No. 4: Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
The question of who will start at point guard for the Chicago Bulls is a complicated one. Lonzo Ball would be starting but is expected to miss the entire season due to his chronic knee condition. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan will start on the wing and serve as the lead ball-handlers. Between Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmo and Jevon Carter, the Bulls have three similar defense-first off-ball point guards to choose from.
Caruso is the best of the group, so we’ll pencil him in as the starter for now. Although he is just 6’4″ tall, his combination of length and strength makes him the Bulls’ best option on any perimeter player, be that Darius Garland or Jayson Tatum. His 3-point shot oscillates from good to bad each season, and unfortunately for the Bulls, he is due for a “bad” season after shooting 36.4 percent from deep. He is one of the league’s very best backcourt defenders (our next entry is one of the exceptions) but his low usage and limited skillset depress his value.
No. 3: Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
The title of best backcourt defender has to go to Jrue Holiday, who combines on-ball defense with elite off-ball instincts and even solid help defense. Holiday can faceguard a speedy point guard on one possession, slithering over screens, and then on the next rotate to the nail to smother a drive before getting back to the perimeter to stop a jumper. He does it all.
Holiday isn’t a slouch on offense, either, scoring 19.3 points per game and tallying 7.4 assists last season. He’s proven he can play at a high level when it matters most and was Milwaukee’s second-best player during their run to the title in 2021. He is 33 years old and has some offensive weak spots that playoff opponents have exploited the past two seasons, so he just barely slips to No. 3 in our rankings, but each of the top three exists in their own tier as top-25 players in the league.