5 greatest Washington Wizards shooting guards of all-time

Larry Hughes of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Larry Hughes of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
4 of 5

No. 2: Jeff Malone

Despite his inability to hit 3-pointers at a high rate, Jeff Malone possessed one of the most efficient offenses in Wizards history.

Yes, believe it or not, there was a time when a player could have great offensive abilities without having the 3-point shot in his arsenal. That was Malone.

His style of play was unique as he played a lot off the ball. He would run his defenders through screens and receive a pass to hit a mid-range jump shot. The majority of those shots were either off-balance or a fadeaway. However, they managed to go in at a decent rate.

There were even times he would go on a scoring rampage, putting up more than 15 points in a single quarter.

Malone was drafted by the Wizards as the 10th overall pick in the 1983 draft. He only started in two games during his rookie year but he still took advantage of every time he stepped on the court. He averaged 12 points while making the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

He also showed he was ready for the big moment.

On Jan. 3, 1984, he made arguably the toughest shot of his career. With the Wizards trailing by three points, Malone caught a half court pass by small forward Darren Daye to hit a corner 3-pointer behind the backboard while falling out of bounds. To this very day, it’s still considered one of the greatest NBA shots of all-time.

The scoring for Malone continued throughout the years.

He only averaged 18 points the next season but made sure to include a high-scoring performance. On Mar. 6, 1985, Malone scored 40 points in a 127-121 double overtime victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.

When the postseason came around, so did he.

In Game 2 of the first round of the 1985 NBA playoffs, he scored 30 points but lost 113-94 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Ultimately, they lost the series 3-1.

During the 1985-86 season, he became the Wizards’ best player for years to come. He recorded 22 points a game, a huge jump from his first two seasons. It was the first of five straight seasons he averaged 20 or more points. This was also the first of back-to-back All Star seasons for him.

On Feb. 11, 1986, he scored 43 points in a 124-116 victory against the Trail Blazers.

That was his highest scoring game of the season. But he also crashed the boards well.

On Mar. 8, 1986, he registered in a career-high 11 rebounds in an overtime victory against the Celtics.

Even though the Wizards lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round 3-2, Malone proved that the Wizards can rely on him come postseason. During the 1986 playoffs, he averaged 22 points, including a 32-point performance in Game 4.

Malone averaged 22 points again during the 1986-87 season while making another All-Star team. This time, he recorded ten 30-point games and two 10-assist games. He even had a 40-point game. On Mar. 4, 1987, he scored a career-high 48 points as the Wizards took a 117-114 victory against the New Jersey Nets.

Malone’s scoring dipped down to 20 points a game in the next season but he thrived in the postseason again.

In the 1988 playoffs, he averaged a playoff career-high 25 points. The Wizards lost 3-2 to the Pistons in the first round but Malone had his best playoff games in the first three contests. He scored 33 points, 31 points and 35 points in Games 1-3, respectively.

It’s safe to say he saved the best for last that time.

Malone got back into his scoring groove during the 1988-89 season as he averaged 21 points. This time around, he logged in 14 30-point games. There was even a stretch in January when he had three 30-point games.

The 1989-90 season was his last one in D.C. and it was his best one.

Malone averaged a career-high 24 points that year, including 14 30-point games and two 40-point ones. On Mar. 9, he scored 43 points in a 115-108 victory against the Celtics.

During the 1990 offseason, he was traded to the Utah Jazz.

Despite the lack of awards and achievements earned while playing with the Wizards, he was still a huge part of the franchise. He was No. 2 on their all-time scoring list with 11,083 points before being surpassed by Bradley Beal.