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NBA

Who are the top 10 shooting guards in the NBA entering the 2019-20 season?

james-harden-klay-thompson
James Harden and Klay Thompson (NBAE/Getty Images)

Having ranked the top 30 players in the NBA, it only makes sense that we now break down the league's best players at each position.

Up to the task are four members of our NBA.com Staff: Myself, Kyle Irving, Scott Rafferty and Carlan Gay.

For the sake of repetitiveness in this activity, we classified players as one position.

Jrue Holiday, for example, will likely be the starting shooting guard for the New Orleans Pelicans this upcoming season, meaning he will appear on this list. Jimmy Butler, on the other hand, is often listed at shooting guard but is the presumptive small forward for the Miami Heat in the 2019-20 season, meaning his name cannot be found here.

Prolific Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics were the two players that just missed the cut.

Also worth noting is the inclusion of both Victor Oladipo and Klay Thompson - two players whose injuries were taken into account when ranking. While the two are among the elite shooting guards in the NBA, missing a majority of the upcoming season means they will not have as big of an impact as some names that appear before theirs.

With all that being said, below, you'll find our rankings for the best shooting guards in the NBA entering the 2019-20 season.

10. Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings

Stat to know: Hield sank 278 3-pointers in the 2018-19 season.

When talking about the best pure shooters in the NBA, Hield has to be one of the first names that get mentioned. Last season, he became one of just five players in NBA history (!) to sink over 270 triples in a season. Not to mention he did it at a 42.7% clip to average a career-high 20.7 points per game.

9. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

Stat to know: Last season, Booker averaged career-highs in points (26.6 ppg) and assists (6.8 apg).

It's amazing to think all that Booker has done before his 23rd birthday. The Suns' franchise player has improved his scoring average in each of his first four seasons and emerged as a playmaker last season as the team struggled to find a point guard for him to share the backcourt with. Now, with Ricky Rubio by his side, Booker could again make another leap as a scorer.

T-7. Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

Stat to know: Oladipo's true shooting percentage in the clutch last season was 80.4%.

In short, you want the ball in this guy's hands when the game is on the line. Per NBA.com Stats, Oladipo was lights out in clutch situations last season, shooting 63.2% from the field, including 12-for-20 from beyond the arc. Upon his return from injury, he has the ability to lead the Pacers to the upper tier of the Eastern Conference.

T-7. DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs

Stat to know: DeRozan averaged a career-high 6.2 assists per game in 2018-19.

In his first season as a Spur, DeRozan's potential as a playmaker was seemingly unleashed by head coach Gregg Popovich, as evidenced by his career-best assist figures. Part of this was due to necessity, as he assumed playmaking duties with point guard Dejounte Murray missing the entire season.

Now, with Murray back, DeRozan could become an even more efficient scorer - his 48.1% shooting from the field in 2018-19 was the highest mark since his rookie year when his usage was much lower.

6. CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers

Stat to know: McCollum averaged 24.7 points per game in the 2019 playoffs.

Portland's prolific shooting guard increased his production in the postseason, a big part of the team enjoying its most successful run in 20 years. Should he sustain this level of play throughout the 2019-20 season, he could earn the first All-Star selection of his career and help keep the Blazers in the top half of the playoff picture.

5. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Stat to know: Thompson scored 7.3 points per game off of screens in 2018-19.

Klay's 568 total points off of screens was good for first in the NBA by a wide margin last season (Stephen Curry, 423). In fact, he has led the league in total points off of screens in each of the last four seasons. Once Thompson returns from injury, he'll add a much-needed dynamic to Golden State's offence.

4. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans

Stat to know: Holiday averaged 23.5 points per 36 minutes without Anthony Davis on the court last season.

That was up from the 19.8 points per 36 minutes he averaged with Davis on the court. With AD gone and Holiday assuming all leadership roles as the teams No. 1 option, we could see a big year from the 11-year veteran.

3. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

Stat to know: In 24 games after the 2019 All-Star break, Mitchell averaged 26.7 points per game while shooting 46.1% from the field.

Utah was 18-6 in the above 24 games.

Now, with Mike Conley as his backcourt mate, Mitchell could tap into another level of production in his third year and continue his progression into a superstar in this league. Should he do that, he could very well earn his first All-Star nod in 2020.

2. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

Stat to know: Beal played a league-high 3,028 minutes in 2018-19.

Washington's shooting guard hasn't missed a regular season game since the finale of the 2016-17 season. Last season, he was extremely productive in his 36.9 minutes per game, averaging career-highs in points (25.6 ppg), assists (5.5 apg) and rebounds (5.0), barely missing an All-NBA selection.

With John Wall likely to miss the entire season, the load will again be heavy for Beal, who looks to continue his elite-level play.

1. James Harden, Houston Rockets

Stat to know: Harden won his second-consecutive scoring title by averaging 36.1 points per game in 2018-19.

It was a historic season for Harden, who posted the league's best scoring average since Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 points per game in the 1986-87 season. His scoring exploits got the Rockets back on track after a rough start to the 2018-19 season.

This year, Harden reunites with former MVP Russell Westbrook in the backcourt, forming one of the more fearsome duos in the NBA. With Westbrook on his side, can Harden again lead the league in scoring? The last player to win three consecutive scoring titles was Kevin Durant from 2010-12.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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