2011 NBA Draft: Shooting Guard Rankings

Steve O Speak

1. Alec Burks, Colorado, 6’6″:

Burks isn’t a great 3-point shooter right now, but he has the ability to improve in that area. His strength is his ability to penetrate and get to the basket, where he is extremely good. He’s got excellent length, size and jumping ability which can translate into a good defender when he gets more refined. He is easily a top 15 player and has a good shot of going top 10. I could see him having a career like Jason Richardson.

2. Klay Thompson, Washington St., 6’6″:

Thompson is one of the best all-around shooters in this entire draft class. He can knock down 3’s from just about anywhere, and is automatic when at the charity stripe. He’s a smart heady player, that knows how to create his own shot and doesn’t force the ball if he has a bad look. While not really a combo guard type, he does have the leadership and court vision to run an offense and find the open man. He isn’t much of a penetrator, and will struggle keeping up with highly athletic SG’s. He still has the shooting ability and smarts that should land him in the top 25, and could crack the top 15. He reminds me some of Mike Miller but I think Manu Ginobili or James Harden is a better comparison.

3. Nolan Smith, Duke, 6’3″:

Smith I feel is a bit underrated in this draft as most reports put him in the early 2nd round. While I don’t see great upside here, I also don’t see a high bust factor. I believe his all-around skills, smarts and versatility will mean he can at least be a solid bench player in a typical 9 man rotation. While a full time starter isn’t probably in the cards, I think he is a perfect 6th man. He can backup both guard positions, and does a little bit of everything. I think that is basically the biggest knock on Smith is he does everything at least okay, but he isn’t exceptional in any one area. I think he is a good solid late first round pick, that can really help a playoff team off the bench. He won’t have Jason Terry‘s upside and prime years, but could have a similar career type.

4. Marshon Brooks, Providence, 6’5″:

Brooks is an interesting guard to me as I kinda like him more as a point guard than a shooting guard. I love his size and think that he has a chance of being a starter, but he needs to work on his 3-point shot to make that happen. He really didn’t display much NBA range in college so I think he won’t be much of a perimeter threat early on in his career. While he can penetrate, he isn’t nearly the option of a Dwayne Wade or J.R. Smith. He reminds me of a slightly worse shooting Richard Hamilton, but he’s a better passer than him. Overall I see him more of 6th man type, but should have good value at the end of round 1.

5. Travis Leslie, Georgia, 6’5″:

Leslie is an explosive fun player to watch, that I really see a lot of upside in. He’s a good defender and rebounder for a college player and should project well as a backup early on. Although he could get some 1st round attention it appears he is headed for an early 2nd round spot. Leslie needs to stay in control more and work on his decision making, but the potential is there.

6. Scotty Hopson, Tennessee, 6’7″:

7. Isaiah Thomas, Washington, 5’9″:

8. Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston, 6’3″:

9. E’Twaun Moore, Purdue, 6’4″:

10. David Lighty, Ohio State, 6’5″:

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