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2017 Free Agent Rankings: SG’s

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Last week, we ranked the top-10 free agent point guards set to hit the open market in July.

Today, we tackle the shooting guard position. It is a relatively weak crop of SG’s up for grabs this summer…

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1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons (restricted):
There are a handful of superb scorers on this list, and there are also a number of respected defenders. Caldwell-Pope possesses the length, athleticism and skill to significantly impact the game on both ends of the floor, which is why he checks in at No. 1 among all free-agent shooting guards. KCP’s offensive numbers don’t jump off the page at you, but he has shown improvement in one very important area: 3-point shooting. Caldwell-Pope shot a career-best 35.0 percent from downtown last season, averaging 2.0 made treys per game. And, at just 24 years of age, he has plenty of room to develop and diversify his overall offensive game. On the other side of the ball, he has already established a reputation as a top-tier perimeter defender. He possesses the defensive versatility to guard three positions, which is extremely valuable in today’s NBA. Given the going rate for promising 3-and-D players, it would not be surprising to see KCP receive a max offer from a team such as the Nets or Sixers. However, because he is a restricted free agent, the Pistons can match any offer he receives.

2. Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls (player option):
Wade has a player option worth $23.8 million for the 2017-18 season. He has until June 27th to decide if he will stay in Chicago for another year or become an unrestricted free agent. Most pundits believe Wade will pick up his option, as he would almost certainly receive less than $23 million on the open market. While Wade is still able to play at a high level, as evidenced by his stellar 2016-17 campaign (in which he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists), the reality is he will celebrate his 36th prior to next season’s All-Star break. It’s difficult for even the best-conditioned athletes to endure the wear-and-tear of the NBA schedule at that stage of their career.

3. J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers:
Quality outside shooting is a common denominator for many of the teams that qualified for the playoffs, as well as those that advanced deep into the postseason. Outside sniping is precisely what Redick brings to the table. In fact, J.J. is one of only three players to have averaged at least 2.5 made 3-pointers per game while shooting over 40 percent from behind-the-arc in each of the last three seasons (Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the other two). However, it is important to note that Redick, who will turn 33 later this month, has never been a good defender and experienced a decline in his production last season, when he averaged less than 15.2 points per game and shot below 45 percent from the floor for the first time since 2012-13. Nonetheless, given the growing importance of 3-point marksmen who can spread the floor, there will be teams willing to pay him upwards of $15 million annually.

4. Tim Hardaway Jr., Atlanta Hawks (restricted):
The first half of the 2016-17 campaign was solid, yet unspectacular for Hardaway. Over the season's first 43 games, he averaged 11.7 points, while shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 34.1 percent from 3-point range, in 22.8 minutes. However, Hardaway stepped up and played the best ball of his career in the second half of the season. Over the final 32 games of the 2016-17 campaign, Hardaway poured in 18.2 points, shooting 47.9 percent from the floor, including 37.8 percent from deep, in 32.3 minutes per contest. In the process, he wrestled the starting shooting guard job away from Kent Bazemore and held onto it through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. Atlanta can match any offer THJ receives but, considering the Hawks owe Bazemore $54.2 million over the next three seasons, how much will they be willing to pay Hardaway?

5. Dion Waiters, Miami Heat (player option):
The Heat were able to snag Waiters at a discount last summer, inking him to a two-year deal at the bargain rate of just $3 million per. Waiters earned a starting role and surprisingly produced the most effective and efficient year of his career. He averaged 15.8 points per game while shooting a career-high 39.5 percent from downtown. He hit countless clutch shots and sparked an incredible turnaround in Miami after the Heat started the season losing 30 of their first 41 games. As a result, Waiters will opt out of his contract this summer and is hoping to cash him. The question teams will ask themselves is whether or not Waiters (who missed 36 games due to injury) can possibly sustain that impressive per-minute production going forward. After all, there was a reason Miami was able to sign him to such an affordable contract last summer.

6. Kyle Korver, Cleveland Cavaliers:
As noted above, 3-point shooting is more of a valued commodity than it has been at any point in the history of the NBA. Korver is still one of the most feared and lethal 3-point shooters on the planet. It appeared Korver (who turned 36 in March) was slowing down a bit after shooting “only” 40.9 percent from downtown over the first half of the season in Atlanta. However, after being dealt to the Cavs and benefiting from playing alongside LeBron James and company, Korver proceeded to knock down treys at a 48.5 percent clip in Cleveland. He finished the 2016-17 season at 45.1 percent, tops in the league. It seems safe to assume the Cavs would be willing to incur the luxury tax ramifications necessary to re-sign him this summer.

7. Tony Snell, Milwaukee Bucks (restricted):
Snell turned in a solid season for the Bucks in 2016-17. He started 80 games for Milwaukee and averaged career-highs in points (8.5), 3-pointers (1.8), 3-point percentage (40.6) assists (1.2) and steals (0.7). Snell also finished the postseason with a 3-point field goal percentage of 51.6, which ranked 10th overall in the NBA in the first round. Just 25 years old, Snell still has room to grow and improve. The Bucks have his Bird Rights and may be forced to match some serious coin to retain their 3-and-D wing.

8. Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies:
Defensive-minded perimeter players typically don’t age well, but even at age 35, Allen is still able to ‘Grit and Grind’ with the best of them. Last season, he led the NBA in steal percentage (3.1) and posted a Defensive RPM of 2.15, which ranked second among all shooting guards. In addition, Allen led all guards in offensive rebounds (166) and offensive rebounds per game (2.3), setting career bests in both categories. Allen is injury prone and nearing the end of the line, but he’ll draw plenty of interest from contending teams looking for an immediate infusion of defensive aggression.

9. Jonathon Simmons, San Antonio Spurs (restricted):
After an impressive rookie campaign in 2015-16, Simmons struggled a bit as a sophomore. His per-possession production took a dip due primarily to his offensive inefficiency. His field goal percentage dropped from 50.4 percent to 42.0, while his 3-point percentage plummeted from 38.3 as a rookie to 29.4 percent last season. However, injuries forced the Spurs to lean heavily on Simmons in the postseason, and he stepped up in a major way. Over San Antion's final ten playoff games, Simmons scored in double figures nine times and averaged 14.0 points per contest. In the Western Conference Finals against Golden State, he tallied 15.3 points per game and supplied solid defense.

10. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs:
Manu is a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer. He’s a proven performer who has played extremely well in big games. Remarkably, he’s one of only eight players in NBA postseason history (Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade) with at least 3,000 points, 800 rebounds, 800 assists, and 250 steals in the playoffs. However, Manu will turn 40 in July. Last season, he averaged a career-low 7.5 points in a career-low 18.7 minutes. Ginobili is expected to decide shortly if he wants to play one more season in San Antonio.

11. Justin Holiday, New York Knicks:
Holiday, considered a ‘throw in’ as part of the Derrick Rose deal last June, surprisingly posted solid numbers for New York. He was the only Knick to appear in all 82 games and posted career-highs across the board, including points (7.7), rebounds (2.7) and field goal percentage (43.3). He was also engaged and active on the defensive end all season long. He could end up being a solid rotation player on a quality squad, and teams likely won’t have to break the bank to bring him in.

Just Missed the Cut:
* Ian Clark, Golden State Warriors
* Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
* Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers (player option)

Best of the Rest: K.J. McDaniels (team option/restricted), Vince Carter, Alan Anderson, Jodie Meeks, Randy Foye, James Young, Anthony Morrow, DeAndre Liggins, Brandon Rush.




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