Some of the greatest players in NBA history have come from the shooting guard position. Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, James Harden, and the G.O.A.T. himself, Michael Jordan, all graced the NBA court as shooting guards. In most cases, a shooting guard is a team's primary option on offense and a big part of the perimeter defense. Some of the shooting guards you’ll see today are great two-way players who excel in multiple areas on each side of the ball. Some shooting guards can be swingmen who can switch to the small forward position as well, and some are combo guards who can carry a team's point guard duties when needed.
The shooting guards you will see here today all have one thing in common. They are the greatest to ever play the position for a specific franchise. Everything listed above is what all of them embodied night in and night out on the floor. They are some of the most well-rounded two-guards to ever play the game. They are able to rebound, pass the ball, move without the ball, and handle the ball while being disruptive on defense. Athleticism, skill, and talent abound in the players listed below as we dive once again into the history books to compile them.
These are the greatest shooting guards in every team's history:
Atlanta Hawks - Lou Hudson
Career Stats (with Hawks): 22.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Hawks): 6x All-Star, 1x All-NBA Team Selection
Lou Hudson is one of the greatest players in Atlanta Hawks history, regardless of position. With a silky smooth jump shot, he was dubbed “Sweet Lou” and became one of the top scorers in the 1970s. Hudson finished in the Top 5 in the NBA in scoring three separate times, including the 1970-71 seasons, where he peaked at 26.8 PPG. Hudson went on a stretch of seven straight seasons from 1969 to 1975, where he averaged at least 21.0 PPG and shot it efficiently while doing so.
Hudson’s efficiency as a perimeter-based shooter in the 1970s was incredible. He finished Top 20 six times in FG% with a career 48.9% shooting efficiency. Hudson ranks 3rd all-time in both points and field goals made in Atlanta Hawks history and 5th all-time in free throws. Hudson is also tied with Dominique Wilkins and Bob Pettit for the most points in a single game in Hawks history with 57. Although the Hawks never got far in the playoffs with Hudson on the team, it wasn't from a lack of effort on Hudson’s part. The Hawks made seven playoff appearances in 11 seasons with Hudson on the team, and he averaged over 20.0 PPG in every one. He finished with a career playoff scoring average of 23.6 PPG with the team.
Boston Celtics - Sam Jones
Career Stats (with Celtics): 17.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.5 APG
Achievements and Awards (with Celtics): 10x NBA Champion, 5x All-Star, 3x All-NBA Team Selection
At his peak, Sam Jones was the best scorer for many Boston Celtics championship teams. Jones, at his best, was a pure scoring threat. He could get it home by kissing the ball off the glass, he could get floaters to go down the lane over big men, and he could shoot. Jones’ contributions to Boston's glory often go overlooked due to his time spent alongside greats, such as Bob Cousy and Bill Russell. Please make no mistake about it, Jones carried his weight too.
It took Jones a few seasons to crack the great 60s Celtics lineup, but once he did, he never looked back. By 1962, he had become an All-Star and an 18.0 PPG scorer consistently. His best work would not be solely during the regular season, however. From the 1961-62 season on, Jones would be a consistent 20.0 PPG scorer in postseason play, including 28.6 PPG in the 1965 playoffs that led to yet another championship for Beantown. His efforts led to 10 of the 17 rings in Celtics history.
Brooklyn Nets - Vince Carter
Career Stats (with Nets): 23.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Nets): 3x All-Star
Most people think of Vince Carter as the high-flying and ferocious dunker that he was with the Toronto Raptors during the early stages of his career. It was as a member of the New Jersey Nets that he was the most complete version of himself in his career. Carter had all the tools that one seeks from a shooting guard. He could hit the deep ball, he could put the ball on the floor and blow by defenders, and he could find his teammates for good looks when he was either off or being smothered. From the moment Carter was traded to New Jersey in 2004, he became their go-to guy.
For the rest of the 2004-05 season, Carter averaged 27.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 4.7 APG after he left Toronto for the Nets. He would be a 20.0 PPG scorer for them his entire tenure. He also did masterful work in the playoffs. Now it is often said how disappointing it was that Carter couldn’t make it past the second round with the Nets, but he did his very best. The Nets just never put enough pieces around Carter and Kidd. In his three playoff berths with the team, Carter averaged 26.0 PPG and 7.1 RPG. In the 2005-06 playoffs, Carter went off for a whopping 29.6 PPG in 11 games, but the Nets were taken out by the eventual champs, the Miami Heat. Success or no success, Vince Carter is the greatest shooting guard in Nets history.
Charlotte Hornets - Dell Curry
Career Stats (with Hornets): 14.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Hornets): 1x Sixth Man Of The Year
Long before his son Stephen became the greatest shooter of all time, Dell Curry was making a name for himself with the Charlotte Hornets. The elder Curry was the sharpshooter who handed down the art to his son. A true student becomes the master type of tale. Dell Curry is a career 40.5% shooter from beyond the arc with the Hornets and a 46.2% shooter overall. He is 2nd in Hornets franchise history in three-pointers made, hitting 929 of them in 10 seasons in Charlotte. Most of his work came off the bench for the Hornets of the 90s, but he was one of the best at what he did.
In 1993-94, Dell Curry took home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award as the best bench player in the league. He averaged a career-high 16.3 PPG and shot 40.2% from three-point range. In 1998-99, he led the league in shooting from three at 47.6%. He ranks in the Top 75 all-time in both three-point percentage and three-pointers made.
Chicago Bulls - Michael Jordan
Career Stats (with Bulls): 31.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 2.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Bulls): 6x NBA Champion, 6x Finals MVP, 5x MVP, 12x All-Star, 3x All-Star Game MVP, 11x All-NBA Team Selection, 9x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1x Defensive Player Of The Year, Rookie of the Year
The most obvious choice you will see here today is the appearance of the greatest player to ever live, Michael Jordan. What more can be said about “His Airness” himself? Aside from the accolades listed above, Jordan is a 10x scoring champion, a 3x steals leader, and one of the most complete players to ever play the game. His 30.1 PPG career average is the best in NBA history, and his 33.4 PPG in the playoffs is also the best of all time. The list goes on and on for Michael Jordan.
There are hundreds of moments, seasons, and titles that we could point to describe just how great and dominant Jordan was. The one that stands out to me and that perfectly sums up Jordan’s dominance is his performance in the 1993 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns. Jordan averaged 41.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 6.3 APG in a six-game series win. Completely unstoppable at the highest level and on the biggest stage was Jordan, cementing his status as the greatest to ever do it.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Austin Carr
Career Stats (with Cavaliers): 16.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Cavaliers): 1x All-Star
It would just be a giant blunder if our selection was not the man they dubbed “Mr. Cavalier", Austin Carr. He was drafted No.1 overall by Cleveland in the 1971 draft, and that is where he stayed for the next nine seasons. As a rookie, he led the team in scoring with 21.2 PPG, but his time would be limited due to injuries. Over the next few seasons, he would develop into an All-Star and the best player to have come through Cleveland at the time.
In the 1973-74 season, Carr would have the best statistical season of his career. He would be named an All-Star for the only time in his career and averaged a career-high 21.2 PPG. Carr would only help the Cavaliers to the playoffs three times in the latter stages of his career and only once made it out of the first round. Carr was consistent, a prolific scorer when he needed to be, and a smart player who didn’t force shots or force the offense. Again, there’s a reason he is named “Mr. Cavalier”.
Dallas Mavericks - Rolando Blackman
Career Stats (with Mavericks): 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Mavericks): 4x All-Star
Rolando Blackman spent 11 seasons with the Mavericks in Dallas and became one of the greatest players in their franchise’s history. Blackman was a great scorer who helped man one of the most explosive offensive units in the entire 80s. Blackman and the Mavs may have never been able to capture a championship, but they made for some great, competitive basketball. Blackman had three seasons of at least 20.0 PPG and 10 straight seasons of at least 17.0 PPG in his 11 years with the Mavericks.
Blackman ranks among the very best to call Dallas home. He ranks 2nd only to Dirk Nowitzki in points for the franchise. Blackman also ranks top 10 in rebounds, assists, and steals. He shot 49.7% overall in 11 years and 84.0% from the foul line. In six playoff appearances with the Mavs, Blackman averaged 21.6 PPG, including 1988, when he helped the Mavs push the Lakers to seven games in the Western Conference Finals. Blackman’s place in Mavs history is cemented, and his jersey hangs from the rafters in honor.
Denver Nuggets - David Thompson
Career Stats (with Nuggets): 24.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Nuggets): 3x All-Star, 1x All-Star Game MVP, 2x All-NBA Team Selection
David Thompson was as graceful as they come on a basketball court. It seemed like he could just walk through the air as he skyed his way in for a basket. His athleticism is what made him so enamoring to watch. He had a 44-inch vertical with a ridiculously quick first step that he used to make defenders look silly on a nightly basis. He also helped to revolutionize the alley-oop and integrate it into a team’s game plan.
After one year spent in the ABA, Thompson was on his way to the NBA, where he made an immediate impact. He averaged 25.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 4.1 APG in his first full season in the NBA and was named an All-Star right out of the gates. Thompson followed that up with three consecutive All-Star nods and a season in 1977-78 that saw him peak scoring-wise at 27.2 PPG. He ranks 4th all-time in Nuggets history with 11,992 total points scored for the franchise and 5th in PPG with 24.1. Despite his career being cut short to injuries and off-the-court issues, Thompson is still held in high regard in terms of skill and talent.
Detroit Pistons - Joe Dumars
Career Stats (with Pistons):16.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Pistons): 2x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 6x All-Star, 3x All-NBA Team Selection, 5x All-Defensive Team Selection
For some reason, Joe Dumars is one of the lesser mentioned “Bad Boy” Pistons talked about these days. The truth is, the Pistons may not be champions without his contributions. Dumars was known best for his ferocious defense and clutch shooting ability. He was intense, tough, and the perfect complimentary piece to Isiah Thomas in the Pistons' backcourt. If there was any doubt about his ability as both an offensive and defensive threat, it was erased in the 1989 NBA Finals.
The year was 1989, and the Detroit Pistons found themselves in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Dumars would have the series of his life as the Pistons would sweep the Lakers in four games. He averaged 27.3 PPG and 6.0 APG and was awarded the NBA Finals MVP. The following season in 1990, Dumars and the Pistons found themselves back in the NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. Dumars would contribute 20.6 PPG and 5.6 APG in the five-game series victory. There have been some great shooting guards in Detroit history, but none contributed more to success than Joe Dumars.
Golden State Warriors - Klay Thompson
Career Stats (with Warriors): 19.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Awards and Achievements (with Warriors): 4x NBA Champion, 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection, 1x All-Defensive Team Selection
Since breaking into the NBA in the 2011-12 season, Klay Thompson has established himself as one of the game’s greatest three-point marksmen. The moments he has provided NBA fans with have been nothing short of legendary. There is the game where he scored 60 points on 11 dribbles in just three quarters of action. He only touched the ball for a total of 88.4 seconds in 29 minutes of play. There is also the legend of “Game 6 Klay'', which Thompson earned after a clutch 41-point performance against the Rockets in the 2016 playoffs.
Thompson is a pure and cold-blooded shooter from almost anywhere on the court. What makes him even more dangerous is his ability to defend an opposing team’s best perimeter player. En route to four NBA titles with the Warriors, Klay has averaged 19.2 PPG in 145 playoff games. In the Finals, where the Warriors are 4-2 with Thompson available, he has put up 18.5 PPG in 33 games played. Coming off of a two-year absence from the game after multiple lower leg injuries, Klay came back like he never left, playing a vital role in yet another championship.
Houston Rockets - James Harden
Career Stats (with Rockets): 29.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Rockets): 1x MVP, 8x All-Star, 7x All-NBA Team Selection
There was a time not long ago that most of us thought that James Harden could quite possibly be one of the greatest offensive players ever. Harden was in constant attack mode in Houston, able to blow by defenders or make them look silly with his patented crossover, step back jumper. When it was all said and done for Harden in Houston, he was a league MVP, 3x scoring champ, and owned a slew of Rockets records that will take a long time to be conquered.
In the 2018-19 season, Harden became the only player besides Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain to average over 36.0 PPG when he put up a staggering 36.1 PPG. This was the second of three straight seasons that Harden averaged over 30.0 PPG and he won three straight scoring titles. During his nine seasons in Houston, Harden became the franchise leader in PPG, three-pointers, free throws, triple-doubles, PER, and win shares. No other shooting guard in Rockets history even comes close to the production of James Harden’s nine seasons with H-Town.
Indiana Pacers - Reggie Miller
Career Stats (with Pacers): 18.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Pacers): 5x All-Star, 3x All-NBA Team Selection
Look away, Knicks fans, it’s Miller Time. At the time of his retirement, Reggie Miller sat alone at the top of the mountain in all-time three-pointers made and 12th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He was a high-octane, versatile scorer who defended his position well for the majority of his career. When we speak about the clutch gene, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind has to be Miller’s propensity to hit the big shot and break fans' hearts no matter where in the country he was. He was well-known for his continuous domination of the New York Knicks, but it didn’t matter who was across from Miller when crunch time came.
Miller seemed to thrive in the postseason as well, and it is here that his iconic moments against the Knicks were born. It goes way beyond just the Knicks, though. Miller brought the Pacers from obscurity to perennial Finals contenders in the late 90s and early 2000s. Miller helped to guide the Pacers to the Finals in 2000 but ran into a buzz saw that was the Shaq and Kobe-led Lakers. Miller finished with a career playoff average of 20.3 PPG, but in his prime was giving tough playoff opponents anywhere from 25.0 PPG to 30.0 PPG. Reggie remains the Pacers' all-time leader in points, assists, steals, field-goals, three-pointers, offensive rating, and win-shares.
Los Angeles Clippers - Randy Smith
Career Stats (with Clippers): 17.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Clippers): 2x All-Star, 1x All-Star Game MVP, 1x All-NBA Team Selection
Randy Smith spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Buffalo Braves and San Diego Clippers. Smith wasn’t even supposed to make an NBA roster, so for him to be here on our list today is truly remarkable. He was drafted in the 7th round of the 1971 NBA Draft as a courtesy pick. He won out a spot with his hard work and determination, becoming one of the most accomplished players in Clippers' history.
In 1978, Smith took home the All-Star Game MVP award after coming in and dropping 27 points off the bench in a comeback victory. From 1976 through 1979, Smith became a consistent 20.0 PPG and 5.0 APG player who would go on to capture many Clippers' franchise records. He still leads the franchise in points with 12,735, steals, field goals made, and minutes played. Not many know about the career contributions of Randy Smith, but he is the only choice for our Clippers' all-time shooting guard.
Los Angeles Lakers - Kobe Bryant
Career Stats (with Lakers): 25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Lakers): 5x NBA Champion, 2x Finals MVP, 1x MVP, 18x All-Star, 4x All-Star Game MVP, 15x All-NBA Team Selection, 12x All-Defensive Team Selection
Just as obvious as the Jordan pick was for Chicago, Kobe Bryant is equally obvious as the choice for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe may just be the greatest Laker ever, and in a franchise that has such a rich history, that’s an accomplishment in itself. Kobe is one of the greatest two-way shooting guards in history. His offensive onslaughts and record for most All-Defensive selections by a guard are evidence of that. Often, Kobe Bryant has been held back by critics for having played alongside Shaq. They think that because Shaq was once the most dominant player in the world, he somehow carried Kobe Bryant. That is just not the case.
Kobe proved this to be false after Shaq had been long gone from LA, winning back-to-back Finals MVP awards in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, the Lakers locked in a battle with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Kobe and the Lakers made easy work of the Magic in five games behind 32.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 7.4 APG. In the 2010 NBA Finals, Kobe and the Lakers were locked in a rematch from the 2008 Finals with the Boston Celtics. Kobe and the Lakers would win in seven games behind 28.6 PPG and 8.0 RPG from Bryant. These two Finals runs, along with an entire career of delivering big moments to the city of Los Angeles, put Kobe in his rightful spot as the Lakers' greatest shooting guard.
Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Allen
Career Stats (with Grizzlies): 8.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Grizzlies): 6x All-Defensive Team Selection
If you were looking for an offensive juggernaut to represent the Memphis Grizzlies, you were wrong. Tony Allen was just as impactful on defense as anyone has ever been for Memphis on the offensive side of the ball. On offense, Allen wasn’t great at anything. He was an average scorer, passer, ball-handler, and rebounder. I mean, this is a guy who averaged more SPG for his career than APG. Allen’s game was predicated on the fact that he was going to make your primary option’s night a living hell.
Plain and simple, Tony Allen was one thing and one thing only, a defensive specialist. He wasn’t just any defensive specialist, but one of the best thrust into that role in history. Although for another team at the time, Tony Allen was the man that gave Kobe Bryant nightmares during the 2008 NBA Finals. Allen’s spot here is a testament to his hard work and commitment to his role as a defensive stopper who made six All-Defensive Teams while in Memphis. No other shooting guard in team history can match his defensive efforts, and sometimes that’s just a little more important than offense.
Miami Heat - Dwyane Wade
Career Stats (with Heat): 22.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Heat): 3x NBA Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 13x All-Star, 1x All-Star Game MVP, 8x All-NBA Team Selection, 3x All-Defensive Team Selection
Dwyane Wade is yet another two-way shooting guard who took the league by storm during his 15 seasons as a member of the Miami Heat. Wade’s contributions go way beyond his days alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Leading up to the formation of the Big 3 in Miami, the only shooting guard in the league that rivaled Wade was the great Kobe Bryant and no one else. From the 2004-05 season through the 2010-11 season, Wade averaged better than 24.0 PPG and 4.5 APG every season. He won a scoring title in 2008-09 when he averaged 30.2 PPG.
Things were even better for Wade when he was faced with the pressure of the postseason. There are no better examples of this than the 2006 playoffs and NBA Finals, which were the stamp on his arrival in the NBA. In just his 3rd season, Wade averaged 28.4 PPG in the playoffs to lead the Heat to the Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. After falling 2-0 in the series, Wade stepped up. Wade would average 34.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.7 SPG and rattle off four straight wins to take home the title and Finals MVP at just 24 years old. When we speak about the greatest shooting guards of all time, Wade’s name is up there right after Jordan and Bryant.
Milwaukee Bucks - Sidney Moncrief
Career Stats (with Bucks): 16.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Bucks): 5x All-Star, 2x Defensive Player Of The Year, 5x All-NBA Team Selection, 5x All-Defensive Team Selection
The best perimeter defender in Bucks history who could also give you 20.0 PPG in his prime, Sidney Moncrief, is the clear-cut choice for Milwaukee’s greatest shooting guard. Moncrief was chosen as a cornerstone of the Bucks franchise in the 80s, and he did not disappoint. He led the Bucks to the 3rd-highest winning percentage of the decade behind only the Celtics and Lakers. Moncrief’s bread and butter was his defensive prowess, but don’t let that distract you from his offensive talents, either.
Moncrief was rewarded with the first two Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1983 and 1984. At the same time, Moncrief was a burst of offense for Milwaukee. In 1983, he averaged a career-high 22.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG while winning that inaugural defensive award. The following year, he averaged 20.9 PPG and 6.7 RPG while repeating as Defensive Player of the Year. From 1982 through 1986, he was an All-Star five straight times and averaged at least 19.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG in each of those seasons. Moncrief is the epitome of what a two-way guard is supposed to look like.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Isaiah Rider
Career Stats (with Timberwolves): 18.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Timberwolves): No Accolades With Team
Isaiah “JR '' Rider is a giant “what if?” in the history of the Timberwolves franchise. He possessed all the talent in the world to be one of the league’s next best players, he just couldn’t get out of his way. Rider spent just three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but their long history of disappointment doesn’t make it easy to narrow down our choice. Rider showed his talent straight away after entering the NBA, averaging 16.6 PPG in his rookie season and earning a spot on the All-Rookie First Team. He even added a Slam Dunk championship in 1994 with the now famous “East Bay Funk Dunk''.
Rider followed up his rookie campaign with a sophomore season of 20.4 PPG on 44.7% shooting. He finished 20th in the league that season in total points and 19th in PPG. He also ranked 20th in three-point field goals made as well as 20th in total field goals made. Rider was well on his way at just 23 years old to being a top shooting guard in the league. Then the wheels came off behind the scenes. Rider struggled with off-the-court issues that poured into his play on it. He would never be the same player he was in 1995 again. He showed flashes of it in future stops along the way, but never to the degree he looked in Minnesota. Rider is here for now, but with the emergence of Anthony Edwards as a potential superstar, it might not take long to dethrone him.
New Orleans Pelicans - Eric Gordon
Career Stats (with New Orleans): 15.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with New Orleans): No Accolades With Team
Eric Gordon is a naturally gifted scorer who has the versatility to get buckets in a variety of ways. Despite being undersized for his position, Gordon makes up for it with his brute strength and moves that are tough to keep up with on drives to the hoop. He had the ability with New Orleans to run the point if need be and was self-aware enough to find his teammates when he didn’t have the shot himself. The only issue Gordon had was staying on the court.
In the 2011-12 season, Gordon played just nine games sporadically throughout the season, and even though there was so much time missed, things looked promising. In those nine games, he was a 20.0 PPG scorer, and although he never kept it up when he finally saw the floor more, it shows the abilities he possessed. Gordon was someone who loved to let the three-ball fly at an efficient rate. In his five seasons with New Orleans, Gordon shot 39.0% from three on 4.9 attempts per game.
New York Knicks - Allan Houston
Career Stats (with Knicks): 18.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Knicks): 2x All-Star
Allan Houston had one of the smoothes shooting strokes no one ever talks about. Miraculously, he got better with age at creating opportunities for himself, which were all hinged on his three-point success. Defenders would cheat once they saw Houston getting in a rhythm, but he would make them pay with quick fake and drives that left them in the dust. His ability to shoot it from the mid-range was a nice touch if the lane happened to be clogged.
As Houston turned 28 years old, his game elevated even further from the 17.0 or 18.0 PPG that we had already seen. It started in the 1999 playoffs, where Houston was a part of the Knicks miracle team that reached the NBA Finals. Houston averaged 18.5 PPG that postseason which included a legendary game-winning runner to take down the No.1 seed Miami Heat. From there, he rode the momentum, earning back-to-back All-Star appearances in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 and 2003 combined, Houston missed just five games total while averaging over 20.0 PPG for the first time in his career. Injuries would get the best of him after that, but not before he made his mark in Knicks lore.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Ray Allen
Career Stats (with SuperSonics): 24.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with SuperSonics): 5x All-Star, 1x All-NBA Team Selection
Somehow, Ray Allen’s time in Seattle goes unnoticed. It is a crazy concept when you consider it was the most complete version of him as a player and his offensive peak. Allen played just five seasons in Seattle, but for those five seasons, he was one of the best players in the entire league. He was an All-Star each of his five seasons there and an All-NBA player in 2004-05 when he averaged 23.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG. He brought Seattle to the playoffs and averaged 26.5 PPG in the postseason.
Allen hit his stride in his last two seasons with the Sonics. In 2005-06, he averaged 25.1 PPG on 41.2% shooting from three-point land. The following season, he averaged a career-high 26.4 PPG on 37.2% shooting from three. Ray could do it all in his younger years. He ran the floor, put the ball on the floor and got up for athletic plays and dunks, and had the prettiest shooting stroke you had ever seen. Five seasons or not, no shooting guard has done it better for the Oklahoma City/Seattle franchise.
Orlando Magic - Tracy McGrady
Career Stats (with Magic): 28.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with Magic): 1x Most Improved Player, 4x All-Star, 4x All-NBA Team Selection
Tracy McGrady made a statement from the moment he got away from the Toronto Raptors and debuted with the Orlando Magic. In his first season in Central Florida, McGrady took the league by storm, averaging 26.8 PPG7.5 RPG and 4.6 APG while running away with the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. McGrady was a walking highlight and a true three-level threat from any spot on the floor. He picked apart defenses with ease and developed into one of the league’s great rising stars right before our eyes.
After another season of 25.0 PPG, McGrady would take home back-to-back scoring titles with the Magic in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, he averaged 32.1 PPG on 45.0% shooting with 6.5 RPG and 5.5 APG. In 2004, he led the league in scoring again with 28.0 PPG with 6.0 RPG and 5.5 APG. McGrady helped the Magic reach the playoffs three times in four years in his tenure there, and each time they fell in the first round. Despite the early exits, McGrady averaged 32.0 PPG in 15 playoff games.
Philadelphia 76ers - Allen Iverson
Career Stats (with 76ers):27.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 6.1 APG, 2.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Achievements and Awards (with 76ers): 1x MVP, 1x Rookie of the Year, 8x All-Star, 2x All-Star Game MVP, 7x All-NBA Team Selection
No matter where you were on any given night, the entire world stopped to watch Allen Iverson play basketball. From scoring in ridiculous bunches to a deadly crossover that claimed hundreds of ankles, Iverson was simply must-watch on television. Iverson ran away with the Rookie of the Year award right out of the gates averaging 23.5 PPG, 7.5 APG, and 2.1 SPG. See, that’s the thing about Allen Iverson. He wasn’t just a shot-chucker or scorer, he also was as disruptive as they come on defense as well. He led the league three straight seasons in SPG from 2001 to 2003 and averaged 2.0 SPG or better in 11 out of 12 seasons with the franchise.