Ranking the best shooting guards in the NBA today

While some of the best shooting guards in the game struggled through injuries this past season, plenty of other young guards stepped up and found their spot among the game’s elite. Some made huge strides on the offensive end of the floor, others made and impact on defensive and some improved in every aspect of the game.

Here is my ranking of the starting shooting guards in the NBA today. These rankings are based on what each player did during the 2014-15 season.

All statistical and award information from Basketball-reference.com.

30. Hollis Thompson, Philadelphia 76ers

Plenty of people had a chance to start as the 76ers tried to figure out what kind of talent on their roster, but Thompson was on the floor the most. One of his best games of the season came in a seven-point win over the Denver Nuggets when he had 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range. He added three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 31:27.

For the season, he appeared in 71 games and averaged 8.8 points on 41.3 percent shooting with 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25 minutes.

29. Randy Foye, Denver Nuggets

While Foye still had a solid showing with his outside shooting (35.7 percent from 3-point land), he didn’t have a great season for the struggling Nuggets. One of his best games came in a nine -point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers when he finished with 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-10 from distance. He added nine assists and two rebounds in 31:30.

For the season, he appeared in 50 games and averaged 8.7 points on 36.8 percent shooting with 2.4 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 21.7 minutes.

28. Dion Waiters, Oklahoma City Thunder

The trade for the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t kind to Waiters. Not only did the Thunder not make the playoffs, but he had his worst production of his young career. One of his best showings of the year came in a 25-point win over the Minnesota Timberwolves when he had 33 points on 12-for-23 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range. He added four rebounds, three steals and a block in 35:45.

For his time in Oklahoma City, he appeared in 47 games and averaged 12.7 points on 39.2 percent shooting with 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.3 minutes.

27. Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns

After a terrific start to the season in Milwaukee, Knight struggles with a new team and a new role after he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. His best showing with the Suns came in a five-point win over the Orlando Magic when he finished with 28 points, seven assists and three steals.

During his time in Phoenix, he appeared in 11 games and averaged 13.4 points on 35.7 percent shooting with 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 31.5 minutes.

26. Langston Galloway, New York Knicks

Galloway came to the Knicks from the D-League and was a bright spot during an otherwise difficult season. One of his best outings came in a four-point win over the Atlanta Hawks when he recorded 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the floor, including a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point range. He added six assists, five rebounds and a steal  in 32:25.

For the season, he appeared in 45 games and averaged 11.8 points on 39.9 percent shooting with 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.4 minutes.

25. Alec Burks, Utah Jazz

Burks missed much of the year after season-ending surgery, but he played well during the time he was on the floor. His best showing came in a 17-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder when he totaled 20 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-3 from distance and 8-for-9 from the free-throw line. He added 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 37:52.

For the season, he appeared in 27 games and averaged 13.9 points on 40.3 percent shooting with 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33.3 minutes.

24. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons

After struggling for most of his rookie season, Caldwell-Pope took a big step for in his second campaign. One of his best games of the year came in a 13-point win over the Houston Rockets when he registered 28 points on 10-for-21 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-11 from 3-point land. He added five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal in 40:22.

For the season, he started all 82 games and averaged 12.7 points on 40.1 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 31:5 minutes.

23. Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings

Like Caldwell-Pope, McLemore had a much better second season in the league. His main improvement came in the shooting department where he shot better from all over the floor. One of his best games of the season came in a 23-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers when he had 24 points on 50 percent shooting with seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.

For the season, he appeared 82 games and averaged 12.1 points on 43.7 percent shooting with 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.6 minutes.

22. C.J. Miles, Indiana Pacers

Miles had a solid first year with the Pacers as he averaged career highs in points and minutes. One of his best outings of the year came in a 12-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder when he managed 30 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-8 from 3-point land. He added 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal in 35:58.

For the season, he appeared in 70 games and averaged 13.5 points on 39.8 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 26.3 minutes.

21. Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Hornets

With the addition of Lance Stephenson to the Hornets roster, Henderson saw his minutes and his shots go down, but he still had a decent season. One of his best games of the year came in an eight-point win over the Toronto Raptors when he had 31 points on 13-for-20 shooting from the floor. He added five rebounds and three assists in 37:33.

For the season, he appeared in 80 games and averaged 12.1 points on 43.7 percent shooting with 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 28.9 minutes.

20. Kevin Martin, Minnesota Timberwolves

Martin was on the sidelines for most of the season, but he put up some big numbers when he was on the floor. One of his best showings of the season came in a 16-point win over the New York Knicks when he had 37 points on 14-for-20 shooting from the floor, including 7-for-11 from 3-point land. He added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35:08.

For the season, he appeared in 39 games and averaged 20 points on 42.7 percent shooting with 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 33.4 minutes.

19. Courtney Lee, Memphis Grizzlies

Although Lee isn’t your typical shooting guard (he averaged just 8.4 shot attempts per game), he is the perfect fit for the Memphis Grizzlies. One of his best games of the year came in an 11-point win over the Phoenix Suns when he managed 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-5 from distance. He added three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 39:08.

For the season, he appeared in 77 games and averaged 10.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.6 minutes.

18. Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics

Bradley was a key veteran leader for the up-and-coming Celtics thanks to his ability to be a lockdown defender. One of his best games of the year came in a five-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks when he finished with 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range. He added eight rebounds, three steals and an assist in 36:32.

For the season,, he appeared in 77 games and averaged 13.9 points on 42.9 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals in  31.5 minutes.

17. Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans

While Gordon still had some trouble with injuries, he shot the ball really well from the outside when he was on the floor. One of his best games of the season came in a four-point loss to the Utah Jazz when he finished with 31 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the floor, including 7-for-8 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in 39:04.

For the season, he appeared in 61 games and averaged 13.4 points on 41.1 percent shooting with 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 33.1 minutes.

16. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

While Johnson is definitely on the down swing of his career, he is still a very valuable contributor on a playoff team. One of his best outings of the year came in a 12-point win over the Detroit Pistons when he had 34 points on 14-for-23 shooting from the floor. He added eight rebounds and six assists in 38:57.

For the season, he appeared in 80 games and averaged 14.4 points on 43.5 percent shooting with 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 34.9 minutes.

15. J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers

Smith hit the lottery when he got traded from the floundering New York Knicks to the Cleveland Cavaliers early in the season and has proven to be a great fit. One of his best showings of the season came in a 12-point win over the Detroit Pistons when he had 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the floor, including 8-for-13 from 3-point land. He added two rebounds, two assists and a block in 31:20.

During his time in Cleveland, he appeared in 46 games and averaged 12.7 points on 42.5 percent shooting with 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.8 minutes.

14. Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

While he doesn’t get a whole lot of fanfare, Middleton had a terrific season under new coach Jason Kidd. One of his best games of the year came in a six point win over the Orlando Magic when he registered 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. He added five assists, three rebounds and two steals in 41:35.

For the season, he appeared in 79 games and averaged 13.4 points on 46.7 percent shooting with 4.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 30.1 minutes.

13. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs

Green is the idle fit for the shooting guard spot with the Spurs. He is great at spacing the floor and can knock down the outside shot (41.8 percent from 3-point range). One of his best outings of the season came in a one-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies when he had 25 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the floor, including 7-for-13 from beyond the arc. He added seven rebounds, five blocks, three assists and two steals in 51:57.

For the season, he appeared in 81 games and averaged 11.7 points on 43.6 percent shooting with 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks in 28.5 minutes.

12. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

While injuries limited his overall production, Beal had the best shooting season of his young career. One of his best outings came in a one-point win over the Houston Rockets when he managed 33 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-11 from 3-point range. He added five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 37:17.

For the season, he appeared in 63 games and averaged 15.3 points on 42.7 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 33.4 minutes.

11. J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers

Redick isn’t the most well-rounded player on this list, but he definitely has one of the best shots. That makes him a great fit playing next to Chris Paul. One of his best games of the year came in a four-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers when he finished with 30 points on 11-for-13 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-3 from distance. He added four rebounds, an assist and a steal in 37:24.

For the season, he appeared in 78 games and averaged 16.4 points on 47.7 percent shooting to go along with 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.9 minutes.

10. Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers

Matthews was in the middle of another really good year when his season ended prematurely because of an injury. One of his best games of the year came in a 16-point win over the San Antonio Spurs when he recorded 31 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor. He added five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 33:38.

For the season, he appeared in 60 games and averaged 15.9 points on 44.8 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.7 minutes.

9. Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks

Ellis is one of the most underrated scorers in the NBA. He can knock down the mid-range jumper or get to the rim and finish. One of his best showings of the season came in a six-point win over the San Antonio Spurs when he totaled 38 points on 15-for-23 shooting from the floor, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range. He added four steals and an assist in 40:15.

For the season, he appeared in 80 games and averaged 18.9 points on 44.5 percent shooting with 4.1 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 33.7 minutes.

8. Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic

Even though the Magic fought through another difficult season, Oladipo had a really good year. He  improved his shooting across the board while cutting down on his turnovers. One of his best games of the year came in a five-point win over the Sacramento Kings when he had 32 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range. He added 10 assists, five steals and three rebounds in 40:09.

For the season, 17.9 points on 43.6 percent shooting with 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals in 35.7 minutes.

7. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

DeRozan dropped off some from last season because of a rough shooting year, but still put some massive numbers for the Raptors. One of his best games of the year came in an 11-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers when he registered 35 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor. He added nine rebounds, five assists and two steals in 38:14.

For the season, he appeared in 60 games and averaged 20.1 points on 41.3 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 35 minutes.

6. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks

Korver had an unbelievable season shooting the ball. He led the league in 3-point percent of six attempts a game and was rewarded with his first all-star game appearance. One of his best outings of the season came in a four-point win over the Boston Celtics when he finished with 24 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the floor, including 6-for-7 from beyond the arc. He added six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block in 37:29.

For the season, he appeared in 75 games and averaged 12.1 points on 49.2 percent shooting from 3-point range with 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 32.2 minutes.

5. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Even though he had the worst shooting season of his career (by a lot), Bryant still put up some very impressive numbers before he got hurt. One of his best games of the year came in a seven-point win over the Toronto Raptors when he had 31 points on 11-for-24 shooting from the floor and 9-for-13 from the free-throw line. He added 12 assists, 11 rebounds and a block in 41:36.

On the season, he appeared in 35 games and averaged 22.3 points on 37.3 percent shooting with 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.5 minutes to earn another all-star game invitation.

4. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

Nagging injuries and missed games didn’t hold Wade back from making his 11th straight all-star game. One of his best games came in a seven-point win over the Detroit Pistons when he managed 40 points on 14-for-27 shooting from the floor and 12-for-13 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 35:40.

For the season, he appeared in 60 games and averaged 21.5 points on 47 percent shooting with 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 31.8 minutes.

3. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

Butler had his best season of his four-year career. He made the all-star game, earned second-team all-defense and won the most improved player award. One of his most impressive performances came in a six-point win over the New York Knicks when he managed 35 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the floor, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. He added seven assists, five rebounds, four steals and a block in 44:44.

For the season, he appeared in 65 games and averaged 20 points on 46.2 percent shooting with 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 38.7 minutes.

2. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Like Butler, Thompson had the best season of his four-year career. He improved his shooting numbers in all categories, made his first all-star game and earned all-NBA third-team. One of his best games came in a 25-point win over the Sacramento Kings when he had 52 points on 16-for-25 shooting from the field, including 11-for-15 from 3-point land. He added five assists, four steals, two rebounds and two blocks in 32:49.

For the season, he appeared in 77 games and averaged 21.7 points on 46.3 percent shooting with 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.9 minutes.

1. James Harden, Houston Rockets

Harden carried the Rockets to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs and finished second in MVP voting along the way. One of his best games came in a four-point win over the Sacramento Kings when he had 51 points on 16-for-25 shooting from the floor, including 8-for-9 from 3-point range. He added eight rebounds, six assists and three steals in 37:33.

For the season, he appeared in 81 games and averaged 27.4 points on 44 percent shooting from the floor with 7.0 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 36.8 minutes. Those numbers were good enough to make his third straight all-star game and earned all-NBA first-team.

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