NBA point guard tier list: Where is Raptors star Fred VanVleet?

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 18: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Gary Trent Jr. #33 and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Tier 5: Solid players, not needle movers

23. Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

22. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers

21. Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers

20. Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons

Westbrook’s value has never been lower, but he still can stuff a stat sheet. Brunson could be a serious playmaker for the Knicks, but he is likely not going to be the type of player who can elevate a team by himself. He only has one season of truly elite production.

Cunningham and Haliburton will likely end up on the All-Star team at some point in their careers, but they will need to overcome several developmental hurdles before they can get their teams to the playoffs. Even with that caveat, it should surprise no one if they rise up this list by the end of the year.

Tier 4: Higher-end Starters on playoff teams

19. D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves

18. Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat

17. Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

16. Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

15. LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets

14. De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

Even after some injuries, both Lowry and Murray will be effective leaders for teams with championship aspirations. Russell and Ball’s lack of defense will hurt them, but they have proven they can fill it up at an All-Star level in this league. For all of Smart’s faults, it’s hard to rank the Defensive Player of the Year too low.

Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet is right near the top 10.

Tier 3: Fringe All-Stars

13. Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

12. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder

11. Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors

10. Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks

9. CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans

Toronto’s $110 million man ends up right alongside the top 10, showing that his ability to nail shots from 3-point range and generate turnovers will take him places. He beat out names like a fellow 2022 All-Star in Garland and one of the most underappreciated young stars in the game today in Gilgeous-Alexander.

Holiday has been one of the most underrated players in the league for years, though he and VanVleet are interchangeable at this point. New Orleans let McCollum handle the ball last year, and the results were exemplary. VanVleet needs to repeat his prolific scoring to leap firmly above one of these two.