- Chris Paul – Houston Rockets
It isn’t a very strong market for point guards this offseason, but Chris Paul is by far the best available at that position. The only thing holding Paul back is his age and injury issues recently, but he is still likely to receive a max contract from Houston this offseason. Paul is an extremely valuable piece to the Rockets championship hopes as proven by the 50-8 record for the team when he played last season. The Rockets give Paul the best opportunity to win a championship and it would be shocking if he lands elsewhere.
2. Rajon Rondo – New Orleans Pelicans
Rajon Rondo really revived his career for the Pelicans as he proved that he can still be a good starting point guard in the NBA. Rondo is a really good all-around player as he is a terrific passer and a very good defender. He doesn’t score the ball very well as he only averaged 8.3 points per game last season, but he makes up for it in basically every other area. The Pelicans likely are the team that gives him the best chance to win right now, but they have other big financial commitments which means they might not be able to pay him as much as he wants. Rondo will have to decide whether he stays on a playoff contender or he goes to another team that could possibly offer him a bigger contract.
3. Isaiah Thomas – Los Angeles Lakers
Isaiah Thomas missed most of last season after coming off of a hip injury and when he returned he wasn’t quite the same player. However, Thomas is still a terrific offensive weapon that would help many teams. He doesn’t do much else, but he still managed to score 15.2 points per game for the Cavs and Lakers last year. If he can get back to the type of player that he was just 2 years ago in Boston when he averaged 28.9 points per game then he could really be a bargain. The Lakers might look to re-sign him, but it ultimately appears that a team in need of guard help like the Spurs, Mavericks, or Lakers could sign him.
4. Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart probably will never be an efficient offensive player, but he does just about everything else well. Smart passes the ball well, rebounds well, and he plays defense exceptionally well. He is probably best as a rotational player and a borderline starter, but he can really help a team in need of a good defensive player. Smart is somewhat unlikely to return to Boston as they probably won’t be able to offer him what he wants. However, he could be a useful player for another playoff contender that is in need of a good defender.
5. Dante Exum – Utah Jazz
Dante Exum has really struggled with injuries early on in his NBA career and it has really held him back from reaching his full potential. However, when he is healthy, he has proven that he is one of the best defensive players at the point guard position in the NBA. He is still really raw offensively as he has only averaged 5.7 points per game so far in his career. Exum will only be 23 years old next season and he isn’t even close to reaching the tremendous potential that he still has. Exum is just a rotational player at this point, but his best bet is to remain in Utah and rebuild his value for free agency next summer.