Who are the best shooting guards - Great Wall Of Chinatown Wizards Blog

Ranking The League’s Starting Shooting Guards

Last week our writers ranked the NBA’s starting Point Guards. We averaged the rankings to create a composite list which we shared with all of you. The same process was done for the NBA’s 30 starting Shooting Guards. All of our staff writers agreed that rankings the SG’s was the hardest of all the positions. There are so many two guards out there who do so many things well. With the NBA becoming more and more focused on perimeter play, pick and rolls, and shooting, having a shooting guard who can defend and shoot has become imperative for every team.

We have worked hard this past week to give you the most accurate rankings possible. These rankings will be used in a future post leading up to the season where we will post our preseason power rankings. We hope you enjoy and please feel free to agree/disagree in the comments.

–  Jeremy


The Unquestioned Top Two - Troy Taormina
The Unquestioned Top Two – Troy Taormina


1. James Harden, Houston Rockets

When a casual fan looks at Harden’s stat lines they must wonder why this guy isn’t considered one of the top 3 players of his generation. Last season was no different, as Harden boasted numbers of 29.0 PPG, 7.5 Assists and 6.1 rebounds. While Harden is a tremendous physical presence at the two-guard position and he certainly has the offensive skill to take advantage of his athleticism, Harden also has some gaping holes in his game. One of my favorite youtube videos is of Harden’s defensive “highlights” throughout the years, where he is often seen standing around looking confused as his man his getting layup after layup at the rim. The Rockets need Harden to finally come around and focus on the defensive end this year if they hope to make the playoffs, especially with their rim protector Dwight Howard taking off for Atlanta. Harden handling the ball in a Mike D’antoni system will certainly be fun, and possibly historic, to watch as Harden’s skills allow him to have the second best combination of scoring and playmaking in the league behind only Lebron James. – Jeremy

2. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Thompson is the highest caliber of NBA player any way you slice it.  Everyone knows the playoffs matter more than the regular season.  To see how players perform in a win or go home series is why we do all of this, and Klay gets huge points for his 2016 playoffs.  He carried the Warriors through the early rounds, averaging 27 points a game through the first 8 games while Curry was injured.  He scored the most total points and made the most threes in the entire 2016 playoffs.

In the Conference Finals he single handedly extended the Warriors season in game 6.  The Warriors were down 3-2 to the Thunder, having just fended off 40 points from Kevin Durant in Oakland in game 5.  Game 6 was in Oklahoma City and the Thunder still had the momentum.  Draymond Green was struggling (35.4% shooting for the series).  The game featured two MVP’s in their prime and Russell Westbrook, but it was Klay who calmly rained in 41 points and a playoff record 11 threes in a come from behind win.

He was the second leading scorer on a 73-win team and the 12th leading scorer in the league.  He was, of course, the second best shooter in the league, making a vicious 3.5 threes a game on 42.5% shooting.  This year he will be the best third option in the league.  – Charlie

3. Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls

Flash, as he was known early in his career while playing with Shaq, is probably the 3rd best shooting guard of all-time, and #3 comes in as the third best starting shooting guard in these rankings.  Wade is coming off his healthiest season in five years, having missed only 8 games, and should be motivated following his abrupt exit from the Miami Heat.  Wade posted averages of 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4.5 assists, in a career low 30 minutes per game.  With Chris Bosh in and out of the lineup, the Heat relied heavily on the performance of Wade, and he delivered, helping Miami reach the second round of the playoffs.  While fitting into a new system may be tough, Wade should see another great season, playing alongside one of the best wing players in the league in Jimmy Butler.  The Bulls have plenty of question marks, including most notably outside shooting, but Wade will bring valuable leadership on and off the court. – Ryan

4. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

DeRozan got a nice contract extension (5 yr, $145 Million) from the franchise that drafted the annual all-star this past summer and he certainly deserves it. DeRozan had his best scoring season this past year at 23.5 PPG and that is exactly what DeRozan brings best to the Raptors, the ability to score. Unlike other NBA elite SG’s, but similar to Dwyane Wade, DeRozan has a natural ability to weave his way through defenders and get to his spots from inside the 3 point line and to the free throw line. DeRozan’s ability to score and defend mesh perfectly his with backcourt mate Kyle Lowry which makes this combination of guards probably only second to the Splash Brothers. – Jeremy

5. Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets

Batum had a big summer—he signed a $120M contract with the Hornets and he gets a top 5 spot in these rankings.  He benefits from Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins being listed as small forwards, but he earned this spot.  He and James Harden were the only two players last season to average at least 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2 made threes a game.  In fact, that stat line has only been done five times in league history (T-Mac, Gary Payton, and J-Kidd also did it).

At first I worried he could be a fluke rule candidate (career season at a late age in a contract year), but he is only 27 years old and had a similar season in 2012-13.  In the past, Kemba Walker always had to initiate the offense in Charlotte, but last season Batum and Jeremy Lin shouldered some of that burden, allowing Walker to focus on being an efficient scorer.  With Lin gone Batum will have to repeat that performance.  – Charlie

On the surface one probably has to question our decision to put Batum as a top 5 SG in the NBA. he is not far removed from a season in Portland where he averaged 9.4 PPG on 32.4% shooting from 3… but you are only as good as your last game right? This is also a problematic statement as Batum has been outperformed in the Rio Olympics by international players who will never be mentioned in an NBA blog. Putting his at times very questionable performances and seasons behind, Batum is a gifted playmaker and shooter. He is coming off a year in Charlotte where he found a groove as the second option offensively and his length puts pressure defensively on any NBA wing. Batum is not a superstar in this league, but in the right system, which Charlotte appears to be, he can be a very effective player on both ends of the court. – Jeremy

6. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

The Panda is coming off his best season if you look at his per 36 numbers, but also his most injury riddled, having played only 55 of 82 games.  Beal averaged 31 minutes a game, which may end up being near his minutes restriction if the team actually commits to the plan, and came off the bench in 20 games.  Beal did take a more active approach in running the offense because of his bench role, posting his highest usage rate, and played with confidence following his outstanding performance in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, where he scored over 20 points in 7 of 10 games.  That included a 34 point outburst with John Wall sidelined.  During the regular season Beal had a career high 54TS%, and attempted a career high 4.9 three pointers, connecting on 39%, but to take the next step he needs to increase his shooting volume, and free throw attempts.  Beal ranked 24th in the league in three point attempts per game by guards, behind plenty of players who didn’t shoot even 35% from three.  It’s the best aspect of Beal’s game, and could help to limit his injuries, many of which have been freak plays around the basket.  Look for Scott Brooks to unleash a healthier Beal on the league, and make cautious fans aware of the talents of the 23 year old shooting guard. Remember, this is a player who had a game winning shot against the Thunder in his 31st career game, a game winning layup in year two, a game winning alley-oop in year three, a game winning three against the Spurs last season, and joined Magic Johnson as the only players since 1964 to score 25+ points in 3 playoff games before turning 21. – Ryan

Sometimes I wish Beal was more of a shot-jacker.  Most of the time it’s great that he always plays smart, is always under control—except when it stops him from firing off threes.  His instinct is to pass up shots that traditional basketball coaches have always said to pass up, such as threes off the dribble early in the shot clock.  But ever since advanced metrics told us that 3>2, now almost any three point attempt is a good one.  Beal attempted a career high 4.9 threes a game last year, but its not enough.  He has always valued his precociously high 3pt% (career 39.7%), but I’d rather him take 7 threes a game on 35% shooting than 5 threes a game on 40% shooting.  He will certainly have every opportunity.  He actually led the Wizards in points per minutes last year and could easily lead them in scoring this coming season. – Charlie  

7. C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers

One of the reasons the Portland Trailblazers were so comfortable with trading Batum after the 2013-2014 season was because they believed they had a backcourt stud in McCollum. They made this belief so publicly known that McCollum was being scooped up in fantasy leagues like nobody with a career overage of 5.7 PPG had ever been before. McCollum probably exceeded expectations as he put up an impressive 20.8 PPG this past season, landing him the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award for 2015-2016. He is a lethal shooter with decent size, but he needs to improve his quickness and strength to compete with other NBA guards defensively. Fun Fact: when I was visiting colleges back in 2009, Lehigh was on my list. During my college tour the tour guide stopped at the gym to talk about athletics. A 6’2 165 pound C.J. McCollum was shooting in the gym. For those 5 minutes watching him shoot I was pretty sure I could play in the Patriot League as he did not impress me physically or with his talent level… safe to say he has worked extremely hard to improve since 2009 and there is no reason why he won’t continue to improve and move up our rankings going forward. – Jeremy

8. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

I’ll start with a classic A vs B comparison.

Player A – 19p/4.1r/4.6a, 46/16/79% shooting splits, 1.1 stls,  2.7 turnovers, 20.3 PER

Player B – 18.2p/3.8r/4.2a, 44/40/89% shooting splits, 1.7 stls, 2.3 turnovers, 16.8 PER

Player B is Middleton and player A is Dwyane Wade, who had a better season, but not by much.  When (bonus prediction) Derrick Favors makes the All-Star team this year, Khris Middleton will take his place as the most underrated player in the league.  At 25,  he is young enough to fit the Bucks timeline with the Greek Freak and Jabari Parker, but is actually more proven than the two franchise cornerstones.  Middleton led the Bucks in scoring in their bizarre 2015 playoff series against the Bulls.  He’s also their best defender and always guards the opponent’s top threat on the wing.  The Bucks have him locked down for $55M over the next four years on a team-friendly declining deal, which is a complete steal in the NBA’s new economy. – Charlie

9. Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder

Oladipo was ranked 5th, 14th, and 15th by our writers, so him coming in at #9 is somewhat skewed, but he has certainly flashed potential over his first three years to be a top 10 SG.  The DeMatha product has improved greatly over his basketball career, constantly proving doubters wrong, and he now has an excellent chance to do that in Oklahoma City. Oladipo was graded as the #53 SG according to ESPN, but by the time, he came out of college, he was described as an athletic defensive specialist, and was named to the All-American First-Team and was Co-Defensive Player of The Year.  The new starting shooting guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is only three years removed from being the number two pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he still has a lot to prove.  He was in and out of the starting lineup last season in Orlando, starting at both guard positions, before ultimately losing out to Evan Fournier when he was traded for Serge Ibaka during the 2016 NBA Draft.

Good news for Dipo is that he now gets to play alongside Russell Westbrook and should have many more opportunities on offense because the opposing teams will key in on Westbrook, and the Thunder are somewhat limited in backcourt scoring options.  Oladipo, did have some success playing point guard last season with Elfrid Payton injured, and look for him to get some spot minutes there as well when Westbrook is resting.  Looking specifically at his stats from last season, he had his highest TS%, most rebounds per game, blocks per game, win shares, and value above replacement player.  I can certainly see players below him on the list move ahead, but I also expect Oladipo to prove critics wrong, just as he did at Indiana. – Ryan

10. Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic

Even though Fournier is in our “top tier” list at the ten spot, and he deserves the recognition after his breakout season, I think he still has a long ways to go before he is considered an elite SG. The Magic seem to love what Fournier brings to the table as they continue to reward his play with increased playing time, contract extensions, and even trading away young talent like Oladipo, who played the same position. Fournier is a knockdown shooter as he shot 40% from long range this past season, which helped him to his 15.7 PPG mark. It is hard to see what else he brings to the table however, as his slender frame and lack of quickness hold him back from excelling. He also lacks the court vision and ball handling to help his teammates get easy buckets on his drives. For the Magic to climb the ranks of a deeper eastern conference this year, they need young players like Fournier to prove he belongs at the top of his position. – Jeremy

Winslow Townson / Associated Press
The Middle 10 includes elite defenders and shooters.  Winslow Townson / Associated Press


11. Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans

The public perception of Evans, a blog favorite, fell so far in Sacramento (he went from winning ROY over a very good Steph Curry season to walking in free agency as a 23 year old) that no one really noticed he was the second best player on the 2014-15 Pelicans team that won 45 games.  He was 1st on the team in minutes, 2nd in points, 1st in assists and steals, 3rd in rebounds, and 2nd in usage rate.  A lot went wrong for the Pelicans last season, but one of the biggest things was that Reke played in a career low 25 games.  I admit he doesn’t really have a position and you can’t just plug him into any offensive system, but he’s an igniter.  Unfortunately, he won’t be ready for opening day which means Gentry will probably run out rookie Buddy Hield to take his spot.  – Charlie

Although Evans isn’t on the Wizards, I just had to chime in on him.  He’s randomly been one of my favorite players since he entered the league, and I found we had more in common than stupid decisions behind the wheel.  Being the 4th rookie ever to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists certainly helped, but I was always more intrigued by how he does a little bit of everything.  He’s asked to bring up the ball, score, distribute, rebound, and play defense on point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards.  In Sacramento, he was trusted with getting the ball to a young DeMarcus Cousins, and in New Orleans he’s trusted with getting the ball to a young Anthony Davis.  People complain about his shooting, but he’s a career 52% true shooting guy, shot 39% on threes in a small sample size (85) last season, and his boatload of misses at the rim routinely lead to putback opportunities for Davis.  Evans head isn’t always in the game, but he’s shown that if allowed to play with the ball in his hands he can make good things happen.  I think the Pelicans will give Reke one more chance at a key role, since they won’t get fair return on any trade, and his contract ($11 Mil/yr) is relatively small, but I am certainly concerned about his future success because he’s had three knee surgeries since May 2015. – Ryan

12. Wes Matthews, Dallas Mavericks

Matthews is coming off his worst statistical season since his rookie year, but he gets a lot of recognition here for time served.  Matthews wasn’t even expected to be ready for the season after tearing his achilles, but managed to play and start 78 games for the Mavericks, who were able to make their way to the playoffs.  He had his worst TS%, 3P%, 2P%, but his 36% shooting from three and stability was exactly what the team needed, with seemingly every other player on the team injured for key points of the season, and franchise cornerstone Dirk Nowitzki playing in his 18th season.  The other two guard/wing starters Deron Williams, and Chandler Parsons only played 65 and 61 games respectively, meaning the team relied heavily on the offense and defense of Matthews.  Now that he is a full season removed from his injury, we expect to see him to return to his production level in Portland, which will take some of the pressure off of new starting small forward and Olympic Gold Medallist Harrison Barnes. – Ryan

13. Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics

Bradley was ranked as high as 8th and as low as 19th by our writers. This disparity highlights the hardest part about ranking NBA players since so much of the process goes into what the evaluators value on the court. Bradley brings eye-opening strengths to the game along with obvious downsides which makes him a tricky one to figure. I will start with the negatives. Bradley is an NBA player who is only 6’2 and weighs 180 lbs and dribbles worse than the starting guards at my alma-mater D3 Bard College. With these deficits it’s a miracle he is on an NBA roster until you witness the things he CAN do. Bradley is a decent shooter as he shot 36.1% from 3-point range this past season to help him to 15.2 PPG, but the thing that keeps Bradley in the NBA much more as a starting SG is that he is at times one of the best defenders I have ever seen. He has the quickness to guard elite NBA PG’s and the tenacity and determination to overcome his size and guard the NBA’s best 2-guards when he needs to. Bradley is a pest to ball handlers and a glue gun on scorers. Consider this, the Celtics finished 5th in the East last year and head coach Brad Stevens regarded Avery Bradley as the team’s most valuable player. – Jeremy

14. J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers

J.J. Redick has turned into one of the very best role players in the league.  The Clippers fourth wheel is coming off a career year in which he led the league in three point percentage (47.5%) and scored a career high 21 points per 36 minutes.  He was also the only player in the NBA to average at least 16 points per game with one or less turnovers. – Charlie

15. Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns

Brandon Knight comes in the mid tier of the rankings, mostly because of recent injury issues, the team’s lack of success, and really being a point guard playing the shooting guard position.  Statistically, Knight had the best season of his career in the 52 games played.  He took over the lead role after Eric Bledsoe got hurt, playing PG with standout rookie Devin Booker beside him, and averaged 19.6 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.  Deficiencies in Knight’s game routinely come on defense, where his 6’3” 190 lb frame is routinely overmatched.  Other deficiencies include the propensity to be posterized to near death and become a key contributor to Shaqtin A Fool.  Even if a two guard lineup doesn’t always work in reality, it’s long been intriguing to me, and I do think a lineup with Bledsoe, Knight, and Booker, could be potent down the road.  Phoenix is known to be impatient however, and it seems more likely that Knight is moved eventually to make way for Booker to be the starting SG and not SF. – Ryan

16. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs

Danny Green took a backseat this past season and under leadership of Popovich, let other spurs players step up and contribute to help the team. This accounts for his low numbers of only 7.2 PPG in 26.3 minutes of action. The true measure of the Spurs players however, is not what they do as they pace themselves through the regular season but what they accomplish in the playoffs. This is where Popovich forces his guys to step up and Green is no exception as he shot 50% from 3 in the playoffs and was constantly asked to guard the Western Conference’s best wing scorers. Green is a great 3 and D guy, which are valuable in the NBA, and his shooting ability and defensive prowess will keep him in the middle pack of his SG piers for years to come. – Jeremy

17. Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz

Rodney Hood has made himself a part of the Jazz’s long term plans with his play through his first two seasons.  Last year he started 79 games led all 2nd year players with 161 made threes.  He was 3rd among 2nd year players in minutes, 4th in points, 3rd in assists, and 1st in win shares.  He took on some ball handling duties and helped the Jazz get by without a real point guard.  If any Rodney Hood stock is still on the market I’m buying it up. – Charlie  

18. J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers

You may be asking how a player who is a free agent can even be listed as the 18th best starting shooting guard in the league, but let’s be real; there’s no way J.R. Swish isn’t the starter for the Cavs on opening night.  GM LeBron will make sure it happens.  With all that said let’s look at the numbers behind the new NBA champion.  He shot the second highest three point percentage of his career (40), and routinely bailed the Cavs out of some poor possessions with his sweet shooting stroke.  At this point of his career he just needs to be ready to catch and shoot at all times and everything else is a bonus.  That bonus this year was impressive defense, which was a major factor on the outcome of the Finals.  Check out his defense on Klay Thompson in Game 6.  Smith credits his daughter with teaching him to sacrifice offense for defense, and he just got married so hopefully his wife can teach him to control his pipe. – Ryan

19. Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers

Monta Ellis has always been regarded as a shot happy scorer who needs the ball to go in the basket to help a team win. With the exception of a couple nice years in Dallas where Ellis focused more on defense and became more of a playmaker, Ellis is someone who needs to score to make up for what he doesn’t do well. This past season, Ellis did not score. He averaged 13.8 PPG, which was his lowest total since his rookie season and his turnovers and defensive deficiencies hurt his new team. With additions to the Pacers roster with other scorers like Aaron Brooks and playmakers like Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis will have to find his Iverson like swagger again to continue to play 34+ minutes a game. – Jeremy

20. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks

When it comes to gravity, Steph Curry is Isaac Newton, Klay Thompson is George Clooney, and Korver is Sandra Bullock.  Gravity in basketball is the gravitational pull that a threatening shooter has on a defense, and it is what makes Korver more valuable than his 9.2 points per game would suggest.  But last season was his worst in Atlanta and at age 35 a decline is unsurprising.  He is below average on defense and his shooting took a dip. He shot “only” 39.8% from deep on 5 attempts a game after leading the league in three point percentage for consecutive years.  I’m interested to see if he can bounce back for Atlanta. – Charlie    

The Bottom 10 includes two young and athletic combo guards - Marilyn Indahl / USA Today Sports
The Bottom 10 includes two young and athletic combo guards.  Marilyn Indahl / USA Today Sports


21. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons

The player with maybe the coolest name in the league, took seemingly another step this past season, playing a team high 37 minutes per game, averaging 14 points.  He had a strong, but inconsistent performance in the playoffs this season, shooting 44% on threes, but posting point totals of 9 and 13, in addition to the 18 and 21 point efforts.  It’s always seemed that KCP was better than his stats would lead you to believe, and that was the case if you look at his regular season numbers.  On a team that lacks three point shooting, KCP only shot 30% on threes.  Considering he’s a 33% career three point shooter he has a lot of work to do before he can rise in the ranks, and help Detroit improve on a successful season. – Ryan

22. Courtney Lee, New York Knicks

Lee has carved a nice career in the NBA by simply playing mistake free basketball for a long time. He will never blow you away by being really great at any skill, but he will also never leave fans pulling their hair out by doing something disastrous to a team’s success. This uniqueness and the balance to his game is refreshing to a basketball purists like myself. When the NBA has gotten so individualized and you have so many players who do just one skill really well and nothing else well, it’s nice to see a guard succeed who brings a little bit of everything to the table. He shoots well enough to make open shots, he defends well enough to help his team, and passes well enough to find the open man. He makes his free throws, and he finishes at the rim when the opportunity presents itself. This type of player might be exactly what a New York Knicks franchise needs as they have struggled to find consistent positive production over the last few (15?) seasons. Courtney Lee will never carry a team to the playoffs, but he will also not be the reason the Knicks don’t return to the post-season this year. – Jeremy

23. Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies

I doubt that Allen would start for any playoff team besides Memphis, but his value as a leader of the Grizzles is legitimate.  He and Zach Randolph bring the grit and grind identity that defines the Marc Gasol era.  He provides absolutely nothing on offense and is no longer 1st team all-defense—but hey that’s why he’s ranked 23rd.  Honestly I’m excited for the Grizzlies this season.  Yes they spent $250M on two players, Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons, who have never been All-Stars, but the other option was to rebuild.  Marc Gasol is the best player in the franchise’s history and they went all-in on one more run with him.  Admirable. – Charlie     

24. Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves

I don’t know what it is about Zach LaVine, but I love watching this guy play basketball.  Actually, I do know why.  He can shoot, make plays for his teammates, and is one of the best dunkers in recent memory.  If not for being the back to back slam dunk champion, the average NBA fan probably wouldn’t know who he is, mostly because of playing in the shadows of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, playing in Minnesota, and only recently having his role be more clear.  With all that said, LaVine has all the tools to become a really good contributor on the promising Timberwolves.  In his second season, LaVine improved his true shooting to 55% and his three point percentage to 39, averaging 14 points in only 28 minutes.  Most importantly for Minnesota, they went 12-16 after LaVine was inserted into the starting lineup, versus 17-37 with Tayshaun Prince.  LaVine is a prime candidate to make a large leap this season. – Ryan

25. Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers

At 15.5 PPG and 4.0 rebounds per game I can see some fans wondering how Jordan Clarkson and someone like Evan Fournier can be separated by 14 players as their numbers a pretty comparable when looking at them side by side. I guess my argument against this is that Clarkson has played his only two NBA seasons with the Lakers during the franchise’s worst stint in it’s illustrious tenure. Clarkson has put up a lot of his points in games where his team is down 20 and has their 3rd stringers in guarding him. That being said Clarkson’s footwork has been praised by Kobe Bryant himself and he has a knack for finding his own shot and scoring efficiently on a horrid and dysfunctional offense which certainly requires some skill. I have no doubt the Lakers will be better this season, and they appear to have a very bright future in the next 3-5 years. If Clarkson can improve with the team and stay relevant as the team grows he will certainly shoot up the player rankings. – Jeremy

26. Aaron Afflalo, Sacramento Kings

The Kings were supposed to be starting Ben McLemore or Nik Stauskas at this spot.  Neither panned out so they had to pay $25M for free agent Afflalo.  Afflalo doesn’t suck, but the Kings do.  Free Boogie! – Charlie

27. Josh Richardson (or Dion Waiters, or Tyler Johnson) Miami Heat

JRich, as the cool kids call him, was a great surprise for the Heat last year, even outplaying fellow rookie Justise Winslow at times.  Richardson, the 4oth pick in the 2015 draft, shot a blistering 46% from three and should see his opportunities skyrocket with Wade leaving town.  Richardson gets plus points for wearing #0 as well.  

The problem here is that fans and league experts really have no idea at this point who the starter will be.  Heat reporter Ira Winderman said that “Richardson has the greatest upside on the Heat when you factor in his NBA-minimum scale contract,” and also that the Heat are looking at Waiters as a potential starter, while other reports state that workouts so far have skewed towards Johnson playing point guard, meaning TJ could be the sixth man.  I don’t think the real rotation will settle until 30+ games into the season.  I have a feeling the Heat will start with Waiters at the beginning of the season because he has the most experience, but will eventually move to starting Richardson and having a Johnson/Waiters bench backcourt, which would allow Waiters to do what he enjoys most, be Waiters Island/Wait County. – Ryan

28. Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

Jamal Murray has the resume that demonstrates he can really be placed almost anywhere on this list. He succeeded at Kentucky averaging 20.0 PPG and 5.2 rebounds per game with very efficient scoring numbers. This college pedigree puts him in the same conversation as NBA star guards like John Wall, Devin Booker, Rajon Rondo, and Eric Bledsoe. Murray also showed he can play with professional men as he averaged 16.0 PPG and 3.2 Rebounds in the Pan-American games for his National Canadian team. Despite his resume which projects Murray to one day be a stud for the Nuggets, he also has never played in an NBA game and the draft can point to more busts than successes. The difficulty to succeed in the NBA as a 19 year old rookie landed Murray the low ranking of 28 more than anything else. – Jeremy

29. Gerald Henderson, Philadelphia 76ers

Henderson is the epitome of a replacement level player.  That automatically makes him the Sixers best player.  Just kidding, but if we just look at perimeter players that might actually be true.  He couldn’t carve out a role for the Blazers last year but brings professionalism to Philly. – Charlie     

30. Bojan Bogdanović, Brooklyn Nets

The final few spots on this list could really have gone to any of these guys, but Bojan was a victim of playing on a dreadful Nets team.  The lack of talent around him allowed him to be the three point marksman of the team, and he responded by shooting a solid 38% on threes.  His defense still leaves a lot to ask, and while he is certainly a good player, on almost every other team he would be a great bench scoring option.  The other thing going against him?  His name is extraordinarily similar, but not as cool, to another promising young basketball player in Serbian prospect Bogdan Bogdanovic. – Ryan

Each Writer’s Individual Rankings



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