Last week NBA 2K18 released its top ten rankings for at the power forward position for the game:
While the list at the top makes perfect sense, with MVP candidate and superstar James Harden being the most obvious choice for best shooting guard in the virtual league, followed by Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Demar DeRozan, and Bradley Beal to round out the top five. But, there are some serious questions at the bottom of the list with CJ McCollum ranking #6, Devin Booker somehow ranking #7, and Dwyane Wade even cracking the top ten at all.
While CJ McCollum, when paired with his starting backcourt-mate in Damian Lillard, creates an offensive juggernaut for the Portland Trailblazers, there are many questions about his ability as an NBA player. Simply put, he is terrible on defense and so is Lillard and this is what hampers the Trailblazers from contending in the Western Conference. Their situation right now is very similar to when the Golden State Warriors rolled out a backcourt of Steph Curry and Monta Ellis. When Golden State traded off Ellis, built around Curry, paired him with an elite defender and shooter in Thompson, they broke the league. If Portland makes a similar move it will save the Trailblazers and if they cut ties with McCollum, him having a team to run on his own would make him more deserving of making the top ten for shooting guards.
With Booker, the Phoenix Suns have a possible phenom on the offensive side of the ball. But, only on the offensive side of the ball, Booker shines as he is a huge negative on defense for Phoenix. His mediocre defense and the fact that he is not transcendent enough to carry the Suns out of being perennial bottom feeders should knock him down a few ranks lower and possibly out of the top ten for NBA 2K18. Much like McCollum right before him, Booker's lack of defensive ability hampers his chances of making the top ten for shooting guards in NBA 2K18 this season.
Finally, for Wade, the veteran has obviously earned his stripes throughout his career with three NBA championships (all with Miami) and redefining the shooting guard position, making him one of the all-time greats. Despite all of this, he does not deserve to be in the top ten shooting guard list for either NBA 2K18 or the NBA in general. He is currently wasting the twilight of his career with the Chicago Bulls and unless he is bought out by Chicago and heads to Cleveland to play with bet friend LeBron Jame and the Cavaliers, he will just be a bloated contract that does not want to mentor all the young talent Chicago is bringing in.
The players who should be higher on this list, replacing McCollum, Booker, and Wade are Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Khris Middleton and Detroit Pistons guard Avery Bradley. Both Middleton and Bradley are superb defenders, much better than the terrible two ranked above them, and play their roles to help their teams succeed.
The other three guards that should round out the top ten, replacing at least Booker and Wade are Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum and Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon. For Batum, he is arguably the biggest key, besides Kemba Walker, that keeps Charlotte's offense buzzing. He is a jack-of-all trades and master of none and deserves to be higher on the list. With Gordon, while he is a huge negative and a volume scorer, much like Booker, he is vital for the Houston Rockets, a serious championship contender off the bench, winning Sixth Man of the Year last season.
With less than two weeks until launch and gamers chomping at the bit to play the next installment in the NBA 2K franchise, small details about the game have been released to keep the hype at its highest. One of the first things 2K Games did was tease their initial rankings of the top ten shooting guards in the game. While there are parts of the list that need fine-tuning, things can be adjusted throughout the season to show who really is the top shooting guard in the league.