After completing the full list of top 40 point guards in the league, I now move over to the other member of the backcourt: shooting guards. While there are probably a lot more “huge” names at the PG position, there are still tons of talented players that play SG. For now though, I’m going to look at the bottom 10 of this top 40 list of shooting guards. Here they are:
40. Marcus Thornton, Brooklyn Nets/Sacramento Kings
Stats: 9.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.1 APG
Marcus Thornton just barely makes the list, and if I were a coach, he’d be a player that barely made my team. He really doesn’t do anything special besides miss shots, something he’s very good at. Who knows what happened to Thornton in the past couple years…this is a guy that started 51 games for the Kings three years back and averaged 18.7 PPG and over two 3’s a game. Now he averages just about half of that, jumping around the league. He had a total drop-off two years ago when he received less minutes and came off the bench in Sacramento, and after spending half a year with the Nets, he’s already been traded to the Celtics where he’ll likely barely played. If he starts and can shoot a lot, he may reproduce those awesome scoring numbers. But a bench role won’t do him any good.
39. Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls
Stats: 9.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.9 APG
Hinrich actually played point guard for many of his 73 games with the Bulls last year after Derrick Rose got hurt again. Many times they’d play him and D.J. Augustin at the same time, but Hinrich was always the starter. Augustin was much better though; Hinrich is nothing more than a backup combo guard that can score a few points here and there and make some passes. He is already way past his prime where he would score 16+ PPG as a starter for the Bulls. He was re-signed by the Bulls this year, but will have to battle with Aaron Brooks for playing time if Rose is healthy.
38. James Anderson, Philadelphia 76ers
Stats: 10.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.9 APG
If you’ve ever read one of my Sixers game recaps, you know I pretty much hate Anderson. He provides very little of anything to a team even when he starts and receives big minutes. This section of the list should be reserved for mainly backups, but Anderson was a guy who started 62 games for the Sixers last year. Sure, it may have been the best year of his career, but that’s not saying much for a guy that really should be a reserve SG than a full-time starter. The tanking Sixers gave him a chance to shine, but he was nothing more than average and inconsistent and is now a free agent, where not even the Sixers will take him back.
37. Ray Allen, Miami Heat
Stats: 9.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.0 APG
It’s amazing that Allen keeps on playing after all these years, still making an impact for a contender. He is the type of player that can come off the bench and provide a nice spark for a team, especially from the 3-point line. There’s a reason this guy is the best three-point shooter in NBA history…he deserves a place on a team as long as he’s still making that shot. He played relatively well for the Heat last year and might now follow LeBron James to Cleveland to backup whatever SG is the starter at the beginning of the season. He may never start again, but he’s definitely talented enough to keep going.
36. O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee Bucks
Stats: 11.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.2 APG
Like Thornton, Mayo’s production fell off a cliff recently, except Mayo’s started just this past season. He ended up on the league-worst Bucks and was supposed to be the starter, but was so bad that he was sent to the bench. Injuries plagued the former Grizzlies standout, allowing him to only play in 52 games. That was probably fine with the Bucks though, who were trying to look at young talent that actually have a future. It may be premature to say that Mayo’s career as a talented player is over, but he’s definitely not good enough to start anymore. Oh how far he has fallen.
35. Courtney Lee, Boston Celtics/Memphis Grizzlies
Stats: 9.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.5 APG
Lee is the typical journeyman and will do whatever is needed of him, whether that’s backup up an elite guard or come in for a spot start, or even start every game. Lee has done it all. While his production may not be amazing, that’s why he’s often used as a backup, providing good, quality plays by a veteran. After being traded to the Grizzlies in the middle of last year, he actually started 47/49 games in Memphis, something that surprised many because of how little he played in Boston that year. I like this guy as a backup, but he’s capable of starting once in a while as well.
34. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs
Stats: 9.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.5 APG
Green had an exceptional performance in the playoffs two years ago, especially in the NBA Finals when he was raining threes like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, he didn’t continue to dominate into the next season like he did in the playoffs, seeing a slight drop in scoring and shooting percentage from the year before. He also played less minutes and less games, both of which are probably a result of being on a Spurs team that likes to rest its players whenever it gets the chance. While he’s actually the starter in San Antonio, his stats reflect a backup’s because of his limited minutes, which are eaten away by Manu Ginobli.
33. Louis Williams, Atlanta Hawks
Stats: 10.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 3.5 APG
Williams is probably reaching the end of his career after having trouble scoring last year. Injuries have always been a problem for Williams, who missed 22 games last year. He still averaged double digit PPG, but his scoring dropped for the second year in a row. He’s a pretty solid backup still, and will find himself playing for the Raptors next year, but with starter DeMar DeRozan getting so many minutes, it will be interesting to see exactly how he is used there.
32. Jordan Crawford, Boston Celtics/Golden State Warriors
Stats: 11.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.5 APG
Crawford has already played for four different teams in his four years in the league, showing two very different sides of himself. One side is a scoring machine that involves taking tons of shots (and, in the process, missing a lot as well). The other side is a mediocre head-scratcher, missing tons of shots and not producing much more on the stat sheet. There doesn’t seem to be much correlation as to which side will show up, but if he ends up on your team, know this: it will take him way more shots than you want to get the amount of points you want.
31. Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs
Stats: 11.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.2 APG
Belinelli surprisingly played very well for the eventual NBA Champions last year, contributing as one of their most important bench players in a crowded SG position. Battling with Green and Ginobli for minutes, he still managed to get 25.2 of them a game and 80 games total. If he was needed to start, he often exploded, acting as if he were one of the best guards in the league. He is a valuable player to have on a team, and his skill set seemed to mesh well with the system of the Spurs. Unfortunately, he didn’t play much in the postseason, averaging only 15.5 MPG and much less across the stat sheet.