Top 10 Passers In the NBA

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They Also Get A Gold Medal For Passing


Point guards are the “ball handlers” and “playmakers” of the basketball game. They control the game and decide where the ball goes. They decide who to involve on a play and who not to.

The NBA’s top guards almost always have one thing in common, they’re great passers. Chris Paul can take over the game, finding and selecting the teammates that are most likely to get the basket. Steve Nash’s basketball IQ allows him to create plays and dictate the game. Dwayne Wade can articulate and slash his way to finding an open teammate from anywhere the court.

Great passing is normally a result of superior court vision and awareness. The point guard is vital to offence but sometimes, shooting guard runs the show. In San Antonio, Manu Ginobili will often take over offence.

The backcourts passing abilities are becoming more important to winning. At one point, the center was the most important player on the court. However, the center position is becoming obsolete.

This became clear when David Aldridge of, reported that:

"The league will announce Wednesday a change to its All-Star ballot that will, for the first time, allow fans to vote for three undefined "frontcourt" players instead of having to vote for two forwards and a center. With more and more teams playing smaller than in the past, the definition of "center" was becoming increasingly difficult -- not to mention finding enough quality big men for whom to vote."

This prevents the awkward problem come All-Star game when Blake Griffin would have started over Kevin Love in the west but it also means that the center is starting to become less important to the game. The point guard has to compensate for big men that struggle from the line and with free throws. The guard's ability to pass will become much more vital to the success of the team.

Who are the NBA's top passers?

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10. Jeremy Lin

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

We’ve heard a lot about Jeremy Lin. However, he has actually played very little NBA basketball.

The duo of James Harden and Lin has made for remarkable basketball. They’re the best backcourt in the league. The chemistry is unmatched.

Both players have something to prove to the teams that let them walk. Lin sets Harden up and allows Harden to play like he is worth $80 million dollars.

Harden can post huge points because Lin is outstanding at getting him the ball.

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9. Tony Parker

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Tony Parker might be the best passer in the league during high stress and tense moments. He can take over a game in the most critical times.

He has a pretty low turn over rate, averaging 2.6 per game last season. A number that is lower than almost every other point guard in the league.

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8. Derrick Rose

Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Derrick Rose averages 7.9 assists a game, a big number for a guy that isn't a passing point guard.

D. Rose is primary a scorer but he is still one of the best distributors in the league. He drives the lane and then passes the ball out.

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7. John Wall

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

John Wall makes extraordinary passes. He had high expectations coming into the NBA but so far, he has fallen slightly short.

One fundamental that Wall has down is passing. He is a very good distributor. He averaging 8.0 assists per game.

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6. Jose Calderon

Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

The Toronto curse. Jose Calderon averaged 8.8 assists last season. However, the Toronto team has been for the most part forgotten about since the days of Chris Bosh Vince Carter.

Calderon is the most unrated passer in the league. He is remarkably well-rounded without being as creative as Rondo is. His turnovers are almost nonexistent.

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5. Ricky Rubio

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Ricky Rubio’s had his season cut short by ACL surgery. On top of that, he struggles to communicate with his diverse and international team due to the language barrier so he can’t be the general that other guards can.

Although, he has played a little more than 40 games, he’s a prime example of a European player who is going change the rules. He makes the most out of the least.

Because Rubio isn’t the most accurate shooter in the game, he works hard to get the ball to someone who can hit the basket. He will throw the ball over the defender from midcourt to an open man in the paint. He plays a fast and physical game and he isn’t afraid to venture into the paint to find a big man.

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4. Deron Williams

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Like Paul, Deron Williams is a floor general.

Williams is the most natural passer in the NBA. Even if it looks like his teammate is in a place where it is too difficult to receive a pass, Williams will do some weird arm stretch movement and the ball somehow ends up in the right man’s hands.

Very few players in the league can create passing angles like he can.

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3. Chris Paul


Chris Paul is the floor general. He is the most efficient passer in the league. Is Paul the best passer? No but he is very, very close. Paul effectively changes his system to best suit the team he plays for.

If Paul played on a team with a Dirk Nowitzki or a Tim Duncan or a Kevin Love, he would be a better passer because he would be able to use more opportunities. Instead, the pass first point guard is picky because the Los Angeles Clippers are a developing team with well documented weaknesses. Unless Paul is passing to Jamal Crowford or Eric Bledsoe, he has to choose his spots carefully to comply with the Clippers frontcourt best abilities.

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2. Steve Nash

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Nash is probably the most precise passer in the league. He is second only to Rondo in assists, averaging 10.7 last season but he tends to play significantly less minutes than other point guards due to his age.

Nash is unquestionably the best in the league at setting up his teammates.

He has unmatched basketball IQ and is a top point guard. Even a few years ago Nash would have toped any list that has anything to do with passing or assists but Rondo tips past him because he is a little bit more creative and in his prime.

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1. Rajon Rondo


Rajon Rondo is a much better passer than a shooter. This ensures that he gets the ball to his frontcourt, because unlike Derrick Rose or Paul, he can’t take over the game in clutch moments.

Rondo isn't the best point guard on the court but he leads the league two areas: assists, averaging AST 11.7. per game and trash talking.

Rondo is the best passer since young Steve Nash.