In today’s era of basketball, the NBA emphasizes perimeter shooting and versatility on the defensive end of the floor. When players are a threat to knock down three-pointers, the defense is forced to respect that, creating space for the rest of the offense to maneuver.
A player’s ability to guard multiple positions on the floor and hold his own on the defensive end helps them play as many minutes as possible. NBA players today are such gifted athletes with incredible blends of size, speed, and strength.
The NBA has been coined as a “positionless” league because so many players are outside the typical mold for a position these days. For example, Luka Doncic and Cade Cunningham are 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-6, respectively, the ideal size for an NBA small forward — however, both play point guard.
As a result of the new collective bargaining agreement, the league has decided that All-NBA team selections will take a positionless approach to the voting process. However, positions are essential for ranking players based on where they stand amongst their peers.
With that said, here are the top 10 shooting guards in the NBA right now.
Top 10 NBA Shooting Guards
10. Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
At 6-foot-2, Maxey is a little undersized to be a shooting guard. But his innate scoring ability and explosiveness with the ball in his hands help make up for the lack of size.
His baseline-to-baseline speed ranks second-to-none in the NBA, and his fit alongside Philadelphia 76ers’ point guard James Harden has been incredible since Harden arrived in Philadelphia.
In the two seasons Harden has spent with the 76ers, Maxey has shot over 43% from three. Last season, he averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game as the third option on his team behind reigning MVP Joel Embiid and Harden.
Turning 23 in November, Maxey is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
9. Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns
After years of speculation and trade rumors, the Washington Wizards finally dealt their All-Star guard to the Phoenix Suns this offseason. Beal is headed to Phoenix to form one of the NBA’s best trios with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, who — spoiler alert — is also featured on this list.
Beal averaged over 30 points per game in consecutive seasons from 2019-2021 but has since averaged 23.2 points per game the last two seasons. Despite the drop-off in scoring, Beal shot above 36% from three last season, his best mark since the 2017-18 season.
The former Florida Gator is one of the best mid-range assassins in the NBA. He can take and make whatever shot he wants in that area of the court thanks to his crafty footwork and assortment of dribble moves.
Beal also moves incredibly well without the basketball and is one of the best spot-up shooters. If he can stay healthy this season, there is a chance the three-time All-Star will work his way up this list.
8. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Thompson and his “Splash Brother,” Stephen Curry, have etched their names in history as one of the greatest backcourt duos ever.
Not only are they one of the greatest duos, but individually, they’re arguably the two best shooters in NBA history and have spent the past 10 years sharing the floor.
A five-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA selection, and four-time NBA champion, Thompson has been one of the best two-way shooting guards in the league since the Warriors drafted him with the No. 11 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
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Thompson is currently 11th all-time in total threes made but has a great chance to move into the top five this upcoming season. Thompson needs 238 triples to pass Kyle Korver, who is fifth on the all-time list for most made threes.
He set a new career-high last season, connecting on 301 threes. As long as he maintains that pace, he should have no problem surpassing Korver next season and approaching Reggie Miller (2,560 threes) for No. 4 on the list.
7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
LaVine has a case for being the best all-around scorer on this list. His ability to score on all three levels of the court, whether it be attacking the basket, utilizing the mid-range, or stepping back behind the three-point line, is impressive. Not only can he do everything, but he does it efficiently.
LaVine has shot 37.4% or better from three in each of his past five seasons and over 50% from inside the arc in four of those five seasons. His combination of jump-out-of-the-gym leaping ability, incredible strength and quickness, and ability to create his own shot makes scoring look effortless for him at times.
What prevents LaVine from being any higher on this list is his inability to elevate a franchise. The Bulls have yet to emerge as a serious threat in the Eastern Conference with LaVine as their top option and have one playoff appearance to show for his six seasons with the franchise.
6. Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks
Murray had to completely transform his game in his first season with the Atlanta Hawks and thrived in his new role. When he was with the San Antonio Spurs, Murray was the team’s floor general and constantly had the ball in his hands with the offense running through him. In Atlanta, that role belongs to Trae Young.
Instead, Murray had to become a slasher and take more jump shots in an off-ball and secondary playmaker role alongside Young. It took them a little longer than anticipated, but the two got in a groove once they found their chemistry. Murray averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting a career-best 46.4% from the field.
We know what Murray is capable of as a primary playmaker. In 2021-22, he nearly posted a triple-double on a nightly basis, averaging 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game.
He is also one of the NBA’s elite perimeter defenders, averaging no less than 1.5 steals per game in each of his past four seasons (and led the league in 2021-22). Murray is a gifted athlete who should continue to improve with time.
5. Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
Bane is one of the most intriguing shooting guards in the NBA.
At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds of pure muscle, he is built like an NFL linebacker. But his game isn’t as bruising as it may seem based on his stature.
He has a wonderful touch on his jump shot and spends a lot of his time on the perimeter. But make no mistake, he can use his strength to attack the basket when he pleases.
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Bane has quickly become one of the league’s more efficient and well-rounded scorers. He has shot over 40% from the three-point line in each of his first three seasons and has seen his scoring output increase notably each year.
Not only can Bane score, but he has proven to be a capable passer and secondary playmaker. He averaged 4.4 assists per game last year and was forced to handle the ball more with Ja Morant dealing with injuries and off-court issues. Bane’s strength also helps him on the defensive end of the court as he can guard multiple positions.
His versatility and development have played a huge role in the success of the Memphis Grizzlies over the last few seasons. They’ve won 50-plus games in consecutive seasons and have a good chance of making it three straight in 2023-24.
4. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves
Edwards has the future MVP of the league written all over him.
His bubbly and outspoken personality and his elite on-court presence make him must-see television whenever he plays. Edwards is only 22 years old and already the face of USA basketball at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. He is a superstar that will only continue to ascend.
Edwards made the first of what will be several All-Star appearances last season. He averaged 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Like Desmond Bane, Edwards has a special combination of size, strength, and athleticism, and he uses it to his benefit on defense.
Not only is Edwards a high-volume scorer, but he can do it efficiently. Last season, he shot career-highs from both the field (45.9%) and from three (36.9%) while attempting a career-high 19.5 shots per game.
The increase in efficiency aligning with the increase in opportunity is important for Edwards’ development. He will earn his first All-NBA selection in 2023-24.
3. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics gave Jaylen Brown the richest contract in NBA history (five years, $304 million) this offseason thanks to his contributions in recent years and the continued contribution the franchise expects from him in the future.
Brown’s 2022-23 All-NBA Team selection allowed him to receive a supermax contract extension. If he didn’t make the team, it would’ve cost him more than $100 million.
Brown has been the second-best player on a championship-caliber team for quite some time now. The Celtics have been to the Eastern Conference Finals in five of Brown’s seven seasons, and there were times last year when people wondered if Brown might be better than his MVP candidate teammate, Jayson Tatum.
In 2022-23, Brown averaged a career-high in points (26.6), rebounds (6.9), and field goal percentage (49.1). Turning 27 in October, Brown’s best days are still ahead of him. He does so many things well on the court and will only continue to improve with time.
2. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Also known as “Spida,” Donovan Mitchell is one of the most exciting players in the NBA.
Like Tyrese Maxey, he is undersized for the position (6-foot-1), but he more than makes up for it with top-of-the-line speed and athleticism. His vertical ability and relentless motor make him a blur to try to defend in transition.
The four-time All-Star earned his first All-NBA selection last season, his first with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mitchell is one of the smoothest scorers in the NBA, and he makes it look so easy at times to create, take, and make shots at will.
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Mitchell has averaged 20-plus points in each of his first six NBA seasons. He has also averaged at least one steal per game every year. His consistency on both ends is hard to ignore.
The University of Louisville product is the definition of a winning player. He has propelled his team to the playoffs every year of his career and has become known as a postseason performer.
He ranks ninth all-time in points per playoff game, averaging 27.8 points across 44 career postseason games. The 2022-23 All-NBA shooting guard just averaged 28.3 points per game while nearly posting 50/40/90 shooting splits, a truly remarkable feat.
1. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Booker is the only player who could prevent Mitchell from ranking atop this list.
He has been integral to the Phoenix Suns and their transformation into a perennial title contender. In an era where offensive production is at all-time highs, Booker has a case to be the most polished three-level scorer in the NBA.
Booker scored 70 points in 2017 against the Boston Celtics as a 20-year-old, becoming the youngest ever to reach the threshold in a game. His ability to put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways is a big part of what makes him the special talent he is.
In 2021-22, Booker finished fourth in NBA MVP voting, showing he is finally beginning to get the respect he deserves.
The Kentucky product is a career 35.6% three-point shooter who has shot no worse than 50.8% from two-point range in each of the past five seasons. He has also averaged at least 24.9 points per game in each of the last six campaigns.
D-Book has the talent to win multiple scoring titles and compete for NBA championships.