High quality point guards are a rarity in the NBA.
The combination of speed, quickness, and high level of basketball instinct allows that rare player to be in “the right place at the right time.” It seems as though he is always in that perfect spot to find the open man, swipe the ball from behind, drain the three, lay it up, or get that second offensive possession with a stealthy rebound.
Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, and Steve Nash are quality point guards who possess the ability to control the floor and put their teams in great positions to win every night.
NBA GMs are always looking for a quality point guard who can lead their team to victory.
Who is the next player to emerge and put himself alongside the elite point guards in the NBA?
Meet Darren Collison, the backup point guard for the New Orleans Hornets. Collison was a star point guard at UCLA and was a terrific Rookie fill-in and back-up for Chris Paul this past season.
His 12.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 5.7 APG don’t tell you how good his rookie season really was.
When Chris Paul went down with a knee injury last January, Collison stepped in and exceeded expectations. He went on to average 19.32 PPG, 9.84 APG, and 3.64 RPG during games when Chris Paul was sidelined.
Darren Collison could be one of the elite point guards in the NBA, that’s if he gets out of Chris Paul's shadow in New Orleans.
There have been recent trade rumors with Collison at the center of a trade with the Indiana Pacers. New Orleans would probably be looking to unload one of their bad contracts with players like Emeka Okafor, or Peja Stojakovic with Darren Collison.
If New Orleans makes Collison available around draft time, more teams will become interested.
There is one team in particular that I feel would be very interested, The Detroit Pistons. Rodney Stuckey is entering his fourth season with the Pistons. He took over the starting position two seasons ago after Chauncey Billups was traded to the Denver Nuggets.
Stuckey averaged 16.6 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 3.8 RPG this past season. He is a serviceable player for the Pistons.
But, Darren Collison will be an elite player in the near future and if the Pistons want to get back into the playoffs they need a high quality point guard.
Detroit not only needs help in the backcourt but they could use a player like Okafor to provide some depth down low.
Rumors have been swirling around Detroit concerning Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton ever since Chauncey Billups was traded two seasons ago. My feeling is that Joe Dumars will look to trade one of them during this offseason, maybe during the upcoming draft.
If the trade happens during the draft it could look something like this: The Pistons trade Rip Hamilton, and the No. 7 overall pick to the Hornets for Darren Collison, Emeka Okafor and the No. 11 overall pick.
The Hornets would have a high quality shooting guard in Hamilton to pair with Chris Paul. They would also have a better shot at drafting a big man like Demarcus Cousins whom they could pair with power forward David West.
The Pistons would have a great one-two punch with Collison and Gordon. They would still have a high draft pick to find a forward with and put Okafor at Center.
Stuckey would provide a great boost off of the bench much like he did towards the end of Chauncey Billups’ tenure with Detroit.
Both teams would benefit greatly from this trade.
That aside, anyone who could land the talented and budding point guard, Darren Collison, would be on the right track towards a championship.