At shooting guard, the NBA has seen some of the greatest players to ever play the game at the position. From Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan, the shooting guard has seemed to always provide us fans the greatest highlights, performances, and careers in league history.
Shooting guards seem to have the ball in their hands a lot more compared to the days of the past. There is not as much off-ball movement, which is why many of today’s shooting guards elect to rack up the points. No matter if you like an old school or the present, let’s take look at the top shooting guards in the NBA right now.
Harden is in a league of his own. The three-time reigning scoring champion is a one-man wrecking crew when it comes to stat-stuffing. It also helps that he is pretty good at basketball too. Harden is coming off his ninth-straight double-double with Brooklyn Nets, including his third-double since January 29th.
For the season, Harden is averaging 23.4 points per game on a 48.9% field-goal percentage, while also shooting 40.2% from the three-point range. Along with his shooting stats, he is leading the league in assists with 11.8 per game. Kyrie Irving might have told Harden that he is the point guard of the team but he is a shooting guard in his heart.
Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, Donovan Mitchell, Paul George, Devin Booker, Jaylen Brown, CJ McCollum, Klay Thompson
Except for Thompson who is out for the season with an injury, every single one of these players could be an All-Star this season. Until one of these players wins an MVP award, they are a tier below Harden. One of those players in George has flirted with MVP consideration this season by averaging 24.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists this season. His offensive numbers are great but his defense has reverted to First-Team All-Defensive caliber.
Beal is leading the league in points per game with 33.1 points per game, while LaVine is ranked in the top-5 with 28.2 points per game. Both players carry their respective teams offensively and keep them in games. Mitchell is having his best season shooting from outside with a 39.2% shooting clip from three. His 5.1 assists per game are also a career-high.
Speaking of a career-high, Brown is playing like an All-Star starter this season. Brown is averaging 26.0 points per game, shooting 51.4% from the field, and 40.9% from the three-point range. The team is normally known to have Jayson Tatum lead them in the past but Brown is making a case for his name to be the face of the franchise.
As for McCollum, he may be hampered by injuries this season, he remains one of the best outside threats in the game, averaging 44.1% shooting from the three-point range in his career. Thompson, also slowed by injury, is one of the best two-way players in the game.
Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Terry Rozier, Jordan Clarkson, Fred VanVleet, RJ Barrett
Herro had a disappointing start to the season but now that he is healthy, he is showing that he has the potential to become an All-Star one day. He is currently averaging 17.3 with 5.8 rebounds. His three-point shooting percentage is down but his overall field goal percentage is up, meaning he is taking high-quality shots.
The only player in this tier with an All-Star appearance is Oladipo, who is averaging a career-high 20.0 points per game. Oladipo is the best overall defender out of this group. VanVleet is the best outside shooter out of this tier, while also averaging a career-high 19.9 points per game.
Barrett, like Herro, is also in his second year and has shown flashes of being a 20-point kind of player. However, Barrett, like Herro, is too inconsistent. Both could go off for 20 points and then only score seven the next night. Rozier is also a wild card too; however, his stock is rising after scoring 34, 41, and 33 points in his last three games.
The real surprise is Clarkson, who is looking like a walking bucket right now. Clarkson is the favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year award and his resume took a bump up after scoring 40 points on Monday. His 18.8 points per game are a career-high, while his 38.5% shooting clip from the three-point range is second best in his career.
Duncan Robinson, Buddy Hield, Evan Fournier, Marcus Smart, Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Norman Powell, Malik Beasley
In this tier, three players could be bottom tier-three players. Starting with Hield, the Kings shooter needs a change of scenery. Hield is a career 40.7% shooter from the three-point range but his points per game have steadily declined since Luke Walton took over. Robinson is someone that ranks near the top-5 in three-point field goal percentage but he is having a down year. Smart gets the nod for being a constant contender for All-Defensive Team, as well as has the potential to chip in 15-20 points each night.
Fournier is having another solid season, 17.8 points per game, but he shoots the ball in the low 30s. Bledsoe is around the same category and doesn’t do much outside of scoring, averaging close to only three rebounds and assists. Powell is a streaky shooter that is no more than the first option off the bench.
The two main wild cards are Gordon and Beasley. Gordon is averaging a career-best 46.5% field goal percentage in a year that saw Russell Westbrook get traded for John Wall. Gordon has always been a streaky scorer, but his 18.8 points per game are his highest since 2011. Beasley has the biggest upside as he is just 23 years old and averaging 20.9 points per game while shooting 40.2% from the three-point range. Then again, how much of that is true shooting or stat-stuffing because he plays for the Timberwolves?
Lou Williams, Kelly Oubre, Derrick White, Dillon Brooks, Terrence Ross, Gary Trent, Seth Curry
One could make a great case that Curry should be higher on this list. Curry is shooting 49.1% from the field, 47.3% from the three-point range, and 97.3% from the free-throw line. At one point, he was looking like he was going to be the first member of the 50-50-100 club. However, Curry has never averaged more than 12.8 points per game in a season.
Oubre has 20-point per night potential but that is when he plays on bad teams. Oubre went from averaging 18.7 points to 13.9 points after transitioning from the Suns to the Warriors. Ross was a key contributor in helping the Magic lead the East at the beginning of the season, but just like his shooting percentage, the Magic have fallen off the tracks.
Trent is an intriguing prospect because he can shoot the ball well from outside on certain nights. Trent is averaging a career-best 44.7% mark from the three-point range and averages 7,1 attempts per night. Trent could be one year away from having a breakout season. As for Brooks and White, both are formidable players that have to start potential but not somebody that we would want taking the last shot of the game.
The biggest disappointment this season has to be either JJ Redick, not mentioned and Lou Williams. The Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard has won Sixth Man of the Year three times and was the runner-up last year. This season, he is averaging 12.2 points per game, which is the lowest in his career since 2013.