Houston Rockets: Was Fred VanVleet disrespected in latest point-guard rankings?

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Last month, the Houston Rockets signed former All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet to a max contract. But where does the NBA champion rank amongst his fellow lead ball-handlers?

Depending on who you ask, you're likely to populate a wide array of answers. And if you ask Hoopshype's Frank Urbina, you might be discouraged about the Rockets' free-agent acquisition. 

At least if you're a Rockets fan.

In a new article ranking the top 24 point guards in the NBA, VanVleet didn't net a favorable landing spot, as he came in as the 16th-best point guard across the NBA.

Fred VanVleet's place at 16th in point-guard rankings could be viewed as a sign of disrespect

VanVleet's impact on a younger, inexperienced team remains to be seen and the lack of a bonafide superstar on the team could certainly cause his numbers to regress a bit. That, along with his hefty salary and his inefficiency last season has led to Urbina's synopsis of the former All-Star heading into next season.

"VanVleet put up solid numbers in 2022-23 but his efficiency was quite lacking, something that might not improve on a Rockets team in 2023-24 where he’ll have an even brighter green light. What’s more, he’ll be getting paid like a Top 15 player next campaign when his production does not match that level of pay."

As is always the case with lists and player rankings, it's important to understand the criteria and basis of the rankings. It's hard to see and understand where exactly Urbina was going with these rankings because he places VanVleet in the same tier as Detroit Pistons floor general Cade Cunningham.

Don't get me wrong, Cunningham is insanely talented, but he hasn't quite shown much on the floor, as he's been largely unavailable, due to injuries. Ditto for Scoot Henderson, who is just two spots lower than VanVleet.

Henderson seems like he has star written all over him but we haven't seen anything from him yet to rank him in the same tier as an NBA champion and former All-Star. Furthermore, VanVleet's salary shouldn't be the basis for his ranking, as an assessment of his on-court play shouldn't have anything to do with him being paid like a top-15 player.

Lastly, how does anyone know what his on-court production will be next season? That's literally impossible for even VanVleet to know at this juncture.

At the end of the day, the depth at point guard across the league is vast, so it's understandable why VanVleet wouldn't rank in the top-five or top-ten. But the basis for his ranking seems a bit off, and the tier he's thrown in seems rather ludicrous.