When the Phoenix Suns brought in restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas for a visit last month before acquiring him in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings, TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley was perplexed.
“Are y’all trying to get the record for the most point guards on a single team in the NBA,” Barkley asked Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
In addition to Thomas, the Suns already had point guard Goran Dragic on the roster, Eric Bledsoe as a restricted free agent and they drafted Tyler Ennis out of Syracuse.
It’s an impressive collection to be sure, but none of the aforementioned players lands on the list of the WARP-based (wins above replacement player) projected top ten point guards in the league for 2014-15.
Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com put together his list, which is topped by Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dragic falls in a category called “the next five,” along with Brooklyn’s Deron Williams, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams and Sacramento’s Trey Burke.
Dragic’s career season puts him on the verge of the elite, while Williams’ worst season drops him from the top five.
Thomas and Bledsoe both fall in the “also notable” category with Houston’s Patrick Beverley, New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday, San Antonio’s Tony Parker, Chicago’s Derrick Rose and Boston’s Rajon Rondo.
The WARP analytic evaluates a player in the context of a five-man roster consisting of the player and four average players and is then compared to a team of four average players and one replacement-level player.