Shooting guard is perhaps the thinnest position in fantasy hoops, with Dwyane Wade
clearly leading the way. Kobe Bryant
has knee issues and isn't getting any younger, while many more of them are also big injury risks. And while there are some young guns waiting in the wings, if you wait too long to take your shooting guard, you'll be gambling. I also included Monta Ellis and Tyreke Evans as point guards, which might have been a mistake. Therefore, they're not included in this list.
1. Dwyane Wade
Wade was healthy this season, playing in 76 games after playing in 77 and 79 the previous two campaigns. That's a solid three-year streak of health and Wade has the potential to be the best player in fantasy hoops. And he is, without a doubt, the No. 1 shooting guard on the board, worthy of a Top 5 pick.
2. Kobe Bryant
Kobe's knee and finger remain ongoing concerns, as well as all the minutes he's put on his aging body. But he's still a force and a Top 20 fantasy player. He should come into the season fairly healthy, and while he's no longer a lock for a first-round pick, he won't be around when Round 3 of your draft approaches.
3. Kevin Martin
Martin somehow played in 80 games last season and was a fantasy beast for his owners on most nights. He hits a ton of threes and free throws, and just missed averaging a career high with 23.5 points per game in Houston. If he can stay injury free, he should do it again, but his health will always be a concern. He appeared in just 46, 51 and 61 games in his previous three seasons.
4. Eric Gordon
Gordon played in just 56 games last season after missing 20 of them the year before. Injuries are a legitimate concern for Gordon, but if he is able to put in a full season of work next year, he will be a top fantasy option. He scored 22.3 points and hit 1.9 3-pointers per game last year, shoots it well from the field and line, and doesn't have any weaknesses, outside of not blocking shots.
5. Manu Ginobili
Ginobili is going to be 34 years old in July and played in 80 games for the Spurs this season, starting in all but one of them. He used to come off the bench, and while he's still a relatively safe fantasy option, age is going to catch up with him sooner than later.
6. Dorell Wright
Wright played in all 82 games for the Warriors last season, hit 2.4 3-pointers per game, and averaged 5.3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. His shooting was suspect at just 42.3 percent, and he hit just 37.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. Wright was a waiver-wire jackpot last season (or a well-spent late pick), but will not come so cheaply this season.
7. Stephen Jackson
Jackson missed 15 games last season, mostly due to a hamstring injury, but valiantly played through it until it became clear the Bobcats' season was over. Shooting and turnovers are always an issue for Captain Jack, but he qualifies at guard/forward in most leagues and will score a lot of points again in Charlotte. There has been some talk of trading him, but if he's back in Charlotte, he should easily be a Top 10 shooting guard option.
8. Jason Richards
on UFA Magic
It's impossible to figure out where to rank J-Rich right now, as he's an unrestricted free agent for the Magic. He was putting up very solid numbers in Phoenix, but took a big hit after being traded to Orlando. We'll have to see where he ends up, but he should still be a starting NBA shooting guard wherever it happens to be. He's a great 3-point shooter, a solid rebounding guard and a guy who can score 20 points a night in the right situation.
9. Joe Johnson
Simply put, Johnson was a disappointment for the Hawks last season, despite signing a max deal prior to lacing them up. His numbers were well down in every category from the previous season, and while his 18 points, four boards and nearly five assists looks OK on paper, he was frustrating to own given how high he was drafted by owners. The 1.2 3-pointers per game (29.7 percent) was his biggest issue after hitting nearly 2.0 per game for the previous several years, but if he falls toward the middle rounds like we expect him to, his numbers should be much easier for owners to swallow.
10. Marcus Thornton
I'm a little leery of putting Thornton this high after he was buried on the bench in New Orleans last year. But a mid-season trade to the Kings made him a very hot waiver-wire pickup, as he oddly finished the year as one of the bigger fantasy hoops busts, as well as one of the waiver-wire pickups of the year. For the Kings, he averaged 21.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.0 3-pointers per game, while shooting it well across the board. We'll have to see if he starts for the Kings next season (Beno Udrih
and Tyreke Evans
could be the starting backcourt), but if he does, he should
have a big year in Sacramento.