NBA Free Agency 2012: Raymond Felton and 4 the Best Point Guards Still Available
With the recent signings of Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller and Jameer Nelson (among others), some might think that the pickings for NBA point guards have become slim.
Whether a team is looking for someone like Raymond Felton to start and run the point or a solid sixth man to fill out their roster, one simply has to dig deep, as there is always talent to be found.
Here are a few of the best hidden gems at the point guard position available on the free agent-market.
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In the last two seasons, Felton has played for three different NBA teams. With each tour, he demonstrated a different skill set.
With the Knicks, Felton was a starter and catalyzed the offense with scoring and distributing, averaging 17.1 points and 9.0 assists per game.
During his short 21-game stint with Denver, he was a sixth man. He never started, but he consistently contributed 30-plus minutes a night while shooting 46 percent from behind the arc and reducing his turnovers per game to 2.1.
This past season in Portland, Felton returned to a starting role and played as a true point guard, scoring 11.4 points and 6.5 assists per game.
Make no mistake, Felton is no Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook, but he can provide consistent play for a team looking for someone to facilitate its offensive attack.
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Aaron Brooks might be the most underrated player in this year's free-agent class.
Stuck behind Steve Nash in Phoenix this past season, Brooks only saw 18.9 minutes per game. But he still averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 assists and only committed 1.8 turnovers per game.
His 2009-10 season with Houston was his only full year as a starter. That year, he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game and shot almost 40 percent from three-point range.
Per ESPN, the Suns recently withdrew their offer to Brooks, making him an unrestricted free agent.
If a team is willing to commit to giving him the 30-plus minutes an NBA starter should receive, Brooks should return to the production of his 2009-10 season.
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Kirk Hinrich knows how to take care of the basketball.
He isn't a scorer, and he isn't going to spread the ball like Steve Nash, but if you are looking for a player who will limit mistakes, Hinrich is the guy.
The last few seasons, Hinrich has shifted from a starting guard to a 20-plus minute contributor—a move that hurt his scoring and assist totals.
Filling that role in Atlanta this past season, Hinrich only averaged 6.6 points and 1.9 assists per game, but he also only committed 1.2 turnovers per game.
If given the opportunity to play 30 or more minutes a game like he did up until playing for the Hawks, he should average in the double digits in points and post four to five dimes per game.
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John Lucas saw a dramatic increase in playing time this season, averaging almost 15 minutes per game. Given that time, Lucas averaged 7.5 points and 2.2 assists per game, only turning the ball over 0.9 times per game.
His stats adjusted to 36 minutes per game project him at 18.3 points, 5.4 assists and 2.1 turnovers—not bad for a player who earned less than a million dollars last season.
Because he isn't as tested as some of the other guards on this list, Lucas will come cheaply. But he has the potential to be a solid scoring PG if given a starting role.