The shooting guard position is once again thriving in the NBA. Never has the league had this much collective talent at the position.
Currently, the league has 10 players at the position with the distinction of once being labeled an All-Star.
There are currently five players at the position with the distinction of being franchise players and seven others who were once considered as such.
The position is no longer primarily one of catch-and-shoot or spot-up shooters. Teams now run a majority of their offenses through these players and rely on them to make things easier for their teammates.
Thanks largely to the accolades of Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, and Kobe Bryant, the position is now the one where teams look to find that next great, even though other positions are arguably richer in talent.
Enjoy the rankings.
(Rookies and players that aren’t natural to the position aren’t part of the rankings.)
Roger Mason is a 30-year-old veteran of six NBA seasons. He’ll be playing for his sixth team this season.
Mason is primarily a spot-up shooter from long range. He’s an average ball-handler and passer. He has no post game and isn’t much of a threat to create off the dribble.
Defensively Mason is a mediocre individual defender and average team defender. He doesn’t generate many turnovers and is a slightly below average rebounder.
Michael Redd is a 31-year-old veteran of 10 seasons. He’s played a total of 51 games the past two seasons and will be fighting for his basketball life this season.
Redd is a catch and spot-up shooter primarily. He can put the ball on the floor to create offense for himself as well as his teammates, but neither is a strong suit of his.
Defensively Redd isn’t much of a factor. He’s a mediocre individual defender, poor team defender, and he isn’t much of a rebounder. The only thing he does well is knock the ball away from ball-handlers because he has quick hands.
It remains to be seen where Redd will fit in with the Bucks this season. They have a stable of shooting guards who all were more effective last season.
Von Wafer is a 25-year-old veteran of four seasons. He spent last season overseas because teams weren’t offering the dollars he hoped they would.
Wafer has a nice off the dribble game and is solid at knocking down spot-up jumpers. He’s also an above average passer (even though he doesn’t look to pass much.)
Defensively Wafer is solid. He excels in individual defense and uses his physical gifts to his advantage. He is a horrid rebounder and average at creating turnovers.
Chris Douglas-Roberts is a 24-year-old player that will be entering his third season.
Douglas-Roberts is primarily an off the dribble player. He likes to have the ball in his hands and generally does a good job of creating offense for himself or his teammates. He’s a poor three-point shooter and above average low-post scorer for the position.
Defensively he is an average individual and team defender. He does a good job at reading passing lanes and is respectable on the boards.
Daequan Cook is a 23-year-old veteran of three seasons. He was traded this offseason to a team loaded at his position.
Cook is a balanced scorer who's primarily a spot-up and catch-and-shot player. He can put the ball on the floor and is a solid passer.
Defensively Cook is solid. He’s an average individual defender as well as an average team defender. He is average at creating turnovers and rebounding.
Thabo Sefolosha is a 26-year-old veteran of four seasons. He honestly shouldn’t be starting and wouldn’t be if not for his defensive abilities.
Sefolosha is a transition scorer at best. He’s a underrated passer and average ball-handler. He is not a treat to create offense off the dribble for himself or any of his teammates.
Defensively Sefolosha is the best defensive shooting guard in the league. He excels in individual defense as well as the team aspect. He is an above average rebounder as well as being a thief.
Shannon Brown is a 24-year-old veteran of four seasons. He’s coming off a career year in which he has finally become a relevant name in the NBA world.
Brown is a slasher and spot-up shooter at this stage of his career. He’s a solid ball-handler with an explosive first step, but he isn’t adept at creating offense for himself or his teammates. His passing is average at best.
Defensively he is an above average individual defender and an average team defender. He isn’t a big player on the boards but does have a talent for reading passing lanes.
Anthony Parker is a 35-year-old veteran of seven NBA seasons. He spent seven years overseas playing from ages 25 to 30.
Parker is primarily a spot-up shooter, but he is capable of putting the ball on the floor to create his own offense and set up a teammate. He’s also an underrated passer.
Defensively Parker is solid for a guy who’s pretty slow in his old age. He’s still a solid rebounder because he has good size and is strong in his principles and awareness.
Kyle Korver is a 29-year-old veteran of seven NBA seasons. He’ll be joining his third NBA team this season.
Korver is a catch and shoot specialist. He’s an off the ball scorer and really struggles at creating his own shot because of his average ball-handling skills and limited athletic abilities. He is an average passer and solid at hitting open teammates.
Defensively Korver is solid for a guy who’s pretty slow and athletically challenged. He has quick hands and does a good job of poking the ball away from ball-handlers. He’s also a solid rebounder because he has good size and does a good job of establishing position when the ball goes up.
Dahntay Jones is a 29-year-old pro of seven seasons. He’s coming off a career year, kinda.
Offensively Jones is primarily an off the ball scorer that gets his points in transition, off offensive rebounds, and cutting to the rim. He’s a mediocre deep shooter and an average passer.
Defensively Jones is a terror. He’s great at both the individual and team concepts of defense. He’s a below average rebounder and does an average job of getting steals.
Tony Allen is a 28-year-old pro of six seasons. He’s coming off the fourth injury-plagued season of his career.
Offensively Allen is primarily an off the ball scorer that gets his points in transition, off offensive rebounds, and cutting to the rim. He’s a mediocre deep shooter (which is odd because he shot well his first two seasons) and an average passer.
Defensively Allen has been good since he was a rookie. He’s great at both the individual and team concepts of defense. He’s an average rebounder and does a good job of getting steals by knocking the ball away and jumping passing lanes.
Allen is a very efficient player and rarely makes poor decisions. He’ll try to bring a winning attitude to the Memphis Grizzlies this season.
Raja Bell is a 34-year-old veteran of 10 seasons. Last year he played in only six games due to injuries.
Offensively Bell is nothing than a spot-up shooter at this stage of his career. He’s an average ball-handler and underrated passer. He can still cut effectively and dribble drive, but his declining athletic ability hurts his effectiveness.
Defensively Bell has been one of the NBA's best individual defenders for most of his career. He’s also been solid as a team defender. He’s an average rebounder and average at generating turnovers.
Bell has a lot to prove coming off his injury. Many have written him off, and the Jazz passed on the talented Wesley Matthews in favor of Bell.
Willie Green is a 29-year-old veteran of seven seasons. After spending his entire career in Philadelphia, he’ll open the season playing for a new team out west.
Green has been underrated for a long time in regards to scoring. He has a solid and complete offensive game. He can post up, spot up, catch and shoot, or create offense off the dribble.
Defensively Green is only limited by his stature and limited quickness and speed. But he’s sound in his positioning and understanding. He’s average at creating turnovers and mediocre at rebounding.
Marco Belinelli is a 24-year-old veteran of three seasons. He was traded this offseason to a team that is allowing him to compete for a starting position.
Belinelli is talented at a lot of things offensively. He’s a solid ball-handler, good shooter, and brilliant passer. He can play the role of scorer or facilitator with ease.
Defensively he struggles at time, but for the most part he’s solid. He’s an average individual defender as well as an average team defender. He is average at creating turnovers and mediocre at rebounding.
J.J. Redick is a 26-year-old pro of four seasons. He’s coming off a career year that netted him a new $18 million contract.
Offensively Redick is solid at putting the ball on the floor and getting shots for himself as well as setting up teammates. But he makes his money as a spot-up shooter who can make shots anywhere on the floor.
Defensively Redick made great strides defensively this past season. Though he isn’t the biggest guy or a great athlete, he managed to contain a lot of top-notch scorers at his position on many nights.
He doesn’t do a great job rebounding or forcing turnovers. He excels because of his attention to detail and understanding of what an opponent is trying to do.
Rudy Fernandez is a 25-year-old veteran of two NBA seasons. He’s currently looking at a reduced role this season because of the depth in Portland at the SG position.
Fernandez is an athletic slasher with an above average stroke from long range. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create offense for himself as well as set up teammates for easy baskets. He’s an underrated passer; most don’t realize he’s one of the best at his position.
His only weaknesses are his lack of a post-up or midrange game.
Defensively Fernandez is average at individual defense and mediocre as a team defender. He’s basically a gambler and pretty poor at it. He’s a mediocre rebounder and slightly above average at generating turnovers.
Mickael Pietrus is a 27-year-old veteran of seven seasons. He’s a player with a lot of skill and potential but seems to lack the IQ needed to make the next step in his development.
Offensively Pietrus does a lot of things well but nothing really great. He’s a decent outside shooter but is known mostly for his slashing ability. His ball-handling is average, and so is his passing. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create his own offense but is better suited playing off the ball.
Defensively Pietrus doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. He’s solid in both aspects of defense. He’s an above average rebounder and average at generating turnovers.
He’s entering his prime age, so it’ll be interesting to see if he makes another step in his progression as a player.
DeMar DeRozan was a rookie last season that provided Toronto fans with tons of high-flying highlights.
On the offensive end DeRozan is still raw but showed promise this summer that he has confidence in his ability to put the ball on the floor and utilize his mid-range jumper.
As of right now, he’s an off the ball scorer that gets points by slashing and cutting to the rim or getting out in the open court. He’s an average passer but isn’t much of a facilitator.
Defensively he’s solid in the team aspect and plays passing lanes well. He’s also an above average rebounder that may lead the position in rebounds one day. His individual defense is average but will be better in his second season.
Nick Young is a 25-year-old veteran of three NBA seasons. He’s currently having his talents hidden on the bench of the Washington Wizards.
Young is a complete offensive package. He can put the ball on the floor and create his shot against anyone, play off the ball, post up, spot up for jumpers, and create offense for his teammates. He does all this at a high level and in an efficient manner.
Defensively Young is average at individual defense and team defense. He’s a poor rebounder and average at generating turnovers. His size and athletic ability do allow him to show flashes of being a pretty good defender, but his immaturity and inability to sustain his focus keep him from reaching that potential.
Young needs to attain a new agent because he has worked hard to achieve the talents he has, yet he’s 25 years old and about to have his entire career pass by him. He needs a new team asap.
Arron Afflalo is a 24-year-old pro of three seasons. He’s coming off a career season in his first full year as a starter.
Offensively Afflalo is solid at putting the ball on the floor and knocking down spot-up jumpers. He’s also an underrated passer and does a great job of running off screens.
Defensively Afflalo has been good since he came into the league. He’s an average rebounder and does a good job of getting steals by poking the ball away and jumping passing lanes.
Afflalo has an ability to post greater numbers if given more minutes. His skill set calculates him as a 15-plus point scorer and four-plus assist guy if a team actually ran more offense through him.
Courtney Lee is a 24-year-old player who will be entering his third season with his third team.
Offensively he does everything well or better than the typical player at his position. He’s a solid shooter, ball-handler, and passer. He can attack off the dribble, or he can be effective playing off the ball. His only real weakness is playing with consistent effort and confidence in his ability.
His defense is arguably the best part of his game. He’s solid in both individual and team defense. He’s good at getting steals but doesn’t use his athletic abilities enough to get blocks or rebounds.
Anthony Morrow is a two-year undrafted player who will be joining a new club this season. He is arguably the best spot-up shooter in the NBA.
Make no mistake—Morrow is a complete offensive player. He’s a great shooter, has solid ball-handling skills, and is an above average passer. He can drive past an opponent or post him up.
Defensively Morrow shows flashes of being respectable, but more often than not he’s unaware of what’s going on around him. He gambles too much and often leaves his teammates in poor positions. He is, however, a solid rebounder.
Leandro Barbosa is a seven-year pro who’ll be joining a new team this season. He’s regarded as one of the top reserves in the NBA.
Offensively Barbosa excels at off the ball scoring. He can put the ball on the floor and blow by most defenders because of his speed and quickness, but he makes his mark primarily as a long-range specialist. He’s an average passer but in no shape a facilitator.
Defensively Barbosa is underrated. He’s solid at staying in front of his man and does a good job of jumping passing lanes. He’s average in the team aspect and mediocre in rebounding.
Mike Dunleavy is a 30-year-old veteran of eight seasons.
Dunleavy can do mostly what he wants offensively. His problem lies with him getting his focus back on basketball and getting his body strong enough to withstand injuries.
Defensively he is a slightly below average individual and team defender. He does a respectable job on the boards but is mediocre at best in regards to generating turnovers.
This is a make or break year for Dunleavy. He needs to get back to being the player that averaged 19 points over 82 games in 2007-2008.
Carlos Delfino is a 28-year-old pro of five seasons. He made his return to the NBA after a year away in Europe.
Not many realize just how skilled Delfino is offensively. He does a lot of things really well. He has a complete game. He can post, dribble drive, and spot up for jump shots. He’s an underrated passer and facilitator.
Defensively Delfino is a tough-nosed player who does a great job in both aspects. He’s also an above average rebounder and does a good job of knocking a lot of balls away.
Josh Childress is a 27-year-old pro of four seasons. He will be returning to the NBA after a two-year stint of playing in Europe.
Offensively he is extremely efficient. He excels as an off the ball scorer; he likes to spot up or cut to open spots. While away in Europe he became a better ball-handler and passer. It’ll be interesting to see how his new skills translate back to the NBA.
Defensively Josh does a good job at everything. He’s great at rebounding, solid at creating turnovers, and slightly above average at blocking shots. His length, abilities, and IQ translate well into any defensive system.
Ronnie Brewer is a 25-year-old pro of four seasons. He’s coming off a down year and will be playing for his third team in two seasons.
Offensively Brewer is primarily an off the ball scorer who gets his through cutting and slashing to open spots on the floor; he’s arguably the best at doing such. He’s not much of a threat from 17 feet and out, but anywhere in front of that requires that he be paid attention to.
Brewer is an average ball-handler and passer. He’s also a tremendous offensive rebounder.
Defensively is where Brewer makes his name. His athletic ability, size, strength, and overall IQ make him one of the better defenders at his position. His only weakness is his lack of attention on the boards. But then again, he makes up for that by generating a lot of turnovers.
Jason Terry is a 33-year-old veteran of 11 seasons. He’s really a point guard, but most of his career has been spent as a shooting guard.
Offensively Jason Terry is a lights out shooter that uses his ball-handling ability to create space. He’s an above average passer and facilitator.
Defensively Terry is limited in what he can do because of his small stature. He’s solid when facing point guards but relegated to playing the passing lanes when defending the shooting guard position.
Kevin Martin is a 26-year-old veteran of six seasons. He’s a pretty good player who has a real problem staying healthy.
Offensively Martin is regarded as a shooter, but he’s solid at putting the ball on the floor. He’s more of a volume shooter than a efficient scorer. He’s not much of a facilitator either, as he looks to put the ball up more than he passes. He’s not much of a low post scorer primarily due to his small stature.
Defensively Martin is a non-factor. He’s a poor individual defender because he’s so weak physically, but he does have good footwork and does a decent job at times of keeping his man in front of him. His team defense is also subpar. He’s also a poor rebounder.
Ben Gordon is a 27-year-old pro of six years. He’s coming off the worst season of his career at a time when he should be preparing to enter his prime.
Gordon is often regarded as a spot-up shooter. However, he is so much more than just that.
He’s a very skilled ball-handler that is adept at taking most defenders off the dribble. He has good awareness and makes solid passes, but he is in no way a facilitator. He’s a gunner and a very efficient one at that.
Defensively Gordon doesn’t get enough credit for the effort he does. He’s great at staying in front of his man, but his 6’3” stature allows guys to simply shoot over him. He’s an average rebounder and mediocre at forcing turnovers.
Marcus Thornton was a 22-year-old rookie drafted in the second round. His 15-point average in 73 games played would be good for third on a New Orleans Hornets team that had three players on its roster with the distinction of once being NBA All-Stars.
Offensively Thornton is what many would refer to as a gunner. His outside jumper was as good as it gets for a first-year pro. He’s an average ball-handler but gets by most defenders because of an explosive first step. He’s a decent enough passer but doesn’t look to set up teammates.
Defensively he’s solid in all areas and has the potential to become a really good defender because of his strength and quick feet.
Wesley Matthews was a 23-year-old undrafted rookie last season. He quickly made a name for himself and was rewarded this summer with a $32.5 million contract.
Wesley is primarily an off the ball scorer, not because he has to be but because he excels at it. He’s a good shooter and underrated ball handler that is good at attacking the paint area. He’s an above average passer but has an extremely high basketball IQ, which allows him to set his teammates up for easy baskets.
Defensively, Matthews was arguably the best rookie defender in the past decade. He can be left alone on an island against nearly any player in this league and he’d hold his own. He’s an equally solid and impactful team defender also. He’s a solid rebounder and good at generating turnovers also.
Matthews’ greatest asset is arguably his maturity and consistency. Night in and night out, his team knows what it will get.
James Harden was a rookie this past season. Yet that didn’t stop him from being more productive than most of the players at his position.
Offensively Harden has a balanced game of spotting up to knock down outside shots and breaking down folks off the dribble. He doesn’t have much of a post game yet but shows signs that it’ll be a part of his game in the near future. He’s also an underrated passer and setup man.
Defense is what Harden can make his staple as an NBA player. He’s strong, agile, quick, and has a lot of pride on the defensive end. In only his first year, he was solid in both individual and team defense.
He’s an average rebounder but an absolute beast in regards to generating turnovers. He has the potential to lead the league in steals because of his quick hands and great anticipation.
O.J. Mayo is 22 years old and will be a third-year pro when the season begins. At 6’3”, he’s one of the more undersized players at his position.
Offensively Mayo is an extremely solid outside shooter that also has exceptional ball-handling ability. He likes to get in the lane and shoot mid-range shots.
He's a solid passer but isn't good at running an offensive set or setting up teammates for easy baskets.
He has the game and mentality to one day become a featured player.
Defensively Mayo competes more often than not. He’s a pretty solid on the ball defender that does a good job of generating turnovers by knocking the ball over. He’s not a very good help defender, which is odd seeing how solid he is in the individual department.
Jamal Crawford is a 30-year-old veteran of 10 seasons. He’s currently in the prime stages of his career.
Crawford is one of the most gifted isolation players in the league, period. His ball-handling and off the dribble game are darn near impossible to stop in a one-on-one situation. He’s got range that extends darn near to half court, and he’s also a gifted setup man with really good passing skills. His only weakness is that he isn’t an elite athlete.
People really don’t know just how good a shooter Crawford is. The man literally averages 10 to 12 points per game off jump shots. That’s the same as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
Defensively Crawford plays when he wants to. It’s really sad because he has good form and great anticipation skills. He’s an average individual defender and mediocre team defender. He’s good at generating turnovers but is pretty average at getting rebounds.
Ray Allen is a 35-year-old veteran of 14 seasons. He is in the twilight stages of his career but still as effective as most players seven to 10 years younger.
Offensively Allen isn’t as dominant as he was three or four years ago, but his skill set is arguably greater. He’s still able to put the ball on the floor and is comfortable pulling up and taking a shot anywhere on the floor. He’s a underrated passer and decent facilitator of an offense. His only weakness is his declining athletic ability.
Allen has become a pretty good defender as he’s gotten older. He’s sound in both the team and individual aspect. His only weakness is his declining speed and quickness, but that’s often masked because of the Boston Celtics' system.
It’s hard to believe that Eric Gordon is only 21 years old and entering his third season as a pro. The young man is extremely mature and professional for his age.
Offensively Gordon has a very well-rounded game. He’s adapt at penetrating off the dribble and spotting up outside the three-point line. He’s a sneaky athlete who likes to play above the rim even though he’s only 6’3”. His only weaknesses are a lack of a post game and mediocre mid-range jumper.
Defensively Gordon is an absolute monster when focused. Because of his strong build and quick feet it’s hard for opponents to get by him. He also has great anticipation and quick hands. He’d average more steals if he wasn’t constantly rotating to make up for his teammates' inabilities. His only weakness is his poor rebounding.
Gordon isn’t anywhere near reaching his potential, and that alone should be enough to strike fear in his peers.
J.R. Smith is a 25-year-old veteran of six seasons. He’s also arguably the most offensively gifted player at his position.
Smith has all the abilities a coach would want in a perimeter player. He’s freakishly athletic, has a tremendous shooting stroke, is a great passer, and is an extraordinary ball-handler.
Defensively Smith is just lazy and undisciplined. He likes going for the spectacular play but has to be constantly coached into focusing on staying true to the team’s concept of defense. He’s a mediocre rebounder when one considers his strength and athletic gifts.
If J.R. Smith was a 36 minute per game player, he’d likely average 23 points or more per game, with at least five assists. He’s too talented to allow his immaturity to ruin what should be a spectacular career.
Jason Richardson is 29 years old and entering his ninth NBA season. He should be in the prime of his career, but his numbers reflect a player that’s on the decline.
Well, he isn’t and with Amar’e Stoudemire no longer in Phoenix, Richardson’s numbers are about to take a jump in the positive direction.
Richardson excels at playing off the ball, as he’s a tremendous slasher and long ball shooter. He’s above average off the dribble and passing the ball.
Defensively Richardson is above average and is especially gifted at reading passing lanes and crashing the boards. He’s solid in both team and individual defense. Yet somehow he continues to be ignored.
John Salmons is 30 years old and in the prime of his career. The eight-year NBA veteran has enjoyed two consecutive productive seasons after being a mediocre player over his first six seasons.
Salmons has become a very diverse offensive player the past two or three seasons. He has a solid off the dribble game and is adept at shooting the outside shot from anywhere on the floor. He’s also a solid passer and above average facilitator.
Defensively he has actually regressed from what he used to be, yet he remains a pretty respectable defender when he’s motivated. He’s decent at generating steals because he has quick hands and is good at playing passing lanes. Where he struggles is on the rebounding end.
Richard Hamilton is 32 years old and coming off his 11th season in the league. He has averaged 18 or more points for nine of the past 10 seasons and outplayed Kobe Bryant in the 2004 NBA Finals, yet most NBA fans appear to be blind to his talents.
Hamilton is arguably the best mid-range shooter of his generation, but that isn’t the only aspect he brings to the offensive end of the floor. He’s a solid long-range shooter and exceptional passer. He’s average in the ball-handling department and subpar on the low post.
In regards to defense, Hamilton is extremely versatile because of his quick feet and competitive nature. He’s above average in the individual department and exceptional in the team aspect, especially when it comes to switching and rotating. His only real weakness is his lack of production from the rebounding department.
He’s the best player for his Pistons club, and much will be expected of him as he seeks a bounce-back season.
Gilbert Arenas is a 28-year-old veteran of nine NBA seasons.
Or is it six seasons because of the 273 career games he’s missed?
Nevertheless, Arenas looked pretty solid in the 32 games he played last season (23 points and seven assists per game.)
It’s virtually impossible to play Arenas once he gets going. He can get buckets in a variety of ways, and next to Kobe Bryant, Arenas may be the most explosive scorer at the position. He’s great at penetrating and really good from long range. He has great vision and is a really solid passer.
Defensively Arenas is extremely undisciplined in his principles and sticking to his team’s philosophy. He’s a pretty solid rebounder and extremely gifted at playing passing lanes.
Arenas has a lot to prove this season, but early word out of Wizards camp says he’s going to be a beast at his new position.
Vince Carter is a 33-year-old who’s played 12 NBA seasons. He is in the twilight stage of his career.
He is no longer the high flier he once was, but he's still better than most. He can still effectively put the ball on the floor to create offense for himself or his teammates. He's a solid shooter whose range extends well beyond the three-point line. His passing ability still remains a part of his game that is vastly underrated.
Defensively Carter just isn’t quick enough to keep a lot of the younger players in front of him, but he is effective in the team aspect of defending because of his IQ, size, and length. His long arms and quick hands allow him to get his hands on a lot of balls.
He’s got arguably two or three more seasons of quality ball left before he calls it quits.
Tyreke Evans is the 20-year-old centerpiece for the Sacramento Kings organization. Last season’s Rookie of the Year took the league by storm and posted numbers that were comparable to Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan in their rookie seasons.
Evans' offensive assault is primarily an off the dribble ensemble of beautiful body and ball control. He’s a subpar mid-range shooter and horrid from deep. He’s also a pretty good passer and facilitator of an offense.
Defensively Tyreke relies a lot on his size and anticipation skills because he isn’t a great athlete. He does have long arms and ultra quick hands that allow him to get his hands on a lot of balls. He has the potential to become a really good defender.
One of the best young leaders in the game will look to climb the rankings at his position.
Monta Ellis is a five-year pro who’ll be 26 years old when the season starts. He is currently the best player on the Golden State Warriors roster but somehow isn't viewed as the team's franchise player.
He’s also the smallest starter at the NBA shooting guard position, yet he manages to outperform at least 90 percent of the players at his position.
He is one of the most athletically gifted players in the NBA and is the perfect example of a wiry player (thin, strong, and flexible). He has arguably the best body control in the league and is extremely explosive.
Ellis is solid in every aspect of scoring and creating offense for his teammates. He’s also a skilled player on the low post, regardless of his opposition’s size.
Defensively Ellis tends to gamble a lot but is more often not given enough credit for the job he does in spite of his smallish stature.
Ellis will be playing with a pretty balanced club this season. He could very well have a career year now that he’s about to enter the prime of his career.
Manu Ginobili is a 32-year-old eight-year veteran. He’s also been a key component on three championship teams.
To the average fan, Ginobili is nothing more than a career 15 point per game scorer with a tendency to frequently make plays that end up on ESPN’s SportsCenter. However, if you mention Ginobili around any person with a high IQ for basketball, they’ll tell you that the man is a beast on the court.
Ginobili’s ability to dominate games on both ends of a court is along the same lines of Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant. You name it and Ginobili will go out and do it. His athletic ability, skill set, and competitive natures have allowed him to put in some of the most memorable performances of recent memory.
It remains to be seen how long Manu can maintain these brilliant performances. However, one thing is for certain: There isn’t a single shooting guard that will be smiling over facing him next season.
Joe Johnson is a nine-year veteran. He’s also the franchise face of the Atlanta Hawks, or at least he’s paid like he is.
Johnson has guided the Hawks to the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. Twice they have progressed to the second round of the playoffs, only to have Johnson perform in a subpar fashion.
Johnson has the size, athletic ability, and skill set to be the most dominating player at the shooting guard position. He can post up, pass, put the ball on the floor, and shoot at a high percentage from anywhere on the floor.
Defensively, Johnson is solid in both the team and individual departments. He’s also versatile enough to defend positions two and three at a high level. He’s also athletic enough to defend some ones and strong enough to handle some fours.
Yet for some reason Johnson appears content to be just a really good player when he should be a really great one. That may soon change.
He signed a massive contract and will now be expected to play like a mega salary guy.
Brandon Roy is a four-year pro and the franchise player for the Portland Trail Blazers. At the age of 26 years, Roy should be set to enter the prime stages of his career.
Roy has a very diverse offensive game, as he’s great at putting the ball on the floor as well as working his opponent with his jump shooting ability. He’s also a solid facilitator who does a good job at keeping his teammates involved.
Defensively Roy isn’t anything special, but he does a solid job in both categories of individual and team defense. At times though, he can be downright nightmarish for opponents because of his quick hands.
His physical health is a concern.
For a player who is often viewed as the best the game has to offer, Kobe has never truly had the distinction of dominating the league. Not like Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, or LeBron James has. There has always been another player that could be argued as being a better or more efficient player.
His story is one of brilliant individual statistics and extraordinary team success. Many want to hold on to the notion of Bryant being the best, even though a handful of others continue to outplay him.
Bryant is alone when one speaks of his ability and overall skill set. Only Jordan is comparable, and it's arguable that Bryant has the greater skill set. His only weakness is his decision-making and tendency to get injured. He's one of the better shooters and arguably the best post player at his position. He's still one of the better players at putting the ball on the floor and creating for teammates.
Bryant is still one of the better defenders in the game and arguably the most competitive, but his time as the best at his position has come and past. He's arguably the best rebounder at his position and is great at generating turnovers.
Statistically speaking, the NBA has only known one player to play the position in a more efficient manner than Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade. That man was Michael Jeffrey Jordan, arguably the greatest player of all time.
Many of people don’t like hearing it, but Wade is the best player at his position and has been for quite some time. His production over the past seven seasons has only been trumped by LeBron James, a small forward.
Wade is often classified as nothing more than a penetrating guard who likes to gamble on the defensive end. He is rarely given credit for his basketball IQ and well-roundedness of his overall game. He excels at every aspect of the game and has a motor that no other shooting guard in the league possesses.
He is the new standard by which all shooting guards should be gauged. Fans better get used to seeing his face. For the next five or six seasons he and his Heat teams will be among the best in the NBA.