February 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings defeated the Rockets 117-111. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Right Down Euclid Rankings: Shooting Guards

With the NBA in its yearly offseason lull, it’s as good a time as ever to rank the best players at each position. RDE co-editor Chris Manning and site blogger Trevor Magnotti will be taking a look at the Top 10 players (plus three honorable mentions) at each position for the next five weeks. The second of this series looks at the shooting guard position.

Chris Manning’s Top 10

1. James Harden, Houston Rockets

2. Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat

3. Andrew Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

4. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

5. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

6. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

7. J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

8.Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans

9. O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee Bucks

10. Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks

Honorable Mentions

– Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers

– Kevin Martin, Minnesota Timberwolves

– Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks

How does Dion Waiters stack up?

Waiters falls in the 15-17 range for me. He has the potential to climb much higher on the list, but right now there are more questions about his game than answers. He’ll need improve shot selection, ability to score off the ball and defensive ability in order to even crack the Top-10. But there are things he does well, specifically creating his own shot. If he can improve his weaknesses – and fine tune his strengths – it’s not of the question that he cracks the Top-10 list by the end of the year.

Trevor Magnotti’s Top 10

1. James Harden, Houston Rockets

2. Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat

3. Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors

4. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

5. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

6. Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks

7. J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

8. Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans

9.  Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls

10. Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers

Honorable Mentions

– Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks

– O.J. Mayo, Milwaukee Bucks

– Kevin Martin, Minnesota Timberwolves

How does Dion Waiters stack up?

I’d rank Waiters around 15th as far as shooting guards go. He’s lacking in a few of the very important qualities that would put him in the top of the conversation (Ability to consistently create off the dribble, defense, three-point shooting), but he’s still a much more useful player than some of the league’s other shooting guards. I’d much rather have a guy like Iman Shumpert over Waiters right now, but I’d also rather pick Waiters over a guy like, say, Randy Foye. Waiters is one of the toughest players to project for next season, because he was so terrible last season in shooting and on defense, but seems to be saying and doing all the right things to work on that. His situation should also be improved; he won’t have to play without Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao for long stretches of the season again (WE HOPE.) I just don’t really know what to make of him yet. Therefore, 15th seems reasonable.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Dion Waiters James Harden

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