15. Kawhi Leonard
The 2014 NBA finals MVP has emerged as the most fundamentally sound player since Tim Duncan was drafted. The lengthy 6'9" forward from San Diego State has proven that he can hang with the games top performers. Not only is he given the tall task to stop stars such as Lebron James and Kevin Durant, but recently Coach Greg Popovic has burdened Leonard with a more prominent role offensively. Kawhi has a smooth game, with just enough handles to beat his defender and the athleticism to finish above the rim with force. He has little to say on the court and let's his game do all the talking for him. Under the tutelage of Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan look for Kawhi Leonard to become a top 5 player in years to come. Don't forget the youngster is only 22 years old.
14. Lance Stephenson
Lance was rewarded with for his playoff tenacity with a fresh contract from MJ himself. Although he's had a slow start, there is no question that he is a top shooting guard in the league. The Coney Island product has a New York City handle to go along with an physical drive game. Defensively he is one of the top one on one on ball defenders. Lance struggles in offensive consistency and although he has had somewhat of a green light in Charlotte he has not managed to become a 20ppg guy yet in his young career. Let's not forget he is only 23 and left Cincinnati after his freshmen year. He is not even close to the apex of his career do I expect him to be a top 10 player on the years to come.
13. Tony Parker
3 time NBA champions deserve to be treated like one, and that is why Tony stands as the 2nd rated "pure point guard" in my power rankings. Possibly one of the best but most underrated guards in the league, Parker gives both veteran and rookie guards problems in the pick and roll. He has the most deadliest mid range jumper, and has nearly perfected the floater. Playing alongside Duncan, has only buffered his stat line when it comes to assist, and playing within the same system for his entire career has enabled him to perform in a comfort zone quite like no other player. In addition, he has dealt with his fair share of adversity off the court while still remaining one of the top players in the league. Rings speak for itself he's a baller.
12. Tim Duncan
If you have ever needed a model for consistency look no further than Tim Duncan. Through 18 NBA seasons he has managed to average 20 and 11, and after multiple championships he remains the most important piece in a Spurs dynasty. No Big man, I repeat, no big man has the fundamental arsenal that Tim Duncan brings to the table. Whether its passing from the post, playing with his back to the basket, running the pick and roll, Duncan may be hands down the most fundamentally sound player in NBA history. Anywhere within 15 feet it is off the glass, and if fouled he is a career 70% free throw shooter. Hats off to Tim Duncan, the timeless center, who even in his 19th NBA season has the opportunity to repeat. Without a doubt, Tim Duncan will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
11. Stephen Curry
Part 2 of the splash brothers, Stephen Curry is the main attraction in Santa Barbara. Arguably already one of the greatest shooters of all time, Curry has worked extremely hard on his handle and becoming efficient in shooting of the dribble. More importantly is the fact that his turnovers are at a career low while his assist to turnover ratio has increased. Coach Kerr has evolved Stephen into a pass first PG with the fluorescent light (if one such exists) and he is not only the leader of this young ball club but a primary reason why the Warriors have gotten off to their best start in franchise history.
Tune in Saturday's for the weekly podcast, and hear Lils discuss whats poppin in the Urban sports media world.