As we move onto the shooting guard position in our look to the off-season, the players available leave much to be desired. Many of these players will not re-sign with their teams, and for good reason. They will cost too much for what they actually produce. The top two-men available all fit a similar mold; undersized with quick triggers.
Iverson will not be returning to Detroit. That is certain. What is unclear is where he could land. AI can still draw a crowd and may be worth the investment on that alone. However, he can’t carry a team the way he carried the 76ers.
He can’t play a lesser role on a team, because his ego won’t let him. Who will be willing to spend the money Iverson wants for a player that won’t fit? One possible destination is Europe.
Iverson’s star power would be a coup for a team such as Olympiakos in Greece and Iverson would make more in Europe than he could in the NBA. Stateside, the options are cloudy. Philadelphia could use scoring punch at the two, but would a reunion even be possible?
A quick scan of the leagues other 29 teams gives no obvious possibilities. Could Iverson’s act in Detroit have pushed him out of the league? His story will be an interesting one to follow this off-season.
Ben Gordon (restricted)
There have been some rumblings that Gordon could also be headed overseas. He does have some options in the NBA though. Detroit supposedly has interest, but it would probably take a Rip Hamilton trade to make room for Gordon in the line-up.
The Bulls may be willing to give Gordon a heftier contract, but he will not get $50 million dollars, which he turned down in 2007 and 2008. Gordon is one of many players who are competing for limited dollars. If he drags out contract talks as he has in the past, he could be in for another long summer. However, Chicago has the right to match, so he should end up returning.
Wafer finally found a niche in the NBA. After bouncing around since being drafted in 2005, he settled with the Rockets as a scorer off the bench. He supposedly wants to return to Houston, and they supposedly want him back. He will return to Houston to provide depth on the wings.
Nate Robinson (restricted)
Robinson is an interesting case. He is a fan favorite in New York. He is also a 5’9” shooting guard. The Knicks will not keep him if his contract demands hamper their cap space for the 2010 off-season, which they certainly will.
If any team with cap space comes calling, Nate will take the money. However, his options are limited, and I would not be shocked if he took the one-year qualifying offer with the Knicks, similar to what Gordon did with the Bulls.