College, NBA / Aug 27, 2009 / 3:32 pm

Five shooting guards to watch for 2009-10

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

After putting together the modified Top-50 list of players from ’08-09, I had about 50 leftovers who just missed the cut. And from that, there could’ve been a whole sub-category titled “Wait ‘Til Next Year.”

Yesterday it was the centers: Now here are five two-guards who look the most ready to crack the 2010 Top-10 with their performances next season:

Jason Richardson — In his first full season in Phoenix, with the Suns fully committed to running the kind of system in which he was born to run, J-Rich should see a marked improvement over last year’s numbers (16.8 ppg). While he might seem older than his 28 years, he’s still got enough bounce to pull off (or at least try) 360 dunks in games, and isn’t shy at all about launching a ton of threes. Something else to consider: J-Rich had has his best seasons on bad teams, and the Suns are slipping.

Eric Gordon — Overlooked in Rookie of the Year talk, Gordon (16.1 ppg) has been a beast this summer, spending extensive time working out with Kobe and D-Wade, and attending the Team USA mini-camp in July. Having Blake Griffin around only makes EJ’s life easier, and if Baron Davis delivers on his promise to be more of a leader in L.A., Gordon will be one of the main benefactors.

Andre IguodalaOne of the most versatile wings in the League, A.I.2 has improved every season of his career, and is on the verge of a 20-5-5-2 campaign after averaging 18.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.3 apg and 1.6 spg last year. New Sixers coach Eddie Jordan’s system is being crafted to get Iguodala Gilbert Arenas-style buckets, but Iguodala needs to do his part by stepping up his long-range game (30.7% 3PA).

Manu Ginobili — In a recent interview, Gregg Popovich said he expects Manu to start next season out of shape, but at least he’ll be healthy. Pop will bring him along slowly, and eventually Manu will get back to his usual self, where he’s simply one of the best two-guards in the world and one of the NBA’s coldest closers. San Antonio’s offseason activity was designed to make one more push (or two) while Tim Duncan is still playing at an All-NBA level, and Manu knows he’s a vital part of that. All he’s done throughout his career is respond in big moments, and this should be no different.

Xavier Henry — After a year of reloading/rebuilding following the ’08 national championship, Kansas is expected to be back among the NCAA’s top dogs. While point guard Sherron Collins and center Cole Aldrich are the headliners and veteran leaders, Bill Self needs somebody to step into that pure scorer Brandon Rush-type role, and Henry is the front-runner. The most pro-ready player in the high school class of ’09, Henry is a bullish 6-6 lefty with three-point range and a strong off-the-dribble game. After a drawn-out recruiting process, he finally settled on Kansas, and the program will do whatever it can to keep him happy.

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  • simi laflare

    JR SMITH?????!!!!!

  • Dee

    What about OJ Mayo?

  • lifep

    OJ minutes will be limited by AI :-(

  • lifep

    AB, I think Brandon Roy will benefit greatly from Andre Miller!

  • Detroit Dave

    Jamal Crawford could be a 6th man and avg close 18ppg for ATL

  • Michorizo

    I like OJ Mayo…I hope AI doesnt take away from his playing time too much

  • Scott

    OJ will move to the point to accomodate AI, trust.

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    marko jaric!!! (well, at least his wife . . . when we going to get a sex tape?)

  • Kobeef

    Jesus, Austin, this article is horrible. It must have been a good night last night.

    Ben Gordon? I mean seriuously, how could you forget that Ben will be a consistent starter (or get starters minutes)for the first time in his career.

    JR Smith is also going to blow-up this year with his move to the starting line (and that jail time this summer to toughen him up!)

    Vince Carter in his hometown? He’s goint to take all of Hedo’s shots and Courtney Lee’s as well.

    OJ Mayo has been handed the starting SG role on memphis and nobody else on that team can score and handle like him, so look for him to move to the 20ppg level.

    DeMar DeRozan deserves attention in Toronto – he’s only got to beat out Bellinelli for the starting job and he’ll have that in the bag by Christmas.

    Jamal Crawford could also make some noise since he’ll se the court for the first time in a year…

    Courtney Lee in NJ is going to see a lot of shots on the quest for ping-pong balls.

    And for completely different reasons, it will be interested to watch who becomes the starting SGs in NY and Minnesota? Seriously, it is actually hard to figure out who they will start.

  • TJ

    AI2 did average a 20-5-5-2 in 07-08.

  • TJ

    Fellas, OJ and Gordon were mentioned in the SGs who had great years this past year. This current list is people who didn’t quite make it. Those two guys already got their mention.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Lamar McGrady

    (Maybe If we stop calling him that girly first name he will play stronger. Sorry to all the Tracys out there but for real if a friend tells you Tracy is coming over, unless you already know the cat, wouldn’t you think female first?)

    Anyway I say he is one to watch this year, because this is do or die for him. I think he has used and had every injury known to man (and possibly herpes,… wait that is Vick), so it’s do or die once he comes back.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    AB what up on that Random Question of the Day?

    Ain’t Vince Carter suppose to be on this list too? I mean really, dude has no excuses this year right?

    Most def. Jamal Crawford. Can’t wait to see who he crosses up next.

  • wiz

    NICK YOUNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Da_Griff

    I still think AI2 is a small forward forced to play SG because the other guards in philly suck donkeys balls.

    And now they don’t even have a point guard to get him the ball. This is very important because AI2 STILL can’t create his own shot. He’s a slasher and a spot up shooter. Think Shaun Marion with a jump shot that does not extend past the three point line.

    Bad call.

  • http://nba.com/knicks Tracy

    lol@POPPI GEE

  • sh!tfaced

    Ray Allen. Last year of his contract… chasing Reggie’s most threes all-time record… if the C’s win it this year, will he walk off a winner, join another team to get paid or re-sign with Boston for less and go for one more?

  • http://dimemag.com Mike


  • Mack Brownee

    does kevin durant still qualify as a sg? if not, what about james harden? either one of those will be very interesting to watch

  • Kermit The Washington

    This article should’ve been entitled:

    Five RANDOM shooting guards to watch for…

  • elk burg

    anthony parker… he’s down with the king now

  • mike jones

    i just don’t get Iguodala and the last guy. Everyone knows Iggys the best player on the Sixers, unless u think Brand is better, so u can’t tell ppl to look out for him when they already know he’s gonna be good. The last guy is just a nobody.

  • Alee-Mo

    Iguodala wasn’t on AB’s list of the 10 best SG’s this season, so he’s saying Iguodala has a good chance to crack the Top 10 next season. Reading is FUNdamental, people. (If you haven’t heard of Henry yet, you will.)

  • doc

    I like the list.It HIS list of 5 to lookout for.I dont know about that Eddie Jordan character though.He got fired from 2 teams the next stops on 95 going north and south so now we want him?It dont make sense to me.