When you think of the shooting guard position, scorers and three-point snipers come to mind, and many players on this list embody those skills. Our list is based on several factors, such as points scored, MVPs, championships, defensive impact, All-Star appearances, and more.
|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|
|45||World B. Free||20.3||45.6||33.7||2.7||3.7||1||0||1x||0||1x||0||0||0||0|
1. Michael Jordan
This is the easiest pick by far on our list, as Jordan is undoubtedly the greatest shooting guard ever to 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 our 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 this 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 to the Chicago Bulls 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 fourth-most points in NBA history (one spot ahead of Jordan) and displayed a drive unlike any other player in history. Bryant ended his career with 18 All-Star appearances, 15 All-NBA Team selections, 12 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. James Harden
Despite not having some of the same hardware as his fellow shooting guards, Harden has still been one of the best scorers in the league for a large portion of his career. The three-time scoring champ had three consecutive seasons averaging at least thirty points, all more than the players ranked ahead of him on this list. The 2011 Sixth Man of the Year successfully made the transition from a rotation player to a 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 11 consecutive seasons of seven or more assists per game.
4. Dwyane Wade
One of the more exciting players of his generation, The Flash, as Wade was known, 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. Tracy McGrady
NBA fans of today may less understand T-Mac’s greatness, but McGrady was one of the best players in his prime before being hobbled by injuries that would prevent him from sustaining his massive potential. After three. Subpar seasons in the NBA, McGrady would join the Orlando Magic, where he went on to average better than 25 points per game for four straight seasons. In 2002 and 2003, McGrady led the NBA in scoring and looked destined for greatness. After joining the Houston Rockets before the 2004 season, McGrady’s production slowly declined and hindered injuries. In his impressive career, McGrady made 7 All-Star appearances and was selected to the All-NBA team seven times.
6. 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 the Houston Rockets.
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. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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 about to shoot into the top ten in career made threes, with plenty left in the tank. 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 four championships during his illustrious career.
12. Pete Maravich
Pistol Pete’s playing style may have been one of the craftiest and most 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.
13. 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 ten or more titles.
14. Vince Carter
In Carter’s impressive 24-year career, the future Hall of Famer is most known for his time with the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets. Carter recently announced his retirement this past week in June 2020. Carter is an 8-time All-Star and 2-time All-NBA team member. He also won ROY in 1998 and finished his career with the 19th-most points in NBA history.
15. 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.
16. Devin Booker
Devin Booker has solidified himself for quite some time as one of the elite scorers in the NBA despite being in his mid-20s. Booker’s career averages sit at 23.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 35.6 percent shooting from three. Further, Booker has already made three All-Star teams and an All-NBA First Team. “D-Book” has had a ton of individual success already, including a 70-point performance against the Boston Celtics in 2017.
17. Hal Greer
A ten-time All-Star and NBA Champion (1967), Hal Greer was amongst the best guards in the NBA during his prime (1960s.) Greer was overshadowed in the latter part of the ’60s, though, due to the sheer dominance of Wilt Chamberlain. However, Greer still locked in seven All-NBA Second Teams and led winning teams for most of his career.
18. Sidney Moncrief
Moncrief was a more-than-capable offensive scorer and distributor, but his bread and butter was undoubtedly on the defensive end of the floor, where he secured two DPOYs and four All-Defensive First-Team selections. Despite the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics running the 1980s, Moncrief helped the Bucks boast the third-highest winning percentage in that decade.
19. Gail Goodrich
Despite being short for his position (6-foot-1), Gail Goodrich had no issues getting his sweet left-handed shot off against defenders during his NBA days in the 1960s and 1970s. Goodrich was an NBA Champion who made an All-NBA First Team and was a five-time NBA All-Star.
20. David Thompson
In his short, 9-year career, David Thompson was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. As a rookie in 1975, Thompson averaged 26 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists, which helped him win ROY honors. In the next five seasons, Thompson would average better than 20 points per game on better than 50 percent shooting from the floor. Thompson made the All-Star game 5 times, won AS MVP twice, and would also go on to make the All-NBA team three times. Thompson also holds the record for the 4th most points in a single NBA game with 74.
21. 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 with a 40.9 shooting percentage from three and shot just under 88 percent from the foul line.
22. 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.
23. Alvin Robertson
Alvin Robertson is undoubtedly one of the best perimeter defenders in the history of the league; he logged six All-Defensive Teams and secured a DPOY award during the 1985-86 season. Robertson averaged just shy of three steals per game over the course of his career; he is currently ranked 11th in all-time steals despite not having as long of a career as many of the players ahead of him.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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 21 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while also maintaining a career free-throw percentage of 84%. DeRozan is a six-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 Raptors’ franchise.
27. 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.
28. Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver was one of the best three-point specialists in league history. Only Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, and Stephen Curry have made more threes than Korver. Korver is a 42.9 career three-point shooter and led the NBA in three-point percentage four times. He is also a one-time All-Star and one of the elite free-throw shooters in league history.
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. Bill Sharman
Despite a relatively short playing career, Bill Sharman is still amongst the most decorated shooting guards of all time; he was a four-time NBA Champion, eight-time NBA All-Star, and a seven-time All-NBA selection. Sharman averaged just shy of 18 points per game during his career and was recently named one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
32. Walter Davis
Walter Davis’ career spanned three decades (70s, 80s, and 90s), yet he is often not discussed as an all-time great like he should be. During his career, Davis averaged roughly 19 points per game and fell just short of scoring 20,000 points. Davis was a six-time All-Star and also a Rookie of the Year winner.
33. Bradley Beal
Since entering the NBA in 2012, Beal has been among some of the top scorers in the league. Beal’s best years came in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons when he averaged over 30 points per game. 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. Still, in 11 years, Beal has made three All-Star selections, an All-NBA Team, and made the All-Rookie team in 2012. Now, Beal is in Phoenix, where he could compete for a title with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and the Suns.
34. C.J. McCollum
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 20 points per game for eight consecutive seasons. Surprisingly, McCollum has never made an All-Star appearance but has played at that level for the majority of his career.
35. Lou Hudson
Hudson is one of the few players who have a career average of 20 or more points, evidencing his elite scoring ability throughout the 60s and 70s. That scoring talent resulted in Hudson getting selected to six consecutive All-Star teams from 1969 to 1974. Hudson finished with just shy of 18,000 points in his impressive career.
36. Donovan Mitchell
In just a handful of seasons in the NBA, Mitchell has asserted himself as 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 made four All-Star appearances and should continue producing at an exceptionally high level for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
37. Paul Westphal
After a highly decorated collegiate career, Paul Westphal wasted no time in establishing himself at the NBA level; he won an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 1974, just two years after he was drafted in 1972. Westphal’s stint with Boston did not last long after that, as he was moved to Phoenix, where he took the leap from a role player to a superstar. Westphal finished his career as a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA First Team selection.
38. 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 five rebounds while shooting 35 percent from deep.
39. 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.
40. 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, four rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game.
41. 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.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. World B. Free
World B. Free was amongst the best scorers of his era, even averaging over 30 points per game in a season (1979-80.) Free was not known as a particularly talented passer or force on the glass, but his scoring prowess helped him make an All-Star team and receive an All-NBA selection.
46. Rolando Blackman
Standing at 6-foot-6, Blackman was taller than the average shooting guard during his playing days; he combined that size with impressive athleticism and finishing ability around the rim. Blackman was named to four All-Star teams in his 13 NBA seasons. Further, Blackman had a playoff series in the 1985 postseason, where he averaged nearly 33 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
47. Bobby Wanzer
Wanzer only played eight seasons in the NBA, but he was still a five-time NBA All-Star, with three All-NBA selections and an NBA Championship. During his career, Wanzer averaged 12.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists, and while he didn’t have particularly impressive numbers, he was considered one of the first elite shooters in the NBA, shooting over 90% from the charity stripe in the 1951-52 season.
48. 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.
49. 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 from the field and a 43.7% clip from three.
50. Jerry Stackhouse
Stackhouse was one of the more consistent scorers of his era and produced double-digit scoring averages from 1995-2008. In those 15 seasons, Stackhouse had five 20-plus scoring seasons, including a career-high 29.3 points per game in 2000. Stackhouse finished his career as a two-time All-Star while making the All-Rookie team during the 1995-96 NBA season.
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