Blogtable: Team USA’s point guards for 2016?

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


BLOGTABLE: Next Team USA coach? | Point guards for 2016? | Thoughts on NBA-refs deal?



VIDEOStephen Curry is looking forward to playing for Team USA

> Team USA has an embarrassment of riches at point guard with Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Mike Conley and Michael Carter-Williams. Assuming they’ll take only three point guards to Rio, which three should it be? And why?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comWe’ve heard it from the USA brain trust that this team isn’t just a positional thing. So I’m not too bound up in strict point-guard duties or qualifications. Of that group, I know I’m going to have Chris Paul and Steph Curry on board. John Wall is hitting his prime and we’ll all know it by next spring, so I like him as my third PG. And then I still find a roster spot for Russell Westbrook (mentioned fourth here not in any pecking order but because he’s such a hybrid).

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comFirst off, I’m not buying your assumption that Team USA will take only three point guards. But if if have to play by your rules, I want Steph Curry, the best shooter in the game, Chris Paul, the best handle and distributor, and Russell Westbrook, because there are times when you just need the best athlete to overpower the opponent and make plays.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comI’m not sure three is the final number, but for the sake of conversation: Stephen Curry, because that shooting will be invaluable as Team USA constantly faces zones. Chris Paul, because he is arguably the most complete package among players in the league (passing, shooting, defense, leadership). And Russell Westbrook, because athleticism is one of the factors that will set the Americans apart and Westbrook can overwhelm opponents in that way. But it will be hard to complain about any of those names on the final roster.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: I want Curry, Paul and Westbrook. Steph Curry, because he’s the best shooter of the bunch. Chris Paul, because he’s the best leader of the bunch and the one most likely to keep his cool if times get tight. And then there’s Russell Westbrook, because of his attack-ability. Can’t really go wrong with that trio.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Chris Paul is the best floor general in the league. Stephen Curry is the best shooter. And Russell Westbrook has the speed and athleticism that overwhelms most international opponents. Though Irving was the MVP of the World Cup last year, Wall would be ahead of him on my list of alternates, because he’s the better passer and better defender.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comThis is an excruciating choice given the extreme embarrassment of riches available here, provided that everyone on this list is healthy at the time of selection. After watching Curry work in Spain at the FIBA World Cup last summer and ride that wave into a MVP and championship season with the Golden State Warriors, he’s my number one pick in this point guard draft. Chris Paul gives me a steady hand who has the experience and leadership qualities that are necessary in international competition of this sort, so he’s my second pick. And Russell Westbrook edges out John Wall for the third and final spot. He provides the experience, versatility and raw energy to change the game as my third point guard and utility man extraordinaire. I can use him in any number of ways in the international game and would do so liberally while Curry and CP3 concentrate on floor general duties. If any of these guys cannot make it to Rio for any reason, I want Wall to keep a packed bag ready.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: Curry, Paul and Wall should be the point guards because all are excellent passers and floor leaders – attributes that will be crucial to the success of this team. (If one of them is injured next summer then Conley should be the first alternate.) And then add Westbrook to the roster too – but mark him down simply as a guard, because he transcends traditional positioning.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogStephen Curry is a no-brainer. He’s the most valuable player in the NBA, so he’s going to Rio. With him, I’m bringing Chris Paul, who can run a team better than any of the other options, and is probably the best leader available to Team USA. Finally, I’m bringing Russell Westbrook. He’s the most dynamic point guard in the world when healthy, and bringing Westbrook off the bench and allowing him to terrorize second-string point guards from other teams would be must-see TV. (I also like that Westbrook or Curry can play the 2 alongside Paul.) Nothing against Irving, Wall, Conley or MCW, but like the question said, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

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  72. BOSS says:

    Some of these rosters are remedial. first off steph is a great shooter that’s it I would have Kyrie, Russell, and cp3. Steph would only be needed in comeback situations. harden, and another SG other than Thompson, he only plays well with steph, of course bron melo, cousins davis, and aldrigde, now that’s a power house

  73. B Mallory says:

    My 3 point Guards are: 1. Irving – Best handle, very illusive with the ball and shoots 3’s very well. 2. Westbrook – Best all around Point Guard + Power, he would be hard to handle. 3. Curry – Best 3 point shooter can help space the floor. The next 2 would be Paul and Wall as replacements. I think they will need 4 PG’s so just as Paul and make Wall the replacement.

  74. Kris says:

    Why do people always choose steph curry? Bec he is the nba mvp?? He is only shooter and popular thats why he won the mvp??

    All of them are mvp’s

    It should always be PAUL,IRVING,WESTBROOK

  75. OverseasNBAfan says:

    Top 3 point guards in the NBA now are Curry, Westbrook and Paul because of their all-round complete skills at that position, its not really very close at the moment its those 3 guys above the rest.
    In the next few years guys like Wall, Irving and Lillard will be catching up as they start to mature and the top 3 decline but at the moment the pecking order is pretty clear.
    Curry and Irving proved last world championship that they can both excel either on or off the ball as shooters at international level, so they have more versatility to play 1/2 positions with their floor spacing, something that is very important in FIBA competition.

  76. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Curry MVP, Westbrook MR. triple double, Kyrie Irving team USA’s last MVP last summer,

  77. João says:

    Steph curry, Chris Paul and westbrook although I would really like it if John Wall made the team

  78. Mason says:

    Chris Paul its a team effort nuff said

  79. LaTesha Rogers says:

    Paul, Curry and Westbrook! Nuff said! 😉

  80. Benjamin says:

    12 Man USA TEAM:
    POINTGUARD:
    -Curry
    Paul
    Westbrook
    (Wall)

    SHOOTING GUARD:
    -Harden
    Thompson

    SMALLFORWARD:
    -Durant
    Butler
    (Anthony)

    POWERFORWARD:
    -Lebron
    Griffin
    Aldridge

    CENTER:
    -Davis
    Cousins
    (Howard)

  81. juancho says:

    mike hulet,,,, are u saying irving is better than curry,,,,check the record my frend,, very far irving than curry,,, irving is also 0ne man show same lebron no good,,,who is the king of 3 point my fren,,, only curry

    • schmeveland_schmavaliers says:

      English…learn it.lebron no good? .your brain is no good for that statement.your derp level….its over 9000.

  82. RichWork says:

    My Roster:
    Centers: Davis, Cousins, Aldridge
    Power Forwards: James, Griffin
    Small Forward: Durant, PG
    Shooting Guards – Harden, Klay Thompson
    Point Guard – CP3 , Curry, and I will give it to Wall because he is just as athletic as Westbrook and easier to control lol

    Starting Lineup: Davis, James, Durant, CP3, and Curry… Harden is the 6 man

  83. jojiescoto says:

    It’s funny CP3 always gets the credit for leadership and keeping cool when the going gets tough. Actual results, however, points to the exact opposite. How many instances have we seen Paul made crucial errors at tough times.And just because he barks at teamates when they make mistakes, does not mean he’s a leader. Fact is, It’s really the opposite.

  84. Niko says:

    Curry/Kyrie/Westbrook
    Harden/Thompson/Butler
    Lebron/Durant/Carmelo maybe
    Aldridge/Gasol/Blake Griffin
    Jordan/Howard/Cousins

  85. I guess everybody forgot that Kyrie Irving was the MVP in the last FIBA World Cup – he was the best player in the US team. If you remember the last FIBA tournments, neither Curry, Paul or Westbrook played for the US Team as well as Irving did. It´s not a matter of who plays better in the NBA because FIBA is a different game.In my opinion, Irving is the point guard that has done the best job so far (even Derrick Rose was in the last World Cup).

  86. ciugaz says:

    I’d take Curry, Paul and Irving. Westbrook as fourth pick.

  87. Piter says:

    GUARDS : J.Wall, S. Curry , J. Harden , R. Westbrook , C. Anthony
    FORWARDS : L. James , K. Durant , D. Green , P. Gorge , L. Aldrige
    CENTERS : D. Jordan , A. Davis

  88. OKC Since fan( 08) says:

    I think you should be only allowed two olympics max personally which would rule out: Mello(doesn’t deserve to be there now ) Cp3 will be too old for olympics by then and Lebron-who deserves a break(because lets face it he will be in the ECF/FInals and should be appreciated before his prime goes in 2-3 years max due to style of play and wont be able to play as long if he plays in the summer and has already been to 3 Olympics…).They all have gold medals it should be the young players turn to get some experience if the NBA is going to stand a chance at progressing:See the world cup for growth that can occur if given a chance:Curry,Cousins,A Davis,Klay the list goes on.
    This is who I would like to see in the Olympic squad:
    C A Davis(c/pf),Cousins(c/pf),Drummond(C)
    Pf Griffin(pf),Love(pf)(if not injured otherwise Dray greene sneaks in here just)
    Sf KD(sf/pf)- if healthy which he should be and Kawai Leonard(sf/sg)
    SG James harden(sg/pg) and Klay(sf/sg)
    PG Curry(pg/sg),Westbrook(pg/sg)(most likely first off the bench) and the point guard that has the better season between John wall and Mike Conley depends on healthy and the more reliable jumper for the position(walls has improved just needs to keep improving)
    Kyrie isn’t here because he is to fragile and will most likely be injured come Olympics see list of all his injuries-maybe 2020 if he some how stays healthy by then though to replace westbrook-ala steph curry ankle issues style (I also see him more as a sg than pg and you have westbrook for what that role on this team)

  89. My team USA

    PG-Curry-Shooting
    Paul-Leadership duties
    Irving(if he’s healthy) or WB-Versatility, can play 1 or 2

    SG-Harden, (I really don’t like him but probably he’ll be a member)
    Thompson, shooting duties
    Butler, i chose him than derozan because of his all around game and can play the 3

    SF-Kawhi, offense and defense no problem, can also play the 4
    Gay, will step up and provide the absence of LBJ, KD, PG and can play 3 or 4

    PF-Melo, if he’s healthy
    Griffin, can play the 5
    C-Deandre, no doubt
    Davis, can’t wait for this kid to shoot 3s for his size. perfect for international game.

    Captains: Paul and Melo

  90. mypicksok says:

    Remember guys, this is not picking the best 3 players at their position. Its the commitment and desire to play as a team. Back in 2004 was a lesson learned, and now the tradition goes by “we” and not “I.” Balance that characteristic with talent, and its a done deal.

    C. Paul – 1
    S. Curry – 1/2
    K. Irving – 1/2
    R. Westbrook – 1/2
    J.Harden – 2
    K.Thompson – 2
    K.Leonard – 2/3
    K.Durant – 3/4
    L. James – 3/4 if James decides to join, otherwise Melo
    B. Griffin – 4
    A. Davis – 4/5
    D. Cousins – 5

  91. Hood_Genius says:

    Center: The Brow, Boogie

    Power Forward: Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green

    Small Forward: Lebron James, Andre Iguadala

    Shooting Guard: James Harden, Klay Thompson

    Point Guard: Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook

  92. Ryan says:

    My USA 12 Man Rosters

    Center – Anthony Davis & Demarcus Cousins
    Power Forward – Blake Griffin and Kevin Love
    Small Forward – Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Kawhi Leonard
    Shooting Gurad – James Harden and Russell Westbrook
    Point Guards – Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving

  93. BlackMamba says:

    Stephen Curry because he can play on and off the ball and the best shooter period. Chris Paul because of his leadership. Russell Westbrook because his a Beast.

  94. juancho says:

    my choice,,, at point guards, curry,chris,& westbrook at no 2, klay, & harden no 3, lebron ,kawhi , & butler at no 4 durant,& griffin at no 5, davis , & howard this is the best players of tean U.S.A. GO TEAN U.S.A. GOODLUCK……….

  95. Kishore says:

    A lot of you made a lot of good points. My choices are:

    Curry, CP3 and Irving as Point Guards
    Westbrook, Harden and Klay as Shooting Guards
    Lebron, Kwahi and Paul George as Small forwards
    Durant, Griffin, Aldridge as power forwards
    Anthony Davis and Cousins as Centers.

  96. mike hewlet says:

    Kyrie Irving is better than Curry period, they both played in the FIBA games and Irving was MVP of the whole tournement case close. When Curry plays international basketball the physicality takes him out his game. Chris Paul is the best PURE point guard out there as far as seeing the court n moving the ball, with that being said… the best 3 point guards to keep(considering all 3 are healthy)would be ONE(PAUL) TWO(IRVING)THREE(WESTBROOK). People can ride Currys jock all they want but if Kyrie was healthy in the finals CAVS win, Irving can dribble as well as Curry and finish in traffic in the lane better than anyone (without dunking).Curry can shoot no doubt but when they let them get real physical like they do in international ball he’s not as good as say Westbrook and Irving.

  97. Paul says:

    Curry, Westbook, Paul, in that order. However, not sure the US team wouldn’t be better off without a “traditional” point guard concept: think of Harden or LeBron handling the ball, and Curry or Westbrook or Durant weaving around screens or wreaking havoc in the lane. when Paul takes “control,” the defense sets; Westbrook commits too many turnovers; Curry is probably the weakest of the three defensively and on a team like this shouldn’t be dribbling down his man so much. Can’t go wrong with these three, but surprise us (and the competition) with how you play them!

  98. NBAfan says:

    PG Curry/Paul/Westbrook
    SG Harden/Thompson
    SF Durant/Butler
    PF Lebron/Griffin
    C Davis/Adlridge/???

    Westbrook can play shooting guard if necessary. Harden/Thompson/Butler can slide between the SG and SF positions. Lebron/Durant/Griffin can slide between the SF and PF positions. They just need a TRUE BIGMAN as that last position….maybe DeAndre?

    Paul George shouldn’t be able to make the team (not yet); same for Kyrie…

  99. Chris Paul is a steady hand, but he’s also a bit of a control freak and you risk have some tension among all this talent. I’d go with Curry and Wall, with Westbrook coming off the bench and playing the 1/2. Imagine Wall and Westbrook on the fast break. By the way, great or no, it’s time for LeBron and Carmelo to sit this one out and let some new blood have a shot.

  100. Wilbert says:

    Curry number1,Chris Paul team general leader and Westbrook fearless very atletic,a have a lot of heart to win.

  101. Renan Lisboa says:

    Davis – 5
    LaMarcus – 5
    Griffin – 4
    Durant – 4
    Lebron – 3
    Kawhi – 3
    George or Butler – 3
    Harden – 2
    Klay – 2
    Curry – 1
    CP3 – 1
    Westbrook or Irving – 1

    • mike hewlet says:

      When you put the BEST ballplayers together on a TEAM you cant leave Carmelo out…. he brings alot to the table when you surround him with talent where he knows he cant become the blackhole like he does when plays in New York…he’s big and strong(rebounds) and can shoot.

  102. James says:

    Easy, I would just pick the best Point Guards in the world. Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and Chris Paul.

  103. TL says:

    they don’t have many shooting guards.. pretty much just harden and klay thompson. and if you consider thompson as a 3, and six other guards, then it would be harden + curry/irving/paul/wall/westbrook.

    but then that only leaves 6 spots for 3/4/5, which is no good, so i would take wall off too.

    my picks would be:

    guards: curry, irving, paul, westbrook, harden
    small f: klay thompson, carmello, lebron, durant
    power f/center: griffin, howard, anothony davis

  104. harriethehawk says:

    I agree w/ Westbrook and Curry, but would chose John Wall as my 3rd point guard. Gotta love him!

  105. JCRC says:

    Curry, Paul, Westbrook

  106. Keyvee says:

    Here’s why Kyrie Irving isn’t in most of they’re 3 for PG. Aside from being an unbelievably deadly scorer what else does he do? He’s not a great distributor and an even worst defender, he’s not the worst I’ve seen but it’s pretty bad. And the issues shown last season playing with LBJ and Love also shows he’s not a great floor general as well which is why James eventually took over most of the PG duties during the season. Points is one thing the USA team doesn’t lack. So it becomes a case of what else can you do?

  107. jonathan says:

    Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, Chris Westbrook that was easy

  108. Nezte says:

    why not consider Kyrie? isnt he the MVP in the world cup?

  109. juancho says:

    hello basketball fans around the world.the best point % 3point shouter in this era is stephen curry,,, no 1,,,,, no 2 is cris paul & no 3 is westbrook,,,,this is the best 3ball hunder,,,

  110. Cody says:

    This is disrespectful to Kyrie. He was just MVP of the last round of International play. I believe (if 100% healthy) Kyrie is now better than Paul (who is now past his prime). Watch for Kyrie to out play Paul this year. Funny to think Kyrie is still under rated (and Pual is over rated as a leader).

    • voice says:

      MVP on a limited roster against subpar international competition. Kyrie can score, but he doesn’t make anybody around him better.

      Take a nice look at the Cavs before Lebron returned – then get back to me.

    • Da Truth says:

      Call me crazy but I think having Kyrie out of the finals helped the Cavs get further than they would have with Kyrie?!?!

  111. Paul says:

    Pretty much agree with all of the choices above. It is weird to think that Kyrie Irving is not top 3 or 4, but I guess it is a reality. Makes you think how big the Cavs big 3 really is. When you rank power forwards as well I’m not sure if Kevin Love would be top either.

    • cracykid says:

      Before beening traded kevin love was the power forward in the game…. Being on a team with 2 superstars , loves numbers had to drop, they didnt play his style of basketball, but im sure this year will be diffrent. GO CAVS

  112. StickUpBeatz says:

    I would bring mvp Curry, simply the best all around point guard, Wall because of his unbelievable speed, his size and distribution skills and Westbrook for superior athleticism! No international point guards could hold up against that

  113. Danny says:

    How can you guys forget about Kyrie Irving he was the second or third best PG in the league last season. You guys don’t kno what you’re talking about. Westbrook is not a good decision maker at all. You have to go with curry, Paul, and Irving

    • Tim says:

      Irving was nowhere even close to 2nd or 3rd best last year…..
      At best he like 5.
      Curry,cp3,westbrook,wall, lillard, conely, lbj were all better pgs last year.
      Remember irving couldn’t handle it so lbj had to takeover….

  114. Daniel says:

    How can you guys forget about Kyrie Irving he was the second or third best PG in the league last season. You guys don’t kno what you’re talking about. Westbrook is not avoid decision maker at all. You have to go with curry, Paul, and Irving

  115. taekayo says:

    Since most of them have already represented TEAM USA before, it won’t be bad to get the new guys. I hope Conley and Wall would have the chance to play. Wall has been progressively maturing over the years, and Conley has been a solid leader of a grind-out team. They may not be as talented compared to the obvious choices, but I think they have what it takes to represent their country and win. However I think its still too early for MCW. So I’d put CP3 just because of his steady leadership that could help Wall and Conley more.

    • figue says:

      Sooo, you are going to play against the best players of other countries and you don’t want to go with the best you’ve got? Do you remember the disappointment and humiliation of the early 2000’s when the USA lost it’s reputation of “unbeatable”? Exactly because the USA was not going to these tournaments with the best, and obviously the world is catching up in terms of talented players. That’s bad press for the NBA, since they have always been presented as the best Basketball league in the world…..and if you are the best league in the world you shouldn’t be losing to other league players right? So, nothing against Conley, Wall and MCW, just not the best on the list. Sorry. I would find a way to squeeze Irving too.

      • taekayo says:

        I understand what you mean, but I hope you’ll look at this on this perspective.

        Well, if your memory served you correctly, it was very different then back in 2000. Most players we’re actually not into playing for the USA Team. That team was mostly role players, with Pierce and Finley as the lone scorers. It could’ve been a good team if given years of playing together, but still not enough to win even an NBA title.

        Today, a lot of marquee players want to play, and that’s good for the team to have options. But again, Conley and Wall are no scrubs. They may not be MVP-caliber players, but they do belong to the elite crop. Its not like we’re fielding in a Jarrett Jack or a Chalmers or anyone. These are also leaders in a team that competes well in the NBA.

        The point is, its not just having the best set of top players, its about sending in the best team. Aside from the Gasol’s, no other Spain player gets heavy minutes in the NBA. Manu serves as a 6th man, Scola can’t even get decent minutes. Aside from Giannis, no other Greek player gets a lick of playing time in the NBA. However, when they form a team with their countrymen, they stay as competitive against the USA Team. They’ve become parts of a great whole. Its all about having a great team, not just about having great individuals.

        Again, I’m not against the USA Team getting all the top players. I mean, they should. But there’s also that process of continuity where you also inject 2-4 new players in the rotation, so that the team won’t just be depending on the usual candidates. That’s the great advantage USA has against every team in the world. They can continue on dominating the basketball world by constantly developing players as if the team itself never gets old.

        Its been the normal cycle in the NBA where a championship team dominates for a period of time, but would eventually collapse as their best players get old, get traded or would retire. Then they’ll be on rebuilding mode (unless they get a quick fix by luring big names in the FA), and bear the pain of losing. But the USA Team should be entirely different, as they have that vast pool of talent where they can still win while developing young players. And its also good that way because they’ll get both commitments from the youngbloods and the veterans. They do this, and they’ll never lose again.