It might be old to some, but Jalen got a few good stories on the Grantland youtube page. Peep it.
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When we talk about a “bad bag of dope” we are not talking about players on dope (other than maybe Steve Francis & Shawn Kemp), but about players who disappeared or simply fell off the face of the earth or as we like to say “Fell off like a bad bag of dope”.
Sheldon Williams – How your wife going to be the best baller in your house? If anybody remembers, Sheldon Williams was the 5th pick in the draft ahead of players like Rudy Gay, Brandon Roy, Rajon Rondo, and even his own college teammate J.J. Reddick. It seems like one year Williams was in the league and the next thing you know he’s gone from the league. Hey, at least he pulled Candace Parker…
Steve Francis – Talk about a bad bag of dope. Back in the early 2000s “The Franchise” was a league-wide favorite. With flashy crossovers, high flying dunks, and streaky jumper it’s easy to see why Francis was looked at as “The Franchise”. After his first season in Orlando it went all down hill from there. First they traded his best friend Cuttino Mobley to the Kings, from there he became disgruntle and was on a downward spiral. He was paid by the Trailblazers to simply get away from them.
Jarvis Hayes – Jarvis was actually in the same draft as Lebron, Carmelo, D-Wade, Bosh, and others. Jarvis started off pretty solid and was a pretty decent role player for Washington. It seems like he got injured and went to Detroit and from there his career withered away to point of no one ever mentioning his name again. You’d think he was signed by the Raiders.
Joe Alexander – Talk about dropping the ball. Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, J.J. Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka, & Nicolas Batum were all drafted after Joe Alexander. What’s crazy there are at least 15 players who were drafted after him who are currently solid role players in the league. His career averages is pretty much 4 points a game with 2 rebounds. Talk about a wasted pick…
Rashad McCants & Sean May – After a successful run in the NCAA tournament and winning it all while putting up solid numbers both Rashad McCants & Sean May were drafted in the 2005 NBA draft where they went 13 & 14 in the first round. May struggle with injuries and conditioning while McCants had a real solid third season, but had trouble repeating success. Today neither one of them are in the league.
With the NBA having so many elite point guards we decided to do a top 10 countdown for the top point guards currently in the Association.
10. John Wall – A lot of people will probably see this as a surprise, but John Wall has made our top 10 point guard list. Wall averaged 18.5 ppg, 7.5 assist, and 4 rebounds on an injury riddle Wizards team. After the All-Star break Wall took his game to new limits and with the additional of Porter, along with Beal in the backcourt I expect Wall to have a breakout season.
09. Jrue Holiday – Newly aquired Pelican’s PG Jrue Holiday is next on our list. With an all star appearance last year it’s clear to see that Jrue Holiday would make our top 10 list. With exceptional speed and great size for the point guard position Jrue posses a combination that will be hard to stop. Holiday averaged around 18 points per game along with 8 assists on a 76ers team that expected to have Andrew Bynum in the mix. Now taking the reigns over from Greivis Vasquez, Jrue will be taking his talents to the Pelicans who have a budding star in Anthony Davis and an upcoming (and always injured) stars in Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans.
08. Stephen Curry – The son of Del Curry comes in at number 8. You could argue this past season that Curry was the best player left off the All Star Team. Curry had a monster season averaging 23 points a game along with 7 dimes. Curry torched the Knicks this past season where he dropped 54 points. The only knock on Curry right now is if he can stay heatlhy on the court to reach his full potential and take his defense to new heights, but when it comes to getting buckets Curry is at the top of the league.
07. Deron Williams – Speaking of staying healty Deron Williams had a pretty rough season. Williams is use to being considered a top 5 point guard, but after this past season he’s slipped down to number 7 in our list. With a bum ankle & wrist Williams played through injuries, went through two coaches, and adjusting to playing with the ISO style of Joe Johnson. Williams had a rough season in that sense. Even with uncharacteristic season he had this past season he still manage to average 20 points and 8 assists. Now with the addition of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the front court this could be a sink or swim season for Williams.
06. Kyrie Irving – The former #1 pick of the draft comes in at number 6. Irving has proved early in his career he can get buckets. Irving averaged 22.5 points a game on a Cavs team that didn’t have much scoring power on it’s roster. Kyrie is due for a breakout season this year. If the Cavs can stay healthy with a line up of Varejão, Bennett, Waiters, & Bynum Kryie’s FG% percentage should go up along with his assist numbers. Kyrie can easily go up this list with a successful campaign next season.
05. Rajon Rondo – Rondo’s one of those unique enigmas. Some feel like he shouldn’t even be on this list, while some feel as if he’s the best point guard in the league. What better way than to put him at the half way point at #5. Before tearing his ACL this past season Rondo was leading the league in assist for his second straight season. When it comes to Rondo’s passing, he’s easily among the best. There are not too many players in this league who know how to dish the ball in spots like Rondo. Not only that, but Rondo has a knack for Triple-Doubles and stepping up in big games. If Rondo ever manages to discover a consistent jump shot we might have to consider Rondo at least a top 3 point guard.
04. Tony Parker – Tony Parker might be the most underrated PG in the last decade. Parker has been a top 10 point guard for some time now, yet he’s only mentioned when his team is making a long playoff run. Throughout the years Parker has improved his 3 ball and mid-range jumper along with him already being a demon when getting to the rack. Parker came seconds away from possibly his second finals MVP if it wasn’t for a Ray Allen three and a lost Lebron headband.
03. Derrick Rose – Coming off a torn ACL injury former MVP Derrick Rose could possibly slip down this list, but before the ACL injury Rose was a major part as to why the Bulls were a favorite to come out the East. Rose is outstanding scorer, an exceptional passer, and the undeniable leader of the Chicago Bulls. If Rose is to regain his MVP form this upcoming season he could possibly be considered the best PG in the league.
02. Russell Westbrook – With all the criticism Westbrook has taken over the last few years, I think we call an finally admit that Durant needs Westbrook. Even with the sometimes questionable shot selection Westbrook is a tremendous PG. He has the ability to lock down his opposition at PG, score 20+ a night, as well as get 7-10 assist a game. Without Westbrook the Thunder are just another team in the West hoping to contend in the playoffs. With Westbrook in the line up the Thunder are easily Finals contenders.
01. Chris Paul – Paul makes everyone around him better. Guys like Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, who all have limited post moves are made to look like all star caliber players when receiving the rock from Paul. Paul has the ability to not only be a top level passer, but he also puts up clutch buckets, defends , and adds leadership to teams that previously had no stable direction. Going into next season we will see if Paul continues the hold the crown as the NBA’s best point guard.