Portland Trail Blazers: Ranking the top 10 point guards in the NBA

Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard guards Steph Curry (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard guards Steph Curry (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
#9 D’Angelo Russell (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. 21.1 PTS, 7.0 AST. 1.53 RPM. player. 41. Scouting Report. d'angelo russell. 9

D’Angelo Russell put the nation on high alert when he broke into his first ever All-Star game (albeit as an alternate). Last year, he averaged 21.1 points and 7 assists per contest while leading the Brooklyn Nets to an unexpected playoff spot. If not for Russell’s heroics, the Nets likely don’t land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in this summer’s free agency.

After experiencing a career season, Russell finds himself presented with an ever bigger opportunity. Being traded to Golden State, he will have more opportunities than ever to flourish in an offensive role next to Steph Curry.

While many expected Russell to regress after averaging career highs in almost every statistical category — but most importantly, his shooting splits — playing in Kerr’s complex offensive system will give D’Angelo plenty of easy looks. He could quite easily be prepared to build upon his breakout season, but don’t expect another All-Star nomination in this stacked Western Conference.

It’s also difficult to measure just how much credit should be given to Russell for Brooklyn’s success. He didn’t even have the highest RPM on the team (coming in behind Ed Davis), and finishing No. 76 in the NBA as a whole, behind lesser guards such as Jeremy Lamb, Monte Morris and George Hill.

Next season will be an interesting trial to see if Russell can play winning basketball, or if he was just a statistical anomaly. At the very least, he’ll now get four opportunities to take revenge on his former team in LA each year.