Ranking the Best Shooting Guards In the NBA

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Tier 4:  

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Now we reach the depths of even greater convolution, where potential and production vary from game to game. Here the flaws are more fatal,  the potential is less likely to result in production or the ceiling of production is lower.  This tier includes Avery Bradley, Lance Stephenson, Tyreke Evans, DeMar Derozan, Kevin Martin, Iman Shumpert, Danny Green, Tony Allen, Wesley Matthews, Warriors’ acquaintance Monta Ellis, and others.

As a disclaimer, these tiers and rankings do not indicate a finite judgement of these players boundaries and abilities. Finding Klay Thompson’s place relative to his peers helps improve perspective on Thompson’s value to the Golden State Warriors, his progress and current abilities and his future.

Thompson has an elite skill, separating him from many of the other shooting guards in the league.  His inappropriate use of this skill is what limits him. He likely lacks the athleticism to ever reach the Wade-Harden-Kobe plateau, but by improving his shot selection, Thompson can become a consistently dangerous offensive threat, and jis ability to shoot not just out of spot up but off screens, allows him to create for teammates in atypical ways. Dump downs to big men and kick outs to wings off drives stemming from defenses overplaying the jump shot are as important to Thompson’s offensive value as his scoring.

Thompson needs to improve his decision making and general offensive awareness, along with his dribbling, if he ever wants to become an offensive star, but his shooting ability and defense will make him a very good shooting guard with only minimal improvements.

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