The 2022-23 NBA season is upon us and after yet another crazy offseason, the stars of the league are once again ready to show out and compete for a championship.
Recently, we released our Top-10 point guard rankings entering the new season and now, it is time to turn our attention towards the shooting guard position.
Today in the NBA, many guards have the ability to play both on- and off-the-ball, but what makes some of the top shooting guards in this league unique is the fact that they have the ability to go on scoring runs of their own.
There are a ton of talented offensive players in this league today, but when you look at some of the players at the top of this list, it is clear to see why this position is so important.
While they did not make the list, it is worth mentioning Desmond Bane, Jalen Green, Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. as honorable mentions at the shooting guard position, as all four of these guys are young stars in the making.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the second installment of our Top-10 Positional Rankings for the 2022-23 NBA season by breaking down the Top-10 shooting guards in the NBA:
No. 10: Tyrese Maxey - Philadelphia 76ers
By the end of the 2022-23 NBA season, Tyrese Maxey may very well move his way up this list, as the 21-year-old guard seems to get better each and every night he steps foot on the court. Maxey has been in the gym all offseason long working on every little part of his game and now Maxey finds himself as the most important player on the Philadelphia 76ers next to James Harden and Joel Embiid.
No, Maxey is not a better player than either of those two, but his contributions on the offensive-end of the floor are the difference in this team finding immediate success.
The 76ers are a championship contending team this year and Tyrese Maxey figures to once again play a huge part in their potential success. The 2021-22 season was a career-year for him, as he received some consideration for the league’s Most Improved Player and now, Maxey is truly ready to take that next step towards stardom in this league.
No. 9: Dejounte Murray - Atlanta Hawks
While he played the point guard position in San Antonio last season, Dejounte Murray will now transition to playing off-the-ball alongside Trae Young in the Atlanta Hawks backcourt. How this will wind up working is yet to be determined, but Murray is a crafty ball-handler that proved to be one of the better overall “do-it-all” guys in the league with the San Antonio Spurs.
Last season, Murray averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and a league-high 2.0 steals, all of which were new career-highs for the first-time All-Star. He may not be known to be much of a three-point shooting threat, but Dejounte Murray is crafty enough to get himself in the paint on the drive and he is athletic enough to score at the rim. A high-level two-way guard, Murray should once again build off of his success and be a key talent for his team.
No. 8: CJ McCollum - New Orleans Pelicans
Just because you have never been named an All-Star does not mean that you are not a fantastic player and that is certainly the case here with CJ McCollum. Now heading into his 10th NBA season, McCollum has been consistent his entire career and after joining the New Orleans Pelicans last season, McCollum put together some of the best overall games of his career.
With the Pelicans, the veteran shooting guard has averaged 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 49.3 percent from the floor and 39.4 percent from three-point range. He also recorded eight 30-point games in 26 total games with New Orleans.
A vocal leader on the floor and a mentor for the youth of his team, CJ McCollum is the type of player every team in this league wishes they had. It would not be surprising to see McCollum build off of his success from last season and finally break through to make the All-Star Game alongside Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
No. 7: Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
Perhaps the greatest storyline from the 2021-22 NBA season was the return of Klay Thompson, who waited 941 days from the 2019 NBA Finals to January 9, 2022 to make his long awaited return. One of the best personalities, if not the best personality, in the league, Thompson is a guy that everybody cheers for simply because he is such a likeable person.
Playing in 32 total games last season with the Golden State Warriors, Thompson came back and averaged 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 38.5 percent from three-point range. That is a terrific season for many in the league and Klay did this after missing two full seasons due to two major leg injuries!
When he is healthy alongside Stephen Curry, the Warriors are unstoppable and they proved this last season by claiming their fourth championship in the last eight seasons. Having the entire offseason to get his body right physically and mentally, Klay Thompson is prepared to come back and have yet another All-Star-like season with the Warriors.
No. 6: Zach LaVine - Chicago Bulls
Earning himself a five-year, $215 million contract this offseason, there are now huge expectations on the shoulders of Zach LaVine. Being a main reason why the Chicago Bulls made the playoffs for the first time since 2017 last year and making his second straight All-Star Game appearance, it is clear to see why the Bulls kept LaVine around.
His 24.4 points per game ranked 12th in the NBA last season and LaVine scored a total of 1,635 points, the 13th most in the league even though he played in 67 total games. The Eastern Conference is better than it was a season ago and as a result, Zach LaVine is going to need to continue finding ways to elevate his play in other ways than just being a go-to scorer in order for Chicago to find long-term success.
No. 5: Jaylen Brown - Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum is obviously the name everyone associates with the Boston Celtics nowadays, but without Jaylen Brown, the Celtics would not have made the NBA Finals. Brown, a player some thought would be nothing more than a role player in this league when he was first drafted, has turned himself into one of the best two-way wings in the entire NBA and he has now averaged at least 23.0 points per game in back-to-back seasons after averaging 23.6 points per game last season.
In the NBA Finals, Brown was spectacular and he really proved why the Celtics should not be looking to trade him. Jaylen Brown is only 25-years-old, he is one of the better players in this league on both ends of the floor and is the perfect No. 2 scoring option for Boston to have alongside Tatum. Heading into his 7th NBA season, Brown will once again set high expectations for himself and will look to do everything he can to help the Celtics make it back to the Finals.
No. 4: Anthony Edwards - Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Edwards was great playing Kermit Wilts in Hustle on Netflix, but he is a much better NBA player than he is an actor!
Building off of his rookie season this past year, Edwards ended up averaging 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range during the 2021-22 season.
With Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert by his side, as well as D’Angelo Russell being his running mate in the backcourt, everything is aligning for Edwards to have a massive, potential All-Star-like season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. At just 21-years-old, Edwards has the potential to lead the league in scoring one day and is one of the most explosive players in the league when he is driving towards the basket.
The only way Minnesota finds success moving forward is if Anthony Edwards continues to become the star he was destined to be when the Timberwolves selected him first overall in 2020. It would not come as a shock to see Edwards finish inside of the Top-10 in scoring this upcoming season.
No. 3: Donovan Mitchell - Cleveland Cavaliers
Having both Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen emerge as first-time All-Stars a season ago, as well as having Evan Mobley finish as the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, the Cleveland Cavaliers went out and made a championship type of move by trading for three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell. With the Jazz, Mitchell was oftentimes alone in terms of scoring when his team needed production, but now with Cleveland, Mitchell finally has the help he needs.
An elite-level scorer from virtually anywhere on the floor, what makes Donovan Mitchell such a special player is the fact that he can take over a game at any moment. We saw what he was capable of doing in the 2020 NBA Bubble when he scored 50 points in two different games in the same series and he is now coming off a year in which he averaged 25.9 points, 5.3 assists and shot 44.8 percent from the floor.
Donovan Mitchell is more than capable of being the leader of this young Cavaliers team and in the same backcourt as Darius Garland, Mitchell is destined for success heading into the 2022-23 season.
No. 2: Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards
Limited to just 40 games this past season due to a wrist injury, Bradley Beal is now healthy and set to begin the 2022-23 season with the Washington Wizards after signing a five-year, $251 million extension this offseason. For years now, Beal has been one of the better scorers in the entire NBA, but the Wizards have not really surrounded him with the capable talents that could take this team to the playoffs.
Now, Beal has Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis, Monte Morris and Will Barton around him, as well as a handful of young, high-potential players that will only get better with time. The Wizards could absolutely be a “surprise” team in the Eastern Conference this season and if we know one thing, it is that Bradley Beal will once again be one of the best offensive talents in the league.
Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Beal has averaged 25.8 points per game and since the 2017-18 season, Beal has recorded 111 total 30-point games, tied for the sixth-most in the league in this span. Whether or not Washington can be competitive and possibly earn a playoff spot this season is yet to be known, but Bradley Beal still remains one of the best scorers of this generation.
No. 1: Devin Booker - Phoenix Suns
Look, I get all the jokes about the Phoenix Suns, especially the ones about them losing to the Adelaide 36ers this preseason, but this team still remains a true championship contender simply because of how good Devin Booker is. While he is now going into his 8th NBA season, which is hard to believe, Booker is still only 25-years-old and beginning to reach the peak of his career.
This past season, Booker averaged career-highs in points (26.8) and rebounds (5.0), plus he tied his career-best for three-point shooting percentage at 38.3 percent. Booker has improved tremendously as a ball-handler and playmaker for the Suns, plus he can explode for 40-plus points at any given moment in any game, which is why he is the best shooting guard in the league right now.
Devin Booker is still young enough to continue working on his craft and if the Suns are to get back to the NBA Finals, it will be because of him. We should expect nothing less than excellence from the three-time All-Star this year.
Other Fastbreak on FanNation 2022-23 NBA Top-10 Position Rankings: