Last season, the trade market was hot for shooting guards. A lot of draft capital, players, and money has been used to help acquire premier shooting guards within the last year. There were rumors about some of these players being moved, but nothing materialized. Two shooting guards with superstar makeshift were moved at the deadline, while three others were rumored to be traded.
Four of the top-10 highest-paid players signed new contracts last offseason, which helped land their place in the top tier of the rankings. One player could be traded at the deadline this season, but it will all depend on the team’s start. Others will be playing out the final two years of their deal as they showcase their talents for their next big payday.
These are the top 10 highest-paid shooting guards for the 2022-23 season.
10. Terry Rozier - $21,486,316
2021-22 Stats: 19.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Rozier has always been a solid player. He is not going to produce All-Star numbers, but he will be very solid to have in your lineup. He was 10th among shooting guards in Player Efficiency Rating (PER). For the Hornets, he has been a consistent borderline 20-point scorer that has improved his rebounding and playmaking as well.
Rozier is in a loaded class of shooting guards, where his 19.3 points per game rank 13th among those playing the position. If Rozier wants to be considered among the best, he will need to clean up his shooting percentage. Rozier took about 16 shots a game last year and finished 14th among shooting guards in field-goal percentage (44.4%). Assuming Miles Bridges cannot come back, the team will need some points from other personnel.
9. Anfernee Simons - $22,321,429
2021-22 Stats: 17.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG
The salary for Simons does not have much to do with his play. It’s an investment down the road. Simons was a solid player that stepped up for the Trail Blazers when C.J. McCollum left. At 23 years old, he could be an All-Star talent that will play alongside Damian Lillard for many years to come. The hope is that he will become an All-Star or more as he enters his prime seasons.
Simons finished 17th among shooting guards in points, but there is an upside to his three-point shooting. Simons shot 40.5% last season, which was ninth. With that said, among the top 10, Simons is the only player in the top 5 for making three-point field goals. His 3.1 made three-pointers was fifth, showing he can be extremely efficient from that standpoint.
8. Jaylen Brown - $28,741,071
2021-22 Stats: 23.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Brown broke into the scene years ago but we are seeing the All-Star talent now. Brown was a top-5 shooting guard in points per game and he nearly made the top-5 in PER. He also finished sixth in rebounding, as that helped contribute to 11 double-doubles this season, which ranked third-most. Brown’s other highlights included ranking fifth in field-goal percentage by shooting 47.3% from the field.
It feels like we don’t know what the true ceiling is for Brown. He has consistently improved ever since breaking into the league in 2016. It was the third straight season that Brown averaged at least 20.0 points per game and shot 47% from the field. He has come within one to two percentage points from 40% from three-point range two times. At 25 years old, the sky's the limit for the Celtics superstar.
7. Donovan Mitchell - $30,351,780
2021-22 Stats: 25.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG
The second-most efficient shooting guard, according to PER, is the seventh-highest paid shooting guard. Mitchell finished right behind Dejounte Murray, who is not featured in this top-10 salaries list. That is beside the point. Mitchell is proving that he is going to get paid top-tier money down the road. The question will be if the Jazz will be the team that gives him that contract.
Mitchell made the third-most three-point field goals per game at 3.5. He was 0.2 from the leader in Fred VanVleet. He also averaged the second-highest points per game last season, trailing Devin Booker. All in all, Mitchell is a top-2 shooting guard when it comes to putting the ball in the basket. Next year, given the state of the Jazz roster and future, Mitchell could push his first 30-point per game season of his career.
6. James Harden - $32,980,739
2021-22 Stats: 22.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 10.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Harden could have been paid the most money when he entered free agency, but he opted to take a pay cut so the 76ers could fill some of the holds on their roster. Harden is still flirting with being a top-5 paid shooting guard. It’s not that Harden is a scrub on the court. After all, he averaged a double-double last season between the Nets and 76ers.
Harden led the position with his 10.3 assists per game. He beat out Dejounte Murray’s 9.2 assists per game. What stands out is that Harden managed to make this work while playing with two different teams. Harden remains a top player in the league. It will be interesting to see what he can do with a full season playing alongside Joel Embiid.
5. C.J. McCollum - $33,333,333
2021-22 Stats: 22.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG
McCollum ranking in the top-5 can feel indifferent. While McCollum remains a solid outside shooting player in this league, he ranked 12th in made three-point field goals last season. His three-point shooting was 38.8% last season, and he was beaten out by some other star-studded players. What McCollum brings to the table is a solid stat line from one of your starters, but is it worth $33 million for the season?
After being traded to the Pelicans, McCollum played well. He will have a full season to develop chemistry with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. The Pelicans will be an interesting team to keep an eye on next season. With that said, individually, McCollum has never made an All-Star Game in his career.
4. Devin Booker - $33,833,400
2021-22 Stats: 26.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG
There was a reason Booker made First-Team All-NBA last season. Booker led the position with 26.8 points per game with a league-leading 9.7 field goals made per game. His other stats were glowing as well, where he shot 86% from the free throw line to go with about five rebounds and assists.
While Booker continues to play at a high level, there is this feeling around the league that Booker has not played to his ceiling just yet. Some have drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant. Booker has not led the league in scoring yet, but he is talented enough to one day accomplish that. Given that the Suns are not paying $40 million for his services yet, it feels like this is a solid price.
3. Zach LaVine - $37,096,500
2021-22 Stats: 24.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG
This past offseason allowed LaVine to get paid so well that he jumped to the third-highest paid shooting guard. Some may say that this could be a risk by the Bulls. Given his injury history with the knee, this could be regretted by the franchise. If LaVine stays healthy, this will be a big deal. LaVine is an All-Star shooting guard that can play at an elite level.
Last year, LaVine ranked third in points per game, while nearly adding five rebounds and five assists per game. LaVine’s numbers are very similar to those of Devin Booker. This upcoming season will be a big one for LaVine. Unlike Booker, LaVine has never played in the NBA Finals, let alone made it past the second round. He will need to prove to the fans that this was worth the investment.
2. Klay Thompson - $40,600,080
2021-22 Stats: 20.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG
The story with Thompson is remarkable when you think about it. Thompson missed two full seasons of professional basketball. He then missed half of the regular season last year and played in 32 games. He managed to average over 20 points per game and shoot 38.5% from three-point range. When he initially started, he was not at 100% either, as he had to work his conditioning back to the type of those around the league.
Thompson then helped the Warriors win their fourth championship since 2015. Thompson will eventually have his number retired by the Warriors. He is a homegrown talent that has been the perfect side punch with Stephen Curry. Everyone will look past his playing time given his role in this year’s championship run. Now that he should be fully healthy at the start of this upcoming season, all eyes will be on the team and their chase towards number five.
1. Bradley Beal - $43,279,250
2021-22 Stats: 23.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
The drama behind the Wizards has pushed away when the team agreed to a new contract with Beal to make him the highest-paid shooting guard in the league. The playoff success has not come with him, but his talents have been on full display. During the 2019-20 season, Beal averaged 30.5 points per game. He followed that season with 31.3 points per game and was second in the scoring race. Last year, Beal was injured and played 40 games, which saw a dip in his stat line.
The Washington fanbase has watched Beal carry a load by himself since John Wall’s injury five years ago. Now, the team has Kristaps Porzingis and this duo could pay big dividends for the franchise. Assuming Beal is healthy, he is one of the best at scoring the basketball. His playmaking has also improved as well, averaging at least 6.0 assists in two of the last three seasons. Assuming he plays out this entire contract, he could go down as the best Wizards player ever.