• Ryan Tippett

#1 Rated PG's, Who's Your Pick?

Alright so I got caught in the rabbit hole known as the internet and came across this list of the #1 ranked point guards from the past 10 years and I thought “hmm who would I choose if I were playing pick up?”. Obviously, it’s going to be hard to judge Cade, but I think there’s enough tape to be able to gauge what type of player he ultimately might be. I would clearly take any of these guys, there’s a reason why they were all the #1 ranked point guards in their class. This is clearly very subjective, but for me this comes down to a couple of guys: Lonzo, Tyus, Garland and Cunningham.

Tyus is about as solid all around as they come, lacks athleticism but does everything well. He can stroke it from deep, get to the rim and finish through contact. His feel for the game is exactly what you look for in a point guard. He doesn’t try to force action, just takes what’s given and has a demeanor that you look for in a point guard. You couldn’t go wrong with him but his ceiling isn’t high enough for me to take him #1 overall.

Garland plays the point position by default being 6’1, he’s not the prototypical facilitator. His first step is as quick as anyone in the league right now and he has no fear going to the rim despite his size. He also has a nice jumper from deep. I’d classify him more as a score first guard. He’s only 20 years old and is only going to get better after missing most of the 2019/2020 season at Vanderbilt due to a meniscus injury. If I were building a core around him, I’d be stoked but I’m going to go in a different direction.

For me it boils down to Lonzo or Cunningham. Cunningham is 6’7, 215 but doesn’t play like it. He’s still somehow able to keep smaller, shiftier guards in front of him because of his basketball IQ. A guy that big and that tall obviously lacks in lateral quickness, unless you’re a physical freak like LeBron, but his technique makes up for it. He was originally a scoring wing at Montverde before they experimented with him at the point and it appears to have worked out for both of them. He has the ability to step out but needs to be more consistent from 3. Lonzo also has size at the point position, 6’6 but a little lighter at 190. He’s quicker than Cade as you’d expect and is a better pure passer. We’re really splitting hairs here and I think Lonzo benefits from being more of a known commodity. I also think he’s going to continue to improve at the NBA level. HOWEVER, I’m going to go with Cunningham, he’s going to continue on improving his jump shot and he’s more advanced at this stage in his career than Lonzo was. I also like to live a little dangerously and bet on the unknowns. Let’s revisit this after next year when we see what Cunningham does at the next level in college when he has the giant red X on his back. A fun, harmless exercise. Lets hope in 8 years this prediction doesn’t look too bad.