Blogtable: Best Passer, Top Assist Man?




Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


AI, T-Mac and the Hall | Best passer, top assist man | Social media superstars


New Nets coach Jason Kidd wants Deron Williams to average double-digits in assists. Who’s the best passer in the league? Who do you see leading the league in assists a game this season?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Smart to ask this as two questions, because the best passers don’t always play alongside the best shooters or finishers. That, for instance, will be a challenge now for Boston’s Rajon Rondo – when he returns from his ACL rehab, he won’t have Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett converting off his passes, one year after losing Ray Allen (on those occasions he passed to Allen). Anyway, my choice for best passer is Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio, who can see openings and create something from nothing on a nightly basis to elicit smiles. As for assists leader, though, I like the Clippers’ Chris Paul, who led the NBA in that category in 2008 and ’09. With Blake Griffin reportedly polishing his low-post game and J.J. Redick to hit from outside, Paul’s 9.7 apg could easily bump up by two per game. 

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comChris Paul and Chris Paul. Nobody in the league has a better handle and a better idea of what he wants to do with the ball than CP3. Got to think Rondo’s numbers drop because he no longer has Garnett and Pierce around to finish.

Ricky Rubio and Steve Nash (Noah Graham/NBAE)

Ricky Rubio and Steve Nash (Noah Graham/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Rajon Rondo was the assist king the last two seasons and the two seasons before that belonged to Steve Nash. Let’s discount both, what with Rondo returning from ACL surgery and Nash, well, turning 40. That takes us all the way back to 2009 when New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul (11.0 apg) finished No. 1 and Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams (10.7) was No. 2. Back then those two guys were also 1-2, with arguments over which was which, in any discussion about the best two young point guards in the league. CP3, the guy I consider the most gifted passer and playmaker in the game today, has closed that debate — for now. Williams is set up to have a terrific season. He’s got a good friend (Jason Kidd) as his coach who will run an up-tempo, D-Will-friendly offense. He should be in great shape and he has proven weapons inside and out. Williams could not only hit Kidd’s double-digit assist goal, but also lead the league in the category for the first time in his career. I will also note my excitement to watch a fully healthy Ricky Rubio, and a sleeper in new Kings PG Greivis Vasquez, who quietly averaged 9.0 apg last season with New Orleans.    

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Chris Paul is the best passer, and Kidd has a right to place those expectations because Williams isn’t far down the list. Kidd himself wouldn’t be either, still, if he was on the court instead of the sideline, just as Steve Nash should not be overlooked. But Paul plays fast and still makes the right play and precision passes. Who leads the league? I’ll go CP3 over Williams while also keeping an eye on the Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday. The Clippers have several options beyond Paul and his leadership mentality is to put a priority on a night of big assists over big scoring.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: In terms of vision, creativity and intelligence, Steve Nash is the gold standard, especially now that Kidd has retired and LeBron James isn’t technically a point guard. But Chris Paul will lead the league in assists. He was second to Rondo last season and has a couple of more scorers on his team this year, while Rondo will need to do a lot more work to set up his teammates now that Pierce and Garnett are gone.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comChris Paul is the most creative and best passing point guard in the league and has been for the past few years. And he gets that nod from me having risen to the top of the deepest, most talented and diverse group of point guards I can remember in the past three decades of the league. CP3 is an absolute master at the position and as a facilitator and passer, he’s as good as it gets. But he won’t lead the league in assists during the 2013-14 season. That honor will go to Deron Williams, provided he plays the way his coach asks him to with future Hall of Famers like Pierce and Garnett joining forces with Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. He should have no problem averaging double-digit assists, something only Rondo did last season, on a team with as many different scoring options as the Brooklyn Nets will have to choose from during the regular season.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: I think Chris Paul will lead the league in assists per game. CP3 will have more weapons around him than anyone else, and he’ll be able to pile up those assist totals playing Doc Rivers‘ offense, the same way Rondo did the last few years. But that said, I think Ricky Rubio is the best passer. I’m biased, sure, because I’ve been watching him since he was 15, but he plays with such panache and flair, and his vision is as good as it gets.

Hanson Guan, NBA ChinaIf the category’s restricted to active players only, my answer is Chris Paul. As a point guard, his performance has been nothing but consistent since he joined the league. His 9.8-apg average ranks as the highest of active players. He’s led the league in assists three times. Plus, at critical moments, Paul can dominate the game by scoring. Presently, he is still at his peak. For the next season, I’m still looking forward to another year spent dominating the assist list.

Aldo Avinante, NBA Philippines: Two names will likely pop up in the debate for best passing PG: Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo. But I’m going to give that honor to Ricky Rubio. Paul is known for his cerebral approach and over-all control of the game, Rondo is known for his all-around abilities while Rubio is known for one thing: passing. The Spanish sensation has the full repertoire and seems genuinely happy with passing the basketball with Kevin Love and Kevin Martin as his targets. Expect Rubio to make a run for the assists title next season.

Eduardo Schell, NBA Espana Steve Nash is still the best. A true magician who makes other betters. Here’s hoping injuries don’t give him as many problems as they did last season. I think Chis Paul will lead this category since Rondo will be sidelined and doesn’t have as much talent around as last year, and top rivals like Holiday and Vasquez have been traded. I would like to see José Calderón up there: not a flashy player but one who makes his team better, and will take advantage of having Dirk, Marion and Ellis with him.

60 Comments

  1. dylan says:

    CP3. No others…

  2. dfasfasf says:

    KYLE LOWRY! BEST PG IN THE LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Luisao says:

    Ok, i have read every PG in the league, but the only right answers are Greivis Vasquez, CP3 or Holiday.

  4. B Radd says:

    Best PG in todays NBA gotta be D Rose and Russel Westbrook. CP3 then Kyrie, Rondo and the rest are average…

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  6. Gary Y says:

    no doubts, Rajon Rondo for sure

  7. Mark Kua says:

    Chauncey Billups!!!

  8. celt says:

    Wow! no love for Rajon Rondo!

  9. Linsanity says:

    Jeremy Lin!

  10. Nore says:

    Why is it that most of the times when i want to post a comment the side restarts and my comment is gone?!!!!!!

  11. mortimer says:

    Tony Parker by far

  12. JamesNYKnick says:

    Next season Ricky Rubio will have more dishes than a chine takeaway!!!!

  13. Tony says:

    Tony Parker 3 rings ( 1 finals MVP ) > Rose, Paul, Rondo, Westbrick, Jrue, D-Will, Nash ( combined ). Last time i checked 3 is better than 0 ( In Rondos case 1 ) PERIOD

  14. bigboy11 says:

    Parker the best had the spurs won he would have gotten MVP AND WAS CLEARLY the 2 nd best player in the finals

  15. nate says:

    Obviously, Rondo. Steve Nash? These international journalists don’t know hoops.

  16. Jason Florence says:

    I see the grizzlies are out of it again what about MIKE CONLEY!!!!!!!! He’s one of the best point gaurds in the leauge and he’s underated

  17. marijuana says:

    JOSE CALDERON!

  18. Bobby says:

    Kobe for sure!!!!

  19. DRAGON says:

    goran dragic

  20. Richard Burrill says:

    When he is healthy, the most exciting and best playmaker is Rondo.

  21. Oldhawk says:

    Your all wrong. ITS JEFF TEAGUE!!!

  22. art says:

    Greivis Vasquez.

  23. qqq says:

    Rajon Rondo is the best disher in the nba.

  24. Luciano says:

    GINOBILI

  25. laker4life says:

    everyone is over looking ricky rubio. you place him in a team like the clippers and OMG could you imagine him with blake and jordon.

    • Andy says:

      Chris Paul is better than Rubio, and Rubio is coming off an injury. There is no reason to think he will lead the league in anything.

  26. wally says:

    I remember enough good two games between Deron and Ricky. Deron could not give response to Ricky’s game, and truly it tried it. It even ended up by losing the ball in the final move. With Wall and Jennis he was the same, good annotators, but they do not make the team better. Yes it is true that Fair-haired he suffers in the clashes with very rapid players as Westbrook, but the physicist does not last the whole life and Ricky can improve his.

  27. CelticsFan says:

    Rondo!!!!

  28. Rr says:

    We got Rubio there. He was skilled well and quick thinker..

  29. JL27 says:

    A clear vision for D-Will this year, 20 – 20

    • Andy says:

      lol Yeah they got some old players who are a year from retirement and that’s gonna help Deron Williams shatter records set by Magic Johnson?

  30. J says:

    I cant even post my comments *angry*

    • J says:

      see this will work but the ones I actually want posted don’t appear fix It please hang time please

  31. Rondo-period nuff said, he’s the best play maker in the game point guard or any position.

  32. jo says:

    Goran Dragic!!!!

  33. the black mamba says:

    imma going with cp3

  34. Number 13 says:

    Uh… Rondo all day.

  35. Yo Boy says:

    Obviasly it is yo boy rondo though he is injured so i would go with rubio

  36. Lakers-Warriors-Suns says:

    Tony Parker or Derrick Rose… One of those will have an outstanding season….

  37. Greivis Vasquez is an underrated pick! He is going to be finding guys like Mclemore and Cousins all day. But i would have to go with Ricky Rubio next season!

  38. RRCELTICS says:

    RAJON RONDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. gfffgfv says:

    you know its gon be rondo all day long

  40. QuickAintFair says:

    Jrue holiday!

  41. manie says:

    Rajon Rondo

  42. Kevin S. says:

    I think Jose Calderon is really getting overlooked. He was one of the top ast. men in the league last year and didn’t have any good scorers on the teams he played for in the Raptors and Pistons. He also did not even play 30mpg. With more minutes and better scorers on the Mavs, he can make a serious push for apg. leader next season

  43. blahness says:

    wheres derrick rose in this conversation? not only is he the best point guard but his one of the best players in the league.

    • jonny says:

      Parker is #1. In the finals Tony Parker was the best player on the second best team in the NBA, and making unreal plays like he was all season. Parker is the best PG as of last season, no doubt.

      • Peter says:

        1 – Rose is not a proper PG, he is an undersized SG with some PG skills (like Westbrook, and Wade in his younger days)
        2 – Parker has nowhere near the overall skill set of Paul. He’s nowhere near as good a defender, playmaker or outside shooter.

  44. Kimmy says:

    Chris Paul.

  45. jonny says:

    While CP3, Derrick Rose, Russel Westbrook, Rondo, and everyone else were sitting on their butt in the finals, Tony Parker was the best player on the second best team in the NBA, and making unreal plays like he was all season. Parker is the best PG as of last season, no doubt.

  46. BRAZIL says:

    comon, what about tony parker? the guy is one of the best PG’s in the league

  47. #1KobeH8R says:

    Who am I kidding? Rondo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. #1KobeH8R says:

    Considering team and coach, Steph Curry or John Wall

  49. realist says:

    deron williams fo sure he just got garnet pierce the jet and kirilenko on his team