To me the shooting guard position is the weakest position in the league. Kobe did not make this because he only played in six games last season. I have no idea what he will be like when he returns but I hope he comes back to play a full season.
Arron Afflalo – 18.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 42% from 3
Lance Stephenson – 13.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.6 apg, league leading 5 triple-doubles
DeMar DeRozan – 22.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.0 apg
Afflalo had career highs in scoring and shooting last season. He is a typical 3 and D guy in today’s NBA. He didn’t get much notice playing for a bad Magic team. We all know Lance. He does it all for the Pacers and he led the league in triple-doubles. Right now he and the Pacers are far apart on a new contract; he might be playing somewhere else next season. DeMar was an all-star this past season but I think he needs to improve his decision making. He only makes 42% of his shots and 30% from downtown. He has good size so he should be a better rebounder; he’s only 24 so hopefully he will get better.
5. Joe Johnson – 15.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 42% from 3
Forget that he is the third highest paid player in the league for a minute. He has great size, and he can shoot the long ball. He is overpaid but that’s not his fault. At this point in his career he is a good third option on a team. At times he can get really hot from the field, like game 5 against the Heat, a game in which he shot 15-23 for 34 points in a tough two point loss to Miami.
4. Bradley Beal – 17.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.3 apg, 40% from 3
He’s only 21. He’s often compared to a young Ray Allen. He’s going into his 3rd season with the Wizards and I expect him to continue to improve alongside John Wall. He’s a great shooter but he can also create off the dribble. He will learn to take better shots so his FG percentage will go up. He should attack the basket more often to get to the line. It’s odd that such a good shooter only shoots 78% from the line.
3. Klay Thompson – 18.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 41% from 3
One half of the Splash Brothers and the best shooter on this list. He takes six 3s a game and still hits 41% of them. He really needs to work on his dribbling so he can create for others. He has a solid post game; he can get his shot off against smaller defenders. He is a solid defender, able to guard the 1-3. Another great shooter who is under 80% from the line.
2. Dwyane Wade – 19.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.7 apg, 54% from the field
I know he played bad in the Finals. He looked slow and out of shape. I know he took days off to make sure his body could hold up. Despite all of that he is still the 2nd best shooting guard in the league. I would have him #1 if he actually played in more games. During the regular season and the playoffs before the finals Wade was very good. He led all shooting guards in field goal percentage at 54%. For a streaky shooter that is great. He never added the 3 ball to his game but his mid-range is fine and he can go down in the post against some opponents. I know he couldn’t get it done in the finals but one series does not define a player.
1. James Harden – 25.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 6.1 apg
Leads all guards in scoring. Shoots 36% from downtown and can be a very good playmaker when he wants to be. I admit I’m not a fan of his game because he tries to flop when it is not necessary. Most of his numbers are identical from his first season in Houston. I expected Dwight to help him improve his numbers slightly. He has not been good in the playoffs for the Rockets the past two seasons.