Free Agency-Part 4: Point Guards

In the last of my free agency series FanPosts I'd like to cover what I consider to be priority #4, the backup point guard spot. While I feel a scoring SG, a backup or starting-caliber PF or a backup center should be higher priorities, that doesn't mean there aren't some gems to be had at the point position.

So far, of the guys I've highlighted, this is how the community has voted:

Shooting Guards-Marcus Thornton is the overwhelming favorite with 39% of the vote

Power Forwards-Re-signing Josh McRoberts is the slight favorite, with 29% of the vote, followed by bringing in former Boilermaker Carl Landry, with 22%

Centers-DeAndre Jordan is the favorite with 30% of the vote, followed by Greg Oden with a surprising 19%

The following are the point guard options, again grouped by price. The class is shallower, so I'll include only two "expensive" options and two "cheap" ones.


The "Expensive" Guys

1. Aaron Brooks

Type: RFA

2010-11 Pay: $2,016,691

Qualifier: $2,976,637

Estimated Open Market Value: 5 years, $26-32 million

Strengths: A dynamic scorer with dominant quickness and ball handling ability. Unlimited range on his jumper and no fear. One of the best pull-up jump shooters in the league; compares favorably to a young T.J. Ford. An excellent free throw shooter. In the right system, could provide valuable combo guard minutes at both backcourt spots. Injury and limited minutes in 2010-11 helped stifle his value-is only one year removed from 20ppg season and could be a steal to any team willing to beat an offer from Phoenix.

Weaknesses: Very undersized for his skill-set. Not much of a distributor for someone who's built like a PG only. Can get shoot-happy and ball dominant. Doesn't look to create for others first. Makes bad decisions and turns the ball over too much. Has a scoring guard's mentality, but cannot adequately defend larger shooting guards. At 27, career may have already peaked. Phoenix may match any offer in an attempt to make Brooks the heir apparent to Steve Nash.

2. Rodney Stuckey

Type: RFA

2010-11 Pay: $2,767,126

Qualifier: $3,868,442

Estimated Open Market Value: 5 years, $30-38 million

Strengths: Great size with the handles and vision to play point guard but the body type to guard wings. Plenty of experience playing off the ball and running an offense. Can score in a variety of ways. Unafraid of contact and gets to the line at an adequate clip. Strength and tenacity allows him to be a freight train driving the lane. An above average defender with quick hands. A natural facilitator who was never given the time to shine in Detroit, operating within a system that didn't favor his abilities.

Weaknesses: Struggles with shot selection. Very streaky and can get into slumps very easily. A pretty terrible long-range shooter with a somewhat slow, choppy release. Is a great natural passer, but still needs a ton of coaching; can get a head of steam and develop pretty drastic tunnel vision on the break, which backfires against teams with good defensive reaction time. An energy guy and an overachiever. Has he reached his peak, or will he respond to more coaching? Pistons will likely match all but the most lucrative offers...

The "Cheap" Guys

1. Mike Bibby

Type: UFA

2010-11 Pay: $450,727 (pro-rated)

Estimated Open Market Value: 3 years, $9-14 million

Strengths: A savvy vet with a wealth of starting experience both in the regular season and playoffs. Part of the most successful Sacaramento Kings teams of the early 2000s. Still durable; has played in 79 or more games in 6 of the last 7 seasons. Considered old, but is only 33 and won't turn 34 until the end of next season...probably has a few good years left in the tank. A solid career three point shooter known for his quick first step and fearlessness under pressure.

Weaknesses: Never a great passer because with Chris Webber and Vlade Divac (and now LeBron James) on his teams, he never had to be (averaged more than 6 apg just twice since 2001). A career volume shooter; as he's gotten older and become less of an offensive focus for his teams he's settled for jumpers more often and become less relevant offensively. Has clearly lost a step, and during his time with Miami has become rather turnover-prone. More of a lockerroom value than a performance one, at this point in his career. Probably a little pricey for a vet his age, but will likely draw interest from contenders, and may take less money to win a title (especially if he doesn't win one this year).

2. Jose Juan Barea

Type: UFA

2010-11 Pay: $1,815,000

Estimated Open Market Value: 4 years, $15-21 million

Strengths: A fundamentally-sound, hard-nosed and energetic player. Classic international style. A natural creator who can make jaw-dropping passes in the half-court set, and is always looking to get a fast-break started. Absolutely fearless in the lane; riminscent of a point guard version of Manu Ginobili. Will likely be available as Dallas is in a tough salary cap situation this summer and seemingly have already chosen youngster Rodrigue Beaubois as the successor for Jason Kidd.

Weaknesses: Listed at 6'0 but he's clearly in the 5'9 range (look at him standing next to Jason Terry). Gets wild and too flashy in the lane sometimes, as he insists on securing the ball with only one hand in traffic. Won't provide much help defensively; has quick hands but is easily backed down by bigger guards. Doesn't look for his jumper very much and isn't a very efficient jump shooter; needs to be in a rhythm to knock them down and cannot pull up off the dribble and knock one down with a guy in his face. Has very limited starting experience and will most likely never be a consistent NBA starter.

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