NBA point guard tier list: Where does Cavaliers’ Darius Garland rank?

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The NBA is currently stocked with talent at the point guard position, which speaks to the health of the league and the parity between the teams. Point guard is the most important position, and not having 48 minutes of solid play at the position is the fastest way to lose games.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are blessed to have a young All-Star point guard in Darius Garland. How does he stack up to the rest of his peers around the league? It’s not just fun to rank players, but it’s a vital exercise every NBA team is doing to see where they are strong, where they are weak, and how to build trades to improve their rosters.

To that end, let’s rank the point guard position around the league. We’ll look at all of the “starting” point guards by casting a wide net; some teams have multiple starter-worthy point guards, while other teams are unsure who they will be starting, so we’ll look at 41 players.

We are ranking them according to their ability right now for this upcoming season and playoffs; long-term upside and contract value are not factored in, although the potential for young players to take a step forward and older players to take a step back is weighed in. In a few cases, players who are currently injured are evaluated as if they are healthy. Finally, the playoffs matter even more than the regular season, so we are boosting point guards who have proven they can excel in the playoffs.

Let’s start with some of the faces of tomorrow, and end with the best point guard in the league. Players are grouped into tiers and loosely ranked inside of those tiers; pay more attention to what tier a player is in than the order within. Where does Darius Garland rank? Who is the best in the league? Let’s take a look!

Tier 10 – Future starters

  • 41. Dyson Daniels
  • 40. Amen Thopmson
  • 39. Jaden Ivey

All three of these players have exciting upside, but none of them are likely to boost winning this next season. These three would rank much higher on an “asset” ranking because of their future level of play, but a team trying to win couldn’t give them major minutes as the starting point guard. Of the three, Amen Thompson looks like the most special, but Ivey still has plenty of fans and Dyson Daniels is already a positive defender.

Tier 9 – Can start if you need them

  • 38. Gabe Vincent, Los Angeles Lakers
  • 37. Monte Morris, Detroit Pistons
  • 36. Dennis Schroder, Toronto Raptors

It’s unlikely that any of these three players start at point guard this upcoming season, and that’s generally a good thing for their respective teams. All three are capable of starting and have started recently, with Schroder having the easiest path to starting in Toronto if the Scottie Barnes experiment doesn’t go well. Monte Morris will be a steady backup in Detroit and Gabe Vincent will try to beat out D’Angelo Russell in Los Angeles. If one of these players had to start for an extended period a winning team could sustain for a while, but ultimately you would be looking for an upgrade.