Dwayne Wade is still one of the best shooting guards in the fantasy game even after two years of having to share the ball with Lebron James and Chris Bosh. Kobe Bryant should be in for another MVP type season and his scoring numbers may actually go up with Steve Nash around to distribute the ball.
Other players to watch this year include Arron Afflalo, who really played well down the stretch for the Nuggets last year and should be a central focus on a rebuilding Magic team. Monta Ellis will get a full season in with the Milwaukee Bucks and gives them some much needed scoring punch and Eric Gordon has really come into his own with the Hornets, even though he made it clear in the off-season he'd rather play elsewhere. Also note, Chauncey Billups could also be on the list but I decided he just misses the cut due to having a serious injury late in his career, though he is also someone to watch with the Clippers.
Here are the top 25 fantasy basketball shooting guards heading into the 2012-13 season:
- Dwyane Wade, MIA
Averaged 22.1 points per game last season, his lowest since his rookie year. That said, he is still a premier shooting guard on a team set to defend their NBA title. Count on Flash to do what he's always done in his nine-year career.
- Kobe Bryant, LAL
Second in the league in scoring last year with 27.9 points per game. The Black Mamba is gunning for his sixth NBA title and although he doesn't hesitate to let everybody know that the Lakers are still his team, he may have to share some of the scoring wealth with Dwight Howard. That said having Steve Nash on your team to get you the ball usually means your going to get your share of shots and there is no question that Kobe could very well lead the league in scoring this season, although his field goal percentage has dropped the last few years.
- James Harden, OKC
He is headed into the last year of his contract and was voted the NBA's Sixth Man Of The Year last season. He'll continue to pay great dividends for fantasy owners as he searches for a payday of his own.
- Paul George, IND
Really coming into his own as part of a young nucleus in Indiana along with center Roy Hibbert. This season could be the year George takes his career to the next level as the Pacers continue to try to build towards becoming true championship contenders.
- Joe Johnson, BRO
After seven seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Johnson will be entering his first with Brooklyn. He's known for his scoring and should do plenty of it on a revamped the Nets squad. He'll be counted on as a leader and be especially important if the Nets are to make a deep run into the playoffs.
- Marcus Thornton, SAC
Thornton missed 15 games due to injury last year but established himself as a go to guy scoring wise. He'll no doubt be counted on to lead the Kings' backcourt.
- Eric Gordon, NOR
Led the Hornets in scoring with 20.6 points per contest after a mid-season trade from the Clippers. He's in the team's long-term plans and will be counted on to lead them at the offensive end of the floor. Update: Gordon has yet to play in the pre-season due to a knee injury but says he's feeling better.
- Wesley Matthews, POR
Matthews is going into his second season with the Trailblazers and has not missed a regular season game in his three-year career. He should continue to thrive on a re-tooled team with a good young core.
- Arron Afflalo, ORL
Really coming into his own with the Nuggets last season, Afflalo will now be counted on to leave their young and inexperienced Orlando team that will struggle to win games this coming season. Though that doesn't say much for the team's expected results, the scoring burden will fall on the shoulders of Afflalo, J.J. Reddick and Jameer Nelson with no Dwight Howard in sight.
- Tyreke Evans, SAC
His points per game average dipped for the second straight year last season down to 16.8. As long as he can play a full year stint of numbers on the Sacramento team that is young and still has a lot to learn when it comes to knowing how to win.
- Kevin Martin, HOU
17.1 points per game average is the lowest he's had since his sophomore season with the Sacramento Kings. With Asian sensation Jeremy Lin set to play his first full season as a starter in the NBA, look for Martin to possibly get a few more open shots this year and get his points per game average back above 20.
- Klay Thompson, GS
Thompson averaged 12.5 points per game in his rookie campaign with the Warriors. Shot just over 86% from the free-throw line and he'll obviously get his chances to score on a team that plays almost no defense and puts up a ton of points.
- Manu Ginobili, SAN
He's as consistent as they come most years but he missed 32 games last year and his 23 minutes per game were the lowest since his rookie season. As long as health is in tact, he should bounce back this season.
- J.R. Smith, NY
After starting the year playing in China, Smith proved to be a dynamic and welcomed addition to the Knicks. He is the type of guard that's not afraid to go to the rim and that's exactly what the team needed last year.
- Tony Allen, MEM
Shooting just under 47% from the field last year was a career low but he's usually pretty efficient.
- Monta Ellis, MIL
One of the more dynamic scorers in the game when healthy, but a move to Milwaukee means he still has some adjusting to do. His days of averaging over 20 points per game may be behind him now that he's out of the Warriors' offense first system.
- Jason Terry, BOS
Signed with Boston after spending the previous eight seasons in Dallas, Terry's job will be to replace the hole left by the departure of Ray Allen to Miami. Though his scoring touch beyond the arc doesn't compare to Allen, he's' healthier, younger and will provide energy the Celtics need.
- O.J. Mayo, DAL
Hasn't flourished into the star player that a top five draft pick is normally expected to become. A fresh start in Dallas could be just what the doctor ordered for Mayo, especially considering he no longer has the security of a long-term contract to give him comfort.
- Danny Green, SAN
In his first year as an NBA regular, Green put up 9.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game Spurs last season. He'll no doubt stand behind the Spurs' big three in terms of playing time and expected productivity, but as the team's core gets older, green could really flourish.
- J.J. Redick, ORL
Throughout his entire tenure with the Orlando Magic, it never seemed as if for Magic coach Stan Van Gundy really liked the guy. However, with a career-high 11.6 points per game last season and a completely rebuilt Orlando Magic squad that will no doubt be one of the worst in the NBA this year, Redick's scoring totals should see a sizeable increase.
- Anthony Morrow, ATL
He's one of many young players that are rebuilding Hawks squad should get plenty of opportunity to show what he's got. It will be interesting to see what he can do when given the chance to play a full schedule of games, something he has yet to do in his career.
- Brandon Rush, GS
Shot just over 50% from the field last year for the first time in his career and averaged a career-high 9.8 points per game. He settled into his role as the type of player that comes off the bench and offers efficiency offensively when given the opportunity.
- Courtney Lee, BOS
Played over 30 minutes a game in Houston last year but that might drop now that he's on a more talented Celtics team.
- DeMar DeRozan, TOR
This is the year for DeRozan to prove himself worthy of a long-term contract. The Raptors will be one of the bottom feeders of the NBA this year and DeRozan will need to step up if Toronto is going to make any sort of impact as a team.
- Jamal Crawford, LAC
A solid veteran scorer who should be a regular contributor on a Clippers team chalked full of young talent.
If you would like to follow more of the sports stuff that I have been doing, you can follow me on twitter @jackchoros.