Top Shooting Guards of All Time – Who Is the Best SG in NBA?

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Last Updated: June 14, 2023

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When it comes to a lot of NBA top ten lists, you will have different opinions based on who you ask.

However, if there is one question that will always get you the same answer it is: who is the best SG of all time?

Michael Jordan is considered not only the greatest shooting guard of all time but also the greatest basketball player to ever live.

But who are the other nine players that made our best shooting guards in the NBA list? Keep reading to find out.

10. Reggie Miller

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  • Career Stats: 18.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals
  • NBA Teams: Indiana Pacers (1987–2005)
  • Accolades: Hall of Fame, 5x All-Star, 3x All-NBA

It is enough to watch Miller scoring 8 points in 9 seconds against the New York Knicks in the 1995 playoffs to see why he is on this list.

Reggie Miller is considered one of the finest shooters the NBA has ever seen. With 2,560 made three-pointers in his career, he ranks fourth all-time.

He is also one of four players to average 500-plus minutes, a double-digit scoring average, and a 60-plus true shooting percentage for 11 or more seasons.

Unfortunately for Miller, he played in the same era as Micheal Jordan, and this had a huge impact on his number of all-NBA team selections, and All-Star selections, as well as on the ability to win an NBA championship.

Still, Miller managed to leave a remarkable impact on the NBA as well as promote the three-point shoot as one of the biggest weapons in the NBA.

For his accomplishments on the hardwood, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

9. Ray Allen

top shooting guards of all time

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  • Career Stats: 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.1 steals
  • NBA Teams: Milwaukee Bucks (1996-2003), Seattle SuperSonics (2003-2007), Boston Celtics (2007-2012), Miami Heat (2012-2014)
  • Accolades: Hall of Fame, 10x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, 2x NBA Champion

Before Steph Curry started changing the game of basketball with his 3-point shoot, the name that was synonymous with the 3-pointer was Ray Allen.

Allen was the NBA’s all-time leader for some time with 2,973 before Curry surpassed him, and we can only imagine how many 3-pointers he would make if he had played in today’s era of NBA basketball.

However, although late in his career he relied upon his shooting ability to make an impact, you would be mistaken to think that Allen was only a shooter.

Early in his career, he was also known for his athleticism which allowed him to go past defenders and effortlessly dunk.

Thanks to his sharpshooting, Allen was often the go-to guy late in games, but his greatest shoot ever came on basketball’s biggest stage, the NBA Finals.

In 2013 when Allen was a member of the Miami Heat, he hit a game-tying three-pointer Against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 to send the game into overtime where the Heat outlasted the Spurs.

Ray Allen won two rings in his career, but his biggest legacy will always be one of the most beautiful shooting forms that the game of basketball has ever seen. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

8. Clyde Drexler

best sg of all time

Image courtesy of NBA.com

  • Career Stats: 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.0 steals
  • NBA Teams: Portland Trail Blazers (1983-1995), Houston Rockets (1995-1998)
  • Accolades: Hall of Fame, 10x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, 1x Champion

In eighth place on our list of the greatest NBA shooting guards of all time is Clyde Drexler, one of the most athletic guards of all time.

Drexler was a great all-around player who could score, jump and defend with the best of them, unfortunately for him, during his career, he was compared to Michal Jordan and no guard in NBA history wins that comparison.

Drexler’s misfortune was that he was selected in the same NBA draft and played the same position as Jordan and because of this people often underestimate his greatness. If he played in any other era he would for sure be higher on this list.

For comparison, Drexler averaged 24.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.2 steals per game.

In his career, he had more rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks than Kobe Bryant and he never missed the playoffs.

Although he never managed to win a title with Portland, the team that drafted him, he would go on to win a ring with the Houston Rockets in 1995, achieving the ultimate goal.

Clyde Drexler was a player well before his time, having one of the best all-around games in NBA history, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

7. George Gervin

greatest shooting guards of all time

Image courtesy of NBA.com

  • Career Stats: 25.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals
  • NBA Teams: San Antonio Spurs (1974–1985), Chicago Bulls (1985–1986)
  • Accolades: Hall of Fame, 9x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 4x scoring champion

George “The Iceman” Gervin was one of the best scorers the NBA has ever seen, he averaged 26.2 points per game even though the 3-point shot was introduced in his fifth season in the NBA.

He did it effortlessly, too, hence his nickname The Iceman.

Widely recognized by his signature shoot, the finger roll, Gervin has managed to lead the league in scoring 4 times, and only Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain have more scoring titles, which says a lot about his offensive game.

Although The Iceman never managed to win an NBA title, his efficiency and unique play style have captivated fans across the world and made the Spurts game a must-watch for every NBA fan.

George Gervin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.

6. Allen Iverson

best shooting guards in nba

  • Career Stats: 26.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 2.2 steals
  • NBA Teams: Philadelphia 76ers (1996-2006, 2009-2010), Denver Nuggets (2006-2008), Detroit Pistons (2008-2009), Memphis Grizzlies (2009)
  • Accolades: Hall of Fame, 1x MVP, 11x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 4x NBA scoring champion, ROY (1996-97)

Many will argue that Allen Iverson was a point guard, but for those who watched him play, there is no doubt that he was a true shooting guard trapped in the body of a point guard.

Iverson is often referred to as the best “pound-for-pound” player in NBA history.

For the majority of his career, Iverson was a one-man show, leading the Sixers’ offense in every statistical category as well as leading the team to the 2001 NBA Finals.

Thanks to his speed and ball handling, he was unmatched in one on one situations, unfortunately for him, the rest of his team was at best average.

But aside from his basketball skills, the thing that made Iverson great is the impact he had away from the court. His cornrows, long shorts, and Reebooks made him a cultural icon and one of the most influential NBA players of all time.

And not to forget, he is one of the few players that managed to make Michael Jordan look human after crossing MJ in one of the most memorable NBA moments of all time.

Allen Iverson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

5. James Harden

best shooting guards of all time

Image courtesy of NBA.com

  • Career Stats: 24.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.5 steals
  • NBA Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder (2009–2012), Houston Rockets (2012–2021), Brooklyn Nets (2021–2022), Philadelphia 76ers (2022-)
  • Accolades: 1x MVP, 10x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, Sixth Man of the Year, 3x scoring champion, 1x NBA Assist Leader

One look at James Harden’s NBA resume makes it clear that he is a future Hall of Famer. But what makes The Beard one of the top 10 best shooting guards in the history of the league is his versatility.

If you are an NBA fan, you know that Harden has no problem playing 1 vs. 5 basketball, turning his teammate into bystanders, but the part of his game that is pretty underestimated is the unique way in which he does it.

It seems that every game he has a new go-to move that helps him rack up the stat sheet.

Furthermore, he and Luka Doncic are the only two players to record a 60-point triple-double in NBA history. Harden is the only player to record at least 2,000 points, 900 assists, and 600 rebounds in a single season.

4. Jerry West

best sg in nba

Image courtesy of NBA.com

  • Career Stats: 27.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 2.6 steals
  • NBA Teams: Los Angeles Lakers (1960-1974)
  • Accolades: Hall of Fame, 1x Finals MVP, 14x All-Star, 12x All-NBA selection, 5x All Defensive Team selection, 1x Champion

When your silhouette is the logo of the NBA, you probably accomplished something during your basketball career, and saying that Jerry West just accomplished “something” would be an insult to his legacy.

Jerry West is one of the best performers that the NBA playoffs have ever seen,

In fact, apart from Jordan, he is the only player to average 40 points per game in the playoffs. In addition to this, he is the only player to be named the MVP in the Finals while on the losing team.

During his career, West led the Los Angeles Lakers to nine Final appearances, but unfortunately for him, they only managed to win one championship. However, this is hardly The Logo’s fault, as he was by far the best player on the floor.

But West was not only a great scorer. He also knew how to share the rock, and the best proof of this is when he switched to the point guard position late in his career and led the league in assists.

Jerry West was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.

3. Dwyane Wade

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  • Career Stats: 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks
  • NBA Teams: Miami Heat ( 2003–2016, 2018-2019), Chicago Bulls (2016–2017), Cleveland Cavaliers (2017–2018)
  • Accolades: 1x Finals MVP, 13x NBA All-Star, 8x All-NBA selection, 3x All Defensive Team selection, 1x scoring champion, 3x Champion

If we look only at the numbers, an argument could be made that both Jerry West and James Harden should be higher than Dwayne Wade on this list.

However, it is not always about the numbers – it is also about winning, and Wade led the Miami Heat to an NBA title while he was still on his rookie contract.

In 2006, the Chicago native averaged 28.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.2 steals in the postseason.

He helped Miami climb from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA finals to lift their first championship in franchise history.

Wade is one of those guards who could in their prime do everything you can imagine on the court. He could score and finish around the rim with the best of them, he could lock up opposing teams’ star players, as well as crush his opponents with highlight dunks.

There is no doubt that Dwayne Wade is one of the best guards to ever play the game of basketball and a guaranteed future Hall of Famer.

2. Kobe Bryant

best shooting guards ever in nba

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  • Career Stats: 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.4 steals
  • NBA Teams: Los Angeles Lakers (1996-2016)
  • Accolades: 1x MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 18x NBA All-Star, 15 All-NBA selection, 12x All Defensive Team selection, 2x scoring champion, 5x Champion

Over the years, dozens of players came into the NBA under the moniker Michael Jordan’s successor, but the player who by far came closest to achieving the same greatness as his “Airness” was Kobe Bryant.

Bryant not only modeled his physical game including jab steps, fade way shots and spin moves after Jordan, but what is even more important he had the same mental approach.

Kobe’s on-the-floor competitiveness could only be matched by that of MJ.

His competitiveness allowed him to spend 18 years in the purple and gold jersey and to play on the highest level of basketball every night.

During his career, he won 5 NBA championships, 1 league MVP, 2 Finals MVPs, and 2 scoring titles, and played through more injuries than any of his peers.

Some of his other highlights include scoring 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, averaging 35.4 points per game in 2005-06, and leading Team USA to the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics.

Kobe Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.

1. Michael Jordan

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  • Career Stats: 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.8 blocks
  • NBA Teams: Chicago Bulls (1984–1993, 1995–1998), Washington Wizards (2001–2003)
  • Accolades: 5x MVP, 6x Finals MVP, 1x Defensive Player of the Year, 14x NBA All-Star, 11 All-NBA selection, 9x All Defensive Team selection, 10x scoring champion, 6x Champion

When it comes to the best shooting guards in NBA history, Michael Jordan is the gold standard. All of the players on this list achieved their fair share of greatness, but Jordan is one level above them all.

There are many things that made Jordan great, but the one trait that allowed him to be the greatest shooting guard of all time is his power of will.

As long as he put his mind to it, nothing could prevent MJ from accomplishing something on the basketball court.

We could write about his greatness for days, but here is just a tiny part of his NBA Finals accomplishments.

Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Finals and they won all of them. In the NBA finals, Jordan averaged 33.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game.

In addition, he never lost a final he played whether it was college basketball, NBA, Olympics, or World Championship.

For this, he is considered the greatest competitor basketball has ever seen and one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2009.

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