Sixers: Ranking James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and every NBA backcourt

James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

18. . . . Boston Celtics. 9. team

9. Marcus Smart & Jaylen Brown, Celtics

The Celtics have one of the deepest rotations in the NBA — one that now includes Malcolm Brogdon coming off the bench. Marcus Smart made the star leap last season, assuming full-time point guard duties with great success while bringing home his first DPOY trophy. Jaylen Brown has been at the center of Kevin Durant rumors all summer, but he figures to stick around for now. His explosive slashing, timely 3s, and improved defense on the wing has made him a perennial All-Star candidate. He’s the second-best player on a championship favorite.

. . . New Orleans Pelicans. 8. team. 69

8.  CJ McCollum & Brandon Ingram, Pelicans

The Pelicans could make some serious noise this season. CJ McCollum looked right at home with New Orleans after the trade deadline, providing an immeasurable upgrade at point guard while forming fast chemistry with the entire team. He’s one of the smoothest pick-and-roll guards in the game, while his backcourt partner Brandon Ingram continues to add new wrinkles to his offensive repertoire. At 6-foot-8, Ingram can shoot over the top of his man, slither into the lane and finish at the rim, or use his unique perspective to read the floor and create for others.

team. 77. . . . Los Angeles Clippers. 7

7. Reggie Jackson & Paul George, Clippers

Paul George remains probably the most underrated superstar in the game. He’s elite on both sides of the ball, having only improved the extent of his shot-making abilities since arriving in LA a few years ago. Reggie Jackson may feel like a weak link in comparison (and he will have to win the starting job over newcomer John Wall), but the journeyman point guard has really found a home with the Clippers. His clutch shot-making has been a crucial buoy for the franchise in recent years.