The Toronto Raptors saw Fred VanVleet take the leap from a promising two-way player with a solid 3-point to a no-doubt All-Star that is capable of leading a postseason team. When Pascal Siakam was working his way back from injury, VanVleet was the unquestioned leader of this team.
20.3 points and 6.7 assists per game is a very impressive total for Wichita State’s finest, as he shows that he is arguably the greatest undrafted free agent guard this side of Darrell Armstrong the NBA has ever seen. VanVleet’s shooting and overall game will likely age gracefully.
Last year was a turning point for both VanVleet and the larger NBA community, as they were finally made aware of just how dominant he can be in the right system. VanVleet is now an All-Star, putting him in what has become a very exclusive club in the NBA.
It’s time to take stock of all 30 projected starting point guards in the NBA and see where VanVleet fits in. Is he in one of the higher tiers that signifies him as a championship-type player, or does he still have some hills left to climb in his career?
NBA point guard tier list: Where is Toronto Raptors’ PG Fred VanVleet?
Tier 7: Replacement Level
30. Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs
29. Monte Morris, Washington Wizards
28. Kevin Porter Jr, Houston Rockets
Jones is likely going to shunt down the priority list in San Antonio, as they are likely going to tank for either Victor Wembanyama or their point guard of the future. Morris is a solid player, but he’s nowhere near good enough to be considered a long-term option for Washington.
Porter is already starting to be phased out, as names like Jalen Green and (potentially) rookie TyTy Washington will compete with him for minutes. If he continues to be as volatile on the court as he has been over the last few years, the Rockets may finally pull the plug despite his excellent scoring skill.
Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet is better than Cole Anthony, John Wall.
Tier 6: Serviceable, if uninspiring
27. Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls
26. Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
25. Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
24. John Wall, Los Angeles Clippers
These four players are undoubtedly solid, but they could be replaced by more talented options. Anthony is a stud, but he has inefficiency concerns that could derail him. Wall, in theory, may be much higher in the eyes of some, but it’s hard to judge his play after the last few seasons.
Due to Ball’s injuries and the ceaseless march of time eating into Conley’s ability to lead Utah, neither of them should consider their starting spots secured beyond this season. VanVleet has put tons of distance between those in this tier, thanks to his highly successful season.