by Will Overton
For the first time in a long time Dwayne Wade and Kobe Bryant aren’t topping this list of shooting guards. Instead James Harden and Paul George have burst onto the scene and are now the top of this pack while Wade and Kobe are trying to keep up.
Shooting guard isn’t as deep as some other positions out there, but there is a lot of young talent that is certainly appealing, and also a little hard to rank.
Here is my top 25:
- James Harden – Houston Rockets
- Paul George – Indiana Pacers
- Dwayne Wade – Miami Heat
- Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
- Monta Ells – Dallas Mavericks
- Andre Iguodala – Denver Nuggets
- Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards
- O.J. Mayo – Milwaukee Bucks
- Arron Afflalo – Orlando Magic
- Tyreke Evans – New Orleans Pelicans
- Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls
- Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors
- Joe Johnson – Brooklyn Nets
- J.R. Smith – New York Knicks
- Eric Gordon – New Orleans Pelicans
- Gerald Henderson – Charlotte Bobcats
- Dion Waiters – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Danny Green – San Antonio Spurs
- Kevin Martin – Minnesota Timberwolves
- Victor Oladipo – Orlando Magic
- Lou Williams – Atlanta Hawks
- Wes Matthews – Portland Trail Blazers
- J.J. Redick – Los Angeles Clippers
- Jamal Crawford – Los Angeles Clippers
- Jason Richardson – Philadelphia 76ers
- Has Dwayne Wade lost a little bit of his game, specifically a little bit of that dominant explosiveness? It’s hard to say he hasn’t. Is a slightly slower version of Dwayne Wade still a first round pick? We’ll talk about that at some point this offseason, I promise. One thing I will say is this, if he gets out of the second round of your draft it’d be a big mistake.
- The Kobe Bryant ranking is going to be fluid all offseason as we hear more about his injury and his return. Kobe is setting a record pace in recovery time, but you still have to question it a little bit. I have him as a third round overall pick right now, but if he is able to start the season and the reports are good, he’ll probably move into the second round for me.
- As last season went on Bradley Beal just got better and better, especially after John Wall returned. Over the last 30 games of the season Beal shot an incredible 46% from the field which is really impressive given his youth and penchant for shooting the three. Beal also averaged 15.5 PPG over those final 30 games. The thought of a full season for Beal playing with Wall has me thinking we’re going to see a big breakout.
- It’s going to be interesting to see how the Warriors shuffle their lineup this season. Right now my best guess is Klay Thompson winds up coming off the bench. Is that a huge detriment to him though? I would say no. The Warriors have an extrememly flexible group of guys and can run with a number of five man combinations. Whether he’s starting or not Thompson seems like a lock for 30 minutes per game at least and he should be among the league’s best in 3-pointers made.
- Based on what he did last season the temptation to rank J.R. Smith higher is hard to pass up. There are red flags though here. Smith is already suspended for five games due to off court issues this offseason. He is also recovering from an offseason knee surgery which return time for that is still up in the air. Then you have to wonder if getting paid in the offseason will take away some of his motivation. He could outplay my ranking certainly, but there are too many red flags around him to put him any higher.
- I think one of the more underrated guards headed into draft season is going to be Dion Waiters. People are down on Waiters after an inconsistent rookie season, but the talent is still here and the Cavs getting better will only help him. Waiters made just 1 three and had 1 steal per game last season which was a surprise, but I think he jumps both those numbers up this season. I’m still a fan of this guy’s upside.
- We’re probably going to talk a lot more about Victor Oladipo this offseason as will most fantasy writers. I could certainly see a scenario where he ends up in the top 15 on this list at the end of the year, but there are still a lot of questions. Is he going to start at point guard? Is he going to play a significant amount of minutes at point guard? If Oladipo is racking up around five assists per game he could be a poor man’s Andre Iguodala as a rookie.
- It’s weird to me to include Jason Richardson on this list and leave Manu Ginobili off of it. Richardson plays on a team devoid of scorers though and Manu is starting to show his age. Ginobili is going to play a career low in minutes with the talent the Spurs have and he’s also going to sit out plenty of games to save something for the end. I’m a big Manu fan so it pains me to do it, but I can’t see putting him in my top 25 this season.
How do you see this class of shooting guards this season? Who is too high and who is too low? Who are the sleepers in the group?
For a more complete list of shooting guard rankings and full projections you can purchase the RotoProfessor Draft Guide for just $5 by clicking here and following the link.