The NBA has undergone a lot of changes in the last few years. With the new age of super teams, it is difficult to find players who can be relied on for long periods of time. This list will feature the top 10 shooting guards in 2021 that should be able to contribute for their team and show some promise for future seasons.

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Because the greatest scorers in the game primarily occupy the shooting guard position, it may be the most entertaining position to watch. The goal of basketball is to outscore your opponent, and shooting guards have traditionally done so in the most entertaining manner of all the positions. After all, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were previously in charge of that position.

But, looking forward to the 2021 NBA season, who are the best players in the league? Rather, who will begin the season as the world’s greatest shooting guard? Here are the ten top shooting guards in the NBA right now, based on last season’s output and the anticipated performances from each player.


Special Mention


Terry Rozier is a professional basketball player.

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Statistics for 2020-2021: 20.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, 38.9% 3-PT FG

Terry Rozier has improved as a shooting guard over the past two years, and he’s just getting better now that LaMelo Ball is playing beside him. Last season, Rozier averaged 20.4 points per game on 38.9% three-point shooting, and the 27-year-old has demonstrated the potential to go hot in games when he’s in the mood. Rozier just misses the top-10 list as a strong defender and a confident scorer.

Ball will draw a lot of defensive attention, which will allow “Scary Terry” to continue to develop in his shooting guard position. Rozier, who used to be a backup point guard for the Celtics and had a season high of 11.3 points per game, is averaging 19.3 points per game with Charlotte thus far and will continue to improve.


Collin Sexton (10)

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(Image courtesy of Fear the Sword)

24.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 37.1 percent 3-PT FG in 2020-2021

Collin Sexton was available for trade at the conclusion of last season, but that doesn’t mean the 22-year-old isn’t a capable scorer. Sexton averaged 24.3 points per game in 35.3 minutes of play, shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. Sexton is a dynamic scorer who can also hit the three-point jumper. He would be a valuable addition to any NBA club.

Maybe Cleveland wanted to cash in on their leading scorer’s breakout season by trading him for assets, or maybe Darius Garland was being held back by Sexton’s ball domination. One thing is certain: Collin Sexton’s playmaking skills must improve if he wants to continue scoring the ball. However, as a shooting guard, this works in his advantage, which is why he is ranked in the top ten at his position.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (nine)

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23.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 41.8 percent 3-PT FG in 2020-2021

Gilgeous-Alexander is an outstanding athlete with a strong all-around game, but he has yet to lead his side to victory. Once that occurs, the 6’6″ shooting guard will quickly rise among the ranks of the game’s best guards. Last season, the 23-year-old averaged 23.7 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and 5.9 assists per game, all of which may qualify him for All-Star consideration.

Gilgeous-Alexander may make his first All-Star appearance in 2022. The Thunder are still rebuilding and will continue to attempt to tank games, but an instant boost from their best player may hasten the process. Few players can match the former No. 11 overall pick’s quickness and talent, and Oklahoma City seems to have discovered another gem.


RJ Barrett (#8)

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Statistics for 2020-2021: 17.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 40.1 percent 3-PT FG

RJ Barrett improves each year, and last season, the former No. 3 overall selection showed signs of becoming an All-Star. The New York Knicks, led by All-Star Julius Randle, were one of the league’s most unexpected teams when they finished fourth in the East and reached the playoffs. Barrett had a good cause for it, don’t get me wrong.

The 6’6″ shooting guard is a natural scorer, averaging 17.6 points per possession on 14.7 tries per game. Barrett has a long way to go in terms of effectiveness (42.5 percent so far in his career), but he is just 21 years old, so everything is possible. Barrett may be an All-Star for years to come if he continues to improve as a scorer and matures in the game.


Klay Thompson (#7)

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(Image courtesy of Golden State Of Mind)

DNP Statistics for 2020-2021

Klay Thompson is a top-3 shooting guard when he’s healthy. He has the best case for making the Hall of Fame of all the players on our list because of what he contributes to the game on both ends. Thompson has an incredible record as the second-best shooter of all time, with three titles and five All-Star selections to his credit.

But Klay hasn’t played in almost two years, and it’ll be difficult for the 31-year-old to recapture his former glory. Thompson will lose out on the top five until then, but he should be able to reclaim his spot by mid-season. The Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry urgently need the second Splash Brother back because their championship hopes are still alive.


CJ McCollum (sixth)

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Image courtesy of Getty Images

23.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.4 SPG, 40.2 percent 3-PT FG in 2020-2021

C.J. McCollum, a shooting guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, is one of the greatest scorers in the league, and his scoring average would be greater if he didn’t play alongside Damian Lillard, another excellent scorer. McCollum is one of the few players in the league who can generate great looks for himself in a number of ways. He drains outside shots, attacks the basket with authority, and has a flawless mid-range game.

After narrowly reaching the playoffs last season, McCollum and Lillard will be hoping for a stronger season this year. McCollum will strive to be at his best in terms of scoring the ball, as the higher the Blazers rise in the rankings, the better he is on offense.


Zach LaVine (#5)

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Statistics for 2020-2021: 27.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, and 41.9 percent 3-PT FG

Zach LaVine is a fantastic athlete, but that isn’t all he is renowned for these days. LaVine has the ability to score baskets at an All-Star level, and he’ll be trying to build on his success from last season. LaVine has established himself as a franchise player for the Chicago Bulls. LaVine’s outside shooting skill has developed significantly over the years, and he is a big headache for opposing defenders.

LaVine will be hoping for more assistance in Chicago so that he can test his abilities in the playoffs. LaVine puts forth a lot of effort every night and will continue to work on his all-around game as he strives to become a perennial Eastern Conference All-Star.


Bradley Beal (#4)

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31.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 34.9 percent 3-PT FG in 2020-2021

Last season, Bradley Beal made a huge leap as a go-to scorer and offensive force for the Washington Wizards. With 31.3 points per game, the shooting guard finished second in the NBA, only 0.7 points behind Stephen Curry. Bradley Beal deserves to win the scoring championship for the most of the season. The Wizards are in the lottery without the All-Star on their roster.

Bradley Beal is a top-5 shooting guard in the NBA, and he’ll prove it this season by guiding the Wizards into the playoffs with a fresh look. Although Russell Westbrook is no longer a Wizard, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, and Spencer Dinwiddie form a solid core that can help the team make a postseason run in the Eastern Conference.


Donovan Mitchell is number three.

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GQ

Statistics for 2020-2021: 26.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 38.6% 3-point field goal

Donovan Mitchell is without a doubt one of the best three shooting guards in the NBA right now. Mitchell is a true franchise player who will soon be competing for a spot among the top two shooting guards in the league. Mitchell has a certain something about him that reminds me of Dwyane Wade when he was younger. Mitchell puts forth a lot of effort every night, has great athleticism, and is a natural clutch player.

Mitchell nearly made it to the Western Conference Finals after he and the Jazz squandered a 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs last season. Mitchell has all of the qualities required of a superstar, but he must continue to develop in order to achieve that status. The 25-year-old superstar got off to a terrific start by winning the West.


Devin Booker (#2)

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25.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 34.0 percent 3-PT FG in 2020-2021

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns is the NBA’s second-best shooting guard. Booker can generate his own offense better than virtually every other player in the NBA right now, and Chris Paul’s presence will only help him improve. Booker was already an All-Star the previous four years, but this year he will cement his position as one of the league’s top players.

Booker’s playmaking skills will most certainly improve as he faces more double teams, and he will remain at ease as a scorer. Booker is a lethal three-point shooter who can also attack the basket and make jumpers from mid-range. Booker will aim to be a superstar player as part of the entire offensive package as he continues to learn how to win under Chris Paul.


James Harden, No. 1

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24.6 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 10.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 36.2 percent 3-PT FG in 2020-2021

James Harden is without a doubt the greatest shooting guard in the NBA, and it isn’t even close. Harden is the best shooting guard in the league in terms of scoring and passing, and he has the greatest overall effect on the game. While Harden lacks the defensive prowess of Klay Thompson or Marcus Smart, he excels in every other area.

Harden is a player that can score for himself or his teammates at any time, and he is capable of winning games on his own. Harden has shown that he can put up a 50-point triple-double when he wants to, and he is a three-time scoring champion who will most likely be the best for at least the next few years. Harden’s status will not be harmed by playing alongside Kevin Durant and (maybe) Kyrie Irving, since he was leading the MVP race before his injury last season.

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