NBA free agency may have kicked off with a bang, but it’s the trade deals that have caused even more surprises than the free-agent signings themselves.
The trade request of Kevin Durant shocked the NBA world, and we’ve also seen completed deals centered around Rudy Gobert, Dejounte Murray, and Malcolm Brogdon.
Murray and Brogdon are poised to be incredibly valuable acquisitions for the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics respectively. Their capacity as bigger two-way guards gives them an advantage in a league where smaller guards can often be targeted during the playoffs.
The league may have been predominantly led by the taller, skilled wings like LeBron James and Kevin Durant in recent times. We’ve also seen a return to the dominance of the interior players, namely two-time MVPs Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic, along with Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
But most recent NBA action saw a guard, Stephen Curry, light up the NBA Finals with scintillating displays to lead the Golden State Warriors to their fourth championship in eight seasons.
The guard positions remain a vital component to a team’s success – Curry won Finals MVP this year while Jrue Holiday was seen as the final piece to the Bucks’ 2021 championship puzzle.
Ranking the top 5 NBA backcourts after the Dejounte Murray trade
Narrowing it down to a top five is difficult, particularly given the league’s immense young talent combined with the ongoing free agency period.
The Pistons have their future backcourt set with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, as do the Oklahoma City Thunder with Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. One day you’d expect both combinations to be firmly entrenched into this list.
Honorable mentions include Chicago’s Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine, Portland’s Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, and Memphis’ Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks.
Ball’s knee issue means we need to see more out of his combination with LaVine, although they’ll get that opportunity with the latter re-signing. Lillard and Simons we haven’t really seen together, although the individual abilities of each make for a devastating offensive threat.
A combination of Morant and Desmond Bane would probably make the top three, however, technically the latter starts at small forward for the Grizzlies with Brooks at the two.
Without further adieu, let’s get into the top five backcourts in the NBA.