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Is Damian Lillard a Top 5 Point Guard?

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Portland’s franchise player ranks high in the NBA point guard pantheon, but does he stand among the elite?

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

No position in the modern NBA is more laden with flashy talent than point guard. Ranking the best point men in the league is like walking with an empty plate through a Vegas buffet, wondering what to select first. That’s just what Mika Honkasalo of hoopshype.com tried to do this week, ordering the Top 30 NBA point guards. The list included Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, whom Honkasalo ranked fifth overall:

Among the “all-offense but no defense” point guards, Lillard could very well be the best heading into his age 27 season, and if he can help the Blazers build even a passable defense, Lillard could very well be considered one of 10 ten best players in the league next year.

In his fifth season with the Blazers, Lillard averaged 27.0 points, 5.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds while posting a career-high 58.6 True Shooting Percentage. This year, Portland will have to be at their best from the start to even make the playoffs, and becoming a cohesive defensive team should be priority. It’s tough for the Blazers to be a great defensive team with their current roster, but making it out of the bottom 10 shouldn’t be impossible. Portland ranked 11th in offensive efficiency last season, but with Lillard they’ve tended to be better in other seasons.

The Hoopshype Top 10 read like this:

  1. Stephen Curry
  2. Russell Westbrook
  3. Chris Paul
  4. John Wall
  5. Damian Lillard
  6. Isaiah Thomas
  7. Kyrie Irving
  8. Kyle Lowry
  9. Mike Conley
  10. Goran Dragic

Do you agree with Honkasalo’s projections? Who did he rank too high or low? Is Lillard in the correct spot? Have at it in the comment section.