Continuing with our Nuggets core player rankings, we move to the shooting guard position. Last season on NBA TV's The Association: Denver Nuggets George Karl was quoted saying, "Everybody says you're gonna have three superstars on three or four teams. Well, I'm not sure Denver's gonna be one of those teams. So why should we build on that philosophy? My philosophy is why don't we get a top-10 player at every position and have a top-10 bench?"
Well, Andrew Feinstein, Jeff Morton, Colin Neilson, and I decided to take a look at the Nuggets core of Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Kenneth Faried, and JaVale McGee and see how the team is developing in terms of having top-10 players at each position. Click here for our point guard rankings and click here for our center rankings.
It's time to look at the newest Denver Nuggets player, Andre Iguodala. The Nuggets refer to their guards as "wings", but we'll be placing Iguodala as a shooting guard here ...
Andrew and I broke down the point guards and centers, now Jeff Morton and Colin Neilson join the fun. We will give you our rankings of the Nuggets core in regards to where they stack up with their NBA counterparts. We won't be ranking every player at every position, just until we get to our Nuggets player(s) and a few guys after to give you a little perspective. You'll also get our take as to why we have the player ranked where we do. To the shooting guards ...
NBA Shooting Guards:
|1.)||Kobe Bryant||Kobe Bryant||Kobe Bryant||Kobe Bryant|
|2.)||Dwyane Wade||Dwyane Wade||Dwyane Wade||James Harden|
|3.)||Manu Ginobili||James Harden||James Harden||Dwyane Wade|
|4.)||James Harden||Manu Ginobili||Manu Ginobili||Manu Ginobili|
|5.)||Joe Johnson||Andre Iguodala||Eric Gordon||Eric Gordon|
|6.)||Andre Iguodala||Joe Johnson||Monta Ellis||Andre Iguodala|
|7.)||Eric Gordon||Eric Gordon||Andre Iguodala||Monta Ellis|
|8.)||Monta Ellis||Monta Ellis||Joe Johnson||Kevin Martin|
|9.)||Arron Afflalo||Arron Afflalo||Kevin Martin||Arron Afflalo|
|10.)||Kevin Martin||Wesley Matthews||Arron Afflalo||Joe Johnson|
Andrew's Take: The shooting guard position doesn't have nearly the depth that we see at point guard. In fact, there are so few "All-Star" caliber shooting guards right now that the difference between the incoming Iguodala and the outgoing Afflalo is minimal on a Top 10 list of the position.
Nate's Take: Shooting guard is one of the most veteran positions in the NBA today. All three of us left Ray Allen and Jason Terry off our lists, those two are pretty good players! Nobody listed Tony Allen, the defensive ace, either. While the top guys are very good, there isn't a ton of depth here past about 14 or 15 spots. Iguodala's biggish size and athletic ability give him an advantage over other players and go a long way to me ranking him 5th. The Nuggets get one of the most balanced players in the league and gave up a high quality guy (or two in Afflalo and Al Harrington) to get him.
Jeff's Take: Andre Iguodala was a sizable upgrade over Afflalo. However, Iguodala's relative lack of scoring punch leaves him out of the top-5, however, his defensive capabilities make him a vital addition to the top-10. Until proven otherwise, Kobe Bryant is still the best shooting guard in the game. Can't dispute that.
Colin's Take: This is one of the main reasons why I think the Nuggets upgraded so much with the Afflalo trade. Shooting guard depth in the NBA is shallower than the gene pool in West Virginia. Afflalo was a great player and a solid workhorse for the Nuggets, but Iguodala is a no-brainer upgrade that you would take any chance you get. Joe Johnson is 10th, to me, because he's the world's most expensive dumpster fire; he should fit right in - in Brooklyn.
We all ranked Iguodala in the top-7, with Jeff ranking him lowest at No. 7 and Nate the highest at No. 5. We all believe he's an elite shooting guard. Shooting guard might be the easiest list to compile as the depth at the position isn't immense, yet there are a lot of household names here. While Afflalo also made all three of our lists, the thinking is that there isn't much difference between top-6 and top-10, but I think there is enough of a difference between the cream of the crop at shooting guard and the back half of the top-10 that the Nuggets will have an upgrade at the position.
On Friday, be on the lookout for our small forward and power forward rankings ...
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