Players in the NBA have certain roles. You have your scorers whose job it is to put the ball in the basket by any means necessary. You have your playmakers who are supposed to make the game easier for everyone else by creating for themselves and others. Every once in a while, you get the perfect blend of both. You have the guys who can score at will while being able to maximize their teams success by creating easy shots and controlling the flow of the game.
Averaging 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG in a single season is a rare feat. It is such a rare feat that only 12 players in the 75-year history of the NBA have done it. Six players have done it just one time while the other six have done it in more than one season. These 12 players are some of the most elite scorers/playmakers the game has ever seen. These are the floor generals that can take over a game in any way they want when their team needs them to. They can play any role asked of them and do it at an elite level.
These are the 12 players in NBA history that have averaged 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG in a single season:
Nate “Tiny” Archibald – 1 Time
Career Stats: 18.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Nate “Tiny Archibald is one of the pioneers of the point guard position. He combined speed, playmaking, and handles to become one of the best at the position in the early 70s. In his career, Archibald was named to 6 All-Star games, was the All-Star MVP in 1981, and was an All-NBA Team selection twice. Archibald’s peak can only be considered between the years of 1971 and 1976. During that time, he averaged 27.3 PPG and 8.7 APG. His problem was that the Kings teams he was a part of were never very good.
The season that Nate Archibald crossed the 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG threshold was a historic one. In the 1972-73 season, he averaged 34.0 PPG and 11.4 APG on 48.8% shooting overall. He became the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both PPG and APG in a season. Yes, not even the amazing Oscar Robertson was able to duplicate that feat. Archibald did this by playing an astounding 46.0 MPG in 80 games played. Archibald ranks 26th all-time in assists with 6,476 and 109th in points scored with 16,481.
Michael Adams – 1 Time
Career Stats: 14.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Michael Adams stood just 5’10 and weighed just 160 pounds. He was never going to be the guy that could get inside and make things happen in the paint. What he did do is play to his strength which was his high basketball IQ and his elite court vision. Adams could read the floor as well as anybody during the early 90s. He was a savant at knowing exactly where his guys were going to be along with the defenders who were trying to stop them. What Adams could do was score the ball in different ways and distribute it just as well. He could finish at the rim but more importantly, he could shoot it.
His shooting form can only be considered unconventional at best. He was a career 84.9% shooter from the free throw line and a 33.2% shooter from beyond the arc. In the 1990-91 season, Adams joined the list of players we are talking about today with 26.5 PPG and 10.5 APG. Miraculously, he wasn’t even named an All-Star until the following season when his numbers were impressive but nothing like they were in 1990-91. Sometimes considered a shot chucker or a gunner, it didn’t matter because Adams still produced and did it at a high level.
John Wall – 1 Time
Career Stats: 19.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 9.1 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG
John Wall is a tad bit different from your traditional point guard. He can blitz a defense in more ways than one with his incredibly aggressive play style. His downhill plays almost force defenses into mistakes often missing rotations and blowing assignments. Wall’s aggressive style isn’t just limited to his offense though. He used to be equally aggressive on defense, gambling on steals at the right time and closing out on shooters at a rapid pace. His aggression on defense led to many buckets and fast break assists, especially in 2016-17.
In the 2016-17 season, Wall averaged 23.1 PPG and 10.7 APG. He would earn the only ALl-NBA Team selection of his career this season and his fourth All-Star nod. This was the season he came back from off-season double-knee surgery. In the 2016-17 season, Wall broke the Wizards franchise record for assists and led Washington to the playoffs for the 3rd time in his tenure there. In 13 playoff games in 2016-17, Wall averaged 27.2 PPG, 10.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.2 BPG. Wall was one of the best point guards in the entire NBA this season. Can he return to that form for the Clippers in 2022-23? This basketball fan sure hopes so.
Deron Williams – 1 Time
Career Stats: 16.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 8.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
There was a point in time in the early 2010s where it could be argued that Deron Williams was the best point guard in the NBA. Williams was unique. He was a bigger build than most at the point guard position. He used speed, strength, and great body control to his advantage in getting by defenders. He loved to play downhill and go right at defenders which you think would lead to many mistakes but in Wiliams’ case, it did not. Williams was a true playmaking scoring threat who thrived in ick and rolls or off the ball running around screens of his own where he would finish the job himself or find a cutter for an easy bucket.
In 2010-11, it was well known that Williams wanted out of his situation in Utah. In 53 games with the Jazz, he put up 21.3 PPG and 9.7 APG. He finally got his wish and was traded to the New Jersey Nets at the deadline. He appeared in just 12 games for New Jersey averaging 15.0 PPG and 12.8 APG. Between both Utah and New Jersey, he finished the season with averages of 20.1 PPG and 10.3 APG. For his efforts, Williams was rewarded with his 3rd All-Star selection and fell just shy of his 2nd All-NBA selection. Williams continued to be a solid scorer/playmaker for the Nets the next few seasons but was never quite the player he was with the Jazz again.
Tim Hardaway – 2 Times
Career Stats: 17.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 8.2 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Tim Hardaway was in rare air in the 1990s as both a dominant scorer and elite playmaker. Some guys are one or the other but Hardaway was both. Hardaway thrived in the fast break offense of the “Run TMC” Warriors in the 90s alongside Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond. You can certainly argue that he was the most important of the 3 to the Warriors’ success from 1990-1994. It wasn’t just the fast break offense that he dominated as he also thrived in a much slower Heat offense down in Miami years later. His 8.2 APG ranks 9th all-time which speaks volumes about his abilities.
As a young man just getting his feet wet in the NBA, Hardaway met the challenge head-on. In just his 2nd season, he averaged 22.9 PPG along with 9.7 APG falling just shy of making our list. He would cross that threshold in back-to-back seasons in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, he became an All-Star for the 2nd time and averaged a career-high 23.4 PPG and 10.0 APG. He would also be named an All-Star the following season in 1993 averaging 21.5 PPG and 10.6 APG. He was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1992 and All-NBA Third Team in 1993 for his efforts. Was he ever considered the best player in the NBA? No, but when Michael Jordan is playing at the same time, that goal is out of reach. He certainly was considered one of the best point guards in the league especially when he accomplished this very rare feat.
Chris Paul – 2 Times
Career Stats: 18.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 9.5 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
It is no secret that Chris Paul is one of the best point guards of our generation or any generation for that matter. A big part of this is his incredible leadership and ability to get the most out of the team he is leading. As a playmaker, Paul can do it all as a pass-first player who picks apart the defense with precision. There has perhaps been no one better than Paul in pick-and-roll situations where he can make average big men look like superstars while being able to score in bunches himself. His mid-range accuracy and 20/20 court vision make him one of the most dangerous point guards in the world at his peak.
Paul’s entrance into the 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG club happened fairly early on in his lengthy career. Coincidentally, the years that he accomplished this was the only 2 seasons of his career that he averaged 20.0 PPG or better. In the 2007-08 season, Paul averaged 21.1 PPG and 11.6 APG which led the NBA. The following season he averaged 22.8 PPG and led the NBA in APG again with 11.0 APG. For the 2007-08 season Paul earned All-NBA First Team honors and finished 2nd in MVP voting. He earned All-NBA Second Team honors in 2008-09 and finished 5th in MVP voting. We should take note of Paul’s two-way abilities as well. In both seasons that he averaged 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG or better, Paul also led the league in SPG. It would be something he would do in six out of seven seasons from 200-08 to 2013-14.
Kevin Johnson – 3 Times
Career Stats: 17.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 9.1 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Kevin Johnson is not only one of the most underrated players of the 90s, but he is one of the most underrated players ever. Johnson was one of the most athletic point guards during that time as well, prone to put you on a poster with an above-the-rim play. Just ask Hakeem Olajuwon. He was an integral part of the success for 90s Suns teams that eventually went on to advance to the NBA Finals in 1993 behind Johnson and MVP Charles Barkley. With his remarkably quick first step and above-the-rim athleticism, it was clear that Johnson was a special player.
Johnson became a part of the 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG club 3 seasons in a row from 1988-99 to 1990-91. This included a career-high in points in 1991 with 22.5 PPG and a career-high in assists in 1989 with 12.2 APG. In all 3 seasons, Johnson led the Suns to the playoffs and they were serious threats, making the Western Conference Finals back-to-back seasons. In 1989, Johnson was awarded the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award for his 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG season and was named All-NBA Second Team every year he accomplished the feat. His 9.1 APG ranks 6th on the all-time list.
James Harden – 3 Times
Career Stats: 24.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 6.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
At his peak, James Harden was one of the most unstoppable players in the NBA. His offensive dominance was predicated on his scoring versatility and elite playmaking. With the ball in his hands, Harden was a maestro lulling defenders to sleep with his incredible lateral movement before getting to the rim for an easy finish or trip to the foul line. He has evolved into one of the most shifty and tough-to-defend players in the league while being able to deliver to teammates at a high level.
The first time that Harden joined the 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG club was the 2016-17 season when he finished runner-up to Russell Westbrook for MVP. He averaged 29.1 PPG and led the league in assists with 11.2 APG. For the next 3 seasons, Harden took home the scoring title with over 30.0 PPG each season but failed to reach the 10.0 APG mark. Despite struggles and criticisms since leaving Houston for the Nets and now SIxers, Harden has averaged over 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG in each of the past 2 seasons as well. In his one-and-a-half seasons with Brooklyn, Harden averaged 23.4 PPG and 10.5 APG. In 21 games with the Sixers in 022, he averaged 21.0 PPG and 10.5 APG. The Sixers will be a serious contender if Harden can somehow get back to his elite scoring level.
Magic Johnson – 3 Times
Career Stats: 19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
The greatest point guard to ever grace the NBA hardwood is unsurprisingly joining our list having accomplished the feat 3 times during his career. His placement here is not surprising. Magic had eyes in the back of his head or at least it seemed like it most of the time. No one commanded an offense like Magic. No one ran a fast break and transition offense like Magic. Think of all your favorite players and their best traits and Magic Johnson is all of them rolled into one. Take the speed of Westbrook, the playmaking of LeBron, the court vision of John Stockton, and the perimeter defense of Chris Paul and you still don’t add up to just how special Magic Johnson was.
I think the most surprising part of Magic being on this list is that he only did it 3 times. The all-time leader in APG first accomplished the feat in 1986-87. He averaged 23.9 PPG and 12.2 APG which led the league. Magic also took home MVP and Finals MVP this season. He wouldn’t accomplish the feat again until the 1989 and 1990 seasons which were 2 of the last productive seasons of his career before he got sick. Magic ranks 6th all-time in total assists but his 11.2 APG ranks No.1 in league history, a record we may never see broken.
Isiah Thomas – 4 Times
Career Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 9.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
From the moment he stepped foot in Detroit, Isiah Thomas embodied what it was like to be a member of the Pistons. He was someone that the Pistons could rely on in big moments and they never had to worry about who was going to step up in the clutch. He possessed exceptional ball-handling skills and was extremely quick off of the dribble. He had no fear driving down the lane in a tough league and as undersized as he was. He could score, facilitate, and do all the things that an elite point guard was called upon to do.
For 4 years straight from 1984 through 1987, Thomas joined the 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG club. In the 1984-85 season, he led the league in assists with 13.9 APG while pouring in 21.2 PPG. During this time, he earned 3 All-NBA First Team selections and 1 All-NBA Second Team selection. In his 13 years with the Pistons, Thomas helped them go from the basement to back-to-back NBA champions. He became the franchise’s all-time leader in points, assists, and steals. In 1990, Thomas took home the Finals MVP award averaging 27.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 7.0 APG.
Russell Westbrook – 5 Times
Career Stats: 22.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 8.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
At his peak, Westbrook is one of the most explosive players in the game. He isn’t your traditional pass-first point guard and that’s ok, not every point guard is in today’s game. With his freakish speed and athleticism, Westbrook became the toughest point guard to contain. Defenders always had to be on high alert for his ability to attack the rim and his fearless, downhill style. This not opened up his ability to score but his ability to facilitate and set up his teammates as well.
It was the 2015-16 season when Westbrook first joined the 20.0 PPG and 10.0 APG club. He followed up that season by putting up similar numbers the next 5 out of 6 seasons. In 2016-17, Westbrook became MVP behind the first triple-double season since Oscar Robertson. He led the league in scoring with 31.6 PPG and added 10.4 APG. He would lead the league in APG 3 more times following that season and you guessed it, added 20.0 PPG or better each time. Russell Westbrook has been the target of much slander these past few months as his performance dwindled with the Lakers. Let’s not let that be how we remember one of the best to ever do it.
Oscar Robertson – 5 Times
Career Stats: 25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 9.5 APG
Oscar Robertson was a playmaker/scorer who was way ahead of his time. He was the first real player who defined versatility and should be the standard we judge it by. Of course, he played a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean we just wipe away his accomplishments and dominance at the time. All of the records that Bob Cousy has set before him, Robertson shattered with ease which speaks volumes about his impact on the floor.
Let’s start with Robertson’s scoring. In the first seven seasons of his career, Robertson averaged 30.0 PPG or better in six of them. In just his 2nd season in the league, Robertson did the unthinkable and averaged a triple-double for the entire year with 30.8 PPG, 12. 5 RPG, and 11.4 APG on 47.8 % shooting. He ended up leading the league in APG an incredible 7 times. In 1963-64, he took home the only MVP award of his career with 31.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 11.0 APG. I think the only reason that Robertson gets so underrated is the fact that his teams never succeeded the way they should have, but that doesn’t fall on Robertson. Robertson and Westbrook are the only players on our list that averaged at least 30.0 PPG and 10.0 APG in a season. They are truly two of the game’s all-time greats.