30. Rodney Stuckey, Detroit Pistons
Stats: 13.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.1 APG
Stuckey has spent much of his career as the starting SG for the Pistons, but last year was a bit different. He mainly came off the bench in a sixth man role, providing scoring and the occasional rebound and assist. There’s nothing too special about his game other than his ability to score. While it wasn’t his best season in terms of PPG, he greatly improved his FG percentage from the year before, increasing 3%. His assist numbers went down for the fourth year in a row though, suggesting that he’s leaning more and more on his scoring and not on his ability to do anything else. He doesn’t provide a ton, but he’ll likely be the Pacers’ starting SG next year after losing Lance Stephenson.
29. Tony Wroten, Philadelphia 76ers
Stats: 13.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.0 APG
Wroten is another guy who played the role of the sixth man, coming off the bench and earning starter minutes equivalent to whatever awful player started at SG for the Sixers that night (usually James Anderson). Wroten is definitely better than Anderson, providing a little bit of everything. He does have the ability to start if needed, but I think he will continue with his role as a sixth man next year no matter who they name the starting SG. He needs to work on his shot selection and not turning the ball over as much, but he’s still quite young. This guy has a lot of potential, and he’ll get tons of minutes with the Sixers to prove his worth.
28. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks
Stats: 12.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.9 APG
Korver is a 3-point sharpshooter that seems to never miss a shot. He shot an amazing 47% from beyond the arc, as well as 93% from the free throw line. To put it into perspective, both of those are better than any SG in this list. Why is he only #28 then? He gets a fair amount of rebounds and assists, making him a valuable player beyond his 3-point shooting. The reason is he actually doesn’t take enough shots, preventing him from scoring even more. He received the most MPG of his career last year, starting all 71 games in which he played. I didn’t think it was possible that he could’ve gotten better, but it looks like Atlanta is a nice fit for him.
27. Randy Foye, Denver Nuggets
Stats: 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.5 APG
It had been a while since Randy Foye was relevant, but after getting to start 78/81 games with the Nuggets last year at SG, he was able to get his name out there and show that he’s talented enough to start on an NBA team. He had three straight seasons shooting under 40% until last year, which he got up to 41.3%. He also averaged the most PPG of his career since the 2008-2009 season. He’s never going to be a team’s leading scorer, but he has enough skills to start and perform well.
26. Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats
Stats: 14.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.6 APG
Henderson is the perfect example of an average SG on an average team. Sure, the Bobcats were a playoff team last year, but more than half the teams make the playoffs and the Bobcats were swept in the first round as a 7th seed in an awful Eastern Conference. That’s as average as you can get. While he started more games for the fourth year in a row, his scoring and shooting percentage both went down for the third year in a row. The weird part is that he’s taking less shots, meaning he’s just missing even more of the ones he’s taking. Like Foye, he’s good enough to start, but nothing more than that. He’s a guy that fills out a team’s roster.
25. Vince Carter, Dallas Mavericks
Stats: 11.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.6 APG
Vince Carter just keeps on playing, and his stats show why he hasn’t retired yet. While his scoring isn’t up to par with what it was 5-6 years ago, it’s still good enough to earn him a lot of minutes with the Mavericks. He’s a very efficient player…his PER is what got him this high on the list. He’s certainly not the best SG out there, but his veteran presence is an important aspect of the game that cannot be measured with any kind of statistic. He still managed to play 81 games last year, so maybe he’s not wearing down quite yet.
24. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.6 APG
There were high hopes for Jimmy Butler going into the season, and I was one of the people riding his bandwagon. I thought he was going to break out and be an amazing player, but it seems like he’s not there yet. It was by far his best season though, getting career highs in PPG, RPG, APG, BPG, and SPG. He also played an insane 38.7 MPG, more than any other SG in the league. His shooting percentage took a bit hit as a result of his increased offensive presence, going down to 39.7% from the field and 28.3% from the three-point line. I expect both of those numbers to go up though, especially if Derrick Rose is healthy. He has a chance to be a part of a very scary Bulls team.
23. Jodie Meeks, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 15.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.8 APG
Meeks had an excellent year for the Lakers in a situation where their starting SG, Kobe Bryant, missed most of the season. He started 70 games for Los Angeles and was one of their top scorers, along with the other former Sixer, Nick Young. He was a great option for 3-pointers, averaging more than two of them a game. It was by far the most PPG he’s had in a season, and he managed to do that while getting his highest shooting percentage as well. Meeks is heading to Detroit next year to presumably take over Stuckey’s place.
22. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 13.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.3 APG
Like Derrick Rose being listed as my #32 point guard, this is an example of how a season’s rankings differ from an overall ranking. There’s no possible way that I could list Kobe higher than this after he only played in 6 games, and in those games he was sub-par for what he’s used to doing. His scoring and PER were, I’ll just say it, terrible, essentially providing more of a detriment to his team than an improvement. He still kept his rebound and assist numbers up, doing more behind the scenes than on the spotlight. I’m sure he’ll improve next year, but by how much?
21. J.R. Smith, New York Knicks
Stats: 14.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.5 APG
Some people say J.R. Smith is one of the worst players in the league, but I’d prefer to list him as one of the most overrated. I think even putting him at #21 is a gift considering how much worse he is than he’s supposed to be. This is a guy that was a possible Sixth Man of the Year two years ago, averaging 18.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG. Both of those numbers have decreased, and while it’s still above his career averages, it’s a drop from what the Knicks need from him. He gives too many terrible shooting nights and untying of opponent’s shoelaces to make him worth it, but if he’s stuck with them, he can still help once in a while.