NBA Free Agents 2012: Best Fallback Options for Teams Who Struck Out
If your team struck out during the NBA's free agency period thus far, don't worry. I've got you covered.
While I'm not going to play for your team (trust me, you don't want that), I can identify the best fallback option for your squad at each position.
If you were chasing Deron Williams and cried after he decided to return to the Brooklyn Nets, there's still a point guard left on the market for you. The same goes for any and all positions.
Read on for the best Plan B's at each and every position.
Point Guard: Lou Williams
Last Team: Philadelphia 76ers
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 14.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists
Lou Williams isn't usually thought of as a point guard because of his role as the sixth man for the Philadelphia 76ers, but that's his true position and he's the best left at it.
If you're looking for a pure point guard who's going to be content to pass the ball around to his teammates, Williams isn't your guy. He has a quick trigger and likes to put up points in any way possible.
While Williams may not be an efficient shooter, he's a volume scorer who negates the damage done by his missed shots with a careful grip on the ball. As much as he had the ball in his hands last season, 1.1 turnovers per game is an impressive mark.
Shooting Guard: O.J. Mayo
Last Team: Memphis Grizzlies
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 12.6 points, 2.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds
Barely beating out Courtney Lee, O.J. Mayo is the top remaining shooting guard in the free agency pool.
Much like Lou Williams, Mayo has a quick trigger and no conscience when it comes to shooting the ball. There are times when his offensive capabilities can carry a team, but he can also shoot his squad out of a game.
Mayo's role with the Memphis Grizzlies has decreased since he was a crucial part of the team during his first two seasons, but a new home could give him the opportunity to regain his scoring prowess.
Personally, I just think he'd be more successful if he started going by Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo instead of O.J. Mayo.
Small Forward: Grant Hill
Last Team: Phoenix Suns
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 10.2 points, 2.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds
Even though he's soon going to be 40 years old, Grant Hill can still be a productive player in a limited role. Thanks to the injuries he suffered early on in his career, his knees have retained a little bit of bounce, so he can still finish the play around the rim on offense while playing elite defense.
Hill's minutes were limited last year with the Phoenix Suns, even though he was a starter and he averaged a fairly decent stat-line.
However, Hill's biggest contributions can come off of the court. He's a great locker-room presence, and his experience will prove invaluable if he signs with a contender.
Power Forward: Antawn Jamison
Last Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 17.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists
Even though his age is getting up there, Antawn Jamison can still light up the scoreboard. He showed that last season by averaging 17.2 points per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thanks to his lack of defensive effort, Jamison remains durable and potent on offense, showing no signs of slowing down despite his advancing age.
Jamison's numbers are bound to drop a little bit, but he still has a smooth stroke from outside that allows him to score and stretch out the defense, thus freeing up the paint for some drives by the guards.
Although he's no longer a true game-changer, Jamison can have a significant impact for whichever squad he ends up signing with.
Center: Brook Lopez
Last Team: New Jersey Nets
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists
Brook Lopez seems likely to either end up with the Brooklyn Nets or the Orlando Magic, but he technically hasn't committed to any offer and remains a restricted free agent who can sign an offer sheet with any team.
The big man from Stanford is a terrific offensive player, capable of throwing down a 20-spot on a nightly basis, but he's not without his flaws.
Lopez isn't a particularly impressive defender, and his rebounding makes me wonder who would grab the most boards if he and Muggsy Bogues went head-to-head.
If you're looking for offensive production, though, it's hard to look past this oft-injured seven-footer.