NBA Free Agents 2011: Best Shooting Guards to Target

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 27: Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets looks to get past Thabo Sefolosha #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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When the NBA free-agency period gets underway, there is going to be a flurry of action, especially at the shooting guard position.

There are plenty of teams looking for strong perimeter players to help bring them to the next level, and luckily for these teams, there is no shortage of options at the shooting guard position. Come December 9th, there are a few available players that are bound to draw a mountain of interest.

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Jamal Crawford #11 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after their 84-81 win over the Orlando Magic during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford averaged 14.2 points and 3.2 assists per game for the Atlanta Hawks last season. He is a combo guard, which presents interested teams with options, and he is an excellent scorer to boot.

Also notable about Crawford is his incredible ball-handling skills. He has a dangerous crossover and is deft at creating his own offense. 

Shooting guards are known for their scoring prowess, and if instant offense is what a team craves, they need look no further than Crawford.

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 22:  Jason Richardson #23 of the Orlando Magic against Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE
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Jason Richardson

Jason Richardson is no longer the high-flying act he once was, but he is still an adept scorer.

Last season, Richardson averaged a cool 15.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He continued to be a major threat from beyond the arc, as well as a productive rebounder for his size.

Richardson made $14.4 million last season, and while he will command nowhere near that much, he may still be on the pricey side because his reputation precedes him. That being said, he puts up points consistently—and in bunches— and will be worth almost any investment made.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20:  Shannon Brown #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after missing a shot against the Portland Trail Blazers during the game against the Portland Trail Blazersat the Staples Center on March 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
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Shannon Brown

It was tough to look impressive within a Los Angeles Lakers backcourt system that was committed to Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, but Shannon Brown found a way.

Brown averaged 8.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in just over 19 minutes per game last season. He is incredibly athletic and boasts an impressive amount of strength for his size.

The best part about Brown is he will prove to be a bargain for any team. Unlike some other players, he is not going to command a lucrative contract. He just wants to be on a team that will utilize his talents.

It is unrealistic to expect Brown to drop 20 or more points per game, but if a team is in need of a savvy, consistent and hard-working role player on the perimeter, then the 25-year-old should be considered.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Nick Young #1 of the Washington Wizards drives around Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks at the Verizon Center on February 26, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
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Nick Young

Nick Young is a restricted free agent, but the potential for the Washington Wizards to match any offer he receives shouldn't stop other teams from taking a look at him.

Young averaged 17.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season. His mid-range game is impeccable, and if a defender gives him even an inch, that's all he needs to get a shot off.

Defensively, Young has had his struggles, but nothing that cannot be resurrected. He has the athleticism needed to defend both guard positions, but the 26-year-old just needs some further guidance.

Young is rapidly becoming an offensive juggernaut, and is a great target for teams looking to sure up the shooting guard position.

DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets wipes his face with his jersey as he awaits action against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Peps
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Arron Afflalo

Arron Afflalo could easily become the premiere target for any team in the market for a shooting guard.

Afflalo averaged 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last season for the Denver Nuggets, stepping up his game after the Carmelo Anthony trade. He moves well without the ball and is a consistent shooter from anywhere on the floor, including from beyond the arc.

One of the few knocks on the 26-year-old is he isn't nearly aggressive as he should be on the offensive end. He doesn't look for his shot immediately and has a tendency to pass up open looks.

On the bright side, Afflalo is only four-years deep in the league, and confidence in his abilities is more than within reach.

The Nuggets are going to have a tough time holding onto Afflalo, as the ever improving shooting guard is certain to draw a wealth of league-wide interest.


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