The plight of point guards
By Jesse Pantuosco, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - So, you want to win an NBA championship?
Then don't do what the Utah Jazz just did. They drafted Michigan point guard Trey Burke with the ninth overall selection in Thursday night's NBA Draft.
Technically, the Timberwolves drafted Burke, but because the NBA is silly and allows teams to draft players for other teams, he ended up going to Utah.
I have nothing against Burke. Other than the fact that his school beat my alma mater in the Final Four, he seems like a great player and a perfectly decent human being.
Heck, Burke might even make the All-Star team someday. But if he's good, I can almost guarantee that the Jazz won't win the title while he's there.
The simple matter is, great point guards don't win championships.
As Ron Burgundy would say, it's science. Here are the starting point guards for every NBA champion since 2000.
2013: Mario Chalmers (8.6 ppg, 3.5 apg, 42.9 FG %)
2012: Chalmers (9.8 ppg, 3.5 apg, 44.8 FG %)
2011: Jason Kidd (7.9 ppg, 8.2 apg, 36.1 FG%)
2010: Derek Fisher (7.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 38.0 FG%)
2009: Fisher (9.9 ppg, 3.2 apg, 42.4 FG %)
2008: Rajon Rondo (10.6 ppg, 5.1 apg, 49.2 FG %)
2007: Tony Parker (18.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 52.0 FG %)
2006: Jason Williams (12.3 ppg, 4.9 apg, 44.2 FG %)
2005: Parker (16.6 ppg, 6.1 apg, 48.2 FG %)
2004: Chauncey Billups (16.9 ppg, 5.7 apg, 39.4 FG %)
2003: Parker (15.5 ppg, 5.3 apg, 46.2 FG %)
2002: Fisher (11.2 ppg, 2.6 apg, 41.1 FG %)
2001: Fisher (11.5 ppg, 4.4 apg, 41.2 FG %)
2000: Ron Harper (7.0 ppg, 3.4 apg, 39.9 FG %)
Jason Williams, aka White Chocolate? Are you kidding me? Out of this group, only Tony Parker in 2007 made it to the All-Star Game and won the championship in the same season. And before Parker, that hadn't happened in 17 years (Isaiah Thomas in 1990).
Given this information, it's hard to believe the Jazz would even go near a point guard on draft day. But hey, if Anthony Bennett can go No. 1 and the Celtics can trade their whole team away for Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries, I suppose anything is possible.
Believe it or not, the Jazz weren't the only team to make this mistake. They weren't even the only team to make the same mistake twice. Utah, Atlanta and New Orleans each drafted multiple point guards on Thursday.
The Pelicans might be the worst offender of the bunch. Not only did New Orleans take Pierre Jackson and Eric Green within four picks of each other, but they also traded away Nerlens Noel for Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday. Did I mention that Greivis Vasquez (third in the NBA in assists last season) still has one year left on his contract?
This point guard obsession just doesn't make any sense. When Chris Paul re- signs with the Clippers this offseason, he'll probably be making close to $20 million a year. His record in 41 career postseason games? Just 17-24. Former MVPs Derrick Rose (14-15) and Steve Nash (58-59) also hold losing records in the postseason.
A whopping six PGs were taken in this year's first round, including three in the first 11 picks (Burke, C.J. McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams). That's actually tame compared to 2011's draft. That year, eight point guards went in the first round, with four going in the first ten picks.
It gets crazier. Teams were so point guard starved in 2009 that 11 of them were taken in Round 1. Out of those 11, only Jrue Holiday has been to an All- Star Game. Sixth overall pick Jonny Flynn isn't even in the league anymore. Stephen Curry is the only one in that group who has won a playoff series in the last 12 months.
Point guards are great for highlight reels but the good ones don't seem to have any rings on their fingers. Nets point guard Deron Williams has averaged 20 points per game in two of his last three seasons and was fifth in the NBA in assists in 2013 (7.4 dimes per game). He's never even been to the Finals. Russell Westbrook has come a bit closer than D-Will (Finals in 2012) but he still has nothing to show for it.
In today's NBA, offenses that rely too heavily on point guards usually don't make it to the finish line. The better approach appears to be stepping aside and letting the wings -- like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant -- get all the glory. It's not glamorous, but it's given Mario Chalmers two titles. Derek Fisher, a five-time champ despite averaging only 8.5 ppg for his career, can relate.
So good luck, Trey Burke. A difficult task awaits you.
My advice for point guards in search of a championship (That's all of them, isn't it)? Sign with the Heat or wait for LeBron to retire.
06/28 17:49:37 ET