NBA: Best Passer At Each Position

Assists are a stat usually led by point guards, but players at all positions can make a difference for their team by passing.

Honorable Mention

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook comes off his second-straight season averaging a triple-double. This time he did so while leading the league in assists with 10.3 per game. The former MVP led the NBA in assist percentage, which is is an estimated percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while the player is on the court. Westbrook’s high usage rate and minutes per game have led to great stats, but the Thunder really do benefit when Westbrook gets a triple-double.

Point Guard

Rajon Rondo

Throughout his career, Rondo has been known as a pass-first point guard who is prolific and at times flashy at putting the ball in the right place for his teammates. Last season with the Pelicans, the three-time assists leader averaged 8.2 assists per game while seeing an average of 26 minutes per game. The four-time all-star also has a 3.53 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks sixth in the league. What sets him apart from other guards in the league is his high assist numbers despite having a low usage rate of 16.6 percent, which means he doesn’t have the ball in his hand often, but when he does he makes the most of it. Rondo also leads the league in assist ratio, which is is th

Shooting Guard

James Harden

Just a few seasons ago, Harden was labeled as a ball hog who doesn’t get his teammates involved. Now, he’s one of the best passers in the league since the arrival of Mike D’Antoni in 2016. In the first season in the D’Antoni system, the six-time All-Star improved his assists per game to a league-leading 11.2. His numbers dipped a little with the arrival of Chris Paul. However, Harden in his MVP season still averaged 8.8 per game and finished second in the league in assist percentage.

Small Forward

LeBron James

James has been considered as one of the best passers in the league since his early days in Cleveland and the four-time MVP has only gotten better. At 33 years old, the 14-time All-Star averaged a career high 9.1 assists per game last season and finished third behind Harden and Westbrook in assist percentage with a mark of 43.2.

Power Forward

Draymond Green

On a star-studded Golden State Warriors team, Green has established himself as the team’s facilitator on both ends of the floor. The three-time champion has averaged at least seven assists per game the last three seasons. This past season, Green led all power forwards and centers in assists with 7.3 per game and finished fourth among all players with a 36.2 assist ratio. This video goes in depth on Green’s impact with his passing. The former defensive player of the year uses his speed on the fastbreak to bring the ball up the court and pass to an open shooter and Golden State has plenty of those.

Center

Nikola Jokic

Jokic just signed a five-year, $148 million contract with the Denver Nuggets, and for the past couple seasons he’s been proving his worth with 16 triple-doubles in the last two seasons. The Serbian leads all centers in assist percentage and assists. His 6.1 assist-per-game average is good enough for 15th among all players in the NBA.

 

 

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