The Mavericks made big changes at shooting guard this summer. Out is the undersized scorer Monta Ellis, and in is the bigger, defensive minded Wesley Matthews.
Ellis, for all of his flaws, was one of Dallas' best players for two seasons, but he fell off the deep end last season for a variety of reasons, like the Rondo trade and his refusal to sit when hurt. Matthews is the anti-Ellis. He's a MUCH better defender who gets his points from 3-pointers rather than driving to the rim. Matthews has been streaky this season after coming back from an Achilles, but has the potential to be the perfect fit at shooting guard the Mavs have needed.
What's behind Matthews is pretty much the same as what was behind Ellis. Devin Harris is a nice backup who pretty much only plays two-guard these days. There's also Raymond Felton and J.J. Barea, both who split time here and at point guard. The interesting piece is rookie Justin Anderson, who has gotten some burn recently. If Anderson becomes a solid rotation player, then the Mavs will be in great shape at shooting guard for the future.
1. Houston: James Harden is a phenomenal offensive player, and is probably the best shooting guard in the league. Defensively? Well, it's another story. But still, no matter how you feel about him, there's no escaping how good he is on offense. Marcus Thornton is a decent backup and Jason Terry is still able to hit a three here and there.
2. Golden State: Klay Thompson is one of the best 2-guards in the league, end of story. Sure, playing with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green help him out quite a bit, but he's a great two-way player in a league that lacks consistently good players at the 2. Leandro Barbosa and Brandon Rush are serviceable backups with someone like Thompson at the helm.
3. LA Clippers: J.J. Redick is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league and is LA's most important player outside the Big Three. Jamal Crawford's 3-point shooting is down, but he can still get hot at anytime.
4. Portland: With the departure of Wes Matthews, C.J. McCollum has become a 20-point scorer and Portland's second best player. He and Damian Lillard are one of the more fun backcourts in the league. Gerald Henderson is a decent shooter off the bench at that position.
5. Dallas: This really depends on what Matthews Dallas gets. If it's the one that is consistently knocking down threes and playing defense, then the Mavs are can be No. 3 or No. 4 on this list. But if Wes is struggling from three like he has done in stretches this season, then this is probably about where the Mavs are.
6. Utah: Rodney Hood is a really nice player and Alec Burks has become a 14-point scorer off the bench. That's a solid one-two punch at the for the young Jazz.
7. LA Lakers: Remember, for some reason we are calling Kobe Bryant a small forward. That being said, the Lakers are pretty solid at the shooting guard spot. Lou Williams has been starting recently with Jordan Clarkson playing point guard lately, since Byron Scott seems to want to do everything in his power to sabotage DeAngelo Russell. Williams is a small, but great scorer, while Clarkson can slide over to the 2 when needed. Oh, and Nick Young still exists and does stuff sometimes.
8. Phoenix: Here's the thing: the Suns would be higher on this list if, you know, their starting backcourt of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight were healthy. Despite that, Devin Booker and Archie Goodwin look like nice foundation pieces for the struggling Suns.
9. San Antonio: Danny Green hasn't been very good this season after getting paid this summer while Manu Ginobili is hurt, and it's not like Manu was lighting it up either. Still, as they always do, the Spurs make up for it with how good they are everywhere else.
10. Oklahoma City: Andre Roberson is hurt, and even when he's healthy he doesn't add anything offensively. Dion Waiters isn't a terrible starter on that team, and Anthony Morrow is a great sharpshooter to have off the bench.
11. Sacramento: I haven't lost hope that Ben McLemore can become a consistently good player on the right team. But for now, he and Marco Bellinelli are heading what is a very below average shooting guard rotation for the Kings.
12. Denver: Gary Harris is an okay young player and Randy Foye is an okay backup. But the Nuggets probably need to upgrade from just being okay.
13. Memphis: Will the Grizzlies ever find the scoring shooting guard they need? Courtney Lee is decent, but is no starter at this stage. Vince Carter, meanwhile is averaging just 4.1 points per game.
14. Minnesota: The T-Wolves have a super fun, albeit raw roster. Lets face it, Zach LaVine isn't a point guard, but rather a raw, athletic 2. Andrew Wiggins can swing to shooting guard when needed. Oh! And Kevin Martin is still a good shooter when he's actually on the court.
15. New Orleans: Another team that would be higher on this list if they were healthy. With Tyreke Evans out for the season and Eric Gordon always perpetually hurt, the Pelicans have been starting some dude named Bryce DeJean-Jones at shooting guard. With Gordon AND Evans both injured, New Orleans should probably look into more 2-guard options.