You need to pick up the top assist guys quickly because the top three tiers are likely to be gone in the first 4 rounds. Anybody surviving beyond four rounds is likely injury-prone or still unproven.
With that little introduction, let’s jump right into the top guys for dishing out dimes. Like the other categories, the number in parentheses is last year’s number.
Tier 1 (800+ assists)
- Steve Nash (892) – Yeah, he’s getting old. Yeah, he doesn’t have Amar’e Stoudemire to pass to. Yeah, he’s going to get more than 800 assists again this year.
- Chris Paul (480) – If Paul can stay healthy, he’ll be competing with Nash for the most assists this year.
- Deron Williams (798) – Williams’ numbers aren’t likely to decline in any of his categories, except perhaps an increase in turnovers as he gets to know all of his new teammates. With a lot of players who can make shots off of his assists, Williams is likely to pass the 800 mark this year.
- Rajon Rondo (794) – Rondo was close last year. With normal improvement, Rondo is likely to be a top tier point guard this year.
Tier 2 (600+ assists)
- Russell Westbrook (652) – Westbrook showed he was a man in the World Championships. I expect him to be knocking on the door of Tier 1 this year, but not quite making it this year.
- Lebron James (651) – James is kind of unique in this category because he is not a point guard. But he sure passes like one.
- Baron Davis (598) – Davis is still a very good passer, despite the years catching up to him. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and put him into Tier 2 this year. Injuries could prove me wrong, though.
- Derrick Rose (469) – I expect great things from Rose this year in the assists department. He’s never gotten quite as many assists as I expect him to, so I might be putting him into the second tier one year too early.
- Dwyane Wade (501) – I don’t see Wade getting to 600 assists, even with so many guys around him with the ability to finish. It ought to be close though, so I’ll put him in this tier because I think it’ll be awfully close.
Tier 3 (500+)
- Stephen Curry (472) – I look for Curry to make a big leap in assists this year, ranking among the elite point guards. Because he scores so many points as well as dishing out a great number of assists, I don’t see him quite making it to 600. I guess we’ll see, though.
- Brandon Jennings (470) – He had an amazing rookie season last year. I expect him to be even better this year. 600 assists is not out of the question, but a point guard who shoots as much as he does sometimes has a tough time reaching the 600 assist mark, especially in his sophomore season.
- Andre Iguodala (472) – Iguodala does a lot of stuff well, including assists. He should continue to improve and pass 500 assists this year.
- Darren Collison (425) – Running his own team, instead of backing up Chris Paul, should skyrocket his assist numbers. Will he get to 600? I don’t think so. But it should be close. He should be well into the 500s this coming season.
- Raymond Felton (446) – As the point guard for New York, Felton’s numbers should change quite a bit. Some of them, like assists, will likely be for the better. Others, like turnovers, are likely to be for the worse.
- Aaron Brooks (434) – The little point guard for Houston should continue to produce. I see him continuing to improve his assist numbers.
- Tyreke Evans (414) – Evans had a phenomenal rookie year. I expect him to continue to improve his points and assists numbers.
- John Wall (Rookie) – I have no idea where Wall is likely to be, but considering his hype and his preseason abilities, I think he might possibly crack into Tier 3 for his rookie season.