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.
Strengths: Superior athlete, high motor, improved three-point shooter.
Weaknesses: Undersized, can be inconsistent, not a true No. 1 scoring option.
Strengths: Above-average shooter, good athlete.
Weaknesses: Needs a lot of touches, not above average at anything other than shooting.
Who will be the starting shooting guard in Phoenix this season?
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.
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.
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.