When you think of the shooting guard position, it screams buckets, and many players on this list got plenty of those in their careers. Per usual, my list will be based on several factors such as points scored, MVPs, championships, and All-Star appearances.
|Rank||Player||PTS/G||FG%||3PT%||REB/G||AST/G||STL/G||MVP||All-Star||All-Star MVP||All-NBA/ABA||All-Defensive||NBA/ABA Champ.||Finals MVP||Scoring Titles|
1. Michael Jordan
This is the easiest pick by far on my list, as Jordan is undoubtedly the greatest shooting guard that has ever set foot on a basketball court. Among Jordan’s legendary accolades are five MVP trophies, six championship rings, and six Finals MVPs. Jordan’s career scoring average of 30.1 points per game tops my list, and he was a ten-time scoring champion during his career. Jordan won just about every individual award possible, as he also won ROY in 1984 and Defensive Player of the Year during the 1987 season. Michael Jordan is head-and-shoulders above every player on my list, and pretty much the rest of the NBA.
2. Kobe Bryant
With Jordan ranked number one, Kobe Bryant is the closest thing we’ve ever seen compared to the Chicago Bull’s legend. He mirrored Jordan’s mechanics, “stole” his post moves, and replicated his demeanor and work ethic. Much like Jordan, we will never see anything like Kobe Bryant again. He finished his twenty-year career with the 4th-most points in NBA history (1 spot ahead of Jordan) and displayed a drive unlike any other player in history. Bryant ended his career with 18-time All-Star appearances, 15 All-NBA Team selections, 12-time All-Defensive selections, and five championship rings. During his five title runs with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant won Finals MVP twice and finished his career with two scoring titles as well.
3. Jerry West
West’s greatness speaks volumes, as he is the NBA logo and one of the best scorers in NBA history. West’s 27-point career scoring average helped him end his career with the 22nd-most points in league history as well as one scoring title. The 14-time All-Star was also a terrific defender, as he made five All-Defensive Team selections and averaged 2.6 steals per game. Not just a prolific scorer, West was a great passer, highlighted by his 6.7-assist average and assist title during the 1971 season. The Hall of Famer also won an NBA championship with the Lakers in 1971 and is the only player in NBA history to win Finals MVP for the losing team (1968).
4. Dwyane Wade
One of the more exciting players of his generation, The Flash, as Wade was known as, was a terrific two-way guard. The Miami Heat legend changed the culture of the franchise and brought them three championships during his 17-year career. Wade made thirteen All-Star appearances and even was awarded ASG MVP honors in 2009. The future Hall of Famer also made eight All-NBA teams, three All-Defensive teams, and was the Finals MVP during the 2005 NBA season.
5. James Harden
Without some of the hardware as his fellow shooting guards, Harden has been one of the best scorers in the league for the past five seasons. The two-time scoring champ has had three consecutive seasons averaging at least thirty points, all more than the players ranked ahead of him on my list. The 2011 Sixth Man of the Year has made the transition from a rotation player to superstar in less than a decade, and Harden’s dominance was on full display during the 2017-18 season when he won the MVP award. In addition to his scoring, Harden is an excellent playmaker, as he led the league in assists in 2016 and has six consecutive seasons of seven or more assists per game.
6. Ray Allen
In the conversation for the best shooter of all-time (along with Steph Curry), Allen ranks first all-time in career three-pointers and shot 40 percent from behind the arc in his career. The three-point king finished his career 24th on the all-time scoring list. The Celtic legend was a ten-time All-Star made the All-Rookie team in 1996 and was a two-time All-NBA Team selection. Allen was also a significant part of some terrific Celtic teams and won two NBA Championships in his 19-year career.
7. Reggie Miller
Like Ray Allen, Reggie Miller’s calling card was his shooting ability. Miller finished his career with the 2nd-most career three-pointers and shot just under 40 percent from three for his career (39.5%). In addition to his three-point scoring ability, Miller was an excellent free-throw shooter (88.8 career FT percentage) and led the league in free-throw percentage five times. Miller also made five All-Star games and was a three-time All-NBA team selection. Miller’s career 18.2-point scoring average helped him finish his career with the 21st-most points in league history.
8. Clyde Drexler
Drexler, the Portland Trailblazer’s legend, was one of the most prolific scorers of all-time. He entered the NBA in 1983 and went on to average better than 20 points per game nine times throughout his 16 seasons in the NBA. Drexler made 10 All-Star Game appearances, five All-NBA Team selections, and won a championship in 1994 after being traded to Houston Rockets.
9. Pete Maravich
Pistol Pete’s playing style may have been one of the craftiest and effective in NBA history. Maravich’s unorthodox style led to five All-Star selections, four All-NBA Team appearances, and a scoring title in 1976 when he averaged 31.1 points per game. Maravich never won an NBA Championship but was elected into the NBA Hall of Fame after his impressive career.
10. George Gervin
In the conversation for the greatest Spur of all-time, “The Iceman” was a silky-smooth scorer and was one of the more underrated players in league history. George Gervin made the All-Star game twelve times, including one ASG MVP in 1979, and was selected to nine All-NBA teams. The Hall of Famer would win four scoring titles during his 14-year career, and also made the All-Rookie team during the 1972-73 season.
11. Manu Ginóbili
With back-to-back Spurs on my list, Manu Ginóbili comes in at number eleven. The crafty left-hander is one of the greatest international players in league history and was a huge part of the success of the San Antonio Spurs in the early 2000s and late 2010s. Ginóbili entered the NBA in 2002 and was a bit raw until he was fully engraved into Greg Popovich’s system. By the end of his career, Ginóbili was a 2-time All-Star, a Sixth Man of the Year, and a four-time NBA Champion. Ginóbili’s impact on winning far exceeded his subpar 13.3-point scoring average, as he was a cornerstone for a Spurs franchise that produced consistent winning seasons during Ginóbili’s tenure with the team.
12. Klay Thompson
Part of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson has one of the sweetest jump shots in NBA history and is one of the greatest shooters of all-time. In just eight seasons, Thompson has climbed the three-point leaderboards and is 18th in career made threes (1,798). He’s a career 19.5 per game scorer and has shot better than 40 percent from three in each of his eight seasons. Thompson also holds one of the more impressive NBA records, as he scored 37 points in one quarter in a game versus the Sacramento Kings in 2015. The five-time All-Star is also one of the better defenders in the league and made the All-Defensive Team during the 2018 season. Along with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, Thompson changed the culture within the Warriors franchise and has helped the team win three championships in the last five years.
13. Earl Monroe
Earl Monroe was one of the better guards during the late 1960s and 70s. He made four All-Star Game appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, and one NBA Championship during his fourteen-year career. The Hall of Famer holds career averages of 18.8 points, 3.9 assists, and an efficient 80.7 free-throw percentage.
14. DeMar DeRozan
DeRozan’s specialty, the mid-range jumper, has become a lost art in the modern NBA, but the Compton native has been one of the more consistent scorers since entering the NBA in 2009. DeRozan’s averages include 20 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while also maintaining a career free-throw percentage of 82.9 percent. DeRozan is a four-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection. Before he was traded to San Antonio during the 2018 offseason, DeRozan was a significant part of the culture change within the Toronto Raptor’s franchise. A year later, DeRozan’s commitment and efforts within the organization helped pave the way for the Raptors to win their first championship in the team’s history during the 2018-19 season.
15. Mitch Richmond
As the final piece of the “Run TMC” squad for the Golden State Warriors, Mitch Richmond filled up the scoring column for the majority of his 14-year career. Through the first ten years of his career, Richmond averaged at least 20 points per game and won the ROY award during the 1988 season. Richmond would go on to make six All-Star appearances, including ASG MVP in 1994, and made five All-NBA teams. During the 2001 NBA season, Richmond won his only title as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
16. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler’s rise to stardom has been as impressive as anyone in league history. The former Marquette star entered the league as a defensive specialist and role player before breaking out during the 2014-15 season. That year, Butler was awarded as the NBA’s Most Improved Player after posting career-highs of 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. Through ten NBA seasons, Butler is a five-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA selection, and four-time All-Defensive Team member.
17. Joe Dumars
Alongside Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars helped the Pistons become perennial playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. In his fourteen-year career, Dumars recorded double-digit scoring averages every season except his rookie year. Dumars was a six-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA selection, and five-time All-Defensive Team member. Dumars also won two championships with Detroit and was named Finals MVP during the 1988 NBA Finals.
18. Brandon Roy
Another “what-if” story in the NBA, Brandon Roy, was poised for greatness before injuries derailed his promising NBA career. Roy entered the league in 2006 and took home ROY honors after averaging 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Roy went on to make the All-Star Game three consecutive times following his rookie season before retiring due to injuries after the 2010 season. Roy made a brief return in 2012 (5 games) before calling it quits again.
19. Sam Jones
One of the greatest Celtics of all-time, Sam Jones, was a terrific scorer throughout his 12-year NBA career. He spent all twelve seasons in Boston and made five All-Star selections and three All-NBA teams. Jones’ most impressive career achievements are his ten NBA Championship rings, as he is 1 of only 2 NBA players (teammate Bill Russell) to win 10 or more titles.
20. Bradley Beal
Since entering the NBA in 2012, Beal has been among some of the top scorers in the league. The 26-year-old is in the midst of his most impressive year to date, as he’s averaging 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. The only knock on Beal is team success as he’s made the playoffs only four times and has never made the Eastern Conference Finals. In eight short years, Beal has made two All-Star selections and made the All-Rookie team in 2012.
21. Jamal Crawford
Crawford entered the NBA in 2000 and has been a consistent scoring threat off the bench since his arrival. In twenty seasons, Crawford has failed to average double-digit points only three times. Crawford is most known for his elite ball-handling and shot-making ability. Both have helped him to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award three times in his career. While Crawford has never made an All-Star game or All-NBA Team, his scoring value off the bench is almost unrivaled by anyone in league history. In twenty seasons, Crawford averaged better than 15 points per game and has a career free-throw percentage of 86.2 percent.
22. Lou Williams
Just like Crawford, Lou Williams has been one of the best sixth men in NBA history. The sixteen-year veteran has also won three 6th-Man of the Year awards and has averaged better than 14 points per game eleven times in his career. Williams’ best seasons have come of late, as he’s averaged around twenty points per game over the past three seasons.
23. Devin Booker
With just five seasons under his belt, Devin Booker has already solidified himself among the elite scorers in the NBA. Booker’s career averages sit at 22.3 points, 4.7 assists, and a 35.5 percent shooting from three. In four of his five seasons, Booker has led the Phoenix Suns in scoring and made his first All-Star selection this season. At just 23 years of age, Booker has had a ton of individual success already, including a 70-point performance against the Boston Celtics in 2017. Without team success, though, Booker’s place on my list is much lower than he should be.
24. Joe Johnson
Johnson was one of the NBA’s best scorers throughout the mid-2000s and early 2010s. He was a seven-time All-Star for the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets and averaged better than 15 points per game for eleven consecutive seasons. Iso Joe, as he was called, also made the All-Rookie team in 2001 and made one All-NBA team in his career.
25. C.J. McCollum
Along with teammate Damian Lillard, McCollum has formed one of the best backcourts in the NBA. After entering the league in 2013, McCollum averaged just above 6 points per game his first two seasons in the league before exploding for 20.8 points per game during the 2015 season. McCollum’s performance that year earned him the Most Improved Player of the Year award, and McCollum has gone on to average better than 21 points per game the past five seasons. Surprisingly, McCollum has never made an All-Star appearance but should find himself one soon as he and Lillard have made the Blazers perennial playoff contenders.
26. Michael Redd
Michael Redd makes my list on his scoring ability alone. The twelve-year NBA vet averaged better than 21 points per game during six years from 2003-2008. Redd also made the All-Star and All-NBA teams during the 2003-04 season. That year, Redd averaged 21.7 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 35 percent from deep.
27. Byron Scott
The former Lakers head coach was also a terrific player for the team throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Scott was an excellent three-point shooter (37%) and averaged double-digit points in 13 of his 14 NBA seasons. Scott’s best season came in 1987 when he put up 21.7 points and 4.1 assists while making 85.8 percent of his free-throw attempts. While Scott never made any All-Star appearances, he did win three championships with the Lakers during his career.
28. Michael Cooper
Byron Scott’s teammate, Michael Cooper, comes in at number 28 on my list due to his championship resume and defensive pedigree. Cooper was never a prolific scorer for the Lakers but was an excellent defender and highly crucial to the Laker’s championship success. The five-time NBA Champion Cooper also won DPOY in 1986 and was an eight-time member of the All-Defensive Team.
29. Victor Oladipo
Oladipo entered the NBA in 2013 and made an impact right away. As a member of the Orlando Magic, Oladipo would make the All-Rookie Team and average around 15 points, and 1.5 steals before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. From there, Oladipo was then dealt to the Indiana Pacers and became an All-Star in his first season with the team in 2017. That season, Oladipo was voted the league’s MIP and made the All-Defensive and All-NBA Teams. He also led the league in steals that year, averaging 2.4 per game. Oladipo made the All-Star game again in 2018 before being sidelined by a season-ending knee injury.
30. Jason Richardson
In his fifteen-year career, Richardson would spend time with five different teams, and averaged double-digit points in fourteen of those seasons. He never made an All-Star appearance but averaged 18 or more points six times. Richardson’s career averages include 17.1 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc in his career.
31. Monta Ellis
Ellis was an excellent scorer in his thirteen NBA seasons, and he is most remembered for his time with the Golden State Warriors. With Stephen Curry as his sidekick, Ellis averaged more than 16 points per game in six of his seven seasons in Oakland. In 2009, Ellis led the league in minutes per game and put up a career-high 25.5 points, and 2.2 steals on a nightly basis. Ellis finished his career without an All-Star appearance, which hurts his position on my list, but won MIP during the 2006-07 season.
32. Richard Hamilton
As a critical piece to the success of the Detroit Pistons in the mid-200s, Hamilton was a tremendous scorer and shooter for the team. He averaged better than 18 points per game eight times in his 15-season career and made three consecutive All-Star appearances. Hamilton’s shooting was his calling card, as he shot just under 35 percent from three and was an 85 percent foul-shooter. Hamilton’s impact on the Pistons helped the franchise win an NBA Championship during the 2003-04 season.
33. Donovan Mitchell
In just two and a half seasons in the NBA, Mitchell has asserted himself one of the top scorers in the league. Drafted in the back end of the lottery in 2017, Mitchell surprised fans by averaging 20.5 points and 1.5 steals per game while leading the Jazz to the playoffs. Mitchell has led the Jazz to the playoffs in all three of his NBA seasons and has led the team in scoring. He made his first All-Star appearance this year and should move up my list as he continues to achieve individual and team success.
34. Latrell Sprewell
Sprewell was one of the few bright spots for the Golden State Warriors in the late 1990s and the New York Knicks in the early 2000s. He’s a four-time All-Star and made the All-Rookie team in 1992. The 1993-94 season may have been his best, as Sprewell made the All-NBA, All-Defensive, and All-Star Teams while averaging 21 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game. Sprewell ended his career in 2004 with career averages of 18.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game.
35. Eric Gordon
Throughout his career with the Clippers, Pelicans, and Rockets, Gordon has been an excellent scorer as a starter or off the bench. He was a 20-point scorer early on in his career with the Clippers and has managed at least 13 points per game every season. He won the NBA’s 6th-Man award in 2016 while posting 16.8 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent from deep.
36. Zach LaVine
LaVine is one of the most athletic players in NBA history and has won the Dunk Contest twice in his young career. LaVine is much more than a dunker and showed flashes of his massive potential during the 2016 season when he put up 18.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In the last two seasons, LaVine has averaged better than 23.5 points per game for the Chicago Bulls and looks poised to make numerous All-Star games as his career continues to age.
37. Eddie Jones
At number 37, Eddie Jones was a terrific two-way player during his sixteen-year NBA career. Jones was a three-time All-Star selection and All-Defensive Team member. He also made the All-NBA Team once and led the league in steals during the 1999-00 season. Jones finished his career as a 37 percent shooter from three and also averaged 1.7 steals per game.
38. Khris Middleton
While spending much of his career as an above-average starter, Middleton has transformed himself into an All-Star caliber player in the last two seasons. He’s put up about 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while helping the Milwaukee Bucks become championship contenders. Middleton is also one of the better shooters in the NBA as he has career averages of 39 percent from three and is an 87 percent foul shooter.
39. Ben Gordon
Gordon spent the majority of his career for the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons. His best season came in 2006 when he averaged 21.4 points and shot 41 percent from three for the Bulls. In his 11 NBA seasons, Gordon put up doubdl0digits in all but two seasons and won the 6th-Man of the Year award in 2004.
40. Dell Curry
While Dell Curry may be more known for being the father of two-time MVP Stephen Curry, he spent sixteen seasons in the NBA and is one of the better shooters in league history. He’s a career 40.2 percent three-point shooter and 84.3 percent foul shooter. Curry’s season came in 1993 as a member of the Charlotte Hornets as he averaged 16.3 points per game and shot 45 percent from three while winning the 6th-Man of the Year award.
41. Jason Terry
In 19 seasons in the NBA, The Jet averaged double-digit points thirteen times. Terry is also 7th in career made threes on the NBA’s all-time list and shot 38 percent from the three in his career. Terry is a one-time NBA Champion who provided much-needed scoring for the Dallas Mavericks during their title run in 2010. Terry’s exceptional scoring off the bench was recognized by his peers when he was awarded the league’s 6th-Man of the Year during the 2008-09 season.
42. Dražen Petrović
Despite only five seasons in the NBA, Petrović made the Hall of Fame and was an excellent scorer in the latter half of his career. In his last two seasons, Petrović averaged better than 20 points per game and made the All-NBA team in 1992. He was also an extremely efficient shooter with a 50.6-lifetime field goal percentage and shot 43.7 percent from three.
43. John Starks
Starks was most remembered for his time with the New York Knicks. In the 1990s, he made one All-Star appearance for New York and was also awarded the 6th-Man of the Year award in 1996. Starks averaged double-digit points in ten of his thirteen seasons and made an All-Defensive Team as well.
44. Danny Ainge
Another great scorer and shooter, Danny Ainge was a one-time All-Star and two-time NBA Champion. His career averages include a 37.8 three-point percentage and an 84.6 free-throw percentage. Ainge is currently the General Manager for his former team, the Boston Celtics, as he looks to add to his championship pedigree.
45. Allan Houston
The Detroit Pistons drafted Houston in 1993, but he later joined the New York Knicks in 1996. With New York, Houston was a two-time All-Star selection and averaged better than 18 points per game in six of his nine seasons with the team. Houston was an excellent marksman who shot better than 40 percent from three and 86 percent from the foul line in his career.
46. Jeff Hornacek
In his fifteen seasons in the NBA, Hornacek was remarkably consistent as a scorer and shooter. He averaged better than 12 points per game in all but his first two seasons in the league and made one All-Star Game appearance in 1991. Hornacek finished his career after the 1999 season and with a 40.9 shooting percentage from three and shot just under 88 percent from the foul line.
47. Tony Allen
While most of the shooting guards on this list were offensive specialists, Allen’s defensive ability helped him become one of the best defenders of his time. Nicknamed “The Grindfather,” Allen made a name for himself as a member of the grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies, where he was a defensive standout. His effort on defense was rewarded with six trips to the All-Defensive Team. Allen was also a one-time NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics during the 2007 season.
48. J. J. Redick
The former Duke Blue Devil is one of the game’s best snipers. Redick currently sits at 14th all-time in career made threes and has been one of the league’s most consistent shooters over the past decade. Since 2010, Redick has averaged better than 10 points per game, including 15 per game over his last seven seasons, and has shot better than 40 percent from three on numerous occasions. Redick is also a career 89.1 percent free-throw shooter and has eclipsed the 90 percent mark eight times in his career.
49. Steve Smith
The one-time All-Star and NBA Champion, Steve Smith, was one of the better scorers during the 1990s. Smith averaged at least 16 points per game nine times in his career and averaged 20 or more three times. In addition to making the All-Rookie Team in 1991, Smith won a title with the Spurs in 2002.
50. Kyle Korver
At number 50 on my list, Kyle Korver has been one of the best three-point specialists in league history. Only Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, and Stephen Curry have more made threes than Korver, and Korver could crack the top three if he doesn’t retire within the next couple years. Korver is a 42.9 career three-point shooter and led the NBA in three-point percentage four times. Korver is also a one-time All-Star and one of the elite free-throw shooters in league history.
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