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Free Agency 2019

NBA Free Agency 2019: Ranking the best point guards

kyrie-irving-kemba-walker-092718-ftr-nba-getty.jpg
Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker [NBA Getty Images]

With free agency less than a week away, we'll be ranking the top 15 players available at each position this summer in the coming days.

Today, we're taking a look at the best point guards.

UFA = Unrestricted Free Agent, RFA = Restricted Free Agent, PO = Player Option, TO = Team Option

1. Kyrie Irving, UFA

2018-19 Salary: $20.1M

Age (at start of next season): 27

It was an up-and-down season for Irving in terms of leadership and mentality, but numbers-wise it was the best of his career.

He averaged 23.8 points per game, the second-best mark of his career, while shooting 48.7% from the field and 40.1% from 3. Irving took his playmaking to another level, dishing out a career-high 6.9 assists per game to go with a career-high 5.0 rebounds per game.

Irving will either get another shot at leading a team as its go-to guy and superstar, or he'll join a team that's one piece away from contending for a title.

2. Kemba Walker, UFA

2018-19 Salary: $12.0M

Age (at start of next season): 29

Walker was a workhorse for the Hornets this past season, doing everything in his power to try and will them to the playoffs.

He had an insane usage rate of 31.5% - the highest of his career and top-10 in the league - which led to a career-high 25.6 points per game. Walker is eligible to sign a five-year, $221 million supermax if he elects to stay in Charlotte, but he'll be running it back with essentially the same roster as this past season where he nearly ran himself thin every game just to get to 39 wins.

There is no contender in the league that wouldn't love to have this high-motor, offensive juggernaut on their roster.

3. D'Angelo Russell, RFA

2018-19 Salary: $7.02M

Age (at start of next season): 23

In Year 4, Russell took a giant leap in what was by far the best season of his young career.

Russell averaged career-highs in points (21.1) and assists (7.0) per game while shooting a career-best 43.4% from the field and 36.9% from beyond the arc. His success led to the first All-Star nod of his career and a second-place finish for Most Improved Player of the Year, while also marching the Nets to their first playoff appearance since 2015.

If Brooklyn elects to sign Kyrie Irving, that'll likely mean Russell is up for grabs for any team that wants to throw an offer sheet at him. Whichever franchise he lands with will be receiving a new-and-improved young leader who is set to have a bright future in this league.

4. Malcolm Brogdon, RFA

2018-19 Salary: $1.5M

Age (at start of next season): 26

Brogdon averaged a career-high 15.2 points per game while becoming the eighth member of the prestigious 50-40-90 club, shooting 50.5% from the field, 42.6% from 3 and a league-best 92.8% from the free throw line.

With the Bucks resigning Eric Bledsoe before the year was out and Khris Middleton's free agency decision looming, Brogdon could be the odd man out in Milwaukee. This paves the way for a different franchise to swoop in and throw an offer sheet at the extremely efficient point guard that the Bucks cannot match.

5. Ricky Rubio, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $14.8M

Age (at start of next season): 29

Rubio's 3-point percentage dropped from 35.2% in 2017-18 to 31.1% this past season. He still averaged 12.7 points per game and his 6.1 assists per game were an uptick from his first season in Utah. He's a floor general and very solid defender and a team that's in need of a quality starting point guard will likely target Rubio this offseason.

6. Patrick Beverley, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $5.03M

Age (at start of next season): 31

Beverley proved just how valuable he can be with his performance in the playoffs this season. He was a junkyard dog in trying to stop Kevin Durant and made things difficult for the prolific scorer despite giving up 10 inches in size difference.

His box score numbers don't jump off the page at you, but his defensive presence and grind it out attitude should land him a decent offer from a team in need of a tough-minded player.

7. Terry Rozier, RFA

​2018-19 Salary: $3.05M

Age (at start of next season): 25

Rozier believes he made the biggest sacrifice of any player on the Celtics' roster this season - and he's right.

After proving he has what it takes to lead a team to the Eastern Conference Finals as a starting point guard, he was rewarded by taking on the role of the third guard off the bench. Rozier is wiry and athletic and he plays hard every time he steps out on the floor. He's a tremendous rebounder and can get going when his jumper is on.

A team that needs a point guard of the future should be more than willing to throw an offer at the Celtics' restricted free agent.

8. Derrick Rose, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $2.2M

Age (at start of next season): 31

Rose showed shades of his MVP-level play this past this season, proving he can add an offensive impact off the bench to a team that needs scoring.

He averaged 18.0 points per game shooting 48.2% from the field - the second-best of his career - and a career-best 37.0% from long range. His burst and athleticism seems to have come back some and he's shooting the ball more confidently than ever. He could be a valuable piece to any team that needs offensive production.

9. Elfrid Payton, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $3.0M

Age (at start of next season): 25

Payton had a standout end of the season where he flashed his ability to stuff the stat sheet. He had a ridiculous run where he recorded five-straight triple-doubles, averaging 15.6 points, 12.8 assists and 11.8 rebounds per game during that stretch.

Payton dealt with injuries this past season but still showcased his strengths as a playmaker averaging a career-high 7.6 assists per game. He's a fringe starter in the league and any team in need of point guard depth should be in contact with the former No. 10 overall pick.

10. Rajon Rondo, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $9.0M

Age (at start of next season): 33

Rondo only played 46 games this past season due to injury but still put together a decent season when he was on the court. He shot 35.9% from 3, one of the best marks of his career. He still dished out 8.0 assists per game and worked as an on-court coach for a young Lakers squad.

He's a proven maestro in the playoffs and any team that is hoping to contend for a title could use a floor general of Rondo's calibre.

11. Darren Collison, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $10.0M

Age (at start of next season): 32

Collison is one of the best backup point guards in the league. He provides an offensive punch, averaging 11.2 points per game shooting 40.7% from beyond the arc. He also dished out a career-high 6.0 assists per game, proving he makes his teammates better, too.

Collison would be a great addition to a team that needs guard depth.

12. Emmanuel Mudiay, RFA

​2018-19 Salary: $4.3M

Age (at start of next season): 23

Mudiay showed extreme growth with the Knicks this past season. He posted a career-high 14.8 points per game on career-best shooting percentages from the field (44.6%) and 3-point land (32.9%).

At 23 years old, there is still plenty of time for Mudiay to continue to improve and make an impact, making him a low-risk, high-reward free agent guard.

13. Isaiah Thomas, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $2.03M

Age (at start of next season): 30

Thomas didn't get much of a chance to showcase himself post-injury, as the Nuggets were one of the deepest teams in the NBA. While his days of averaging 28.9 points per game are definitely behind him, he's still a quality locker room guy and veteran and has potential to make an impact as a scorer off the bench.

14. Tyus Jones, RFA

​2018-19 Salary: $2.4M

Age (at start of next season): 23

Jones has yet to have a true opportunity to prove himself as a solid guard in the league. This past season he averaged career-highs of 6.9 points and 4.8 assists over 22.9 minutes per game, but his field goal percentage and 3-point percentage took a hit.

At age 23, Jones should still see teams in need of a quality backup point guard gauge their interest.

15. Alex Caruso, UFA

​2018-19 Salary: $773K

Age (at start of next season): 25

Caruso finally got a chance at the end of the season once the Lakers were out of playoff contention and he crushed his opportunity. Over the final 18 games of the season, Caruso averaged 12.4 points, 4.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game shooting 44.4% from the field and 46.9% from 3.

He even had a game of 32 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, joining LeBron James as the only Laker to eclipse 30 points, 10 boards and five assists this season.

The bidding price won't be too high, making Caruso an intriguing option in free agency.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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