Home NBA Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History

All-Time NBA Rankings

by Riley Baines
Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History

In the fast-paced world of basketball, point guards are the floor generals, the playmakers, and the heartbeat of their teams. They possess the skills to control the game, distribute the ball with precision, and elevate their teammates’ performances. Join us as we embark on a journey to unveil the top 10 best point guards in NBA history who have left an indelible mark on the sport.

You can also check out a tier list of the best point guards ever as well as the top 10 best point guards today.

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #10 Gary Payton

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #10 Gary Payton

#10 – Gary Payton

Alright, let’s dive into the greatness of Gary Payton, a point guard who left his mark on the game with his defensive prowess and playmaking skills. Payton, also known as “The Glove,” was a tenacious defender and a masterful orchestrator of the offense.

Defensively, Payton was a nightmare for opposing guards. With his exceptional quickness, strength, and relentless determination, he could lock down the best of the best. Payton’s ability to disrupt passing lanes and hound his opponents earned him the reputation as one of the greatest perimeter defenders in NBA history.

But Payton wasn’t just about defense. He was a true floor general, a maestro who controlled the tempo of the game and made his teammates better. His court vision, passing accuracy, and basketball IQ allowed him to create scoring opportunities for his teammates with ease. Whether it was delivering pinpoint passes or hitting clutch shots, Payton had the complete package.

What set Payton apart was his competitive fire and unwavering confidence. He never shied away from a challenge and embraced the big moments. Payton’s leadership and ability to take over games made him a respected figure among his peers.

Off the court, Payton’s larger-than-life personality and engaging style made him a fan favorite. He had a way of captivating audiences with his charisma and entertaining interviews, adding to his legend both on and off the hardwood.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 21,813 (16.3 ppg)
Rebounds 5,269 (3.9 rpg)
Assists 8,966 (6.7 apg)
  • NBA champion (2006)
  • 9× NBA All-Star (1994–1998, 2000–2003)
  • 2× All-NBA First Team (1998, 2000)
  • 5× All-NBA Second Team (1995–1997, 1999, 2002)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (1994, 2001)
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1996)
  • 9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1994–2002)
  • NBA steals leader (1996)
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1991)
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #9 Walt Frazier

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #9 Walt Frazier

#9 – Walt Frazier

Now, let’s talk about Walt “Clyde” Frazier, a point guard who oozed style, grace, and skill on the basketball court. Frazier, with his smooth moves and unparalleled court vision, is widely regarded as one of the best point guards in NBA history.

Known for his impeccable fashion sense and flashy playing style, Frazier was a maestro of the game. His ability to control the tempo, set up his teammates, and deliver precise passes made him a true floor general. Frazier’s court vision was a sight to behold, as he effortlessly threaded the needle with his assists.

But it wasn’t just his playmaking that set Frazier apart; he was a two-way player who excelled on defense as well. His quick hands and footwork made him a nightmare for opponents, as he consistently disrupted passing lanes and came up with steals. Frazier’s defensive prowess earned him a spot on the NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times.

In addition to his skills, Frazier was a clutch performer. When the game was on the line, he embraced the moment and delivered. His ability to rise to the occasion and lead his team to victory in crucial moments solidified his status as a big-game player.

Off the court, Frazier’s charismatic personality and unique sense of style made him a beloved figure among fans. He was a trendsetter, both on and off the court, and his impact extended beyond his playing days.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 15,581 (18.9 ppg)
Rebounds 4,830 (5.9 rpg)
Assists 5,040 (6.1 apg)
  • 2× NBA champion (1970, 1973)
  • 7× NBA All-Star (1970–1976)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (1975)
  • 4× All-NBA First Team (1970, 1972, 1974, 1975)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (1971, 1973)
  • 7× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1969–1975)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1968)
  • NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)
  • No. 10 retired by New York Knicks


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #8 Jason Kidd

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #8 Jason Kidd

#8 – Jason Kidd

Let’s talk about Jason Kidd, a point guard who exemplified basketball brilliance with his incredible court vision, playmaking abilities, and basketball IQ. Kidd, with his unparalleled ability to orchestrate the offense and make his teammates better, is undoubtedly one of the best point guards ever.

Kidd’s passing skills were second to none. He had a knack for threading the needle with pinpoint precision, delivering timely and creative assists that left fans and teammates in awe. His court vision was truly exceptional, as he could see plays develop before they even unfolded, leading to countless highlight-worthy passes.

But Kidd’s impact on the game extended beyond his passing. He was a tenacious rebounder for a point guard, consistently crashing the boards and igniting fast breaks with his quick outlets. His basketball IQ allowed him to excel in all facets of the game, from orchestrating the offense to making crucial defensive plays.

Defensively, Kidd was a disruptive force. With his quick hands, anticipation, and pesky on-ball defense, he consistently disrupted opposing guards and led his teams in steals. He was a leader on the defensive end, setting the tone and making his presence felt.

Kidd’s leadership abilities were also evident throughout his career. He had a calming influence on the court, directing his teammates and making sure everyone was involved in the flow of the game. His ability to rally his team and make crucial decisions in pressure-packed moments was a testament to his leadership skills.

Off the court, Kidd’s dedication to the game and his impact as a mentor to younger players cannot be overlooked. He was respected by his peers and served as a role model for aspiring point guards.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 17,529 (12.6 ppg)
Rebounds 8,725 (6.3 rpg)
Assists 12,091 (8.7 apg)
  • NBA champion (2011)
  • 10× NBA All-Star (1996, 1998, 2000–2004, 2007, 2008, 2010)
  • 5× All-NBA First Team (1999–2002, 2004)
  • All-NBA Second Team (2003)
  • 4× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999, 2001, 2002, 2006)
  • 5× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2000, 2003–2005, 2007)
  • NBA Co-Rookie of the Year (1995)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1995)
  • 5× NBA assists leader (1999–2001, 2003, 2004)
  • 2× NBA Sportsmanship Award (2012, 2013)
  • USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2007)
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team
  • No. 5 retired by Brooklyn Nets


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #7 Steve Nash

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #7 Steve Nash

#7 – Steve Nash

Let’s dive into the basketball wizardry of Steve Nash, a point guard whose exceptional playmaking, shooting, and basketball IQ cemented his status as one of the best point guards in NBA history. Nash’s ability to run an offense with precision, deliver pinpoint passes, and light up the scoreboard made him a true maestro on the court.

Nash’s passing skills were nothing short of extraordinary. His ability to anticipate plays, manipulate defenses, and find open teammates with incredible accuracy was a joy to watch. His passes had an uncanny knack for hitting players in stride, setting them up for easy baskets and elevating the play of the entire team.

But Nash wasn’t just a facilitator; he was also a scoring threat in his own right. His smooth shooting stroke, deadly accuracy, and deep range made him a constant threat from beyond the arc. Nash’s ability to knock down shots at a high percentage, even under pressure, forced defenses to respect his scoring ability and opened up opportunities for his teammates.

One of Nash’s greatest strengths was his basketball IQ. He had an innate understanding of the game, always making the right decisions and reading the flow of play to exploit defensive weaknesses. His ability to control the tempo, make split-second decisions, and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates was unparalleled.

Off the court, Nash’s humble demeanor and genuine love for the game made him a beloved figure among fans and players alike. He was a consummate professional, known for his work ethic and dedication to his craft.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 17,387 (14.3 ppg)
Rebounds 3,642 (3.0 rpg)
Assists 10,335 (8.5 apg)
  • 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2005, 2006)
  • 8× NBA All-Star (2002, 2003, 2005–2008, 2010, 2012)
  • 3× All-NBA First Team (2005–2007)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (2008, 2010)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (2002, 2003)
  • 5× NBA assists leader (2005–2007, 2010, 2011)
  • 4× 50–40–90 club (2006, 2008–2010)
  • Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #6 Chris Paul

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #6 Chris Paul

#6 – Chris Paul

A maestro on the court, Chris Paul has etched his name among the best point guards in NBA history with his exceptional court vision, leadership, and basketball IQ. Revered for his ability to orchestrate an offense, elevate his teammates, and make clutch plays, Paul’s impact on the game is undeniable.

Paul’s court vision is truly remarkable. His ability to read the floor, anticipate passing lanes, and deliver pinpoint assists sets him apart. Whether it’s a no-look pass, a perfectly timed alley-oop, or a crisp bounce pass, Paul consistently finds ways to create scoring opportunities for his teammates with his exceptional passing skills.

Leadership is a hallmark of Paul’s game. He is a vocal presence on the court, directing his teammates, and holding them accountable. His ability to inspire and rally his team in crucial moments has earned him the respect of both teammates and opponents alike. Paul’s competitive drive and determination to win are palpable every time he steps onto the hardwood.

Beyond his playmaking and leadership, Paul is also a prolific scorer. He possesses a deadly mid-range jump shot, a crafty handle that allows him to create his own shot, and an ability to finish at the rim with finesse. His offensive versatility and knack for delivering in clutch situations make him a threat to score from anywhere on the court.

Defensively, Paul is a tenacious ballhawk. His quick hands, anticipation, and defensive instincts result in steals and disruptive plays that can swing the momentum in his team’s favor. He takes pride in his defensive assignments and consistently puts pressure on opposing guards.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 21,755 (13.9 ppg)
Rebounds 5,457 (3.9 rpg)
Assists 11,501 (9.5 apg)
  • 12× NBA All-Star (2008–2016, 2020–2022)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (2013)
  • 4× All-NBA First Team (2008, 2012–2014)
  • 5× All-NBA Second Team (2009, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (2011, 2022)
  • 7× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009, 2012–2017)
  • 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2008, 2011)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (2006)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2006)
  • 5× NBA assists leader (2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2022)
  • 6× NBA steals leader (2008, 2009, 2011–2014)
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #5 John Stockton

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #5 John Stockton

#5 – John Stockton

A basketball legend known for his exceptional playmaking, longevity, and remarkable list of accolades and records, John Stockton is regarded as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.

Stockton’s impact on the game is exemplified by his impressive accolades. He was a 10-time NBA All-Star, showcasing his consistent excellence and recognition among the league’s elite. Stockton’s leadership qualities were evident as he guided the Utah Jazz to multiple playoff appearances and helped establish them as a perennial contender during his illustrious career.

Individually, Stockton’s achievements are staggering. He holds the NBA record for career assists and steals, a testament to his incredible playmaking ability and defensive prowess. Stockton’s court vision and passing skills were unparalleled, consistently finding his teammates with pinpoint accuracy and setting them up for scoring opportunities. His tenacious defense and quick hands made him a constant threat in disrupting opposing offenses and generating steals.

One of Stockton’s most impressive records is his remarkable career assist total of 15,806, a feat that may never be surpassed. He led the league in assists per game for a staggering nine seasons, demonstrating his ability to orchestrate an offense and make his teammates better.

Stockton’s impact extended beyond individual accomplishments. His partnership with Karl Malone formed one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history, as they ran the famed pick-and-roll play to perfection, tormenting opposing defenses. Together, Stockton and Malone propelled the Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise’s history.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 19,711 (13.1 ppg)
Assists 15,806 (10.5 apg)
Steals 3,265 (2.2 spg)
  • 10× NBA All-Star (1989–1997, 2000)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (1993)
  • 2× All-NBA First Team (1994, 1995)
  • 6× All-NBA Second Team (1988–1990, 1992, 1993, 1996)
  • 3× All-NBA Third Team (1991, 1997, 1999)
  • 5× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1989, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997)
  • 9× NBA assists leader (1988–1996)
  • 2× NBA steals leader (1989, 1992)
  • NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)
  • No. 12 retired by Utah Jazz


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #4 Isiah Thomas

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #4 Isiah Thomas

#4 – Isiah Thomas

A fierce competitor and masterful floor general, Isiah Thomas is widely recognized as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. His exceptional skills, leadership, and impressive list of accolades and records firmly establish him as a legend of the sport.

Thomas’s impact on the court was highlighted by his numerous accolades. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star, showcasing his consistent excellence and recognition among the league’s elite. Thomas’s leadership qualities were evident as he led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise’s history.

Individually, Thomas achieved greatness. He was named NBA Finals MVP in 1990, cementing his status as a clutch performer and key catalyst for the Pistons’ success. Thomas’s exceptional playmaking ability and scoring prowess earned him a place on the All-NBA Second Team three times, further solidifying his place among the top players of his era.

One of Thomas’s notable records is his remarkable performance in the 1988 NBA Finals. Despite battling through injury, he scored a staggering 25 points in the third quarter of Game 6, a feat that showcased his determination, toughness, and ability to rise to the occasion.

Thomas’s impact extended beyond individual accomplishments. As the leader of the “Bad Boys” Pistons, he helped redefine the team’s identity with their tough and physical style of play. Under his guidance, the Pistons became known for their defensive tenacity and relentless competitiveness.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 18,822 (19.2 ppg)
Assists 9,061 (9.3 apg)
Steals 1,861 (1.9 spg)
  • 2× NBA champion (1989, 1990)
  • NBA Finals MVP (1990)
  • 12× NBA All-Star (1982–1993)
  • 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1984, 1986)
  • 3× All-NBA First Team (1984–1986)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (1983, 1987)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1982)
  • NBA assists leader (1985)
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1987)
  • NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)
  • No. 11 retired by Detroit Pistons


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #3 Oscar Robertson

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #3 Oscar Robertson

#3 – Oscar Robertson

A basketball legend and one of the most accomplished players in NBA history, Oscar Robertson’s impact on the game is measured not just by his exceptional skills but also by his impressive accolades and historic records. Known as “The Big O,” Robertson’s versatility, scoring ability, and playmaking skills have solidified his status as one of the greatest point guards to ever grace the hardwood.

Robertson’s statistical accomplishments are simply remarkable. In the 1961-1962 season, he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, an extraordinary feat that still stands as one of the most remarkable achievements in basketball. Robertson’s ability to consistently contribute in points, rebounds, and assists showcased his all-around brilliance and basketball IQ.

Throughout his career, Robertson’s accolades piled up. He was an All-Star in each of his 12 seasons in the NBA, a testament to his consistent excellence. Robertson also earned the distinction of being named to the All-NBA First Team nine times, further solidifying his place among the elite players of his era. His impact on the game was recognized by his peers, as he received the respect and admiration of fellow players, coaches, and fans.

Beyond individual accolades, Robertson’s success translated into team success. He played a crucial role in leading the Cincinnati Royals to playoff appearances and later guided the Milwaukee Bucks to their first-ever NBA championship in 1971. His leadership, clutch performances, and ability to elevate the play of his teammates were instrumental in these achievements.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 26,710 (25.7 ppg)
Rebounds 7,804 (7.5 rpg)
Assists 9,887 (9.5 apg)
  • NBA champion (1971)
  • NBA Most Valuable Player (1964)
  • 12× NBA All-Star (1961–1972)
  • 3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1961, 1964, 1969)
  • 9× All-NBA First Team (1961–1969)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (1970, 1971)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (1961)
  • 6× NBA assists leader (1961, 1962, 1964–1966, 1969)
  • NBA Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)
  • NBA anniversary team (35th, 50th, 75th)
  • No. 14 retired by Sacramento Kings
  • No. 1 retired by Milwaukee Bucks


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #2 Stephen Curry

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #2 Stephen Curry

#2 – Stephen Curry

A basketball phenomenon and one of the most electrifying players in NBA history, Stephen Curry has revolutionized the game with his unprecedented shooting prowess, captivating style of play, and an impressive array of accolades and records.

Curry’s impact on the game is epitomized by his remarkable shooting abilities. Widely regarded as the greatest shooter of all time, Curry’s deep range, quick release, and uncanny accuracy have redefined the boundaries of what’s possible on the court. His ability to drain shots from well beyond the three-point line has forced defenses to adjust and opened up new dimensions in offensive strategy.

Individually, Curry’s accolades are a testament to his greatness. He is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), recognized for his exceptional contributions to the game. Curry has been selected to the NBA All-Star Game multiple times, solidifying his place among the league’s elite players. His scoring titles and three-point shooting records further validate his status as a transcendent talent.

One of Curry’s most notable records is his single-season record for the most three-pointers made, a mark he has shattered multiple times. His ability to consistently connect from long range at an unprecedented volume has changed the way the game is played, inspiring future generations of players.

Curry’s impact extends beyond shooting. His handles, ball-handling skills, and ability to create his own shot have made him a nightmare for defenders. His exceptional court vision and playmaking abilities allow him to involve his teammates and create scoring opportunities. Curry’s unique skill set has transformed the Golden State Warriors into a dominant force, leading them to multiple NBA championships.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 21,712 (24.6 ppg)
Rebounds 4,179 (4.7 rpg)
Assists 5,470 (6.5 apg)
  • 4× NBA champion (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022)
  • NBA Finals MVP (2022)
  • 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2015, 2016)
  • 9× NBA All-Star (2014–2019, 2021–2023)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (2022)
  • NBA Western Conference Finals MVP (2022)
  • 4× All-NBA First Team (2015, 2016, 2019, 2021)
  • 4× All-NBA Second Team (2014, 2017, 2022, 2023)
  • All-NBA Third Team (2018)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2010)
  • 2× NBA scoring champion (2016, 2021)
  • 2× NBA Three-Point Contest champion (2015, 2021)
  • NBA steals leader (2016)
  • 50–40–90 club (2016)
  • NBA Sportsmanship Award (2011)
  • NBA Social Justice Champion Award (2023)
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team


Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History - #1 Magic Johnson

Top 10 Best Point Guards in NBA History – #1 Magic Johnson

#1 – Magic Johnson

The epitome of basketball greatness, Magic Johnson is widely regarded as the best point guard of all time, and one of the best players in NBA history. His unique combination of size, skill, and court vision revolutionized the game, leaving an indelible mark on the sport that still resonates today.

What sets Magic apart is his ability to dominate games with his extraordinary playmaking skills. At 6’9″, he possessed the size of a forward but played with the finesse and skill of a point guard. Magic’s court vision was unparalleled, as he consistently delivered pinpoint passes that seemed to defy physics. His ability to see plays develop before they unfolded, and his knack for threading the needle with precision, made him a master orchestrator of the offense.

But Magic’s impact went beyond his playmaking ability. He was a transcendent leader who transformed the Los Angeles Lakers into a dynasty. With his infectious smile, captivating charisma, and magnetic personality, Magic galvanized his teammates and created a winning culture. Under his guidance, the Lakers captured five NBA championships, establishing their dominance in the 1980s.

Magic’s versatility was also a hallmark of his game. He could play multiple positions, seamlessly transitioning from point guard to forward, and even filling in as a center in key moments. His ability to impact the game in various ways, from scoring and rebounding to defending and creating mismatches, made him a nightmare for opponents.

Career NBA Statistics
Points 17,707 (19.5 ppg)
Rebounds 6,559 (7.2 rpg)
Assists 10,141 (11.2 apg)
  • 5× NBA champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
  • 3× NBA Finals MVP (1980, 1982, 1987)
  • 3× NBA Most Valuable Player (1987, 1989, 1990)
  • 12× NBA All-Star (1980, 1982–1992)
  • 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1990, 1992)
  • 9× All-NBA First Team (1983–1991)
  • All-NBA Second Team (1982)
  • NBA All-Rookie Team (1980)
  • 4× NBA assists leader (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)
  • 2× NBA steals leader (1981, 1982)
  • IBM Award (1984)
  • NBA Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)
  • NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)
  • No. 32 retired by Los Angeles Lakers


From the court vision and versatility of Magic Johnson to the electrifying scoring ability of Stephen Curry, the best point guards ever have revolutionized the game. Their ability to create opportunities, make clutch plays, and elevate their teams to greatness sets them apart. As the game continues to evolve, new stars will rise, but the legends of the point guard position will forever hold their place in the annals of basketball history.

For the most up-to-date NBA content, check out my Instagram page @sogbasketball!

Related Articles

Leave a Comment