No. 1: Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Darius Garland lands at No. 1 on our list, and not because of fan service; he was genuinely just as good as Tyrese Haliburton last season, and stayed slightly healthier. Lost somewhat in the addition of Donovan Mitchell was that Garland was every bit as impressive last season as he was in his All-Star season in 2021-22.
Garland is an elite shooter, not simply from deep but inside the arc as well, with a crafty finishing game and a lethal floater. That diverse scoring portfolio forces defenders to play him for the shot, which is a mistake as he is one of the league’s best passers. He loves to drive into the paint and force the defense to make a decision: step up, and he hits Jarrett Allen or Evan Mobley for a layup; stay back, and he lofts in a soft floater.
If Donovan Mitchell didn’t join the Cavaliers last season, Garland’s numbers would likely have matched Tyrese Haliburton’s. That isn’t meant to be a ridiculous “what if” as Garland dropped a 50-burger on Minnesota in a game that Mitchell missed. He took a step forward a year ago, and sharing the load with a player like Mitchell requires a reduction in shot volume.
This list should communicate how bright the future of the point guard position is in the Central Division, and around the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers have an absolute stud on their hands in Darius Garland, and he should lead them to a lot of success over the next few seasons and beyond.