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Ranking The Top Five NBA Shooting Guards Heading Into The 2022/23 Season

Who are the top five shooting guards in the NBA as we approach the start of the 2022/23 season?

NBA

The shooting guard position has brought us some of the highest-flying, most exciting players in NBA history. Michael Jordan is probably the first name that comes to mind, for good reason, but Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Clyde Drexler, Reggie Miller, and Allen Iverson, among many more, were all shooting guards who helped define their eras of professional basketball while captivating audiences.

The NBA is still loaded with thrilling two guards. Some are known for their rim-rattling dunks while others are feared as clutch sharpshooters. Whatever their skill set on the court, each of the guys on this list truly special players who make their franchises better and inspire hope and awe from their dedicated fanbases.

Without further ado, let’s dig a bit deeper and count down the top five shooting guards in the NBA as we approach the start of the 2022/23 season:

Honorable Mention: Anthony Edwards

You may consider it a cop-out for including a sixth name on this top-five list, but there was a young player who didn’t quite make the cut but deserves a shout-out. Anthony Edwards was outstanding as a rookie, averaging 19.3 points and narrowly falling to LaMelo Ball in the ROTY race. However, he bounced back for an even better sophomore campaign, in which he improved his game across the board and averaged borderline All-Star numbers of 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals while improving his three-point shooting to nearly 36%.

Edwards is an incredibly explosive player and one of the most electric dunkers in the league. In joining Karl Anthony-Towns in Minnesota, Edwards helped the Timberwolves return to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 in just his sophomore campaign. Edwards is on the verge of becoming a legitimate superstar, and the Timberwolves seem poised to make some noise in 2022/23.

5. Zach LaVine

Speaking of explosive dunkers, next up we have one of the highest-flying players in recent memory, Zach LaVine.

That said, he is far more than just an electric dunker at this point in his career. He is now a two-time All Star and one of the elite scorers in the NBA. He led the Chicago Bulls back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 last year while putting up rock-solid averages of 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists and shooting nearly 39% from three-point range.

LaVine and the Bulls got off to a red-hot start last season but eventually stumbled down the stretch and were out of the playoffs in the first round. If he can lead the Bulls on a deeper playoff run this season, he should reach NBA superstar status.

4. Bradley Beal

There have been many players in league history who achieve the “great player, bad franchise” reputation. Bradley Beal is that guy in the modern NBA. Despite forming an elite backcourt with John Wall for over a half-decade, the Washington Wizards were never able to get over the hump and go on a deep playoff run. Since losing his running mate (first to injury and then to the Houston Rockets), things have only gotten worse, and Beal hasn’t been able to drag the Wizards to a winning record since 2017/18.

That said, he has put up some truly great individual performances. He struggled to stay on the court with an injury to his wrist last season, playing just 40 games and having a down year statistically (while still putting up 23.2 points and 6.6 assists per game). But when last seen fully healthy, Beal achieved back-to-back 30+ point seasons in 2019/20 and 2020/21. He is a three-time All Star and one of the elite scorers in the NBA.

Despite his franchise’s struggles to stay competitive, Beal was rewarded for his loyalty with a five-year, $251 million supermax contract extension over the summer. Will he ever get enough of a supporting cast to lead the Wizards into contention? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, he is one of the franchise’s greatest players ever and is one of the top two guards in the league today.

3. Donovan Mitchell

The Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes are finally over, as the Utah Jazz sent their best offensive player to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the blockbuster trade. The Cavaliers now have one of the best shooting guards in the NBA in the backcourt next to their promising young point guard, Darius Garland.

In Mitchell’s five-year career, he has never averaged less than 20 points per game and is coming off his third-straight All-Star campaign. Mitchell teamed up with Rudy Gobert to make the Utah Jazz one of the top teams in the Western Conference for the past half-decade. However, because they were never able to complete a deep playoff run (never making it past the conference semifinals), franchise leadership decided to pull the plug and go in a different direction.

That said, Mitchell’s performances have made him a truly elite two-guard. Last season, he averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 assists while hitting 3.5 three-pointers per game. He can score from anywhere on the floor and is a truly elite athlete. The Cleveland Cavaliers now find themselves with their best player and most dangerous roster since Lebron James left town.

2. Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is coming off an outstanding campaign in which he teamed up with Jayson Tatum to lead the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals. He is the best defender on this list, and his impact is probably felt the most outside of the box score, which is likely why he was not selected as an All Star last season.

That said, his individual numbers are still certainly All-Star caliber. He finished the 2021/22 regular season with averages of 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting nearly 36% from three-point range.

While Jayson Tatum gets the bulk of the credit for being the Celtics’ true “superstar” player, Jaylen Brown’s contributions cannot be undervalued. His team does not take down the Nets, Bucks, and Heat in the Eastern Conference gauntlet and take two games from the Warriors in the NBA Finals without his outstanding play on both ends of the floor.

He is still getting better, particularly in his ball handling and efficiency, but he is, without question, an elite shooting guard in the NBA.

1. Devin Booker

And last but not least, we have the most important player of the Phoenix Sun’s current golden age of basketball, Devin Booker. Booker has been a terrifyingly explosive player his whole career, as evidenced by his insane 70-point game against the Celtics in 2017 (becoming the youngest player ever to achieve that milestone). However, in the years since, the 25-year-old guard has improved the rest of his game exponentially, developing into a true NBA superstar.

Booker is now a three-time All Star and is coming off his best statistical season as a professional. Booker, along with his costars Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, led the Phoenix Suns to the best record in basketball last season at 64-18 (also the franchise’s best record ever), while averaging 26.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.1 steals while improving his three-point accuracy to over 38%. His team fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs in seven games after making the NBA Finals the year before.

If Booker and company come back in revenge mode in 2022/23, the sky is the limit for this player and his squad.

Written By

Raptors fan since '95, Eagles fan since I can remember. Anthropologist turned logistics professional turned hopeful sports writer. Dog dad of three. Excited to share my passion for sports!

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