Unlike centers, there's no shortage of quality shooting guards in this league.
While teams will always long for a center or a point guard before any other position, having a quality shooting guard is just as vital to a team than having a quality player at the 1- or 5-spot.
The main job of your regular shooting guard is to be the main scorer on your team. They're one of the most multi-dimensional players when it comes to playing offense as the best of them can usually hit from outside, the mid-range and from inside.
In today's NBA, we are witness to some of the most prolific scorers in the games history. With nearly half of the players on this list averaging 20 points or better, there is no shortage when it comes to finding a quality scoring player that can play at the two.
The top scorers are quickly aware of their hot spots and they utilize them for the entirety of their career to consistently score upwards of 20 to 25 points per game.
Aside from scoring, shooting guards have a heavy responsibility of being quality defenders at the perimeter. They're the first line of resistance as they hold the responsibility of keeping opposing guards and forwards at bay on the perimeter rather than allowing them in the paint to score.
If a team has a shooting guard that doesn't have the ability to keep up with opposing shooting guards, other teams will be able to break an entire teams defense down and score at a prolific rate in the middle.
With two of the best players in the league playing shooting guard, this list was a tough one to finalize and complete. We managed to compile this list to the best of our abilities and by judging their status as a player now rather than throughout their careers.
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A defensive stopper and not much else, Keith Bogans is basically in the Chicago Bulls starting lineup because the team doesn't have a choice.
The Bulls use him to frustrate and limit opposing shooting guards and he has been successful at it in the past, including these past playoffs where he limited Dwyane Wade for the majority of the Conference Finals.
Aside from his defense, Bogans has a dismal offensive game that basically relies on other players finding open shots for him at the perimeter.
He only averaged four points per game last season but did manage to hit a near career high of 38 percent from beyond the arc.
With Derrick Rose taking up defenses attention and focus, Bogans was left on the perimeter a number of times for easy, uncontested three-pointers.
He's quite the athlete and could be more if the Indiana Pacers hold on to Paul George and continue to mold him into their shooting guard of the future.
George was given the start near the end of the season and didn't do too much to take advantage aside from a 23-point outburst where he made nine of 15 shots overall and five of six from beyond the arc.
He had a much larger impact off the bench where he hit double-digits in the scoring column a number of times while showing off his range from time to time. George averaged eight points and four rebounds in his first season with the Pacers.
The highly touted rookie had a disappointing post season debut as he only averaged six points per game on a dismal 30 percent from the field despite playing 26 minutes per night. He also shot an abysmal 23 percent from deep.
Even without LeBron James, Anthony Parker didn't have as large of an impact on the offensive end than originally expected.
Parker is a quality offensive player when given open opportunities, but has a difficult time creating his own shot and is basically restricted to open jumpers along the perimeter.
He has shot 38 percent or better from beyond the arc over the past five seasons and nearly shot better from the three-point line than overall from the field, where he shot a near career low of 40 percent.
Parker averaged eight points per game last season and could see his career over soon considering that he is already 35 years old.
Maybe he can follow LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas as another Cleveland Cavalier heading south for a better chance to win a title.
He didn't start until the last month of the season, but chances are that C.J. Miles will be starting again in the very near future..
Miles started in about half of the games he played during the month of March and he responded by scoring double-digits in every single game he played during the four week stretch, including a 40-point effort against the Minnesota Timberwolves where he made 14 of his 18 shot attempts overall and six of seven from deep.
This is coming from a player who only shot 32 percent from deep last season and 33 percent for his career.
C.J. made great strides in becoming the Jazz's potential starter for next season as the team spent most of the season last year looking for a solid starter at the two. With Miles possessing a top-tier jump shot, he could be given the start next year and for good.
He's coming off of a career season where he averaged 13 points per game on 41 percent shooting to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
A work in progress, Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson could soon be the future of the team's limited offense.
With the team trading away former offensive leader Stephen Jackson, it's obvious that the team is looking towards the future with the plethora of young talent they have on the team.
Henderson is one of those talented youngsters as he will be 24 years old upon the start of next season while entering his third year in the league.
He was given limited minutes in his rookie year but was given a chance in his sophomore season and took advantage with 10 points per game on an average of 24 minutes per night.
He has the talent to become a terrific offensive threat at this level and it shows with his quality mid-range game as well as an ability to drive.
In the final month of last season, Henderson had three games where he scored 20 or more points and even scored a career high of 32 points in a loss to the Orlando Magic where he converted on 12 of his 22 shot attempts.
DeShawn Stevenson's career was built off of his mouth and how much of a negative influence it could put on a team.
As a member of the Washington Wizards and prior to the start of the team's postseason series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Stevenson deemed LeBron James as overrated providing the soon to be MVP with enough motivation to pull out a series victory.
Now it seems like there's more than just a mouth even though it might have won the Dallas Mavericks this years past championship. He criticized LeBron James once again, but it paid off this time as James had no answer for Stevenson's words.
Stevenson was able to successfully get inside the head of James, and it helped LeBron play some of the worst basketball of his career.
As a player, Stevenson is a quality defender and is restricted on offense to being a perimeter shooter and not much more.
He didn't have too solid of a rookie year, but Wes Johnson did prove in some instances that he had the capabilities of becoming a quality shooting guard for a Minnesota Timberwolves that desperately needs it.
Johnson was a prolific scorer in his time at Syracuse and had flashes of brilliance throughout the year that includes a 29-point effort in a loss against the Los Angeles Lakers where he made 11 of his 21 shot attempts.
However, Johnson was dreadfully inconsistent, and he would go through week long stretches where he wouldn't score over 10 points in a single game. His shot selection was off as he would sometimes settle for difficult shots rather than attempting to drive for easier opportunities.
Wes shot less than 40 percent from the field but did manage to convert on his 36 percent of his four three-point attempts per game.
He averaged nine points, three rebounds and two assists per game in his first season at the NBA level and could continue to start due to the Wolves inability to find another possible option to play the position.
Either way, Johnson could take advantage with the scorers mentality he developed from his time at college.
All Jodie Meeks needed to prove himself was a chance.
The Milwaukee Bucks didn't give him a chance, but the Philadelphia 76ers recognized that they possessed one of the league's premier young sharpshooters after Meeks converted on nearly 40 percent of his five three-point attempts.
Meeks was a second round selection by the Bucks and could be one of the most talented three-point shooters in the league after being given significant minutes in his first full season with the Sixers.
By the end of the season, Meeks was hitting multiple three-pointers in nearly every game including an entire stretch in the month of March where he hit at least two three-pointers in all but one game.
Jodie averaged 11 points per game last season and proved to be one of the teams biggest assets as he led the team in three-point shooting after going a season where no one knew his name.
He still has a lot of work to do on the defensive end and still needs to add some versatility to his offensive game aside from just shooting from deep, but it's obvious that Meeks does have a bright future if he continues to improve his stroke and his versatility.
It seems that the shooting guard position is popular for players who are quality defenders that only shoot three-pointers when a teammate kicks the ball out to them.
Thabo Sefolosha is one of those players.
Sefolosha might not be starting next season after the Oklahoma City Thunder witnessed just how much of a better idea it was to start James Harden. Sefolosha was still given the start throughout the regular and post season and made his impact felt on the defensive end in every game.
He's a terrific defender who has the size, quick feet and anticipation to defend any other shooting guard in the league today.
As stated before, Sefolosha isn't much of an offensive threat as he spends his time camping out on the perimeter waiting to play defense again. He struggled greatly from deep last season as he only converted on his 28 percent on his three-point attempts.
The product out of Switzerland also converted a career low of five points per game on 47 percent shooting.
After buying out Vince Carter, the Phoenix Suns are now without their starting shooting guard from the year before.
Jared Dudley seemed like the only viable option for the job as the Suns were extremely limited when it came to shooting guards with Mickael Pietrus being the only other legitimate option. Either way, Steve Nash would have been able to thrive with either player running in the same offense with him.
Dudley has been playing with Nash and the Suns for the past two-and-a-half seasons and has appropriately had the best seasons of his young career after averaging 11 points and four rebounds per game last season.
He's also shot significantly well from deep the past two seasons including hitting 46 percent of his three-pointers during the 2009-'10 season which was good enough for fourth in the league.
He maintained consistency this season by converting on 42 percent from beyond the arc and adding some versatility to his offensive game by becoming more of a threat from the mid-range and in the lane as well.
In only four years, Marco Belinelli has managed to be on three different teams already.
New Orleans could be the fit for Belinelli after having the best season of his young career by averaging 11 points per game to go along with another career high of 41 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Belinelli definitely benefited from the presence of Chris Paul as Paul would either attract enough attention to give Marco easy shots or use his outstanding court vision to find Belinelli camping along the perimeter for solid opportunities.
Aside from three-point shooting however, Belinelli is extremely limited at every aspect of the game. He's not a quality defender and has yet to average more than two rebounds or two assists in an individual season.
Last year was the first time in his career that he was actually given significant minutes and a consistent starting job and Belinelli made sure to make as much advantage as he possibly could with the time he did receive.
It's been a long fall from grace for the Detroit Pistons. It was only five years ago that they were still regarded as Finals contenders while possessing one of the league's top starting lineups.
Today, the Pistons possess no identity and barely played as a team last season with the constant disputes between the players and former coach John Kuester. They have a young team with plenty of potential, but there's still a long way to go.
Through all of this, Richard Hamilton has remained one of the teams most consistent players. He had been teetering between 17 to 20 points per game over the past 10 years until last season when he only averaged 14 points per game, his lowest scoring total since his rookie year.
His percentages and minutes have dropped along with his health as he has missed 54 games over the past two seasons.
Last season seemed to be the beginning of Hamilton's down time as he looked sluggish and was even sent to the bench for a number of games. His minutes dropped below 30 per night for the first time since his rookie year and his stats declined across the board.
After spending six quiet seasons with the Boston Celtics where he was used mostly for his defense against opposing shooting guards, Tony Allen is now recognized as so much more after some quality playing time with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Allen earned the spot over O.J. Mayo after the young guard struggled and Tony made sure to take advantage by being one of the few shooting guards to shoot over 50 percent from the field.
Allen has actually done it in the past two seasons and has done so three times in the seven years that he played at the NBA level.
Allen was able to do so well on offense because of his shot selection that was focused mainly on wide open opportunities that he would consistently convert on, as well as an explosiveness when it comes to driving the lane.
Allen only averaged nine points per game last season, but he's recognized for defensive purposes rather than his offensive game. He's a strong defender that can keep opposing guards at bay while also possessing the quickness to keep up with guards that focus more on their agility.
Allen is a multi-dimensional defender who is regarded as one of the best perimeter and individual defenders in the league today.
Nobody got luckier when it came to playing on offensive-oriented teams than Jason Richardson who would spend time with the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and currently the Orlando Magic who have all embraced Richardson's desire to shoot an absurd amount of three-pointers in any game.
Last season for example, Richardson was attempting six three-pointers per game but has even attempted as many as seven three-point attempts in a season when he was a member of the methodical offense of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Richardson has made sure to make three-point shooting the focal point of his offensive game as that's where most of his three-point attempts come, as well as the majority of his points.
Richardson has averaged five three-point attempts for his career and has shot 37 percent from deep.
Jason struggled in his first season with the Magic as he finished with a career low of 14 points per game after joining the team a little less than halfway through the season. It turns out that might be all the Magic could take of Richardson as they expect to let the nine-year veteran walk this summer.
There's going to be a lucky team out there that's going to get six to seven three-point attempts from Richardson this upcoming season.
At 6'5", 210 pounds, Anthony Morrow isn't going to be considered a quality defender by any means. For good reason too because Morrow just doesn't have the muscle to keep up with the stronger shooting guards that utilize their upper body as their biggest strength.
It's on the offensive end where Morrow makes his impression felt where he has averaged at least 10 points per game in his first three years in the league while emerging as one of the leagues best three-point shooters.
Morrow led the league in shooting percentage from deep in his rookie season after converting on 47 percent on his shot opportunities. His numbers have gone down since then from 46 percent the season after and a career low of 42 percent this past season.
Morrow did manage to average a career high of 13 points per game to go along with three rebounds per. Anthony is still known solely for his shooting stroke from deep as he possesses one of the sweetest shots in the league today.
He has a quick release and can go off at any given moment as shown by his 30-point effort against the New York Knicks where he made 10 of his 15 shots and four of his five three-point attempts.
One of the most surprising rookies last year, Landy Fields came out of nowhere as the New York Knicks proved that they actually can draft quality players.
Fields was a second-round pick and was still given the start at shooting guard for a Knicks team that was looking to exceed expectations after signing Amar'e Stoudemire during the summer.
Fields provided some needed assistance to Stoudemire as he averaged 10 points, six rebounds and two assists per game. The six rebounds was near the top amongst guards as he used his 6'7" frame to become one of the league's top rebounding guards from the two spot.
His height also allows him to have an advantage over opposing shooting guards, especially on the defensive end where he excelled last year. He possesses the height to contest any shot attempted by a shooting guard, while also possessing the lateral quickness to keep up with the speedier shooting guards.
It's obvious that Fields has a bright future ahead of him if he can continue to maintain his defensive pressure while also adding some more to his offensive repertoire.
In only three years time, Denver Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo has already begun to move up in the ranks of the league's top shooting guards after a quality fourth year where he averaged over 10 points per game for the first time in his career.
He spent the first two seasons of his career with the Detroit Pistons where he wasn't given too many minutes and was used as a seldom used role player.
Traded away for a second round pick, the Nuggets decided to give Afflalo a chance by immediately starting him at the two spot. He took advantage by averaging nine points and three rebounds per game to go along with 43 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Afflalo had the best statistical season of his career last season as he averaged 13 points, four rebounds and two assists per game, while hitting nearly half of field goal attempts and converting on 42 percent of his shots from deep.
To go along with the budding offensive game, Afflalo is a noted defender and has the size and agility to defend nearly any guard in the league today.
We deemed the Portland Trail Blazers organization as insane after giving a contract that would give nearly six million per year to a rookie out of Utah that didn't exactly prove that he was going to be the next big thing.
The Trail Blazers are still out of their mind to give Wesley Matthews such a contract, but it actually does seem to be paying off for the team as they might have just picked up their shooting guard of the future as well as a viable replacement for the oft-injured Brandon Roy.
Matthews specialty on the offensive end included his three-point shot that he put on display many times throughout the season as he shot a career high of 41 percent from deep after converting on 38 percent of his shot attempts in his rookie season.
Matthews averaged 16 points per game on 45 percent from the field and could very easily be a top-10 shooting guard within the next two seasons after impressing so much in his first season with the Trail Blazers.
Wesley still needs to improve his defense and his mid-range game, but it is still very possible that he could be one of the next top shooting guards if he can continue to polish his game and hone his craft.
Set to be the latest starter at shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks after being traded on draft day, Stephen Jackson is going to bring some much needed offense to a team that consistently finds itself near the bottom of the league when it comes to points per game.
Jackson has spent time with six other teams during his decade-long career and has based his game solely on his offensive skill set that includes impressive range from beyond the arc, a mid-range game and even a game inside the paint.
Jackson had another quality season on the offensive end where he led the Charlotte Bobcats with 19 points per game on 41 percent from the field as well as converting on 34 percent of his five three-point attempts.
Aside from offense, Jackson doesn't do much to contribute as he possesses a terrible work ethic on offense that basically consists on waiting for the defensive part of the game to end so that he may go back on offense to shoot some more three-pointers.
Set to become one of the league's next top shooting guards, DeMar DeRozan has actually given the city of Toronto some sort of hope that their soon to be All-Star won't perfect his game with the team only to depart for another once the going got tough as Vince Carter and Chris Bosh had done before.
DeRozan has stated before in the past that he'd like to spend his career with the team that drafted him which is not only a good sign for the Raptors, but for his character as well as it would be noble of a player like DeMar to actually stay with Toronto and help build the team up.
It would be a terrific situation for the Raptors as they might possibly have one of the league's top scoring shooting guards after he averaged 18 points per game in only his second season in the league and set to be only 22 years old at the start of next season.
With no Chris Bosh, DeRozan was able to withstand the scoring load brought onto his shoulders by taking eight more shots per game than he did the last season.
The only aspect of his offensive game that needs to be worked on is his three-point shot where he fails to take more than one three-pointer per game because of his limited range.
In time we can expect that to come because of just how talented of an offensive player DeRozan is.
In only two years, Marcus Thornton might have just been able to prove that he's set to be one of the league's most offensive volatile guards.
After quietly averaging 15 points per game off the bench in his rookie year with the New Orleans Hornets, the team did the unwise mistake of trading Thornton away to the Sacramento Kings.
Sure enough, Thornton made his presence on the offensive end felt as he handled the scoring load and even became the teams leader in scoring despite being a 23-year-old sophomore. In the 27 games he did play, Thornton averaged 21 points, five rebounds and three assists per game, as well as a 36 percent shooting percentage from deep.
Thornton scored 42 points in a win against the Golden State Warriors and 31 in the final game of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He could use some work on his defense, but for now, Thornton is recognized as an offensive threat that can only continue to grow as he can hit from just about anywhere.
Quite possibly the best shooting guard you have yet to hear of not named Eric Gordon, Nick Young has yet to be heralded as one of the league's top shooters and shooting guards in general.
For his first three years as a member of the NBA, Young was given minutes off the bench and would take advantage by scoring as much as 18 points per game per 36 minutes.
He was given the start last year on one of the youngest teams in the league and took advantage by averaging a career high of 17 points per game on 44 percent shooting overall and 39 percent from deep where he converted nearly two of his four three-point attempts per.
Young is a prolific scorer and scored over 30 points in eight of the 64 games he played in, including a 43-point effort against the Sacramento Kings where he converted on seven of his 10 three-point attempts.
He also scored 38 points in a loss to the Miami Heat where he converted on six of his eight shots from the land of three. Young might have the brightest future out of any shooting guard and will continue to grow as an offensive presence as he begins to grow as a player and person.
One of the leagues most prolific scorers, Kevin Martin is now beginning to leave his mark on the Houston Rockets after spending the first five and a half seasons of his career leading the Sacramento Kings.
Martin isn't much of a defender, but his offensive skill set offsets it. He has range from as far as 30 feet out and can score at any aspect from the mid-range to being able to drive and score around the basket.
Martin is coming off of his first full season with the Rockets where he averaged 24 points per game on 44 percent shooting to go along with 39 percent shooting from deep. Aside from his scoring however, Martin is limited and has never averaged more than five rebounds or three assists per game.
He's going to have a lot of pressure on him this upcoming season with the retirement of Yao Ming. The fans of Houston will now look towards Martin to lead the team back to the post season and out of mediocrity.
The best player you've yet to hear of, Eric Gordon is quickly on his way to stardom after a stellar third season.
With Blake Griffin taking all the attention and highlights for the Los Angeles Clippers, there wasn't much room for Gordon to get a mention. He led the team in scoring at 22 points per game on 45 percent shooting to go along with four assists, three rebounds and 36 percent shooting from deep.
Gordon has incredible range and can explode at any given moment when he gets a glimpse of an open lane.
He has the makings of a Kobe Bryant-type career if he can continue to develop and mature.
Are we sure that the real showtime out West doesn't wear red, white and blue?
Even at 36 years old, Ray Allen remains today as one of the leaders for the powerhouse Boston Celtics and one of the league's top three-point shooters after hitting a career high 44 percent from beyond the arc last season.
Allen's legendary stroke was at its smoothest and most effective last season as he posted up career highs in his shooting percentages from beyond the arc and overall at 49 percent from the field.
Despite being one of the leagues oldest players, Allen still plays the same game he's been playing over the past 14 seasons, which requires him to move around at all times to find open shots.
He's been nearly impossible to stop for the entirety of his career because of his ability to use his teammates as pick and rolls on every offensive possession.
This year was no different as he not only broke Reggie Miller's all-time three-point record but set the standard for 36-year-old's everywhere that they can be effective NBA shooters.
If shooting less than 30 percent from beyond the arc and averaging less than 20 points per game for the first time since joining the Atlanta Hawks was the plan, then Joe Johnson does deserve that $120 million deal.
In the real world however, he doesn't. After three consecutive seasons of averaging 21 points per game, Johnson had the worst season in his tenure with the Hawks as his numbers dropped in just about every statistical category.
He had shot over 36 percet from behind the three-point line in seven on the past eight seasons before enduring one of the worst shooting seasons of his career where he only made 30 percent of his three-pointers and 44 percent of his shots overall.
He at least managed to have a decent post season where he shot 43 percent from beyond the arc while leading the team to the Semi-Finals for the third consecutive season.
It was a disappointing year nonetheless for Johnson especially after the Hawks spent their entire summer budget on the sharpshooter as they expected him to potentially lead the team to further than just a second-round exit.
Tim Duncan might be the Hall of Fame lock in San Antonio, but when the team needs immediate help from someone, they'll always look towards Manu Ginobili.
After consistently starting for the Spurs for the first time since the 2005-'06 season, Ginobili was the main reason as to why the team had one of its best regular seasons in franchise history after winning 61 games.
Ginobili averaged a career high of 17 points per game to go along with five assists and four rebounds per contest. He has the ability to go off at any given moment and possesses the ability to hit from anywhere on the court.
He's a quality defender and it was obvious the team badly missed him during the teams first round loss to the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
Ginobili suffered an injury late in the regular season and was greatly limited in the postseason as he was brought back much too early and not in good enough health to truly make his impression felt for the Spurs team that he has helped lead to three championships over the past eight years.
One of the league's most prolific scorers and soon to be 26 years old at the start of next season, Monta Ellis easily has the brightest future of any of the elite shooting guards because of his age and how high of a caliber he plays at already.
The Golden State Warriors had invested in Ellis over the past three years with a deal that's currently rewarding him $11 million per year, but now seem to be ready to trade the young superstar away.
There are plenty of teams that will welcome Ellis with open arms with the way he has played over the last two seasons. After only playing in 25 games three years prior, Monta is coming off of seasons where he averaged 26 and 24 points per game respectively.
Ellis only continues to grow as he is even beginning to develop a three-point shot to go along with the prolific driving and mid-range game that he already possesses. Last season, Ellis shot a career high 36 percent from deep and showed impressive range from the perimeter.
He has the led the league in minutes per game over the past two years and is playing on average over 40 minutes per night.
He had been the best for so long until this point where age and health starts becoming a factor which it has in the case of Kobe Bryant.
At this point, Bryant still remains as one of the best players in the NBA and in its history thanks to his uncanny ability to hit shots at any given moment, lead a team to victory and possess the killer instinct that no player in the league can currently touch.
He had a solid year last season, but his scoring at 25 points per game was at its lowest since the 2003-'04 campaign as was the 34 minutes per contest which was its lowest since his second year in the league.
Even with the drop off, Bryant remains as the most clutch player in the league, and it's really not even close.
Bryant is still one of the most prolific players in the NBA and is easily a top-three player today.
However, other factors are starting to play a part in Kobe's career and it causes him to be the No. 2 shooting guard in the league.
You can dispute it all you want, but Dwyane Wade is the league's top shooting guard and overall player.
His strength and quickness is unmatched by any other player in the league today as it seems that he only becomes stronger year after year even after suffering serious injuries from 2006 to 2008 that could have ended his career.
He's an extremely explosive player and is one of the league's best players when it comes to finishing around the basket as he possesses the fast first step to beat the initial defender, the quick vertical leap to out-jump opposing big men and the strength to finish over any power forward or center.
His defense is also severely underrated as he possibly the best shot blocking guard in NBA history averaging over a block per game for the past three seasons and is also one of the best at anticipating passes in the passing lane.
Wade's numbers dropped last season with the arrival of LeBron James and Chris Bosh as he averaged a modest 26 points on 50 percent shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists per game.
He remains the team leader and it's obvious after their first season together that he needs to be the leader in late game situations and overall if the team wants to win a title.