Top Shooting Guards in the NBA
A shooting guard on an NBA team does more than just shoot the ball.
Yes, scoring is the main objective for a two or off guard, but this position also can contribute by playing strong defense, dishing the rock and grabbing rebounds.
We rate the league's best shooting guards from weakest to strongest.
Here are the top 30 for the 2018-19 NBA season.
#30: Danny Green, Toronto Raptors
Outlook: With the rare ability to contribute in 3-pointers, steals and blocks, Green is a stable option on the Spurs. He may set a career high in points with a new starting role in Toronto.
#29: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers
Outlook: Word out of Lakers land is that KCP is working to improve even more as a 3-point shooter, which would strengthen the team's offense. Oh, and that guy LeBron James always seems to make those around him better.
#28: Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs
Outlook: Dejounte Murray has shown steady growth over his two years in the league, and opportunity awaits him. Though primarily a point guard, Murray has versatility. His 5.7 rebounds are a lot for a guard, and with so many changes in San Antonio, he could become a pillar in Gregg Popovich’s new-look offense.
#27: Josh Richardson, Miami Heat
Outlook: Keep an eye on Josh Richardson. The fourth-year swingman has improved his game — free-throw percentage, 3-point shooting, defense, rebounds, assists and scoring averages — in each of the last three years.
#26: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Outlook: Jaylen Brown took a nice step toward improving in his second year. Expect his development to continue, and with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving returning to full health, the Celtics are the team to beat in the East.
#25: Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Pacers
Outlook: Bojan Bogdanovic had his best season as a pro last year, and he’ll look to continue improving on what should be a fun Pacers team. The 6-foot-8 Croatian shot 40.2 percent from downtown and will provide similar numbers this season. The shooting guard/small forward tweener also can pose matchup problems for opposing teams.
#24: Dion Waiters, Miami Heat
Outlook: Dion Waiters still is recovering from an ankle injury. The guard played well over 30 games before undergoing surgery on his left ankle Jan. 22 and being handed a 6-to-9-month recovery timeline. When he’s healthy, he’s a an asset.
#23: Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets
Outlook: Nicolas Batum has been a model of consistency over the last decade. You know exactly what you’re going to get with him. While his numbers might not blow you away, certainty can be a great asset.
#22: Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic
Outlook: After posting scoring averages of 12.0, 15.4 and 17.2 over the three previous seasons, Evan Fournier disappointed some people who pegged him as the next player to leap into the 20-plus-point club. While he did plateau average-wise, he increased his 3-point field goal average to 2.2 and upped his free-throw percentage to a career-high 86.7.
#21: Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets
Outlook: The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year from 2017 had an even better 2018. If you need 3-pointers, a nice scoring punch and high free-throw percentage, Gordon is as consistent as they come. Carmelo Anthony may take away some shots from Gordon. But if he can stay healthy — Gordon has averaged 56 games played per season over his 10-year career — he can be a potent weapon.
#20: J.J. Redick, Philadelphia 76ers
Outlook: Even if J.J. Redick can’t replicate his career-high scoring average from a year ago, there’s no denying his consistency. The veteran has posted five straight seasons averaging more than two 3-point field goals and seven straight seasons with a free-throw percentage higher than 88.8.
#19: Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks
Outlook: Tim Hardaway Jr. saw an increase in minutes, points, steals, rebounds, assists, and 3-pointers in the 2017-18 season. It’s safe to say his current role with the Knicks bodes well for his production. While Kristaps Porzingis continues to rehab, Hardaway, Enes Kanter and rookie Kevin Knox will pace the club’s offense.
#18: Will Barton, Denver Nuggets
Outlook: Just call him Mr. Consistency. Over the last three years, Barton has averaged 15.7, 13.7 and 14.4 points per game. And he has improved his defense.
#17: Tyreke Evans, Indiana Pacers
Outlook: Tyreke Evans enjoyed his best season since his rookie year, averaging a shade under 20 points and providing stellar rebound, assist and 3-point totals on a terrible Grizzlies team. Now with the contending Pacers, the 10-year veteran likely will take on a featured bench role.
#16: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Outlook: Zach LaVine played 24 games with the Bulls after suffering a torn ACL in the previous season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but LaVine was not operating at 100 percent. Now, the high-flying guard claims he is back to full health and is aiming to become an All-Star. The 22-year-old could post some big numbers.
#15: Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns
Outlook: Josh Jackson had a solid rookie campaign and continued to improve more as time went on. In the second half of the season, he averaged 18.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals. In April, he averaged 24.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and a block. He will look to build on that output.
#14: Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets
Outlook: Like his teammate Jamal Murray, Gary Harris continues to improve in every aspect of the game. He’s increased his scoring average and 3-point totals for three straight years and is showing no signs of slowing down. The fourth-year guard, who also provides terrific percentages, is as solid as they come.
#13: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
Outlook: Jamal Murray took the necessary next step toward stardom during his productive second season with the Nuggets. As an elite free-throw shooter who averages over two 3-pointers, he has the potential to creep toward the 20-point mark every night and will anchor the Nuggets' backcourt.
#12: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
Outlook: The veteran put together a career year in his 13th NBA season, eclipsing the 20-point-per-game mark for the first time. The most fluid scorer on the rebuilding Clippers, Williams may not build upon last year, but he’ll come close to it.
#11: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Outlook: It speaks volumes that Klay Thompson is ranked this low among all shooting guards. The position is deep. Thompson has has been a model of consistency his entire career, but it is worth monitoring how DeMarcus Cousins’ arrival affects all the Warriors players. Draymond Green’s shot attempts took a noticeable dip upon Kevin Durant’s move to the Bay Area, and that trend might continue. But Thompson still will get his chances.
#10: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Outlook: Khris Middleton quietly put together an elite-level season in which he matched statistics with every All-Star-caliber two-guard other than James Harden. As long as Middleton continues to be the top sidekick to the “Greek Freak” in Milwaukee, there’s a lot of reasons to love the seventh-year pro.
#9: Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics
2016-17 Statistics* (Missed all but 1 game in 2017-18)
Outlook: Hayward missed all but five minutes last season after fracturing his tibia and dislocating his ankle — a collective, horrific injury that required two surgeries. He is poised to make a major comeback and help the Celtics blow through the Eastern Conference. While he might not reach 20-plus points due to the immense depth on Boston’s roster, Hayward will make an impact.
#8: Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Outlook: Well, that came out of nowhere. Donovan Mitchell exploded onto the scene with a tremendous rookie season that caught mostly everyone by surprise. We knew “Spida” was good — but not this good. It’s scary to think where he’ll be at the end of this season. Hint: It might be a lot higher than the eighth-ranked two-guard.
#7: CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Outlook: CJ McCollum brings a wealth of value and versatility. With three straight seasons averaging over two 3-pointers and 20-plus points per game, he’s a safe bet for another terrific season with the Trail Blazers.
#6: Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Outlook: Devin Booker is returning from a broken hand. Once he shakes off the rust, expect him to showcase his star potential.
#5: DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
Outlook: After spending nine years as an anchor to the Raptors’ offense, DeMar DeRozan was traded to San Antonio as part of a package for star Kawhi Leonard. The 6-foot-7 swingman brings five consecutive seasons of 20-plus points per game to the Lone Star State, and he will likely become the focal point of Gregg Popovich’s team. Don’t be surprised if he matches his career high of 27.3 points, set in 2016-17, and has a monster season in his first campaign with the Spurs.
#4: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Outlook: Bradley Beal is transforming into one of the most reliable shooting guards in the game after posting two straight seasons averaging over 22 points, four rebounds, four assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. If teammate John Wall can string together a fully healthy season, Beal’s production — and assists total — might see a slight jump.
#3: Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves
Outlook: Time will tell if Jimmy Butler makes it through the whole season in Minnesota. His on-court game and competitiveness is not an issue. The question remains: Can the rest of the Timberwolves live up to Butler's standards?
#2: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Outlook: In his first year in Indianapolis, Victor Oladipo enjoyed a breakout year in which he catapulted himself into the upper echelon of guards. While he might not top his 23.1 points per game, the fifth-year star is poised to post his usual solid numbers.
#1: James Harden, Houston Rockets
Outlook: As the league’s most feared scorer, James Harden has the rare talent to shine as both a floor general and a shooting guard. In terms of top swingmen, though, Harden does it all. Will he have enough talent around him on the Rockets to overtake the Warriors?