Monday, June 29, 2009

Back-Up Guard Candidates

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 8:08 PM

If there's one thing the Grizzlies have made clear in the aftermath of last week's draft, it's that this team still needs some backcourt depth and they plan to get it. Expect the Grizzlies to acquire an experienced ball-handling guard in the coming weeks, someone who can come off the bench behind Mike Conley at the very least.

As I did with the power forward spot a couple of weeks back, allow me to help the front office out with a few suggestions.

Unlikely targets: There are a few attractive targets potentially available via trade or free agency that will be too costly for the Griz, who will spend the serious money on power forward if they spend it anywhere . That's why you won't Kirk Hinrich, Leandro Barbosa, Ramon Sessions on this list.

The Candidates:
1. Keyon Dooling (Under Contract): 29 year old combo guard, shot better than 40% from three last year. Good defender. Not a pure point but can get by. Dooling is owed $7.4 million over the next two seasons and may not have a role after the Nets just acquired Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee. With Nets looking to maximize cap space in 2010, would they deal him straight up for Greg Buckner?

2. Jannero Pargo (Unrestricted Free Agent [I think]): 29 years old. 6'2" combo shooter, played overseas last year in Russia and Greece and is apparently looking to return. The Hornets have Chris Paul at the one, just drafted Darren Collison, and also have Antonio Daniels (see below) under contract.

3. Antonio Daniels (UC): 6'4", 34 years old. One year left at $6 million. Coming off mediocre season, but still a helpful vet. With Hornets desperate to get under the luxury tax, would they send along a future first with Daniels for Buckner?

4. C.J. Watson (Restricted Free Agent): 25-year-old scoring point, played big minutes, mostly off the bench, for Golden State last year. Shot well from three, had some big scoring games late, averaging 18 and 5 in eight games in April. Maybe expendable in Golden State with the small Monta Ellis/Stephen Curry backcourt.

5. Marquis Daniels (UFA): 28 years old. 6'6", versatile, no three-point range, good handle, coming off strong season for Indiana, who might try to bring him back on a cheaper deal. Hasn't been a good defender. Worth the price?

6. Jarrett Jack (RFA): 6'3" combo, 25 years old, strong, coming off good season. Potentially too pricey and probably more likely to re-sign in Indy than Daniels.

7. Flip Murray (UFA): 29-year-old combo. Volume scorer but not pure shooter. Coming off good season.

8. Shannon Brown (RFA [I think]): 6'3" combo, 24 years old, played good minutes late for the Lakers, who have to be more worried about signing Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza. Good athlete but beware of over-paying.

9. Tyronn Lue (UFA): 32 years old. Six-foot shooter. Part-time player last year. Not very durable but still a capable backup.

10. Brevin Knight (UFA): The old familiar. 33-year-old pure point. Knight is about done, but has a good history with the city and franchise and would be a solid, experienced mentor to Conley/Mayo.

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