The league has talented players at every position. The shooting guard spot is no exception. Whether its big names making a splash, or some not as well known names quietly making noise, NBA shooting guards are truly a thing to behold. So here is a list of the top ten.
10. Monta Ellis (Indiana Pacers)
This 6 foot 3-inch shooting guard is arguably one of the most underrated players in the league. Far removed from his more memorable days in Milwaukee, Monta now plays on a much improved Indy team who could very well make some noise this summer.
What makes Ellis potent tho is his playmaking ability, which makes him almost like a second point guard on the floor. Let’s not forget Monta’s finishing ability at the rim, which is at an extremely high level. With a fresh start and some quality players around him, Monta may finally get the opportunity to show us why he is a top ten shooting guard in the league.
9. Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics)
Among a rare breed of two-way players, Bradley made his mark by showing us all just how important he was to Boston’s success last season. He is steadily improving on offense every year and has shown he can make a three when it counts. Not to mention his knack for bugging the players that he guards so tenaciously on defense.
Bradley is still pretty young too, so there is no reason why his improvement will stop now. All he needs now is to take more shots and be a stronger voice in the locker room to climb higher up this list. The sky is truly the limit for this kid.
8. J.J. Redick (Los Angeles Clippers)
When making a list of the best shooters in basketball, you could easily put Redick on that list. His stroke from long range has consistently been a thing to fear. But he has more than just a superior shooting stroke. He has great basketball IQ to go along with it. He flows within the offense, and always makes smart basketball decisions when he’s on the floor. He never rushes into a shot and always looks to find the best shot he can.
Defensively, J.J. is not the best... but he is still pretty underrated in that category. He closes out on shooters and is always a threat to grab steals with his quick hands. Redick may not seem like the number 8 shooting guard in the league, but the impact he creates on the floor for the Clippers definitely proves that he belongs here.
7. C.J. McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)
The jump this guy has made over the last couple years has truly been awe inspiring. He went from an unsteady role player to being part of one of the best backcourts in the league. When the Blazers need a bucket, C.J. is there to deliver time and time again. He can hit from the three like one of the best, and can also create a shot off the dribble.
His mix of offense talents is something that a lot of NBA players crave to match. Through hard work, confidence, and a little bit of luck, McCollum has quickly climbed the ranks of NBA stardom.
6. Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Beal has one big, glaring problem in his short NBA career thus far: Injuries. So far, Beal has been setback numerous times by glaring injuries that have cut his seasons short. What we have seen when he manages to stay healthy, though, is a shooting guard who has it all. Shooting, driving, and playmaking are all scopes of Beal’s game that come naturally to him.
He is quick and light on his feet, which allows him to stay alert on defense. He just needs to stay on the court. It is only a matter of time until Beal eventually get’s his injury situation under control. And when that time comes? We will get to see the side of Beal that we all knew was there.
5. DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
DeRozan elevates the Raptors from mediocrity to true contention, and there’s good reason for that. He is the heart and soul of his Raptors team, and they go where he takes them. His athleticism is unlike anything in the NBA, and he is able to use that athleticism to frequently finish around the rim. This helps DeRozan easily take over a game when it calls for him. And in the NBA, being able to take over matters a lot. He may not be the best shooter on this list, but he definitely makes up for it by playing both sides of the floor at an elite level.
4. Dwyane Wade (Chicago Bulls)
Even Wade who past his prime is Wade that hangs within the best of the league. He knows how to close a game, and knows what it takes to get the job done. His departure from Miami, though, might change things for Wade. Whether it’s good or bad has yet to be seen but, for now, he remains number 4 on the list because of the talent he still possesses.
Dwyane can step out and shoot a three while giving you and-one's in the paint at the same time. He can shoot a fadeaway from midrange while dunking the basketball for a crazy highlight finish. The way Wade balances between his inside and outside scoring is most likely what has kept him near the top for so long. Let’s see what this aging but elite superstar can do on a Bulls roster with little expectations.
3. Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
We all know the whole “splash bros” tandem in Golden State. And yes, Thompson is the best shooter on this list. But he does so much more. When watching the Warriors play, you can see just how unselfish he is on the offensive side. And you can see how often he guards the opposing teams best player.
Arguably the best two-way player on the list, Klay is the key that makes the Warriors run. With KD in the house now, it is more than likely that Thomspon’s scoring will take a dip. But that won;t stop him from impacting the game in other ways. So while everybody will have their eyes turned toward Steph and KD, Thompson will continue to be the monster that he so quietly is.
2. Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
Some may say it is premature putting Butler on this list. I am not one of those people. Butler changes the game on so many levels, it is really hard to argue he is not the second best shooting guard in the league. The defense was what Jimmy was all about in the beginning of his career. Even today, he’s stuck to that by being one of the best perimeter defenders in today’s game.
However, his leap on the offensive side has been what has really transformed this role-player, to an NBA star. Another thing about Butler though, is that he has accepted the leadership position on his team. And being a leader is what separates the men from the boys.
1. James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Ahh, here it is. The best shooting guard in the league, James Harden. While I admit most people saw this coming, not everyone has come to appreciate Harden’s game. He often gets scrutinized for his lazy efforts on defense.
However, he makes just as many great defensive plays as he does bad ones. He is an average defender, and not the defensive liability most would have you believe. As far as shooting the rock goes, we all know what “The Barber” can do. And that’s everything because this guy is an absolute offensive juggernaut.
He is not perfect, but make no mistake about it: James Harden is the best shooting guard in the NBA today.