NBA Free Agency 2011: 5 Options to Replace Vince Carter for Phoenix Suns

Roberto Payne@@HouseofPayne555Contributor IDecember 5, 2011

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Nick Young #1 of the  Washington Wizards looks on during a pause in the game against the Miami Heat  at American Airlines Arena on February 25, 2011 in Miami, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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The Phoenix Suns are widely believed to be leaning towards waiving Vince Carter, and that will happen as soon as the lockout is lifted. That leaves a gaping hole at the shooting guard position and questions as to who will fill that hole.

Could it be in-house player Jared Dudley? Or could it be free agent Nick Young? Most likely it will be a free agent, and that means all options must be considered.

Five free agents seem to jump out as the best choices: Shannon Brown, Nick Young, Jason Richardson, Jamal Crawford and Arron Afflalo. Before a choice is made, weaknesses and strengths of each player must be examined.


Shannon Brown

Strengths: Superior athlete, high motor, improved three-point shooter.

Weaknesses: Undersized, can be inconsistent, not a true No. 1 scoring option.


Nick Young

Strengths: Above-average shooter, good athlete.

Weaknesses: Needs a lot of touches, not above average at anything other than shooting.


Jason Richardson

Strengths: Consistent three-point shooter, plus athlete, has previous knowledge of the system.

Weaknesses: Has wear and tear on his knees, could be headed towards a decline with advancing age.


Jamal Crawford

Strengths: Consistent scoring threat from three-point and mid-range, explosive player.

Weaknesses: Might have issues adjusting to a starting role, not an above-average defender.


Arron Afflalo

Strengths: Very good defender, reliable three-point shooter, good teammate, willing to defer to teammates.

Weaknesses: Not a true No. 1 scoring option.


So who will be the favorite to be targeted by management? The best fits are Young, Afflalo and Richardson, but all will be courted heavily. I expect Young, Afflalo and Brown to be the three major targets by the Suns.

That means the Suns will have to outbid teams like the Bulls and Lakers for their services, which is a tall order. Hopefully, management makes a hard push for Young or Afflalo and one is signed.