Best NBA Destinations for Top Free-Agent Point Guards Still on the Market

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 5, 2013

Best NBA Destinations for Top Free-Agent Point Guards Still on the Market

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    Point guards make or break teams, which makes the top remaining free-agent point guards coveted assets in the NBA world.

    After Chris Paul agreed to return to the Los Angeles Clippers, there are seven remaining point guards on the open market before there's a drop-off in quality. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks, who have made it quite clear that they're pursuing a 1-guard, should take notice before they're all gone. 

    There's a healthy mix of restricted and unrestricted free agents in this class of points, but will there be much movement among these players? 

    We'll have to wait and see, as each player tries to figure out what their best destinations look like. Fortunately, I've made it simple for them. 

    Note: All stats, unless otherwise indicated, come from

7. Mo Williams

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    Last Team: Utah Jazz

    Age: 30

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 12.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.4 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted

    Although Mo Williams reportedly told the Utah Jazz that he wouldn't return to Salt Lake City without a starting job lined up, he's going to quickly realize that doing so was a mistake. With Trey Burke now on the roster, Williams wouldn't start for the Jazz, but he wouldn't do so for any other team either. 

    Williams has clearly declined, and while he's still a solid offensive option, he isn't going to be a difference-maker for any team. His 12.9 points and 6.2 assists per game were useful, but turnovers and missed shots ultimately kept him from being efficient. 

    The 30-year-old just isn't a starter anymore. I challenge anyone to find a team he could realistically run the show for during the 2013-14 season, but don't waste too much time trying to do so. The options simply aren't out there. 

    At the end of the free-agency period, Williams should end up where he started, just on the bench this time around. 

    Best Destination: Utah Jazz

6. Darren Collison

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    Last Team: Dallas Mavericks

    Age: 25

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 12.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.1 blocks, 16.3 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted

    Darren Collison is another one of the point guards who shouldn't really be starting at this stage of his career. The speedy floor general is young enough that he could still work his way back into that type of role, but he hasn't done enough to hold on to it yet. 

    After the Dallas Mavericks—a team that has desperately needed a point guard for a while now—gave up on him, that was more clear than ever. 

    Collison, a dynamic offensive player best used in energy-filled spurts, should settle in as a team's primary backup point guard, ideally on an up-and-coming squad. He'd be a perfect fit on the Cleveland Cavaliers, serving as a scoring spark off the pine whenever Kyrie Irving either needed a rest or got injured. 

    And based on the number of injuries the former No. 1 pick has suffered during his brief time in the Association, Collison may end up starting after all. 

    Best Destination: Cleveland Cavaliers

5. Jose Calderon

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    Last Team: Detroit Pistons

    Age: 31

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 11.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks, 18.8 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted

    Originally reported by CBS' Ken Berger, the Houston Rockets could be an intriguing landing spot for Jose Calderon. To make this happen, the Rockets would send Jeremy Lin to the Detroit Pistons in a sign-and-trade that would benefit both teams. 

    Calderon would thrive playing next to James Harden in Houston, even if the backcourt would remain tragically porous on defense. He could continue his efficient shooting ways and rack up the assists in the up-tempo Rockets offense. 

    During the 2012-13 season, the Rockets used more possessions per 48 minutes than any other team in the NBA, and it wasn't even close. They were a full possession ahead of the Denver Nuggets, the same sized gap that was present between the Nuggets (No. 2) and Dallas Mavericks (No. 7)

    Few point guards have better court vision than Calderon, and he'd make the most of every possession while helping speed along the growth of the many young players wearing Houston uniforms. Playing off the ball when on the court with the bearded shooting guard would take some adjustment, but Calderon's shooting stroke comes in handy there. 

    Best Destination: Houston Rockets

4. Jarrett Jack

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    Last Team: Golden State Warriors

    Age: 29

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 12.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.8 steals, 15.93 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted

    The Golden State Warriors have bigger fish to fry right now, but Jarrett Jack should remain on the radar. He better hope so, at least. 

    Jack has been one of the more underrated point guards in the NBA for a while. He was quite good after replacing Chris Paul in New Orleans, but he paled in comparison to CP3, just like everyone else would, so no one noticed. 

    During the 2012-13 season, he thrived coming off the bench for Golden State, and Mark Jackson often trusted him down the stretch. It was not at all uncommon to see Jack and Stephen Curry playing together in crunch time of a tight game. 

    Jack has the talent to start for a few teams, but there just aren't enough opportunities right now. If he's going to remain a backup, which he will, there aren't any better situations than the one he found himself in last season. 

    Best Destination: Golden State Warriors

3. Nate Robinson

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    Last Team: Chicago Bulls

    Age: 29

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 17.4 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted

    Nate Robinson would be best served going to a team that (A) has enough money to give him significantly more than a minimum deal, (B) could offer him a spot in the guard rotation and (C) would let him maintain the green light.

    The first criterion knocks the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks out of the equation, and the second two make the remaining suitors dwindle even further. 

    We're left with one landing spot here: the Detroit Pistons. 

    Robinson may even start games at the 1 for Detroit, but he'd certainly get playing time regardless of his status as a starter or sixth man. He, Brandon Knight and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would all mix together nicely, and Robinson's energy and shooting abilities would do wonders for the up-and-coming Pistons. 

    Best Destination: Detroit Pistons

2. Jeff Teague

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    Last Team: Atlanta Hawks

    Age: 25

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 14.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 16.8 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Restricted

    Jeff Teague developed into a bit of a fan favorite for the Atlanta Hawks during the 2012-13 season, displaying his pick-and-roll skills time and time again after Lou Williams went down with a torn ACL. 

    The Wake Forest product has improved during each and every go-around in the NBA, and the latest campaign saw him take steps forward with his distributing and three-point shooting. Focusing on the latter first, Teague drilled 1.1 three-pointers per contest on 35.9 percent shooting from downtown. Those numbers are both up from 2011-12's 0.8 and 34.2. 

    As for his passing, Teague's assist percentage skyrocketed from 24.3 to 36.1, and the flair with which he made difficult passes look easy was quite noticeable to anyone tuning into Hawks games. 

    Teague is the unquestioned No. 1 point guard in Atlanta, and that will remain true upon a return. He's likely to draw some serious interest in free agency, but the Hawks still present him with his best option. 

    Best Destination: Atlanta Hawks

1. Brandon Jennings

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    Last Team: Milwaukee Bucks

    Age: 23

    2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 16.1 PER

    Type of Free Agency: Restricted

    With Chris Paul off the market, Brandon Jennings holds a narrow lead over Teague as the top available point guard in free agency. The Milwaukee Bucks could still choose to match any offer sheet that he signs, but let's pretend they don't so that they can further their chances at Andrew Wiggins.  

    If that's the case, Jennings should immediately bolt to the Dallas Mavericks, who have plenty of money to spend and a gaping hole at point guard. Collison wasn't the answer for Mark Cuban, so he's back on the hunt for a floor general after his pursuit of Dwight Howard comes to a close. 

    The Mavericks would give Jennings the ability to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki, the first big man of his career who can legitimately space out a defense. They'd also give him the green light to continue shooting, although they'd have to hope that he brings up that putrid 39.9 percent shooting from the field. 

    Given the team's needs and Jennings' playing style, it's a solid match. The southpaw could use a fresh start, after all. 

    Best Destination: Dallas Mavericks