Over the last decade, this position has probably seen the most change. For years, the NBA Community knew who the Top 10 Shooting Guards were, but as we head into the 2023-24 season there’s some uncertainty facing the players within the top 10. When will James Harden be traded? Who will be featured on the back end?
How I Rank the Top 10?
First and foremost, I establish who is a shooting guard. Then I begin the analysis process which includes historical performance, skill, arsenal, health and availability, and near-future expectations.
Before diving into our top 10 shooting guard rankings of 2023, note that if a player is not on this list, he may be found in our point guards list or in our upcoming small forward list.
Here are the top 10 NBA shooting guards’ rankings
10. Anfernee Simons – Portland Trail Blazers
Simons could be identified as a Point Guard, but with both Damian Lillard and Scoot Henderson currently on the Blazers roster I don’t see how he’ll get reps at point. The Blazers may in fact be the deepest team when it comes to production at the Guard position: Lillard, Simons, Shaedon Sharpe and Henderson. That is a very dangerous top four on any depth chart.
Simons has seen an uptick in production over the last two years, going from 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists (2020-21) to 21.1 points, 4.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds (2022-23). His ability to play on and off ball is a great fit for Portland. Chauncey Billups can pair him with anyone. Once the Blazers do trade Lillard, they may rely on Simons and Sharpe to carry the offense.
9. Jalen Green – Houston Rockets
Green is a rising star at the position. In a couple of years, he could be within the top five players. The 21-year-old was a member of the 2021-22 All-Rookie team. In his first two years in the NBA, he has averaged at least 17 points. Last season, he improved those numbers to over 21.
8. Anthony Edwards – Minnesota Timberwolves
Edwards has been balling out for Team USA. In fact, he’s been leading the team to victories and because of it I partially wanted to move him higher on the list.
In a three-year span, we have seen Edwards jump from 19.3 points per game to 24.6. He’s improved in every other statistical category as well. The 22-year-old was a member of the ALL-ROOKIE team in 2020-21 and was an All-Star last season. The future of the Shooting Guard position is in good hands with Edwards leading the way.
7. Zach Lavine – Chicago Bulls
Wherever LaVine is playing he’s a bonafide scorer. Not only that but he’s one of the best two-way guards in the NBA. As a two-time All-Star, you can expect LaVine to keep producing as he has for the Bulls.
6. Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors
Needless to say more, you could put Klay Thompson in the top five. Even after not playing for two seasons due to injury, Thompson has proven he’s one of the best. Without him, there is no Warriors dynasty and there is no Splash Bros.
Thompson has been one of the best two-way players at the position for a long time. He made the All-Defensive team in 2018-19. At some point though, we may start to see a decline. He can’t be the electric player he’s known to be forever.
5. Donovan Mitchell – Cleveland Cavaliers
Since entering the NBA with the Utah Jazz, Mitchell has been a bucket-getter. He’s proven to us that he’s a Top 10 Shooting guard, even more so a Top Five SG in the current NBA. As a four-time NBA All-Star, Mitchell helped lead the Cavs to a 51-31 record last season. He’s also improved his three-point shooting ability over the course of his career.
At 26-years-old, there’s still some room for improvement. Can Mitchell average 30 points per game?
4. Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics
Brown received the first of many big contracts we may see in the NBA. Some NBA fans may say that he’s not worth the money, but to the Celtics… he is. If they want to win, they had no choice but to lock him up.
The 26-year-old is coming off of his best season in the NBA. He averaged 26.6 points, 7 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The Celtics finished with a 57-25 record and made a deep run into the playoffs last year, losing out on making it to the NBA Championship. The historic franchise will need the same production from Brown if they want to compete again.
3. Kyrie Irving – Dallas Mavericks
This one may be controversial, but I believe that Irving is a better shooting guard than he is a point. Yes, for most of his career he has been a PG. No disrespect to him, he’s earned his dues as on of the best ball handlers of all time. However, he’s on the Mavs now and they got Luka Doncic at Point.
Even though Dallas didn’t play well after they acquired Kyrie last season, the 30-year-old saw an uptick in both his three-point and field-goal percentage.
2. James Harden – Philadelphia 76ers
This might be another controversial placement, some analysts consider Harden to be a Point Guard. Personally, I think those days might be over. His teams have a better winning percentage when he plays the two-guard.
Harden, may not be with the 76ers long. He wants out, with his comments directed at Daryl Morey, that is aware.
The NBA did end up fining Harden for those said comments. Regardless of what position you may classify James Harden at, he’s Top 10 at that position.
1. Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns
Booker was the only player in the NBA to score 70 points in a game since Kobe’s 81, until this year. Regardless of that, the three-time all-star has improved every season. Having Bradley Beal on the team could impact the scoring a little, but Booker will continue leading this team.
Honorable Mention: Tyrese Maxey – Philadelphia 76ers
I wanted Maxey on this list, I just couldn’t find room for him. He’s one of the upcoming youngsters at the position. Once Harden is gone, Maxey will be the go-to Guard in Philly.
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