Ranking the 7 best available point guards in NBA free agency

Fred VanVleet NBA #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Fred VanVleet NBA #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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NBA. Free Agent Point Guards.
D’Angelo Russell NBA. Free Agency. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

NBA Point Guard #5: D’Angelo Russell, Los Angeles Lakers

This season, D’Angelo Russell basically re-created his value around the league via a smooth transition in his second tenure in LA, portraying his true self. Not his talents being limited behind others. Hence his claim that the guard was ‘held back in Minnesota.

“Back like I never left,” said Russell in the midst of his jolting offensive firepower, recognizing the full circle.

D-Lo started in all 17 games back in purple and gold prior to the postseason. A head of the snake in that surging, unfathomable post-deadline Laker squad that closed the season 18-8, missing LeBron James for some time. In Russell’s 17 games, Los Angeles was 12-5, with the veteran averaging 17.4 points and 6.1 assists while shooting 41.4% from behind the arc.

Now 27, Russell saw his production heavily dip from points to splits in the playoffs but was still an average scorer at 13 a game. He was still another key force in the Lakers dethronement of the defending champion Warriors, painting an array of crucial shot-making and offensive momentum. D-Lo hit five threes in a pivotal game 3 blowout victory that later sparked the 3-1 lead, edging LA to a series victory in six.

Where the flaws were exposed was in the Western Conference Finals against the 2023 Champion Denver Nuggets. Russell’s game became sloppy, making him basically unplayable and struggling to earn 24 minutes, especially defensively. He put up just six, shot north of 32%, and had a putrid 13 from the outside.

Russell, with his fluent tranquility, still showed he could be a top offensive option on a team for a period of time. He is likely to draw more than enough suitors for probably the $80 million range or more.

From March 10 to the beginning of April, Russell averaged 20 points per game with seven assists on 48.5% from the field and 40 from three. Many shots with a takeover effect win. Now having some more experience under his belt in a deep playoff run can do wonders. The Lakers have been interested in bringing the guard back, even under any new possibility or situation, no matter his role. It will be determined soon whether Russell tests the free agent waters or not, although it is believed the guard would stay.