Point Guard Pursuit: Kings' Top Options in 2011
The Sacramento Kings are in desperate need of a starting point guard to bring them to the next level. Beno Udrih has been great in small doses this past season averaging 12.9 pts and 4.7 ast. He even posted 14.8 pts and 6 ast. in the 41 games in which he started. However, Beno is not the quarterback the Kings need to lead them into the playoffs. He also lacks the defensive prowess and athleticism to make him a reliable starter.
What the Kings need is a strong, consistent, point guard to run the offense and take some of the burden off Kings’ star, Tyreke Evans. Evans ran some point last season and was great but is obviously more comfortable playing on the wing, going off the dribble and slashing into the paint attacking the basket. Bringing in a strong point guard and moving Evans to the two spot would also allow him to catch the ball in a scoring position as well as spread some of the opposing teams defensive focus. In order to move Evans permanently to shooting guard the Kings must have a starting point guard who can attack, as well as create. Finding the right man for the job could be tricky because they finally have a solid, young, nucleus that needs to grow together. It is important to bring in a young, athletic, PG to gel with that nucleus and not disrupt it.
In order for the Kings to follow the blueprint that the Oklahoma Thunder have so cleverly composed they need a version of Russell Westbrook to run the point. The Kings have patiently gathered a strong young core with Tyreke Evans, Donte Greene, Jason Thompson, Omri Casspi, Carl Landry, and rookie DeMarcus Cousins. Now the blaring need is for someone who can draw defenders and distribute so that Tyreke can focus on becoming an elite scorer similar to Kevin Durant. Here is a list of the top 5 free agent point guards the Kings should pursue in 2011.
5. Jamal Crawford (Atlanta Hawks)
Jamal Crawford (30 years old) is a player who has been moved from a starting guard to a 6th man for the Hawks. Even coming off the bench Jamal has averaged 18 pts a game last season. Crawford is strong ball-handler and is a 3-point threat averaging two 3's per game. Crawford is not a true point guard so for him to fuse well with the Kings his role would need to be altered to more of a pass friendly guard but ultimately he would be a great improvement in the back court. His age could be another downside.
4. Mo Williams (Cleveland Cavilers)
Mo Williams (27 years old) is a player that can just go off and take over a quarter or even a game with his outside shooting ability. He could provide a great offensive presence as well as some veteran leadership and much needed playoff experience.
3. Rodney Stuckey (Detroit Pistons)
Rodney Stuckey (24 years old) is a guy who is young, quick and can break down defenses off the dribble. He would need to improve his shooting percentages but he does have the ability to draw multiple defenders thus opening up the Kings outside shooters, He is a solid defender and a great free-throw shooter. Age wise he would fit right in with the Kings young squad.
2. Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)
Tony Parker (28 years old) is a proven champion and the best point guard available as well as one of the best in the league. His speed and finishing ability compiled with his great court vision make him a nightmare for opposing teams. Parker at point would instantly take the Kings to a playoff caliber team,The only reason TP is not number one on this list is because I don’t believe there is any way he would ever leave the Spurs for Sacramento.
1. Aaron Brooks (Houston Rockets)
Aaron Brooks (25 years old) would be a perfect fit for the Kings. Brooks is a team guy and a hard worker. He averaged over 19 pts. and 5 ast. a game last season while shooting near 40% from 3-point range. Brooks and Evans would be virtually unstoppable because their speed would go unmatched by any other back court in the league. The only downside to the Rockets guard is that he is a bit undersized standing only 6' tall but he more than makes up for his shortcomings with tenacity and heart.