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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at 12:05 pm  |  148 responses

Top 50: Deron Williams, no. 10

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Doobie Okon

For the better part of a decade now, the LeBron-Kobe debate has showered the sports world. Sure, it’s a good one, the sexy argument if you will…but it will be long—probably not until both players retire—before a clear winner will be generally accepted by the public if at all.

As of right now, it’s completely up in the air. Both sides have major haters, major lovers and rarely any devotee in the middle of the pack. Kobe has the hardware and his fourth quarters, LeBron’s got his talents. Even I have shuffled my vote back and forth a few times in recent years. The point is—nobody really knows…

But what I do know is that the LBJ-KB24 debate has perhaps overshadowed a much more intriguing battle—that of best point guard alive—with Deron Williams and Chris Paul in the corners. While this personal rivalry also may not have a clear victor at the present moment, it’s a much better debate if you think about it.

LeBron and Kobe play different positions and they’re gunning for best player in the world, so more needs to be taken into account when comparing them. And what makes it so difficult is that Kobe has Bron by six seasons, making it irrelevant to stack up their numbers and personal accomplishments side by side right now.

Over in the heated PG dispute, Deron Williams has all of one Draft selection on Chris Paul. Since DWill and CP3 were selected third and fourth, respectively, in the 2005 Draft, they’ve shared quite the similar journey in their young careers. You’d think that since they play the same position and share the same experience, it’d be much easier to see who the better player is when comparing their stats and awards so far.

Nope.

Seriously, take a look at this ride:

—Utah and New Orleans had the two worst records in the West in ‘04-05 before drafting their premier point guards.

—In their rookie years, their teams finished 9th and 10th, both falling short of the postseason. Although CP3 did cash in on Rookie of the Year honors.

—In their sophomore efforts, ‘06-07, Williams’ Jazz finished fourth in the West with a 51-31 record after Deron started 80 games for coach Sloan. The Hornets again finished 10th while Chris Paul sat at home and watched his counterpart lead Utah to the Western Conference Finals. DWill greatly improved his scoring from the regular season once the lights of the Playoffs shined.

—2007-08: New Orleans finished second while Utah clinched the fourth spot and both squads lost tough second-round battles that year as DWill suffered from a poor first two games against the Lakers while Paul couldn’t complete the seven-game victory at home against the Spurs.

—Strangely enough, the following season, both point guards’ teams regressed and finished one game apart, good for the last two spots in the Playoffs. Both lost underwhelming five-game series in the opening round, even though Williams and Paul played pretty well, especially the Jazz guard who averaged over 20/10 for the series.

—Williams really exploded in the ‘09-10 postseason, though. The Hornets ended the year with an abysmal 37-45 record, although to CP3′s credit, he only played in 45 games that year due to injury. But DWill’s Jazz won 50 games for the third time in his first five years to grab the fifth seed.

Deron absolutely owned the Nuggets in a six-game first-round victory. The former Illini star averaged 25.8 points on 49.4 percent shooting (it was actually 28.2 ppg before a 14-point output in Game 6). Even more amazing, Williams recorded double-digit assists in every game.

In the process, DWill recorded two 30-point, 10-assist games in the series to become the second Jazz player to accomplish the feat. John Stockton also did it twice—in his entire career. Deron also became the first NBA player ever to have five straight 20/10 performances in the postseason.

Except for one weak shooting effort against the Lakers, Williams played well again even though his team was swept away by the eventual champions.

—Last season, of course, to even the balance of power between the two star PGs, CP3 played in the postseason and absolutely shined in a first-round loss to the Lakers (who beat Utah the year prior, obviously), while Williams wasn’t able to participate in the NBA’s second season. He, too, had a legitimate excuse in that he just happened to be traded to the Newark Nets who boasted a wonderful 17-40 mark at the time. Meanwhile, the Jazz finished 8-16 without their star to miss the Playoffs for the first time since Deron’s rookie year…I know Utah thought they wouldn’t have been able to extend him had Deron remained in Salt Lake City…nevertheless though—probably should’ve attempted to hold on to their leader.

So there you have it. Pretty similar ride indeed. But when you stack up their numbers, CP3 actually does edge out DWill in almost every category. But most of their stats are quite similar, except for steals which Paul excels at due to his incredible speed.

Deron just does not have speed. Talent-wise, CP3 probably has Williams by a mile. You can’t deny that. So why do many experts proclaim Mr. Williams to be the greatest point guard the NBA has to offer? Results. Leadership.

DWill led his Fighting Illini to the 2005 NCAA Championship game. He led the Jazz to 50 wins three times and the postseason every year except his debut. And I’m certain if he had stayed in Utah (and remained healthy) last year, they would have once again grabbed a Playoff spot.

He’s a true floor general. In his short career with Utah, Deron often drew comparisons to his Hall of Fame predecessor, John Stockton, but Williams actually called many more plays for coach Jerry Sloan than Stockton ever did. He’s been running basketball offenses his way since high school, and clearly all of his coaches have always trusted him with their offensive schemes.

While his leadership was never in question, Williams’ collegiate numbers left something to be desired, especially his shooting percentages. His assists and points have both made a huge jump from college to the NBA, but it’s the improvement in his shooting across the board that has really impressed. Deron’s gone from shooting around 42 percent from the field and 65 percent from the free-throw line in college to now posting a career 46.3 percent clip and over 80 percent from the stripe.

And what Deron lacks in sheer Iverson-esque athleticism—which CP3 embodies—he makes up for with his massive size. Seriously, dude’s a running back…running an NBA team. Once a star wrestler back in middle school, he now boasts a 6-3, 209-pound frame. DWill’s body is like a bull when driving through the paint and also naturally improves his defense on other smaller point guards.

And now, the thick-bodied point guard is at the helm in New Jersey.

Once 2012 begins though, and the Nets finally make their move, DWill will be the biggest thing in Brooklyn since Jay-Z. Oh wait, no. Jigga will steal that limelight occasionally, not that he shouldn’t. But the Nets already know what they have. Due to his nagging wrist injury, Williams only played in 12 games for NJ after the trade, but in that span he averaged nearly 13 assists while the Nets scored 101.9 ppg compared to 92.9 points the rest of the season. A small sample size for sure, but eye-popping nonetheless.

Perhaps the country really took note of Deron Williams as a top image in the NBA this past July when he became the first NBA star to sign on to play overseas. Once Turkey got hold of Williams, it was like Moses leading a mass exodus. Now well over 60 players are going overseas, including Kobe, while other stars like Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Rudy Gay, etc. have since expressed interest in jetting across the Atlantic.

Deron should dominate over in EurAsia, and we’ll certainly have to keep a watch on the wrist.

But once he comes back, and the NBA returns, DWill will be right back proving why he should be labeled the best point guard in the NBA, not just one of the best. It’s a shame Chris Paul and Deron Williams haven’t played each other in postseason yet, although they might end up Big Apple enemies if the Knicks do indeed link up their own dream team with Amar’e, Melo and CP3.

Deron has some talent surrounding him currently in Jersey, but it’s nothing to write home about. When he finally gets home, he has quite the difficult task ahead of him turning that team into an Eastern powerhouse. But if I’m starting my basketball team, I’m building around a premier big man or point guard… and when that thought comes to mind… I instantly think Deron Williams. Always have.

This is not an argument against Chris Paul. He’s obviously everything you want in a basketball player, let alone a point guard. But Deron, you could say, with less talent and speed is right up there. This shouldn’t be a debate of flaws, because honestly, neither have too many in their games. Both of their styles are perfect for a dishing point guard who, at times, is relied on to score a lot as well. Both should be celebrated for their unique gifts, differing styles and the most similar of journeys so far.

Let THIS debate reign on.

SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2011
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Luol Deng Bulls SF 8
49 Andrew Bogut Bucks C 7
48 Ray Allen Celtics SG 9
47 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 6
46 David West Hornets PF 15
45 Kevin Martin Rockets SG 8
44 Andrew Bynum Lakers C 5
43 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 11
42 Lamar Odom Lakers PF 14
41 Gerald Wallace Blazers SF 7
40 Brook Lopez Nets C 4
39 Joakim Noah Bulls C 3
38 Carlos Boozer Bulls PF 13
37 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 12
36 Eric Gordon Clippers SG 7
35 Tony Parker Spurs PG 10
34 Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 6
33 Al Jefferson Jazz PF 11
32 Al Horford Hawks C 2
31 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 9
30 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 10
29 Josh Smith Hawks PF 9
28 Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 5
27 Tyreke Evans Kings PG 8
26 Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 6
25 John Wall Wizards PG 7
24 Danny Granger Pacers SF 5
23 Monta Ellis Warriors SG 4
22 Joe Johnson Hawks SG 3
21 Paul Pierce Celtics SF 4
20 Steve Nash Suns PG 6
19 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 8
18 LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 7
17 Chris Bosh Heat PF 6
16 Kevin Love TWolves PF 5
15 Rajon Rondo Celtics PG 5
14 Blake Griffin Clippers PF 4
13 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 3
12 Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 4
11 Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 2
10 Deron Williams Nets PG 3

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’11-12 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Maurice Bobb, Shannon Booher, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Jon Jaques, Eldon Khorshidi, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Quinn Peterson, Dave Schnur, Abe Schwadron, Dan Shapiro, Irv Soonachan, Todd Spehr, Tzvi Twersky, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Ben York.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Melo better than Derron.. hard for me to say. Same with D-Rose.. I dunno bout this. I’d take him over D-Rose on some teams but on others I would rather have D-Rose.(see Bulls)

  • BAWSE

    I have no issues with this. D Will is a top 10 player and definitely a Difference maker. Not better than CP3 but that isnt a bad thing.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    So is DRose going to be rated over CP3? Rose may the more exiting player to watch, but rating anyone over Paul’s basketball intelligence (as a pg) is tough. Would the Heat have been beaten if Chris and Roses teams had been switched?

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    *exciting

  • http://www.gil1906.com Pve_2

    Intriguing points in this comparison. The only thing not considered is that Deron had more help in Utah, in my opinion. Back when Okur was still functioning and Boozer was around that was a decent if not good front-court, an OK Kirilenko on the wing, solid role-players, and Sloan on the sideline. Paul made something out of nothing. Literally. Granted he’s had less success play-off wise, but while Deron took the reins and made the team thrive, Paul made the reins AND made the team thrive.

  • matt

    Jennings should not be on this list. Most overrated player in the NBA. Dude scores 55 and ppl act like he’s God. He has such poor shot selection and his distributing skills leave a lot to be desired. I’d take Kyle Lowry over him.

  • chingy

    D Rose would like to have a word with you.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Looks good. You always know what to expect from Deron Williams.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Good work Doobie. If Deron didn’t get hurt last season it would make no sense to have Melodramatic above him, but I’m going to pretend the injury is why y’all have it how you do.

  • NJ4Life

    Absolutely no way in H3LL Melo is better than DWill. Scoring? Yes. But nothing else.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Boozer has always been the same player.
    David West with rebounding.
    Paul is better. But, Deron has had some beastly playoffs series.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Well, my prediction for Slam’s rankings is 2/2 so far. Dirk is next. That said, I personally think this is too low for Deron, I’d put him higher than Melo and Dirk, maybe more.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    Deron also became the first NBA player ever to have five straight 20/10 performances in the postseason………………….. CRAZY. DERON IS A MUCH BETTER SCORER THAN CHRIS. ID TAKE DERON EVERY TIME.

  • http://tempdog1 Tempest

    Chris Paul’s better

  • ripslam

    I want to say he’s a top-10 player, but it seems wrong to put him above Amar’e, Rondo, Blake, etc. after a subpar season.

  • King David

    needs to be higher, best point guard in the league hands down. LOOK AT THAT SIZE!!!!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    20-10-4 is not subpar. His shooting % was, slightly, but he did have wrist issues.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Yes, DWill’s better than Melo. Now between him and Rose, that’s a much tougher choice. Rose is exactly the kind of PG a team like Chicago needs (scoring) while DWill is the perfect PG for a team that has a few scoring threats around him. Now who’s better at this very moment? Rose based on his superb RS and the fact that he carried the Bulls to the top seed while DWill was at home.

  • Frank

    CP3 higher on the list*

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I said myself I thought Rose had kinda edged out Williams for second best PG honors.
    Mostly because Williams really, really struggled in their two meetings last year.
    Dude just didn’t seem the same, but he has a chance to get back in the top 2 again when the season starts, no doubt.
    Even with MVP trophy in hand though, I really can’t say Rose is the best PG in L as long as Chris Paul’s around, and a not 100% CP3 still managed to put up 16, 10, 4 and 2.4 steals per last year.
    Now that’s gangsta.

  • bigrose174

    If D-Will was on Chicago he would score,not as much as Rose did, but then again he wouldn’t have to because he’s much better at setting up his teammates. I mean if u look at the bulls, have of those guys came from Utah anyway! lol plus Rose has some better pieces in chicago(aside from the utah players) than D-Will had in Utah. ppl tend to get lost in how loud Rose’s games is. D-Will > Rose

  • bigrose174

    *half

  • shaolin23

    I wonder if the Besiktas experience will end up having a positive/negative impact on his game. So far (from what I’ve heard) he hasn’t posted any outstanding stats, but regardless still a top PG in the league today.

  • jarrett

    SLAM i know i’ve been hard on yall in the comment section because of the Kevin Love thing… but u guys are doing an awesome job compared to ESPN. Those fools over there got Blake Griffin in the top ten!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Euroleague is not typically a league for a guy to post big stats. Especially a PG. The system there is so different. Williams is more likely to come back with a different POV on how to get certain things inside of an offense then to have changed, improved, or depreciated any major part of his game.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    No, Williams would HAVE to score in bunches on the Bulls for them to be successfull, just like Rose has to.
    People think Rose doesn’t look to set his teammates up, but trust when I tell you he could’ve averaged 9 or 10 assists per last year if his teammates could knock down shots more consistently.

  • seun

    Ok right now i’m going to argue that d-will is the best point in the nba and before anyone dismisses my comments pleace read my argument. For one deron williams was the only point guard in the league to average 20 points and 10 assits, last time i checked if your the only point guard in the whole league to average 20 ponits and 10 assits then you should be the best point guard in the nba. You say stats dont matter and that deron williams cant lad a team to the playoffs, well i say that the utah jazz were a playoff team beforehe got traded to to the nets; one of the worst teams in league. a team ,in which only lebron and wade could have taken the nets to the playoffs. You say being an eight seeded team isn’t enough well i say the reason the jazz where an eight seeded team was because they lost boozer so deron williams had to create new chemistry with al jefferson and jerry sloan retired in the middle of the season; whether or not the reason jerry sloan left had to do with dwill doesn’t matter because we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • bigrose174

    So some of the same players that were playing with Williams in Utah all of a sudden can’t knock down shots the whole season? Maybe thats a matter of where and when Rose is getting them the ball. Meanwhile Williams is averaging like 13 assist a game with Jersey and if you watched the jersey games(which i’m sure many didn’t) he would have been getting 20 assists Easy if they would be hitting shot

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Thanks Jarrett… and Doobie put in WORK on this piece. Couldn’tve said it better.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kyle Korver does knock down shots. Boozer is Rose’s main guy. Williams is also a much better passer then Rose. Not nearly the scorer though, especially in a 1 on 1 situation. Williams is more of a system PG, while Rose is more of an isolation PG. Williams just averaged 12.8APG in NEW JERSEY, to think Rose or any PG not named Nash or Paul can do that is kinda crazy. imo

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Williams never had to play with Keith Bogans.

  • manu

    dirk better be #1…espn already f***** it up u guys better not

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Nah, I’ma just stop cause I don’t wanna come off as a Deron Williams hater.
    Trust, I been a fan of dude since his freshman year in Urbana-Champaign when probably the only other person on here who knew who he was is Ryne Nelson.

  • jarrett

    Ryan Nelson… i swear imma lose it if u guys dare to put Dwight Howard over Kobe or Dwade… Dwights the best C, but that doesnt automatically make him top 3. i think the top 10 should look something like this:
    10. Deron Williams
    9. Melo
    8. Paul
    7. Rose
    6. Dirk
    5. Dwight
    4. Durant
    3. Kobe
    2. Wade
    1. Lebron

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I like how Dirk is getting credit like he won the title by himself. Dude would not have gotten outta the second round were it not for Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, and Shawn Marion. Dirk is going to come in between 6-9, right where he should.

  • jdizzle

    The top ten should be like this:
    10. Deron Williams
    9. Melo
    8. Paul
    7. Rose
    6. Bryant
    5. Durant
    4. Nowitzki
    3. Wade
    2. Howard
    1. Lebron

    But Slam loves Kobe and Rose so they will no doubt be in the top 5.

  • http://slamonline.com Andrew woods

    Williams is a beast. You have to appreciate how he has hsas mastered the fundamentals of the game.

  • Doobie

    aw schucks, ryne.

    and jdizzle, sorry dude, youre out your mind if you think kobe is out of the top 5. it aint just slam who loves him, its mostly still everyone.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    i wonder if he is even top 10 in the turkish league so far

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Co-sign nbk. Personally, I don’t even have Dirk as my top PF. I still think that’s Pau.
    But cause Dirk won a title everyone wants to propel him to number one overall?
    What in the name of Darksaber is that???

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I still think Nash is better than Deron at the point… having said that, these rankings are based on “next seasons success” and Deron will probably edge out Nash next season. Steve Nash should of been higher than Westbrook however.

  • marc

    i sought of agree with jdizzle’s list but they goin to put kobe at 7 and rose at 6 watch. And im a kobe fan. lol. And imo it gets kind of hard who to say is the better pg when it gets down to the nitty gritty. Chris Paul is the best pg in the league but in certain situations you might need a DRose. Thats the same way i feel about Dwill and Drose. I think Dwill is overall the better pg but drose shined in Chicago. its hard

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    DHow deserves to be above KD/Dirk/Kobe. Despite the lack of talent at the center position, the guy is a dominant two-way player.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I also don’t see why people have Kevin Durant as a top 5 player. Too me, LeBron, Wade, Dwight, CP, are the clear cut top 4. With Bryant, Rose, and Durant being able to lay claim to the next 3 spots. But I can’t see how you can have Durant over Bryant without having him behind Rose, or Durant infront of Rose without putting him behind Bryant. If that makes sense.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think Deron is a better isolation scorer than any other point guard in the league. Who effs with his crossover and pull up? And he gets to the rack if you push up too much.
    Rose is an athletic marvel, but he’s not the breakdown artist that Deron is. And he has the fewest physical gifts of any of the top point guards right now, which people rarely discuss.
    Paul is a more effective player, but do think Deron gets the edge as a scorer. Paul seems to get more out of less which is why I give him the edge.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nash hasn’t been better than Deron or Paul for at least three seasons. At least.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    So nobody on here would have Kobe 2nd behind LeBron, except me???

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen, Deron makes more space then Rose. But he doesn’t get to the rack like Rose does. Plus we all know you are putting yourself in a much higher % situation to score if you get in the key. Which is why I say Rose is a better isolation scorer, because no one player is going to keep that kid outta the paint

  • Ben Ireland

    9. Melo
    8. Nowitski
    7. Paul
    6. Rose
    5. Howard
    4. Durant
    3. Kobe
    2. Wade
    1. Lebron

  • http://www.novalight-imaging.com novamike

    D’Will made one of the most amazing plays I’ve ever seen after coming to Nets this season. He grabbed a board at the defensive ended, went the length of the court almost to the baseline, basically bowling over two defenders. Just shy of the baseline, he leapt into the air turned his body 90 degrees to the right and fired a perfect pass to Lopez through the arms of two more defenders, and Lopez put it in for an easy layup.

    Words do not do this play justice. You really had to see it to believe it, and even then you might not have believed what you’d just seen. It was vintage Oscar Robertson. The announcers were actually laughing at how easy Williams made such an incredible series of moves look.

    I like Williams over Paul mainly for his size, but of course I’d take either in a blind minute. Both are easy top-10 picks.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    C’mon now.
    Rose’s crossover >>> William’s crossover.
    Williams would agree, I know Rose shook his a** several times the last couple of years.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Williams Crossover > Everyone in the league. Williams stepback >> Everyone in the league. Derrick Rose’s First Step > Deron Williams Crossover

  • http://nba.com GP23

    and… Rose > Deron

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK knows what’s up.
    NObody’s crossover effs with Deron’s. NOBODY’s. Right to left, left to right it does not matter. And he gets into his jumper out of the crossover better than anyone too. It’s uncanny how easily he gets on balance and gets a shot up after that vicious a crossover.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I must not be seeing something y’all are.
    Cause to me, Rose’s crossover is nastier than Deron’s.
    I’ll chalk it up to my fandom goggles, I suppose.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    CP’s handles > Everyone else’s.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Agree with JTaylor. Overall CP is the best ball handler. Not saying ones cross over isn’t better or another first step, but overall CP takes it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    What Williams is most impressive at, imo, is the set-up dribble before the cross/stepback. He uses that dribble to shift the defenders balance and then boom, he’s 6 feet either too the other side or backwards, literally as fast as it took you to read the word boom. idk who I think is a better player, I’d prolly go with Rose, but Deron Williams handles the ball beautifully.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    Click my name Matic. And watch you boy Kirk Hinrich go down like he just got attacked by the Big Bad Wolf. filthy

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Nash’s passing > Everyone else’s

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nah, Chris Paul got better handles. Not a better crossover. The separation Deron creates, despite not being super quick, is proof that he’s doing something nasty.

  • Steven

    Sorry, but there’s no way Carmelo is a better overall player than Deron.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    No youtube at work for me. :(
    But why you gotta do Kirk like that?
    Anyways, if Dwight Howard makes his way to Brooklyn…. Williams/Howard…best PG/C combo since Penny/Shaq?
    Magic/Kareem?
    I tend to go towards the latter cause Shaq and Penny were so young when they were together.
    Can’t think of any other potent 1/5 combos of the last 20 years off the top of my head.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Nash’s shooting > every other point guard in the league

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have Deron over Rose for this reason.
    They are both scoring point guards. Rose hasn’t demonstrated he’s that much of a better scorer, but Deron had demonstrated that Rose is very much his inferior as a passer and defender.
    Correct?
    Then why is there a question about who is better?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I’d put Rose over Williams as a scorer, though yes, not by much.
    I’d put Williams over Rose as a passer/distributor/offense runner..er? Yes, by quite a bit.
    I don’t think the gap is that big on defense though.
    But like I said, Williams was hurt last year and, at least the times I saw him, he didn’t look as good.
    So if he keeps that trend going this upcoming season, and Rose improves, then Rose deserves to be over dude.
    If he regains his old form, and Rose doesn’t improve upon last season like he should, then yeah Deron will be better once again.
    But the burden of proof is on Deron, in my mind.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Nah, CP’s passing > everyone else’s.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kurt Hinrich got dealt with. Twice.
    And Deron is a very good defender. One of the best at his position. Seriously.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    Last season, Deron Williams was not the same defender he had been earlier in his career. Like the whole season. I realize the firs few months he was doing just about everything offensively for Utah, and he got hurt, but regardless, I’m not just going to assume he plays D like he did 2 years ago when this season begins. And Rose has made leaps as a defender, he still isn’t real good, but he’s above average at this point. And presumably, only getting better. Rose also is more aggressive for the whole time he is on the floor, Williams tends to take plays off when his team isn’t competitive. At their peaks I’d take Williams (so far), but tomorrow going forward, I’d take Rose, until Williams proves he can do what he used to. Basically the exact same feelings I had about Chris Paul and Deron Williams going into last season.

  • AD

    best pg in the lg hands down……. but based off LAST YEARS STATS this is good for me…..

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Fair

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Deron Williams in December was the best PG in the league though, no competition he was the clear cut best. I love the PG situation in the L right now.

  • http://slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Deron Williams isn’t even one of the Top 10 endorsers of Murray’s Hair products, much less top ten in the league.

  • brock

    Guys I think Cp3 and Deron are the top pgs in the game, but the scary thing about Rose is I don’t think he’s close to his ceiling as a player. The kid works too hard in the off-season to improve his game and his basketball iq is something he clearly wanted to address this upcoming season.2 years from now I believe the best pg debate will be about Rose versus Wall

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Myles obviously wasn’t in the top 10 in his class, much less top 500 in the entire school.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Well, not sure if Myles was serious, but I kinda wanna see a Myles/AllenP debate on here.

  • Steven

    JTaylor, Myles was miles behind the others.

  • maxillious

    D-Dub got the sickest Crossover in the League,hands down on that one.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Agree with Brock. Deron and CP are still 1A and 1B of point guards. However, Rose’s potential is still off the charts. Based on projection for next year, Rose might go out and rack up more assists. Which is why I’d put Rose higher than Deron for next season. That said, I think Deron is a better player right now but that might change by the end of next year. And to those who put Dwight at anything other than 2 or 3, check his playoff stats and tell me he’s not gonna wreck the league next year.

  • chingy

    In a couple years, Wall > Rose.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Myles is going to have to explain his position.
    Because I can’t think of any player already named that I think is better than Deron.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    I highly, highly, highly doubt Myles comes and argues his position, or explains his sarcasm. Haven’t seen him get into it with a commenter in a long time, like years.

  • http://slamonline.com Myles Brown

    ^This.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It would be like Jerry Jones and George Steinbrenner in a room having a conversation about who’s the richest, who’s accomplished the most and who uses the most blue pills. It would be too much for my senses.

  • http://www,2ksports.com Showtime

    I can live with this spot to me shouldve been like two spot higher but ehh, Dwill does have the best hesitation set-up before the cross, Rose has the best in-and out, Wall has the best first step if you blink that kid is gone.Cp3 has the array of handles thou

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    CP3 as a pure point guard > Everybody else. To acquire a playoff spot (and not the 8th) in the West with a super young coach, and almost no one else that can score efficiently and independently (other than DWest) says it all to me. He made Aaron Gray an offensive threat. An offensive. Threat.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^Agreed. That’s what got me off Team Deron. That is a minor miracle not seen in the NBA EVER!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    If you were still a DWill guy after what CP did last season I would question your opinions on almost everything going forward.

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/a-quick-guide-to-the-issues-of-the-nba-lockout/2011/10/11/gIQAon1ZbL_story.html unf*ckwitable

    Derons a beast, looking for him to have a big season after a fairly underwhelming one. Nice spot for him. cosign whoever said he has the best crossover in the L, For someone not that fast he gets plenty of room for himself off that cross. Rose crossover is dope too though.

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    @nbk
    You are saying that Dirk gets to much credit because he had guys in his team that helped him.
    Name me one player that made it out of the second round without help from a good team.
    Kobe, no. Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, no….
    The only one that comes to my mind is AI in a bad Eastern Conference.

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    DRose, Deron and Chris Paul are all on the same level.
    Who has the edge depends on the teams they play on.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^Lebron.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    No I’m saying Dirk isn’t the best player in the world because he happened to be on a championship team. Just like JJ Barea isn’t the best PG free agent this summer just because he won a title. Just like Tyson Chandler isn’t the best defensive center on earth just because he won a title. Just like, oh f*ck it, you get the picture right?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    No, CP, DWill and DRose are not on the same level. One great season from DRose doesn’t automatically place him on the same plane as CP/DWill. He’s nipping at their heels but those guys are still better PGs (for now).

  • zach

    ^true

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/a-quick-guide-to-the-issues-of-the-nba-lockout/2011/10/11/gIQAon1ZbL_story.html unf*ckwitable

    Drose is doing a bit more then nipping on their heels, hes about to bite they arses off. But I agree, still not quite the same level as cp3 yet. As for Dwill, it depends on the upcoming season since he needs a big one to stay on cp3s level.

  • Mackdaddy

    Wierd that everyone has the MVP not even in their top 5, I guess just because of lack of experience but still…if Rose keeps playing like he did last season this whole debate will become irrelevant fast.

  • seriousblack

    I think Rose is awesome, but he’s not up there will DWill or CP3 yet as far as pgs go. The MVP award is great, but Lebron would have had a third if he’d stayed in Cleveland.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, the MVP award doesn’t always go to the best player.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Now the fun is about to begin, good spot for D-will, will to me is a player that is good in a lot of areas but he, IMO, is not overwhelming to his opponents most of the times. He is consistent in his output and like I mentioned does many things well but probably not great.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @jtaylor, I couldnt tell when he serviced both of they a**es last season.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Real talk, Deron williams has the best crossover in the league. His hesitation dribble is crazy, I still dont know how he seems to cross guys with that move.As far as isolation goes, I believe NO PLAYER had a better success rate than Rose by the numbers when it comes to isolation , if I’m not mistaken.

  • jarrett

    all i’m saying is there is NO WAY Dwight Howard can be considered better than Kobe. Even if he’s in his prime. They got eliminated in the first round last year! The year they got to the finals he was NO match for Pau Gasol!! If we really wanna go there D wade is the ONLY player that should get the edge over Kobe at the #2 spot. U guys bring up Dirk’s rank, saying its because he won the championship, but if Kobe falls out of the top 3 then its a double-standard, i.e. lowering a guy because he didn’t win a championship. Who remembers when everyone said Lebrons better?? Kobe went HAM in the playoffs, while Lebron was eliminated by the Celtics. Never disrespect Kobe by saying Dwight Howard is better

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    smh

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Dwight Howard is better.
    Now.

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/a-quick-guide-to-the-issues-of-the-nba-lockout/2011/10/11/gIQAon1ZbL_story.html unf*ckwitable

    cosign matic, Kobe aint who he was jarrett, time to accept that and move on son.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

  • http://www.novalight-imaging.com novamike

    D’Will’s problem last season was the bad wrist, which really hurt his shooting when he came to the Nets. He says it’s not quite 100% yet after the surgery, but when it is … look out. He’s a solid 20-11 guy easy. On the Nets, if he’s sound, could be more like 22-12.

    His passing game adds at least 3-4 ppg to Brook Lopez scoring.

  • mytiman

    This list is better than ESPN’s.

  • ballislove

    D.Rose led the Bulls to a 62 win season, he should at least be around 5 or 4

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Wasn’t just Rose though.
    It was also an outstanding defense, a great first year coach, and solid depth.
    Plus can’t count out what guys like Deng, Noah and Gibson did for the Bulls.

  • rich

    putting anyone other than lebron above dwight is ludacris, especially if its based on how players will perform next season. dwight drastically improved his game last year offensively and will again this season. he is already undeniably the best defensive player in the nba which rose kobe lebron or anyone else can say about their offensive games. and if he puts up the numbers up offensively, he might even have a better year than lebron, who has to be number one because of how much he does on the court.

  • MUBWAR

    i’ll take an injured Williams over the reigning MVP. Him and Paul is another story. i might lean on Paul just on basketball IQ

  • CeeLowe

    This list is kind of redundant with the season (most likely) not happening isn’t it?
    By the 2012 – 13 season D12 and CP3 will be at different teams, so their performances should be improved by what should be better surroundings. Especially if D12 goes to Brooklyn. And some of the older players, Nash, Kobe, Manu, the Celtics, even Dirk will probably have regressed and lost some of their physical talents.
    I’d love to see some sort of lock out list, where the writers would rank up comers like John Wall, the Griffin and who would drop out.
    Also D12 was better than Kobe last season and will be again if there’s a 11 – 12 season.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    CP led an average hornets team to 46wins in the WC. Apart from DWest’s 18.9ppg avg, here are the next top-4 scorers for NO (Landry- 11.8ppg/Ariza- 11ppg/Belinelli- 10.5ppg/Okafor- 10.3ppg). Now does that look like a team that has any business winning 46gms and being the 7th seed out West?

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I’m a die-hard Laker fan, Got a Kobe jersey and a Kobe shirt, and I admit, I have Kobe ranked below Dwight on my Top 10. And plus, I know this an extremely random thought but, is it me, or do people in Indianapolis(where I just moved to)suck when it comes to talking basketball? I mean come on, i.e.: (“Lebron has a very good post game.”, “Steve Nash can play defense”.) But back to the main subject, I have absolutely no problem with DWill’s ranking this year, as a matter of fact, I’d rank him higher than Melo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    And Co-sign JTaylor, the squad Chris Paul plays with is abysmal and needs help.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Mubwar, you tripping hard. Rose > Injured DWill, Healthy DWill > Rose.

  • jarrett

    Cmon man! what has Dwight Howard added to his game that he didnt’t have or do 2 season’s ago?? He still doesnt have the post moves of say Pau Gasol, will never be as dominant as Shaq, yea his a great defender, but your lying if u said if u wanted to win a championship in the next 3 years U’d take Dwight Howard to start you’re franchise over Kobe (not next 5-10years, but 3 years). Who’d u rather have in a playoff series?? Can Dwight go out there and carry a playoff series?? — Honestly its blatant disrespect to one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.

  • jarrett

    and i don’t even like Kobe… my favorite player is Tmac

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Sure…and I don’t even like chicken….my favorite food is spinach

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @jarrett I’d rather start a fanchise and build around Dwight, because Kobe is 33 years old. His legacy is basically sealed. If he retired today, he’d be considered one of the Top 10 All-Time players. Dwight is still very young, and has a chance to improve his game. Dwight’s a perennial All-Star, two-time DPOY, and he hasn’t reached his celiling of production yet. He does need to work on post moves and free throws, but he’s the better person to start a team around at this very moment. That’s why I rank him above Kobe, who’s(it hurts to say this) athleticism is diminishing. I mean sure, his knee hasn’t been healthy in forever and if we have a season this year it’ll probably be better, but Dwight would be a safer choice, unless you’re trying to make a Raiders-type deal and aggressively try to win now without a thought on the future.

  • Alvin

    WOOOOO WOOO WOOO .. This is getting really exciting!

  • Triyo

    I get why dwill is at 10…but when it comes to PGs in the traditional sense only CP3 is on his level. Dwill, CP3, Nash, and Jkidd (yes 80 yr old Jason Kidd) are still the best Pure PGs in the league. no dis to rose or westbrook, but they are that new breed of PGs who only played AAU and didnt develop fundamentals until they got to the L

  • stayweird38

    I HATE DERON WILLIAMS SO MUCH

    HE ‘S A OVERRATED SCRUB FU(K HIM. NO WAY HE’S BETTER THAN DERRICK ROSE OR CHRIS PAUL I’M SO GLAD THIS GARBAGE SCRUB IS ON THE NETS HAHAHA HE’S NEVER GONNA WIN

  • stayweird38

    AND NO WAY THIS GARBAGE SCRUB IS BETTER THAN MELO.. F#CK OFF WITH THAT BULLSIHT

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    *Paging Dr. Drew, paging Dr. Drew*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    ^ great way to live up to your name buddy.anyway, Rose is better than both cp3 and deron williams. Yall can keep that pure point bs because niether of them are better players.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    JT, if you’re using scoring, Dwight’s Magic overperformed like crazy. After Dwight, here’s the next leading scorer’s at season’s end. JRich (13.9), Jameer (13.1), Hedo (11.4), Bass (11.2), and Ryan Anderson (10.6). Dwight deserves to be #2.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Caboose, I agree wholeheartedly. I have DHow above CP in my Top-5.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    As usual, MUBWAR seems to be only concerned with dissing Rose.
    Were you abused as a child, scared to smile, they called you ugly?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I had to step back a bit, and really think about it, but I’d put Howard #3 behind Bron and Wade now.
    I didn’t feel that way at season’s end, but I do now.

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/a-quick-guide-to-the-issues-of-the-nba-lockout/2011/10/11/gIQAon1ZbL_story.html unf*ckwitable

    Enigmatic getting Nasty in here.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Good to know JT. What is your top 5? If I had to guess it’s Bron, Wade, Dwight, CP, Dirk

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Cosign Caboose, and you cant even start talking about the Magic´s perimeter D..

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    An entire article about the NBA’s best PGs which doesn’t mention Derrick Rose?

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    DERON’S CROSSOVER IS DIRTIER THAN UGANDA’S WATER SUPPLY. HOW HE WAS AVERAGING 13 DIMES WITH THE NETS I WILL NEVER KNOW, DIDNT SEE ANY OF THOSE GAMES. DERON IS THE BEST PG IN THE LEAGUE. AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE.

  • Kadavour

    kblaze f*ckfundamentals (youtube it)…Deron Williams crossover is UNF*CKWITABLE.

    The only right handed PG with a better left hand ball handling skills is John Wall.

    Deron’s passing ability is also out of this world. Nash is the only person I would give the nod over him because he can pass better with his off hand. Chris Paul is right hand dominant with his passes. DWill is stronger and uses both hands better. Rondo has a great steak in the passing argument too.

    Scoring – Deron doesn’t slash like Rose, but his ability to create space and shoot from ANYWHERE on the court, or turn his back to the basket and use his size to post up makes him a better scorer. I’d love to see what Rose would do with NJ. 12.8 assists man (that’s Magic numbers)

    CP3 and Rondo have every PG beat on defense. no argument WHAT SO EVER.

    And basketball IQ. Jerry effing Sloan handed him the reigns to his offense in ways he never allowed John Stockton (arguably the best PG ever) to. Again, honorable mention to Rajon Rondo, CP3 and Steve Nash. tough to argue who is tops. Rose has no place in this PG debate.

    Honestly Derrick Rose resembles AI more than any kind of PG u can mention.

  • Kadavour

    lol at great steak. i meant stake***

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    cosign.. kadavour. d.rose is a good player… not the best pg by far.

  • bashmo

    If Slam does the unthinkable and pushes Drose ahead of CP3….my goodness there will be a problem

  • Truth

    Why is it the unthinkable? Rose had a better season than Paul. Paul has what seems to be a balky knee. I don’t get why Chris Paul gets such a pass 16 & 9 is not better than what Rose did last year and going forward I can see Rose having an even better year with an upgrade at the two to take a little pressure off of him, along with Boozer and Noah gaining chemistry after missing so many games last year.

  • Kadavour

    Question, was Boozer better with D.Will or Rose?

  • q the kid

    fellas I watched every new orleans game this year and I dont feel that Cp3 will ever get back to that great level that he played at before the injury throughout an 82 game season including playoffs. I hate to admit it but Rose is only getting stronger and his daily output will far surpass Cp3 imo.@ Kadavour Boozer was injured at the start of the season, had minor knick knack injuries throughout the playoffs and Rose still ked them to the ECF so comparing 60 games to 2-3 years of boozer and deron playing together is foolish.

  • q the kid

    That kid led the Bulls to the best record in the NBA with a stand still offensive liability in Bogans, brought Deng out of the cellar that he had after two previous injury riddled seasons, and played with two other starters in Noah and Boozer who played about a total of 40 games together because of injury. Im a Cp3 fan too but lets be honest with the analysis, he had a subpar year by his standards and its not 2008 anymore. Miss me with that bull about deron having complete control of the offense under Sloan because he was the same one that complained about the offense which eventually led to them clashing and ultimately led to Sloan retiring

  • Drig

    D-Will…………by a mile. Dude’s crossover is unguardable with his step-back J. I would’ve taken him at 8 or 7 but not too disappointed. Deron’s gonna beast again with CP3 and re-establish the PG hierarchy that we’ve gotten so used to the past few years. And if Dwight comes, Championship bells just went off and the L just took notice.

    And yeah, if DRose is near the top 5 or above CP3, I’m gonna blow.

    Melo
    Dirk
    Deron
    Rose
    Durant
    Kobe
    CP3
    Wade
    Dwight
    LeBron

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  • Mackdaddy

    BS on DWill or John Wall having better left handed handles than Rose, dude is ambidextrous. He broke his right arm when he was like ten so he just dogged dudes with his left. The kid is ref*ckindiculous

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