NBA Free Agency 2012: Re-Ranking the Best Point Guards Available
With most of the NBA's top point guards off the market, we're starting to barrel scraping portion for the position just five days into free agency.
However, with teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets still looking for guard help, desperation could mean dollar signs for the remaining free agents.
But who is the best among the remaining free agent point guards? Follow along as we rank the best guys remaining in the free agent class of 2012.
8. Nate Robinson
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Robinson is the type of player everyone knows has a place on the league, but no one wants on their team. He's fun to root for when he has a random 30-point outburst you see on SportsCenter but mind-numbingly infuriating if you have to root for him on a nightly basis.
For that reason, Robinson will probably struggle to find much interest as he looks for his fourth NBA team in as many seasons.
7. Kirk Hinrich
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At this point we all know that Hinrich's best role is as a high IQ bench point guard who comes in, makes a few jumpers and doesn't screw anything up while your top point guard takes a break.
But he's also the type of player who won't destroy your team if he's in the starting lineup, which makes his rumored Chicago Bulls reunion the perfect match. He can play the placeholder while Derrick Rose recovers from ACL surgery and gracefully step back when Rose returns.
We could all do without the goggles, though.
6. Jerryd Bayless
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In January 2011, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love appeared on then-ESPN's (now Grantland's) Bill Simmons' "B.S. Report" podcast. When asked to name a young player who should have been a breakout star but isn't, Love instantly dropped Bayless' name:
Transcript via HipHoopJunkies.com:
I always felt like my guy, Jerryd Bayless who's now up in Toronto...I felt like he has a chance to break out, cause he's the type of guy who that has the mentality that we all have...that they want to be great....they aren't going to take 'no' for an answer. He has the ability and the chance to be a very good player in this league.
With Kyle Lowry now in Toronto and Bayless a restricted free agent, the Arizona product may need to leave the great white north to ever reach the potential Love spoke of.
5. Ramon Sessions
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You might best remember Sessions as the matador defender who allowed Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook to run amok in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
But he's also a 26-year-old point guard with a solid combination of scoring and distributing that has never gotten comfortable in any setting.
If a team is willing to actually make a long-term investment in Sessions, there is potential for him to develop into at least a league average starting point guard. If not, he'll continue his perpetual bouncing from team-to-team every two years as the Trevor Ariza of point guards.
4. D.J. Augustin
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As much as I love clowning Michael Jordan for his abject failure as a talent evaluator, I can never go after the Augustin pick as hard as most people.
Augustin is a serviceable NBA point guard who can start on a bad team, but whose perfect role is a seventh man that comes in and ably runs your second team offense. Getting that at No. 9 is a slight disappointment, but nowhere near a bust.
He could be a nice fit for a contender looking to bolster its bench. But Texas product will probably be back with Charlotte next year as no one seems to be knocking down his door with offers.
3. Raymond Felton
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After a season where he came into Portland out of shape and struggled through a season where he shot just 40.7 percent from the field, I may be the final member of the "Raymond Felton as an NBA starting point guard" bandwagon.
But the 17.1 points per game and and 9.0 assists per game that Felton put up as a Knick two seasons ago is still real to me dammit.
Of the guys left on the market, Felton is by far the best pure point guard. His distribution skills are among the NBA's elite and if he's motivated to stay in shape is one of the quickest first-step guards in the league.
2. Aaron Brooks
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Brooks spent this past season languishing in China after being unable to get out of his contract when the lockout ended.
As such, he's quickly become forgotten. It seems like no one remembers the rhythm-shooting playmaker whose stock was high enough to merit a first round pick and newly minted $34 million man Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns.
Dragic's brilliance this past season and hindsight makes that trade look horrible, but very few people were clamoring for a riot when the trade happened. And with the Rockets desperate for a point guard following the departures of Dragic and Kyle Lowry, Brooks might be the perfect fit for the Rockets and Suns to complete another Brooks-for-Dragic pseudo-swap.
1. Lou Williams
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Early Friday, Williams took to Twitter so he could announce that he would not be returning to the Philadelphia 76ers next season:
Philly, I appreciate you all. Unfortunately I will not be coming back, as an organization they decided to move in a different direction.— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 6, 2012
That new direction is apparently signing shooting guard Nick Young to a one-year, $6 million deal and leaving Williams as the top available free-agent point guard.
Coming into the offseason, I though it was almost a guarantee that some team would look at Williams' second place finish in the Sixth Man of the Year voting and overpay for his microwave scoring ability. But it seems as if teams have looked more at his 40.3 percent shooting than his 14.9 points per game so far.
Consequently, Williams could be on the verge of becoming a classic "everyone says he's overrated, so he becomes inherently underrated" guy. A team could get a steal if his demands are somewhere near what the Sixers paid Young.