NBA Free Agents 2012: Ranking the Top SGs Available
Below, we rank and breakdown the top five shooting guards available during the 2012 NBA free agency period.
1. Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets
As a restricted free agent, Gordon's inclusion on this list is nothing more than a formality. The Hornets plan to match any offer he receives in free agency, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Nevertheless, Gordon tops the shooting guard position for this summer. He played in just five games last season, but he's proven to be a capable 20-point scorer when healthy. Gordon's three-point shooting is above average, and he isn't a high volume shooter. New Orleans would be crazy to let him get away.
2. Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks
Terry is somewhat of a unique player, as he's just 6'2" but plays shooting guard primarily. He can handle the basketball, but he's best utilized as a jump shooter, especially off the bench. Terry has excelled in that role with the Mavericks.
He's 34-years-old now, however, and it's possible that his eight-year run in Dallas could be coming to an end. If that's the case, Terry will make a fine addition for a playoff-quality team in need for shooter in its second unit.
3. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
Once a key component of Boston's "Big 3," Allen appears to be the first of the trio to be exiting Boston. As an unrestricted free agent, Allen can go where he pleases this summer.
However, Allen is 37-years-old and in need of ankle surgery this summer. He's a risk, but adding a shooter of his quality will be enticing for several of the big teams, including Miami.
4. O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies failed to issue Mayo a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Commercial Appeal reported Memphis' decision on Mayo Friday.
The Grizzlies choice likely spells the end of Mayo's rocky time in Memphis. As a 15-point career scorer, however, Mayo should attract interest on the open market. In the right situation, Mayo could once again push 18-20 points a night.
5. J.R. Smith, New York Knicks
Smith opted out of his Knicks' deal after last season, but there's still optimism that he'll be back in New York. As a terrific perimeter shooter and an improved defender, Smith has plenty of value for the Knicks.
His personality fits New York and there were no reported clashes with either Mike D'Antoni or Mike Goodson. The Knicks will have competition, but expect Smith back in New York on a slight raise.
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