NBA: 30 greatest playmakers in NBA history

(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
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The league has evolved as more teams are looking to the 3-point line to create points, making the 30 greatest playmakers in NBA history worth a look.

The NBA has developed in a league that’s embracing the 3-point line more than ever in 2018-19. It’s created a completely different dynamic than what used to be, as teams look for an edge in winning NBA championships.

The game has gone away from the physical, inside-outside game it once was from a traditional sense and evolved into a 3-point efficient machine. The Golden State Warriors have turned it into a dynasty of their own, as they’ve won two NBA titles in a row.

This 2018-19 season has seen three different teammates score 50 points or more in three different games. This a first since the 1961-62 season, when Los Angeles Lakers trio, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Rudy LaRusso achieved the feat. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry have all put up 50+ point games this season, setting a new tone for the term: playmaker.

A playmaker can be considered a scorer or a player that is almost unstoppable when the ball touches their hands. While it’s tough to break down the Top 30, the list is easily debatable. Here’s a breakdown of the 30 greatest playmakers in NBA history.

Derrick Rose, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls
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30. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls/Minnesota Timberwolves

Despite the injuries and setbacks, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Derrick Rose is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NBA. The 6-foot-4 guard was once considered a unicorn by many draft experts.

Rose’s potential seemed to come to fruition as he won the 2008-09 NBA Rookie of the Year award with the Chicago Bulls, putting up 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. During the 2010-11 season when he won the regular season MVP award, he produced 25.0 points, 7.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

An ACL injury he suffered in the 2012 NBA Playoffs set him back a bit and his fight to return to the court hit its fair share of roadblocks in Chicago. Through it all, he managed to 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game with the New York Knicks in 2016-17.

His emergence in 2018-19 with the Timberwolves has been fun to watch. He’s currently averaging 18.9 points, 4.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game, shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from behind the arc. He could still return to his old self, maybe one day and show off his playmaking ability at full strength.