Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) celebrates as he comes off the court in game five of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at AT&T Center. The Spurs beat the Heat 104-87 to win the NBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN started their annual projections for top ten players, continuing with shooting guards. Did Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs make the list?
James Harden and Dwyane Wade lead WARP projections
As stated in a previous article, ESPN likes to use a highly sophisticated system called WARP ratings in order to determine how effective and efficient a player is and is going to be. Their latest projections moved to the shooting guard position. Not surprisingly, Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden finished with the top spot. Experts see him with a 16.2 rating. That is significantly higher that most at his position largely thanks to how long he handles the basketball during a game, averaging around 5.3 minutes.
By comparison, Dwyane Wade comes in second with a rating of 9.1. That signifies how weak shooting guard is in the NBA at present since that rating is the lowest Wade has seen since his rookie year. It’s largely thanks to his age and his injury concerns.
Ginobili beats out Lance Stephenson for 9th despite limitations
So where does that leave the rest of the field? Monta Ellis, Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson are among those who round out the top 10. One who might surprise however is San Antonio Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili. While nobody can question his success with four championships, being 36-years old and missing 14 games last season should impact his stock significantly. Yet a WARP rating of 6.0 was enough to land him 9th on the list, ahead of young Charlotte Hornets guard Lance Stephenson. Experts believe his winning percentage along with his consistency makes him more valuable than other, younger options around the league.
Spurs fans would find it hard to disagree.