Who is the best point guard available in this year’s NBA Draft? After looking at Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, C.J. McCollum and Shane Larkin, the numbers suggest it may be the player who's been flying under the radar.
Jump Shots Last Season
Notable Point Guards in NBA Draft
McCollum played only 12 games last season before suffering a foot injury, but his field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage easily trumped those of Burke, Carter-Williams and Larkin. McCollum was especially effective on catch-and-shoot jumpers, on which he shot better than 60 percent.
Burke and Larkin both shot 41 percent on jumpers, while Carter-Williams has been criticized for his inconsistent jump shot. He made just 28 percent of his jumpers last season.
Finishing at the rim
McCollum was the most efficient of the group in terms of scoring around the basket on non-post-up plays. He shot 57 percent and scored 1.19 points per play. Larkin and Burke both shot just under 52 percent and scored 1.05 points per play.
Carter-Williams finished at the bottom of the pack, shooting just 49 percent at the rim.
On pick-and-roll plays including passes -- which takes into account each point guard’s scoring plays and the plays they created for their teammates -- Burke was the most efficient.
Highest Usage Rate w/ 120+ Off Rating
Big Ten - Last 10 Seasons
Larkin was the only Division I player who created more points on pick-and-roll plays than Burke, but Burke's efficiency was just part of the package he brought to the Michigan offense.
This past season, Burke posted an offensive rating (points produced per 100 possessions) of 121 while being used on 29 percent of Michigan's possessions while on the floor. This combination of volume and efficiency was the best by any Big Ten player over the last 10 seasons.
Carter-Williams struggled to score efficiently, ranking last in every offensive category compared with the other three point guards. But defensively, Carter-Williams ranks above the rest.
Carter-Williams held opponents to 15 percent shooting on isolation plays last season (4-26 FG) and limited opponents to 0.26 points per play, both of which ranked among the top 10 nationally (min. 30 plays).
None of the other point guards really compare to Carter-Williams in this regard. Larkin and Burke allowed 0.68 points per isolation play, while McCollum allowed 1.00 point per play.
Carter-Williams also has the slight edge over Larkin in defending pick-and-rolls (0.62 points per play vs 0.63 points per play), each allowing about six points every 10 plays. McCollum and Burke each allowed about seven points every 10 pick-and-roll plays.
Based on the numbers above, it's not surprising that Carter-Williams led the group in steal percentage, grabbing a steal nearly once every 20 plays. However, you can argue that his high rate may be due to Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense. McCollum had the lowest steal percentage of the foursome, slightly below Burke.
Burke finished in the bottom two in five of the seven categories. Carter-Williams was last in every offensive category, but first in all of the defensive categories. McCollum’s weakness is his defense, as he ranked in the bottom two in all three defensive categories.
Meanwhile, Larkin is the only one of the four point guard prospects not to finish last in any of the metrics used above. He actually finished in the top two in all seven categories, and as a result, the numbers suggest that he is the most well-rounded of the bunch.