2010-11 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit: Shooting Guard Rankings
Let’s hope Raymond Felton looks better in his Knicks jersey than he does in this suit.
The 2010-11 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit is nearing completion with the release of another cheat sheet today. So while you wonder if LeBron and his talents in South Beach will finally bag their first NBA title, let’s turn our attention to the top shooting guards in the game.
Those that play the two have one main purpose in life: score and score some more. So when you need a boost of scoring for your team, this is a great position to scour.
1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: At the age of 32, Kobe is still one of the best players of all-time with many clutch performances. He is nursing an injured knee which has bothered him over the last season, and he may not be at 100 per cent when the season starts, but he will produce big numbers and play well as long as he stays healthy (once he gets back to being healthy, that is). Bryant remains an MVP candidate, and last season he not only upped his assists per game, but he also got more touches — a nifty trick!
2. Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat: With Miami now boasting its own “Big Three,” Wade may not be the outright leader of his team anymore with LeBron James and Chris Bosh at his side, however, he has the ability to perform as well as he has in recent years. His numbers will most likely decline slightly due to his new teammates, but even with a slight decrease in value, he is still among the top two-guards in the game. If nothing else, you have to admire that all three are willing to make sacrifices to try to achieve the ultimate prize, similar to what the original “Big Three” of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett did in Boston winning the 2008 NBA title. Wade’s currently dealing with a strained hammy, but the fact that he doesn’t need an MRI is promising; he should be good to go for the start of the season, so unless the prognosis changes, don’t change his slot on your cheat sheets.
3. Stephen Curry, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors (also listed in our PG rankings): In Don Nelson’s up-tempo styled offense, Curry had an excellent rookie season with 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Nelson is gone, but the Warriors are expected to play a similar style, so look for these numbers to improve as Curry avails of new frontcourt weapons like David Lee and Dorrell Wright.
4. Brandon Roy, SG/SF, Portland Trail Blazers: Injuries late last season dropped his stock, however, when healthy Roy is an elite swingman that can score over 20 points with close to five board and five dimes per game, across the board production that puts him in very select company. After only playing 65 games last season, Roy has worked with a personal trainer this offseason in an effort to improve his game and steer clear of injuries this coming season. In leagues that count turnovers, Roy is especially valuable as he really limits the damage there considering how much he has the ball in his hands.
5. Andre Iguodala, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers: Under new head coach Doug Collins, Iguodala should become more of an inside player again after watching his field-goal percentage drop to 44.3 per cent last season. His numbers should improve with a slight decrease in the amount of 3s that he is taking. And what would really help is if rookie Evan Turner can claim the two guard slot, allowing Iggy to slide over to the three, where he is far more comfortable and efficient. However, that won’t be happening at the outset, so expect Iguodala’s turnovers to remain a bit of an issue as he plays in the backcourt.
6. Joe Johnson, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks: Despite a disappointing performance in the playoffs, Johnson is still an elite player and with almost the same lineup around him, he should be able to duplicate his numbers after averaging 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, and 1.5 3-pointers in each of his past five seasons. JJ was re-signed to a huge ass deal this offseason, so Atlanta will be looking for even more out of its star.
7. Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Sacramento Kings (also listed in our PG rankings): What a terrific debut for last season’s Rookie of the Year, one of just three players (the others being LeBron James and Kobe Bryant — perhaps you’ve heard of them?) to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 2009-10. This offseason, Evans worked on his outside jump shot, and that should give him even more ability to spread the floor and score points. In one short season, he’s become the face of a franchise that desperately needed a saviour.
8. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors (also listed in our PG rankings): If Ellis can change his usual injury-prone ways then he eliminates his biggest risk. Otherwise, he should be able to produce numbers similar to last season’s 25.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game, or even better with an improving team with many new additions in Golden State. Neither Ellis nor Curry is a true point guard, but together, these two combo guards form a seriously explosive backcourt. But can they co-exist? Questions persist.
9. Paul Pierce, SG/SF, Boston Celtics: Pierce, who turns 33 next week, doesn’t log heavy duty minutes anymore, but that may not be a bad thing, as Fantasy owners would prefer he remains fresh and in the lineup for as many games as possible. He still averages north of a steal per game, chips in with the odd block and is a solid source of treys, but obviously less minutes translates into less points, boards and dimes. What we saw out of him last season is pretty much his upside in 2010-11, and some regression is expected, but that’s still pretty damn valuable.
10. Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, Charlotte Bobcats: You wouldn’t expect a player getting dealt from the run-and-gun Warriors to the defensively-minded Bobcats to experience a surge in numbers, but that’s exactly what happened when Captain Jack arrived in Charlotte to play alongside Gerald Wallace last season. Jackson’s diversity across the board helps make up for his low field-goal percentage (although he was a bit better last season) and his high turnover numbers. But the fact that he contributes in every category, including 1.6 SPG and a career-high tying 5.1 RPG last season, makes him a very valuable Fantasy commodity — especially when he avoids brushes with the law.
11. Raymond Felton, PG/SG, New York Knicks: We already discussed Felton in our PG Rankings.
12. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: Thanks to Gregg Popovich, Ginobili, like many of the Spurs starters, sees limited action and he averaged just 28.7 minutes per game last season (which was actually an increase from the season before when he missed almost half the campaign). Injuries remain a concern, especially since he is now 33 and entering his ninth NBA season, but he will contribute in many categories, which makes him a great option.
13. Jason Richardson, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns: With the Suns’ run-‘n-gun style offense missing Amare Stoudemire, J-Rich will need to help Steve Nash lead the way if Phoenix is going to continue to succeed. He can now become the number one scoring option in Phoenix, so it’s reasonable to think that Richardson can get back to the 20 PPG range, especially if his PT rises after a career-low 31.5 MPG last season.
14. Kevin Martin, Houston Rockets: With Trevor Ariza gone, Martin is the most viable scoring option on this team, averaging 21.3 points and 1.3 3-pointers while shooting 92.4 percent from the line. He is a injury risk, however, as in the past three seasons Martin has averaged just 52.7 games per season. Now that Martin has the advantage of having a training camp with the Rockets, it will be interested to see how he and PG Aaron Brooks gel in the backcourt together.
15. Trevor Ariza, New Orleans Hornets: On another new team with teammates Chris Paul and David West, Ariza takes on a lead role in New Orleans where he can score, rebound, steal, and hit 3-pointers. Last season, he averaged 14.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.9 3-pointers per game. If he improves his shooting percentage, from its awful 39.4 per cent last season, he is a viable option as the number three scoring option on the Hornets.
16. O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies: After his superb rookie campaign, it would have been nice to see Mayo take a step forward last season, but he put up nearly identical numbers; in fact, he regressed slightly. I’d look for him to produce similar numbers again if not better. Mayo is a thief on the defensive side, averaging 1.2 steals per game and is a great free throw shooter, averaging 80.9 per cent from the line. The former USC star has set a baseline; now let’s see if he can top it.
17. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics: Allen is most likely on the downside of his career and is coming off his worst season since his rookie year. He lacks in providing much in steals, rebounds, and assists; but he can score 15-to-16 points per game while providing great percentages and lots of 3-pointers, averaging almost two per game. Allen is no longer a big-time player, but is still a serviceable two-guard.
18. Hedo Turkoglu, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns: It was a lost season for Turkoglu in Toronto. Stuck in a situation where the offense was not run through him as a point forward, he looked disoriented. And every time Hedo showed signs of life, he seemed to get hurt. Let’s call a mulligan on Turkoglu’s 2009-10 campaign; he’s just too talented an across-the-board contributor to not rebound big-time this season. Expect a nice sprinkling of points and assists, high rebound numbers for a player that qualifies at guard (and perhaps higher than usual this season as Turkoglu may play the four) and plenty of long bombs.
19. Caron Butler, SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks: One of many scoring options on the Mavs, Butler may not be able to reach 20 pointer per game anymore, but he is still a sold player who will provide around 15 points per game along with 1.6 steals per game. He’s definitely capable of more than he showed in his first half-season in Big D.
20. Gilbert Arenas, PG/SG, Washington Wizards: We already discussed Arenas in our PG rankings.
21. Jason Terry, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs’ sixth man averaged 33 minutes per game last season off the bench even with Rodrigue Beaubois competing for minutes. Terry has averaged at least 15 points, 1.7 3-pointers, and 1 steal, while shooting 80 per cent from the line in each of his last five seasons. I don’t expect him to slow down this season. The dude is instant offense off the bench and for your Fantasy team.
22. Jamal Crawford, PG/SG, Atlanta Hawks: The Sixth Man of the Year has found his groove in the league and averaged 18 points and 2.1 3-pointers per game last season. With pretty much the same lineup as last season, Crawford should thrive again in Atlanta playing with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.
23. Eric Gordon, Los Angeles Clippers: After injuries corrupted his sophomore season, Gordon can now look to break out year this season after playing well this offseason for Team USA. He won’t provide great numbers in rebounds or assists, but he is a scorer and will contribute in steals, and 3-pointers. The Clippers are obviously sold; when the Nuggets asked Gordon in Carmelo Anthony trade talks, the conversation ended quickly.
24. John Salmons, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks: If Salmons can continue his play from the Bucks’ playoff run in 2010, then he is going to put big numbers, unlike how he played for the Bulls last season. In his 30 games for the Bucks he averaged almost 20 points per game and pitched in on rebounds, assists, and steals as well. Newcomer Corey Maggette can hurt his numbers slightly, and the Bucks are a very deep team in general, but Salmons can provide assuming he doesn’t have another horrendous shooting slump.
25. Marcus Thornton, New Orleans Hornets: The hidden rookie at the beginning of last season showed up big in the second half of 2009-10. Thornton should be starting this season, but even if he’s coming off the bench (and the word is he may lose the starting gig), he should be able to put up similar numbers to Terry and Crawford as the sixth man for the Hornets.
26. Vince Carter, SG/SF, Orlando Magic: It seems that age and nagging injuries through his career may be beginning to catch up to Carter, however he is still capable of going off from time to time. Despite coming off his worst statistical season as a pro in which he averaged 16.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists, Carter is still a worthy option for your Fantasy team as long as you don’t expect huge numbers from him this season as Jameer Nelson, Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis need the ball as well. Let’s just hope VC is more consistent than last season, when he went through some awful droughts.
27. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons: Stuckey was the lone bright spot on the Pistons last season, but even so, he didn’t have the major breakout many of us expected him to. He could improve in his shooting percentage, which was very poor last season, but going into his fourth NBA season at the age of 24, Stuckey continues to improve each season and last season averaged 16.6 points, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals. At the very least, I’d like to see more dimes from him this season.
28. J.R. Smith, SG/SF, Denver Nuggets: An electric player that can rock the rim and fill it up from downtown with the best of them, Smith has teased Fantasy owners for a couple of years now as we await that serious breakout campaign. Coming off the bench exclusively last season, Smith set career highs in SPG, BPG and PPG, but you still can’t shake the sense that there’s more in his game. Lots more. Perhaps we’ll see it this season.
29. Anthony Morrow, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets: Added by the Nets as a free agent this offseason, Morrow showed nice development last season in Golden State, even bumping up some of his peripheral numbers to more acceptable levels, as he averaged almost a steal per game. But that was in the Warriors’ crazy-ass offense; can he do it in the swamp? Well, he’s expected to start in Jersey, and his unbelievable 3-point accuracy will have Fantasy owners drooling at the prospect of him getting a chance to hoist more bombs from downtown.
30. Mike Miller, SF/SF, Miami Heat: A second straight down season, combined with injuries, made Miller owners an unhappy lot last season. Things just didn’t work out well in Washington, but now he’s got a chance to benefit from the Big Three in Miami, and LBJ’s and Flash’s drives to the inside should create plenty of space for 3-point artist Miller, who shot a ridiculous 48 per cent from beyond the arc last season. Operating as a role player may suit him just fine; I’m expecting somewhat of a rebound campaign for Miller.
31. George Hill, PG/SG, San Antonio Spurs: When he wasn’t posing naked, Hill was taking a big step forward in his sophomore season with the Spurs. He saw almost 30 minutes of action per game last season, and could easily see even more this year, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. Expecting something in the 15 PPG, 4 APG, 3 RPG, 1 SPG and 1.5 treys per game range is not unreasonable for Hill this season. And that’s nothing to sneeze at.
32. Ben Gordon, Detroit Pistons: Gordon’s first season in Motown couldn’t have gone worse; in fact, it was the worst season of his six-year career. But he is still only 27 and is talented enough that a rebound is almost a certainty. First order of business will be for Gordon to stay healthy, as he missed a career high 20 games last season. He’s got a deadly quick release, and I expect him to use it to springboard back into Fantasy prominence this season.
33. Jarrett Jack, PG/SG, Toronto Raptors: Playing a mostly backup role last season in Toronto, Jack was unable to duplicate his career season of 2008-09 in Indy. However, he still managed to drop five dimes per game, even though he spent much of his time as the two-guard. With Chris Bosh gone, Jack will get a few more touches, so watch him for to score 13-to-points per game with plenty of assists — if Jose Calderon continues to flounder, Jack could assume more and more of the ball-handling duties.
34. Terrence Williams, New Jersey Nets: A big potential sleeper, Williams could improve his steals and 3-pointers, but with increased minutes and opportunities since Courtney Lee is gone, he can improve to well over 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. This dude has some serious offensive potential.
35. Leandro Barbosa, Toronto Raptors: After being hidden on the Suns’ bench last season, playing just 17.9 minutes per game, he has the potential to play closer to 30 minutes per game in Toronto. Barbosa should emerge as a quality Fantasy option this year as he tries to revamp the Raptors. Let’s just hope the injury prone speedster can stay healthy.