Paul, Williams top playmakers

Originally Published: March 4, 2005
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
What the 2005 NBA draft lacks in size, it makes up for in one of the deepest and most diverse point-guard classes in the past 10 years.

We said similar things last year about a class that included Shaun Livingston, Devin Harris, Ben Gordon (who might never actually play point), Jameer Nelson and Beno Udrih. But the emphasis is even stronger this year.

"This is the deepest point-guard class that I can ever remember," one GM told Insider. "It's not very top-heavy. Chris Paul is the only guy I think can be a superstar at the next level, but there are a lot of guys on the list this year that will play a long time in the league."

Many of them are concentrated in the ACC – as many as five ACC point guards could go in the first round this year.

They come in all sizes and flavors. There are old-school, pass-first point guards. High-octane combo guards who can score at a furious clip. There are small point guards who give you the speed to run a high-octane offense and big guards who can play multiple positions, create defensive nightmares and see over their opponents.

And then there are a handful of players whom we don't know about for sure. Some scouts say they're shooting guards. Others say they can be turned into points. Typically, the in-betweens tend to be shooting guards in point-guard clothing. But with the success of players such as Gilbert Arenas, Dwyane Wade and Chauncey Billups running and gunning, there's now a place for those guys too.

Here's our first look at what should be a decent point-guard class.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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