This NBA season has been a wild ride so far. We’ve had ups and downs, crazy trades, an eventful free agency period, unfortunate injuries to some of the league’s biggest players, and plenty more during this unique season. Normally around this time of the year, we would be wrapping up the season and preparing for the playoffs. The delayed start to the 2021 campaign means that we are still a month away from the postseason, but with only a few weeks left, it isn’t too early to start taking a look at who has been the best in the NBA in certain categories this year. As we head towards the home stretch, here is a list of the NBA’s top shooting guards so far for 2021.
The 20 Best Shooting Guards In the NBA Right Now
20. Terry Rozier
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Terry Rozier is currently having the season of a lifetime, averaging 21 PPG since LaMelo Ball’s injury. Arriving to the Hornets as part of the Kemba Walker trade two years ago, Rozier’s production level has been so high this year that there have been early talks of a potential contract extension. Rozier has also been efficient from 3-point land, shooting over 40 percent from the field, and was named the ‘Eastern Conference Player of the Week’ two weeks ago for the first time in his career.
As of this writing, Charlotte currently sits at number 6 in the Eastern Conference standings but is only two games behind the Hawks for the 4th seed. If the things remain this close, then Charlotte could end up finishing the season anywhere between the 4th and 6th seeds. Wherever they land, Rozier will be the key to a deep playoff run.
19. Fred VanVleet
Team: Toronto Raptors
VanVleet has had a tough year when it comes to his overall health. The shooting guard isn’t too far removed from a rough bout of COVID and is currently sidelined with a strained left hip flexor. Despite the injuries, VanVleet has still had a productive season thus far and remains an x-factor for the Raptors. VanVleet is one of those players that can be tough to stop once they catch fire, and is averaging 19.8 points per game, 6.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds for the 2021 campaign. VanVleet should be back in action soon, and his presence will be necessary for Toronto these final few weeks if the Raptors want a shot at the Play-In Tournament.
18. Malik Beasley
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
The injuries have been so crappy this year, and sadly Malik Beasley is one of the latest to add his name to the list as he is currently suffering from a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him out for the next 4-6 weeks. Of course, with the Timberwolves currently holding the 15th seed, that means Beasley’s season is probably over, but prior to his injury, the Timberwolves SG was averaging 19.6 PPG, along with 2.4 assists and 4.4 rebounds. The 24-year-old Atlanta native has improved every season since being drafted in 2016, and if he doesn’t return for 2021, then he is sure to be back stronger next season.
17. Caris Levert
Team: Indiana Pacers
Caris Levert has had quite a season. The 26-year-old was traded to the Indiana Pacers in January as part of a four-team deal that included James Harden being sent to Brooklyn, and Victor Oladipo going to the Houston Rockets. That injury arguably saved Levert’s life, as the standard MRI required when going to a new team showed a small cancerous mass on his left kidney. After two months of recovery, Levert made his debut with the Pacers and has been lighting up since, dropping 34 points in Sunday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis currently holds the 8th seed but could move up or down in the standings depending on how these next couple of weeks shake and bake.
16. Victor Oladipo
Team: Miami Heat
Let’s not forget who Victor Oladipo is and what he’s capable of. Between a rough start, and a knee injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season, Oladipo’s first few weeks with the Miami Heat have been rocky, but Oladipo still remains one of the league’s most dynamic offensive players when healthy. At the moment Miami holds the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference, and it would be huge if Oladipo could return in time for the post-season because ‘Playoff Oladipo’ is a different beast.
15. Evan Fournier
Team: Boston Celtics
Fournier is another player that experienced a mid-season shakeup, after being acquired by the Boston Celtics at the trade deadline. It took Fournier a couple of games to find his footing with the Cs, but the guard has been shooting lights out since. Fournier is another explosive bench presence that will be an important piece in this last month of the regular season. As it stands, the Celtics hold the 7th seed, but could end up finishing anywhere between 4th and 8th depending on how these next few weeks play out.
14. Immanuel Quickley
Team: New York Knicks
Knicks Rookie Immanuel Quickley is bouncing back after some mid-season struggles, which is a welcoming sight for the Knicks. The ‘Rookie of the Year’ candidate has been averaging 12 PPG, and it was really nice to see the young fella bounce back after recent criticism. Quickley is still only a rookie and has plenty of time to expand his game. Experience is the best teacher, and Quickley’s scoring will be needed as the Knicks continue their playoff push.
13. Malik Monk
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Malik Monk is another young player whose full capacity hasn’t been reached. Like many 23-year-old athletes, Monk is still developing and adding to this game, but this season we have seen flashes of his true potential. Just two weeks ago, Monk scored 32 points off the bench in a victory against Miami on March 26th, but injured his ankle a few days later in a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. Monk is expected to return to the Hornets lineup soon, as Charlotte continues their push to close the season strong.
12. Collin Sexton
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
After a decent start, things haven’t gone the way the Cavaliers have hoped, but their future remains bright with 22-year-old Colin Sexton leading the way. Sexton has grown with each year in the NBA, and is a player that can create his own shots while playing off the ball. The Cavs as a whole have shown flashes of being a potential playoff squad, and from a numbers standpoint, they aren’t that far away from qualifying for the play-in (only 3.5 games). Granted it would take the Bulls, Raptors, and Wizards losing majority of their remaining games (and Cleveland winning theirs), but the fact that the Cavs are still this close is a welcoming sight.
11. Zach Levine
Team: Chicago Bulls
Fresh off a 50-piece in the Bulls loss against the Atlanta Hawks, Zach Levine is well...Zach Levine. A super talented player about to enter into the prime of his career, Levine has been averaging 27 points per game this year, and Chicago is right on the cusp of qualifying for the Play In. They’ll have their spot secured if they can manage to hold on to that 10th seed, but have a very small room for error as the Raptors are right on their heels.
10. De’Anthony Melton
Team: Memphis Grizzlies
By now you’ve heard of De’Anthony Melton, and you will be hearing much more of him in the future. You want to talk about proving people, Melton has shut everybody up this year, and has the potential to eventually develop into one of the NBA’s most elite and versatile scorers. Melton can do just about anything on offense; he can pull up from long-range, slash his way to the basket, and knock down those difficult mid-range jumpers. The battle for seeds 8-10 is extremely close in the Western Conference right now, so the Grizzlies will have to hold on if they want to secure their Play In positioning.
9. Paul George
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
You know who else has been on a tear recently? Paul George. PG13 is coming off a big week where he was just named the ‘Western Conference Player of the Week.’ George has been one of the best shooting guards in the league for the better part of the last ten years, has seven All-Star appearances on his resume, and remains one of the best defenders in the NBA. The Clippers are looking to bounce back after their early elimination last season, and currently holds the 3rd seed in the Western Conference.
8. CJ McCollum
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
McCollum is another vet who has been stellar for many years, and in our opinion, has been underrated when it comes to his overall success at the SG position. McCollum is the flashiest, he isn’t the most ‘loud,’ but at different points in his career has had a serious case for being ranked top five amongst shooting guards in the NBA. This season, McCollum is averaging 23 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 4.6 APG, and Portland currently sits at 6th in the Western Conference.
7. Jaylen Brown
Team: Boston Celtics
Brown is still such a young player, but has already established himself as being a top ten SG in the NBA. Brown is a true shooting guard who has spent the last couple off-seasons adding to his shooting repertoire, and expanding his 3 point game. Year 5 has really been a turning point for Brown, and the Cs have their sights set on another playoff run.
6. Devin Booker
Team: Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker really has no regard for human life, and is an exciting player who is exciting to watch. D-Book is averaging 26 PPG for the year so far, and the Suns pretty much have their playoff spot locked in as they seem unlikely to fall below the 3rd seed. Everybody remembers the performance Book put on in the bubble last season, and if history is any indication, we’ll be in for another adventure this go-round.
5. Donovan Mitchell
Team: Utah Jazz
There are a couple of rules when it comes to Donovan Mitchell. First of all, don’t make him mad—he might drop 42 on you. Second, do not leave him open. Ever. In the midst of an electric shooting stretch, Mitchell is locked and loaded as the Jazz don’t plan on moving from their number one position anytime soon. While classified as a shooting guard, Mitchell is also technically a point guard, and regularly switches between the 1 and 2. Mitchell has been averaging 26 points this season, and those averages are likely to increase come playoff time.
4. James Harden
Team: Brooklyn Nets
Not much needs to be said about Harden as we are aware of all the 50 point games, All-Star appearances, and his much-deserved 2018 MVP. Harden’s dominance at the SG position dates back to his early days with the Houston Rockets, and is nearly impossible to guard when he catches fire. Despite all of the ups and downs this year, Brooklyn still holds the number two seed in the Eastern Conference. Let’s see what they can do come playoff time.
3. Bradley Beal
Team: Washington Wizards
Has anyone started a Bradley Beal apology form yet? If not, one needs to be typed up immediately because Beal has been a monster all year long. From 60 point showings, to ‘in your face’ game winners, Beal has had a career year thus far, one that could have put him in the MVP conversation if the Wizard’s record was better. The Play In this season still gives the Wizards a shot at potentially playing for a playoff spot, but they would have to win out most of their remaining games, and hope the Bulls and Raptors drop a couple.
2. Kyrie Irving
Team: Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving is kinda sorta a point guard, but he’s also kinda sorta a shooting guard too. Actually we’ll just say he’s a mixture of both. Kyrie is a generational player that we will likely never see again. You want to talk about versatility? That’s Kyrie. You want to talk about crafty shots and the ability to pull up from anywhere? That’s Kyrie. We can go on and on about Kyrie’s skill set, but there is no denying that he is one of the all-timers.
1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
These dang injuries! Gilgeous-Alexander has been out for over two weeks due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot, but has been averaging nearly 24 points a game. This kid is good, and we have so much to look forward to even if the Thunder don’t make the playoffs. Gilgeous-Alexander will likely be an Olympian this summer, and is sure to get better with time.
So what do you think of our list. Did we miss anybody? Let us know your thoughts!