The Toronto Raptors are making a huge change at point guard this season, as the end of the Kyle Lowry era means that Fred VanVleet is in line to succeed him as the team’s point guard following Lowry’s magnificent near-decade at the helm.
VanVleet’s 19.6 points and 6.3 assists per game, numbers that are a bit of a misnomer considering how he was hampered with injuries in the latter part of the season, gave the Raptors plenty of confidence that he will be able to take over Lowry’s responsibilities on both ends of the floor.
Unfortunately for both VanVleet and a Raptors team that is in flux right now, the East is currently full of tremendous starting point guards in almost every direction. VanVleet will get his biggest taste yet of the elite competition that Lowry was going up against for years.
For the purposes of this list, each team’s projected starting point guard will be considered, with their play over the last few years and potential heading into 2021 serving as the deciding factor. Where does VanVleet rank when compared to some of his rivals in the East?
Where does Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet rank among East PGs?
15. Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic (Rookie)
Suggs, who the Raptors passed on in favor of Scottie Barnes, might be down at the bottom right now, but his skill set could help him push Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz down the depth chart as he tries to show that he is one of the better young ball-handlers in the game in Orlando.
14. Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons (Rookie)
Cunningham, like Suggs, will need to earn his stripes in the NBA before the Pistons savior can be placed any higher. If his college career at Oklahoma State is any indication of what Detroit can expect, gear up for a swift rise up this list.
13. Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls
Ball might have signed with the Bulls on a hefty multi-year contract, and his defense is sharp, but the shooting issues that plagued him in Los Angeles and New Orleans haven’t totally been erased just yet, and that will make it hard for him to be placed higher up on this list.
12. Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Garland is one of the best-kept secrets in the league, as his 17 points and six assists per game show that he could be capable of leading a Cleveland turnaround. If everything gels this year, Garland could start to gain more respect around the NBA.
11. Spencer Dinwiddie, Washington Wizards
While Dinwiddie played in just a handful of games due to his ACL injury, Dinwiddie was a 20 point per game scorer when he was last healthy during his Nets tenure. With tons of open shots coming his way in Washington, Dinwiddie could make his three-year contract look like a bargain.