2013 Free Agent Profiles: Shooting Guards
What to expect from the available shooting guards this offseason.
by Jake Fischer / @JakeLFischer
With the NBA calendar now flipped to ’13-14 campaign, free agency has officially begun. And even though nobody can put a pen on paper before July 10, teams are free to meet with free agents any time they’d please and offer players loads of money. Since free agency can usually be insane with rumors and sources tossed around, SLAM is here to help break down the top-five free agents at each position. You can check out all of our 2013 Free Agent Profiles here and scroll through my opinions on what to expect from the free-agent small forwards below.
1. JR Smith
’12-13 Team: Knicks
’12-13 Contract: $2.8 million
’12-13 Stats: 18.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.7 apg
Potential Contract: Three years / $24 million
Potential Teams: Knicks, Bucks, Hawks, Pistons
Many consider Monta Ellis the top shooting guard in this free-agent class, but JR Smith is by far the most well-rounded player that’s available at the position. Even though Smith is known as simply a scorer, he goes all out on the glass and does his best defensively as well. If the Knicks come to their senses, they’ll bring him back and realize they would take a real step back if they don’t. But if the Knicks make that mistake, several other teams will be willing to pay a lot of cash for his services.
2. Monta Ellis
’12-13 Team: Bucks
’12-13 Contract: $11 million
’12-13 Stats: 19.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.0 apg
Potential Contract: Two years / $20 million
Potential Teams: Bucks, Jazz, Hawks Pistons, Bobcats
Ellis opted out of his final year in his deal with Milwaukee that was going to pay him $11 million in ’13-14 and then he turned down a two-year, $24 million offer from the Bucks just hours later. Clearly, he wants more years and a greater annual salary, but that might not be out there. The above teams are teams with cap space to pay a guy $10 million a year and could use another shooting guard. But it’s unlikely he’ll be offered more than the above contract unless a team freaks and overpays him.
3. Tyreke Evans
’12-13 Team: Kings
’12-13 Contract: $5.25 million
’12-13 Stats: 15.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.5 apg
Potential Contract: Four years / $48 million
Potential Teams: Kings, Pelicans
The potential contract for Tyreke Evans would have been much lower if the Pelicans hadn’t jumped right in on July 1 and thrown all of their available cap space at him. It appeared that the Kings had moved on when they offered a four-year, $56 million deal at Andre Iguodala, but then they retracted that contract just hours later. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if the Kings decide to match New Orleans big offer.
4. OJ Mayo
’12-13 Team: Mavericks
’12-13 Contract: $4 million
’12-13 Stats: 15.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.4 apg
Potential Contract: One year / $6.5 million
Potential Teams: Mavericks, Pelicans, Kings, Jazz, Hawks
Mayo could be a guy who goes for the veteran minimum to a contending team, and that team could easily be the Dallas Mavericks if they’re able to woo Dwight Howard to the American Airlines Center. But, he could also be a one-year flyer for the team that “misses out” on Tyreke Evans. Or, maybe he gets a long-term deal with a team that wants to add a young piece and move toward competing, like the Jazz and Hawks.
5. Gary Neal
’12-13 Team: Spurs
’12-13 Contract: $972,000
’12-13 Stats: 9.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.9 apg
Potential Contract: Two years / $4 million
Potential Teams: Spurs, Nets, Knicks, Pistons, Hawks, Mavericks, Jazz, Pelicans
Neal’s stats look a lot less impressive compared to the other guys on this list, but his numbers per 36 minutes are very comparable to them. Neal showed just how good a shooter he could be while getting more looks in the NBA Finals and he certainly deserves a payday. Whether that’s with San Antonio or another team is to be determined. The teams above make the most sense, but honestly, don’t rule out anyone using a veteran minimum on him.