NBA free agency 2023: Ranking the top 11 shooting guards, including James Harden and Austin Reaves

James Harden

Shooting guard is the deepest position in the 2023 free agency class. Aside from James Harden, there aren’t any All-Star-level talents, but there are plenty of good starters — and even more skilled role-players.

This is great news for teams that don’t have a lot of cap space. Many of these players will be available with exceptions to the salary cap available to them.

Here are the 11 best shooting guards in this class. (Note: All position designations are from Basketball-Reference.)

RANKING OF FREE AGENCIES: Overall | Point Guard

NBA Free Agency 2023: Ranking of the 11 best shooting guards

1. James Harden | Status: Player option

Harden has a $35.6 million player option that he could use to return to the Sixers next season. It’s more likely that he’ll quit and go for a higher salary.

Harden isn’t the MVP nominee he was three years ago, but he’s turned his game into that of a deadly playmaker. Last season, he led the league with 10.7 assists per game and also managed to average 21.0 points per game.

Harden’s disappearance in the playoffs is certainly a concern, as is the fact that he turns 34 this season. But he’s still a great regular-season player who can serve as the engine of a top offense.

2. Austin Reaves | Status: Restricted free agent

Reaves proved he was a legitimate third option in the playoffs, averaging 16.9 points per game on the Lakers’ road to the Western Conference Finals. His dribbles make him tremble a bit and last season he scored 39.8 percent from distance. He’s also a master at drawing fouls.

Reaves isn’t a one-sided player either. He’s a much better one-on-one defender than he’s given credit for and plays well on the Lakers’ defensive system.

There will be a lot of demand for Reaves. Expect him to receive a big offer from another team that the Lakers will have to match.

3.Jordan Clarkson | Status: Player option

At this point, after nine years in the league, we know who Clarkson is – a standing contender for sixth man of the year based on his microwave rating.

Clarkson didn’t qualify for the award last season because he made the starting lineup and averaged 20.8 points per game, a career-high. He’s a great shot artist who can struggle on defense.

Clarkson will likely be able to get more than his $14.3 million player option if he decides to test the free agent market. Expect him to be available.

4. Josh Hart | Status: Player option

Hart looked a little lost at Portland earlier in the year but regained his confidence after joining the Knicks in February.

Hart is a real all-rounder. He’s a solid defender. He can shoot a little from deep, although he can be way too hesitant to let it fly. He’s good in transition and makes quick decisions to beat his teammates on passes.

Hart is likely out of his contract, but the Knicks will fight hard to keep him. He is a favorite of coach Tom Thibodeau.

5.Caris LeVert | Status: Full free agent

LeVert is a player who scores the first point. He’s good at getting to the edge, shooting 39.2 percent from 3-point range last season.

Efficiency has always been an issue for him – his batting average of 54.6 percent last season was in the bottom 30 percent of the league according to Dunks and Threes. His decision-making ability may also increase and decrease. But he’s a useful player who can generate shots.

6. Alec Burks | Status: team option

Burks is a solid two-way player. He won’t do much inside the 3-point line, but he can train open looks. He can also handle the ball a bit. He’s a smart defender and a great veteran.

The Pistons will likely exercise Burks’ $10.5 million option. However, should he actually manage to break into free agency, every team could use a role player like him.

7. Donte DiVincenzo | Status: Player option

DiVincenzo has restored his value with the Warriors after suffering a serious ankle injury two seasons ago that left him unable to play.

He’s a smart defender and a good 3-point shooter, scoring 39.7 percent of his attempts last season. At 26, his next contract will see him through his prime.

Watch out for him turning down his $4.7M player option and earning significantly more on the open market.

8. Coby White | Status: Restricted free agent

White, the No. 7 draft pick in the 2019 NBA draft, had a rough start to his career. He’s made great strides in the last season, improving his defense, passing and style of play.

White has always been a fine shot since entering the league, scoring 36.7 percent of his 3-point attempts throughout his career. At 23, he still has room for improvement. He could be a good backup or starter for a team that needs more offense.

9. Seth Curry | Status: Full free agent

Curry is one of the best shooters in the league. His minutes dropped significantly last season in Brooklyn, but he still hit 40.5 percent of his 3-point shots. He also has good playing skills – when he was deployed alongside Joel Embiid a few seasons ago, he was one of the best pick and roll players.

Curry is somewhat of a defensive player due to his size. But every team has to shoot and he’s got a few good years ahead of him.

10. Lonnie Walker IV | Status: Full free agent

Walker made the playoff breakthrough for the Lakers, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter of their Game 5 win over the Warriors. He knows how to find his own shot and can score on all three levels of the field.

He is also only 24 years old. He needs to improve defensively as he can sometimes lose focus.

11. Josh Richardson | Status: Full free agent

Richardson has danced extensively in recent seasons. He used to be considered possibly the third best player on a championship team, but he’s not that type anymore.

But he plays good defense and has shot 36.5 percent of his 3-pointers in his career. He can be a useful rotation player.

Dave Gallo

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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