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Who is the NBA's Best Starting Shooting Guard?

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The shooting guard position was once the deepest in all of the league and is the position of its greatest player of all time. Where do the shooting guards of 2014-15 stack up to one another?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The shooting guard position was once chock-full of the game's greats; Michael Jordan, Sam Jones, Earl Monroe, George Gervin, Clyde Drexler... I could go on forever.  Up until recently it was the leagues deepest position, today it has become one of, if not the weakest in the entire league.  Who is the worst?  Who is the best?

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
30

Elliot Williams
28 30 29.7

He should be happy that the 76ers are rebuilding like this because this might be his only chance to start in the league with out the words, "is injured" in front of the reason why he was starting.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
29

Courtney Lee
25 29
26.8

A few years ago I thought you would have been crazy to put Lee this low, but he never really developed the way some thought he would.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
28

Alec Burks
18 29
26.4

Not sure how long this lasts with Dante Exum waiting in the wings.  Trey Burke and Exum are the backcourt of the future in Utah.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
27

Rodney Stuckey
19 29
25.3

Really happy that the Eastern Washington product was able to land with Indiana, but he doesn't come close to filling the shoes of Lance Stephenson.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
26

Jodie Meeks
14 30
24.4

Meeks just broke his back as the time of writing this.  So not sure exactly how much playing time he'll see this season.  They say out eight weeks, but you can never trust a back injury.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
25

Ben McLemore
18 30
24.3

This is his ranking now, but I really don't think he'll be here by the end of the season.  Expecting a bit of a jump from him.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
24

Jeremy Lamb
21 29
24.3

With Kevin Durant being out for the first two months of the season we are going to see if Lamb has the skills to become a solid starter in the league.  He definitely has a chance.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
23

O.J. Mayo
17 27
21.6

I personally feel that Mayo should have been a bit further down the list.  He has all the talent and ability in the world, but has never been able to mentally adjust to the NBA.  Definitely a wasted talent.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
22

Evan Fournier
15 26
21.4

This could end up being Victor Oladipo, but we kept hearing Fournier so that is who we went with.  Fournier is a nice player, don't think he ever found his footing in Denver, but he should have more than enough minutes to prove himself.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
21

Danny Green
19 26
21.3

Green might be an under valued 3&D player in the league -- make no mistake in calling him a player in the Bruce Bowen mold.  His defense just isn't as good, but his shot may be better.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
20

Dion Waiters
14 28
20.0

If people are going to start calling him an All-Star (mostly himself), he's going to need better shooting percentage splits than 43-37-69.  He's shooting well in the preseason, but we'll see if that carries into the regular season and into the playoffs.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
19

Avery Bradley
12 28
19.3

Bradley hasn't really developed that much on the offensive end and took a big step back on the defensive end last year as well.  Sure it could have been the nagging injuries, but Boston drafted his replacement in James Young this last draft.  See how long Brad Stevens keeps up with him.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
18

J.R. Smith
13 28
19.2

Smith is best suited as an energy sixth man.  He's a not a threat defensively, and there is a good shot that he won't be engaged in every game this season.  Maybe Phil's mind training will do some wonders with him.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
17

Eric Gordon
12 22
16.7

Health has always been Gordon's issue with taking the next step up.  If he can stay healthy for a full season and avoid any nagging injuries he can be a top 10 player at his position.  The skills are there, but so far the body has not been.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
16

Eric Bledsoe
7 24
15.9

The Suns have paid Bledsoe and he should be 100% recovered from his knee injury last year.  He forms one of the best backcourts in the league and definitely look forward to seeing what he can do in a full season as a shooting guard.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
15

Kevin Martin
13 21
15.5
With all the young players in Minnesota it would be best if Martin took a decrease in minutes and the Wolves go into a full rebuild mode.  Not sure the rookies can score like Martin, but what they lack in scoring, they can more than make up in defense.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
14

Jimmy Butler
11 17
14.3

There probably isn't a better defensive two guard in the league.  The only issue with Butler is that his offensive game notably regressed last season.  It might have been because he was asked to carry a bit more of the scoring load in the backcourt without Rose or Nate Robinson.  Yes, his scoring was up, but his shooting percentages were down across the board.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
13

Kobe Bryant
4 27
13.2

Having "heavy legs" after three preseason games is not a good sign for one of the best to ever play his position.  I have a feeling we'll be wishing he retired come January instead of watching the train wreck these next two years will be.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
T-11

Kyle Korver
5 21
11.8

Watching Mr. Korver shoot the basketball is a thing of pure beauty.  I will say it and I will stand by it.  Kyle Korver is currently the best pure shooter in the NBA.  Yep, it is now in print with my name attached.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
T-11

Joe Johnson
4 29
11.8

Talk about a disparity in votes.  I think reputation carried this a bit.  While he's still an effective two at this late in his career, his defense is almost non-existent.  We've already seen the signs of a downward trend in his two years in Brooklyn.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
10

J.J. Redick
5 18
10.0

When Redick was drafted I thought he would be a major flop.  All he could do was shoot and not much else.  In Orlando we got very limited sample sizes of him early, but he earned more burn -- as a bench player and nothing more.  He didn't get a serious chance to start until last season.  In limited appearances (due to injury) he posted above his average in both offensive and defensive efficiency in the regular season.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
9

Arron Afflalo
7 13
9.7
Oh, Denver!  Mr. Under-the-Radar Efficiency is back!  Last season Afflalo averaged a career high in points at just above 18 PPG while shooting a very solid split of 46-43-82.  He'll be their lockdown wing defender that they missed last season, someone who doesn't need the ball all the time and can be a deadly third or fourth option on the team.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
8

Lance Stephenson
6 11
9.0

This was a big get for the Hornets.  They needed someone with personality, swag, and a bit more wing scoring.  They also get a guy who is a rising star, someone who can get a triple-double any night, a fearless defender, and a man who will keep things extremely interesting night in and night out.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
7

Dwyane Wade
2 15
7.7

The heart says yes to this ranking, but his knees and my brain don't really go for it.  Wade was once a superstar who was on a projected level to be one of the ten best at his position of all time.  Wade has a chance to be alpha on his team again, but will he defer to Bosh as he knows he's not physically able to hang at the this level?

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
6

Wesley Matthews
4 10
7.4

Here is probably your best overall two way player at the position.  He's a scorer when you need him to carry the load, a really good three point shooter, and will take on the opponents best offensive wing player.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
5

Monta Ellis
4 11
6.7

There was a time when Monta Ellis only did what Monta Ellis wanted to do.  Then he came to Dallas and Rick Carlisle got him to fit into a team system, keep him there, develop him there, and let him thrive there. He posted his third best season in both offensive and defensive efficiency in his career last season.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
4

Bradley Beal
3 8
4.6

Once again Beal is going to be starting the year on the injured list.  We're going to miss up to two months of him and John Wall.  He improved across the board offensively from his rookie year and appeared ready to take the next step of being a tradition two who could score 25 a night.  I guess we'll have to wait until almost January to see now.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
3

DeMar DeRozan
2 6
3.3

Last season DeRozan made his first ever All-Star game, averaginga career high in points, rebounds, and assists. His usage rate was also his highest ever, while he also set career marks in offensive and defensive efficiency.  He spent the summer with Team USA so expect him to perform even better this year.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
2

Klay Thompson
1 6
2.3

Thompson is part of the best shooting backcourt in the NBA.  Not sure I'm ready to declare them the best backcourt yet, but they make a great case.  Thompson averaged a career high in points last season and made a case to be an All-Star.  We should see him continue to improve this season, hopefully more on the defensive end.

Rank Player Highest Rank Lowest Rank Average Rank
1

James Harden
1 2
1.3

Speaking of defense, or the lack thereof.  Harden is your current #1 shooting guard in the NBA.  He led the position in points per game and had an outstanding 120 rating on offense.  He'll only miss a few free throws a year, and he had a career high in assists last season too.  If the Rockets are going to be a true contender, Harden needs to take up his defense at least six notches and become slightly below average.