?

The answer to this question has been Magic Johnson for quite a long time. But since Johnson’s retirement, the position has produced the greatest shooter of all time, a triple-double machine and the “Point God.”

So the new question is: Have things changed atop the all time point guard list?

10: Isiah Thomas

I feel like Isiah Thomas’ accomplishments and career seem to get overlooked when we discuss the best point guards of all time. He was the leader of the “Bad Boy” Pistons, a team that made the NBA Finals 3x, and won twice. That team had a tight hold on the Eastern Conference for some time, and was the bridge between Bird’s Celtics, and Jordan’s Bulls.

While his career averages are nothing special and are sub par when compared to some on the list, his playoff resume makes up for it.

His postseason averages of 20.4 points, 8.9 assists and 2.1 steals are unmatched in league history. If you lower the qualifiers to 20 points, eight assists and two steals, only Chris Paul is added to the list.

When I rank these players, I take great value in winning performances and play under pressure. Isiah has both covered at the highest of levels, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he makes the list.

Career Averages: 19.2 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals

Best Season: 21.2 points, 13.9 assists, 2.3 steals


MVP: 0

Championships: 2x

All Star Selections: 12x

All NBA Teams: 6x

9: Russell Westbrook

Prior to Kevin Durant abandoning Russell Westbrook, I don’t think Westbrook ever cracks the top 10 list. But Durant created an absolute monster by ticking off Westbrook.

In the years after Durant’s departure, Westbrook made league history. He became the second player in league history to average a triple-double for a season. But that wasn’t the historic part. The historic value in this feat is that Westbrook averaged a triple-double for 3 straight seasons.

From 2016-2019, Westbrook season averages are 26.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. That is a three year peak that we have never seen before, out of any player regardless of position.

When you adjust Westbrook’s numbers to the pace of play during Oscar Robertson’s era, Westbrook’s averages would be a ridiculous 47.5 points, 18.8 rebounds and 18.4 assists.

So while Westbrook won’t ever be mentioned in the same breath of Oscar Robertson as an all time great, the numbers don’t lie, they are very similar in terms of production.

Career Averages: 23.0 points, 8.4 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals

Best Season: 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists


MVP: 1x

Championships: 0

All Star Selections: 9x

All NBA Teams: 9x

3x Averaged a Triple-Double

8: Jason Kidd

Before Russell Westbrook ruined the glamor in recording triple-doubles, Jason Kidd was making a name for himself doing so. When you combine regular season and playoffs, Kidd has 118 triple-doubles in his career. He is 4th behind Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Russell Westbrook.

What lands Kidd on the list is his all-around play style. Not only did Kidd lead the league 5x in assists, he also made nine All-Defense teams.

Kidd cemented his legacy with his role on the 2011 Champion Dallas Mavericks. By this time, Kidd was no longer the athletic guard who pushed the pace, like he once did in New Jersey and Phoenix. Relying on his size and IQ, Kidd transitioned into a spot up shooter and true floor general.

Over there final 6 seasons, Kidd shot 37.8 percent from deep, including two seasons over 40%. That is a far ways away from the early days of his career where he was called “Ason Kidd” because he “didn’t have a J.”

Kidd’s longevity really helps his case compared to other point guards. His 19-year career allowed him to rank 87th all time in points scored, 10th in made threes, second in steals and second in assists.

Career Averages: 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals

Best Season: 16.9 points, 10.8 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 steals


MVP: 0

Championships: 1x

All Star Selections: 10x

All NBA Teams: 16x

Rookie of the Year

2nd All-Time in Assists and Steals

7: Steve Nash

Prior to “position-less” basketball, the role go a point guard was to run the offense and set the table for others. For his entire career, Steve Nash was the prototypical point guard, and often the head of one of the top offenses in the league.

As the staring point guard for the Dallas Mavericks from 1998-04, Nash led the team to an offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) of 109.0. That rating was good for first place in the NBA over that time frame.

When he made the move to Phoenix, Nash once again was the general of the leagues best offense over an eight year stretch. So essentially for a decade, if Nash was your point guard, you were guaranteed to have an elite offense.

Nash along with Amare Stoudemire, perfected the pick and roll. Wether it was a lob pass, or a perfectly placed pocket pass, the result was the same, a Stoudemire dunk. But Nash’s game went beyond just passing.

While never brought up in the conversation, Nash is quietly one of the best shooters in league history. Nash had 4 seasons in which he went 50% form the field-40% from three-90% from the free throw line. There are only 8 players in the 50-40-90 club in league history.

Based on “points above average from three,” Nash is the fifth-best three-point shooter of all time, trailing only Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Kyle Korver and Stephen Curry.

His career true relative shooting percentage is a +7.4. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the metric, that is in the territory of a big man who’s only shot attempts are dunks. So thing of it like this, the chance of Nash making a shot is close to a Deandre Jordan dunk.

Nash is currently third all time in assists and ninth in assists per game.

Career Averages: 14.3 points, 8.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds

Best Season: 18.6 points, 11.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds


MVP: 2x

Championships: 0

All Star Selections: 8x

All NBA Teams: 7x

Assists Leader: 6x

6: Oscar Robertson

I’ll get killed for this by the older NBA fans, but I have Oscar Robertson coming in at 6th. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robertson’s teammate, once praised Robertson as the best player he’s ever seen.

“LeBron is awesome, MJ was awesome—but I think Oscar Robinson would have kicked them both in the behind. Absolutely. Oscar was awesome. He had brains. […] He had all the skills.” – Kareem from a 2013 interview with ESPN.

I wouldn’t ever claim to know more than Kareem, but when we take into account the era, pace of play, and that his triple double feat was topped by Westbrook, his legacy takes a slight hit.

Robertson played a total of 1,126 games in the regular season and playoffs, and he recorded a triple-doubles in 16.8% of them.

While it is unfair to hold his era against him, scone he didn’t choose when he was born, I have to take it into consideration. Most of the guards on this list faced off against each other, or during the golden age of the position. Yes he dominated his era, but his era was also less competitive at the position.

Career Averages: 25.7 points, 9.5 assists, 7.5 rebounds

Best Season: 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 11.4 assists


MVP: 1x

Championships: 1x

All Star Selections: 12x

All NBA Teams: 11x

Rookie of the Year

5: Jerry West

The true battle of ranking Jerry West on a position list is that back in the day there was no “point guard” or “shooting guard.” You were just a guard. So I battled on where I would place West, but ultimately decided as a point guard as basketball reference has him listed as a pg for 12 of his 14 seasons.

Either way, “The Logo” is top 5 on both list. West has led the league in scoring (1969-70) and assists (1972) in separate seasons, and upped his performance level when the playoffs came around.

Despite being 1-9 in the NBA finals, West always showed up. He averaged 40.6 points in the 1965 postseason. And in five postseasons from 1965 to 1969, he averaged 32.9.

West is penalized slightly for the era he played in, much like Robertson. While they both dominated their era, the rest of the guards on here had a tougher point guard matchup night in and night out. How they would have fared in todays game who knows. I’m sure they would have adapted like all great players do.

One thing is for sure, West would have thrived in an era which featured the 3 point line. He was constantly pulling up from just inside half court, but only getting 2 points to show for it. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at his career stats.

Career Averages: 27.0 points, 6.7 assists, 5.8 rebounds

Best Season: 31.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists


MVP: 1969 Finals MVP (lost the series)

Championships: 1x

All Star Selections: 14x

All NBA Teams: 17x (includes all defense teams)

1x Scoring Champ

1x Assists Leader

4: Chris Paul

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- OCTOBER 10: Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the New Zealand Breakers during the preseason on October 10, 2019 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

If we are talking strictly numbers and successfully doing your job as a point guard, Chris Paul would be top two.

He’s first all time among point guards in box plus/minus, win shares per 48 minutes and playoff box plus/minus. He trails only Magic Johnson and Jerry West among point guards in playoff win shares per 48 minutes.

In basketball talk, CP3 could do it all. Orchestrating the offense, and picking defenses apart, Paul has made a career out of making other players careers. DeAndre Jordan, David West, JJ Redick, are all players who benefited greatly from playing alongside Paul.

CP3’s ability to hit shooters right in their hands, and perfectly place lobs at the rim is next to none. But much like Steve Nash, Paul’s ability to score is what made him even more dangerous.

Coming off the pick, Paul knows where he wants to get to on the floor, to either distribute the ball, or take it himself for a layup of mid range pull up. Over the course of his career, CP3 has shot 47% on two-pointers from five feet and out.

But what sets CP3 apart form most of the guards on the list is his defensive presence. Despite his short stature, Paul is very good defensively. He led the league in steals per game six times, and has a career steals per game average of 2.2, ranking 7th all time.

Only thing missing from the resume is the ever elusive championship, and it is the reason I am regretfully holding him back.

Career Averages: 18.5 points, 9.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 steals,

Best Season: 22.8 points, 11.0 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 steals


MVP: 0

Championships: 0

All Star Selections: 10x

All NBA Teams: 18x (combination of all NBA and all defense teams)

6x Steals Leader

4x assists leader

3: Steph Curry

The greatest compliment anyone can give Steph Curry is he revolutionized the game. He is responsible for the 3-point revolution and the elimination of stagnant, back to the basket centers.

In may ways he has taken what Steve Nash did in Phoenix with the high pace of play, but extended his range to near half court, and shooting 3’s at an unreal clip.

Who would have thought the slender kid out of Davidson would become one of the most prolific scorers the league ever seen. By the time he retires he will have obliterated the 3 point record, much lichee did the regular season record.

His 3 NBA championships are more than the rest of the guards behind him, and there is no saying he’s done winning them.

When all is said and done, and Curry racks up in the record books, he will be the second best point guard to ever play the game. But because the career is not complete and the record books remain in this next guys favor, Curry is still 3rd.

Career Averages: 23.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 threes, 1.7 steals

Best Season: 30.1 points, 6.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 threes, 2.1 steals


MVP: 2x

Championships: 3x

All Star Selections: 6x

All NBA Teams: 7x

Led League in 3 pointers made: 5x

2: John Stockton

Stockton may only be this high because of his longevity, but the production was consistent throughout. Plus I can’t penalize the guy for sustaining production over a long period of time. Stockton averaged a double double for his career, and that isn’t even the most impressive statistic of his career.

John Stockton is the only player with more assists and steals than Kidd. And Kidd is a very distant second. The distance between Stockton’s 15,806 assists and Kidd’s 12,091 is about the same as the distance between Kidd and 11th-place Andre Miller. There’s a similar gap in steals.

Stockton’s unreal career totals can be attributed to his unmatched durability. He is 4th all time in games played, and mastered the pick and roll. The question that is often floated out there is did Stockton make Karl Malone, or vise versa?

It is tough to tell as they perfected the pick and roll together in their newly two decade run together. But neither would have been as successful without the other.

Stockton made the NBA Finals in back to back years, but had the unfortunate luck of running into the end of the Bulls dynasty. For that reason I do not hold the lack of a ring against him, and he gets bonus points for being the Bulls toughest finals opponent.

Career Averages: 13.1 points, 10.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 steals

Best Season: 17.2 points, 14.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 2.7 steals


MVP: 0

Championships: 0

All Star Selections: 10x

All NBA Teams: 16x (5 defensive teams)

The All time leader in Assists and Steals

1: Magic Johnson

Despite the golden age of point guards and hall of fame point guards we have talked about, Magic Johnson remains comfortably on the throne. His flashy play style can be found on any highlight reel. But even more impressive is the bits and pieces of Magic’s game we see in todays generation of players.

Lebron James is the obvious player comparison. But we also see some of Magic in Nikola Jokic’s passes, an unsuspecting candidate. But like his name, Magic did everything just a little better, with a little more flare.

Magic controlled every aspect of the game. If he wanted it to be a run and gun night, he brought out showtime and pushed the pace of play. But if he wanted to abuse other teams with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he could almost stop the pace and throw it into the post every time down.

His court vision and IQ are second to none, and was often playing chess while everyone else was playing checkers.

If the eye test isn’t enough and you want the accolades and statistics to prove Magic’s dominance, he got those in his back pocket too.

Career Averages: 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, 7.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals

Best Season: 22.5 points, 12.8 assists, 7.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals


MVP: 3x League, 3x Finals, 2x All-Star Game

Championships: 5x

All Star Selections: 12x

All NBA Teams: 11x

3x Assists Leader

2x Steals leader

In Case You Missed Them:

Top 10 Shooting Guards of All-Time

Top 10 Small Forwards of All-Time

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