Reports out of New York are indicating that the Knicks are slowly inching closer to finalizing a deal with Ramon Sessions. This thing has dragged on much longer than any of us could have expected, but if Sessions is truly close to becoming a Knick than it’s time to look elsewhere and see what’s left in the free agent market. K.A. already took a look at the best perimeter defenders available, so today we’ll break down some of the best unrestricted guards left on the market.
The Best Of The Rest:
- Allen Iverson – Nothing came out of the Iverson talks earlier this summer, but if Sessions is out of the picture the Clippers may rekindle negotiations with the 34 year old guard. The issues with signing Iverson have been previously addressed, and most Clippers fans remain terrified that Iverson will ruin team chemistry. Still, Sterling views Iverson as a big ticket draw, and Dunleavy has a history of taking on reclamation projects with big egos. If Iverson were to become a Clipper, it would undoubtedly need to be on a one year deal with an understanding that he would come off the bench. It’s pretty unlikely that will happen, but as long as Iverson is available, the possibility lurks.
- Bobby Jackson – The 36 year old guard is on his last legs, but by all accounts Jackson is a good veteran presence who could impart some of his knowledge on younger guards Sebastian Telfair and Eric Gordon. Jackson can play both guard positions and is primarily a scorer who has to rely more and more on his subpar outside jumper. Despite not being much of a distributor, Jackson is safe with the ball and rarely turns it over. It wouldn’t be the flashiest signing, but Jackson would come cheap and fill a need, without any of the drama.
- Rashad McCants– McCants is still young at 24 and has proven scoring ability. In his 2007-2008 campaign with Minnesota, McCants averaged 14.9 ppg while only playing 27 minutes a contest. McCants would stretch the floor and add instant pop off the bench, but is limited to playing just the 2 guard. By most accounts McCants is a poor defender, and his career average of 1.3 assists per 20 minutes is troubling. When McCants is on the court he’s out there primarily to score, which would seem to duplicate Ricky Davis quite a bit.
- Jacque Vaughn – If Dunleavy wants an unselfish 3rd point guard who will unquestionably run his sets, Vaughn is his man. The 34 year old’s value lies in his solid decision making on offense and his hounding of opposing point guards on defense. If he was good enough for Popovich and the Spurs, he’s worth at least a glance from the Clippers.
- Juan Dixon– Dixon is a combo guard who can handle some point guard duties, but is better suited at the two guard. Dixon is primarily a jump shooter who rarely attacks the basket, and because of his size (6’3, 165) he struggles with bigger guards. Dixon is now 30, which makes me question where the last 8 years of my life went.
- Gerald Green– Although he has ideal size at 6’8, Green is widely considered to be one of the worst defenders in the game. Green’s amazing athletic ability and great shooting stroke should translate into a solid NBA player, but his serious lack of basketball I.Q. keeps him from doing anything with his immense talent. Still, Green is only 23 years old and with the right coaching he might be able to make something of his career.
- Von Wafer– Wafer played in a Clippers jersey for literally 1 minute, and it’s probably the last we’ll ever see of him. Wafer is talented, but his attitude issues and clashes with Rick Adelman should be enough of a warning sign for the Clippers to stay away.
- Luther Head– Head is a career 39% 3 point shooter, but he’s undersized at the 2 guard and can be somewhat of a defensive liability. Still, Head played big minutes in the past as a Houston Rocket and is probably one of the best shooters left available. He doesn’t offer much positional flexibility unfortunately, as he’s not a natural point guard by any means. Of all the small 2 guards (McCants, Wafer and Dixon), Head is probably the one the Clippers should look closest at.
- Ronald “Flip” Murray – Flip can definitely score when given the minutes, but he does so inefficiently. Flip is a bit of a chucker for not being a great shooter, evidenced by last year being the first time he averaged a true shooting percentage of over 50%. Regardless though, if Dunleavy decides to place a premium on scoring for the open roster spot, Flip is probably near the top of the list.
- Maurice Ager – Ager was never able to receive substantial playing time for Dallas or New Jersey, so it’s hard to get a good read on him. He was always a good shooter in college, but his athleticism was only so-so. Ager is only 25, but it’s not a good sign that he couldn’t earn playing time on a bad New Jersey team last year.
- Kareem Rush – Rush is a good threat from deep, but that’s about it. His career 40% field goal percentage is cause for concern, as are his low rebounding and assist numbers. There appears to be better scorers out on the market.
- Desmond Mason – From K.A. – “An OSU standout, and big fan favorite in OKC, Mason has publicly stated that he’d like to stay with the Thunder. For a guy best known for dunkage, Mason’s greatest asset on the court is on the other end of the floor, where he’s your prototypical “long and quick” guy who stays in front of his man effectively.”
- Keith Bogans – From K.A. – “He carries the air of “wily veteran” at 29, and seems to be the kind of backup the Clippers would gravitate to this offseason. He’s got good size, can shoot from the outside at a reasonably efficient rate (TS greater than 50% each of the past three seasons), and defend intelligently. More important, Bogans can be bought on the cheap. This wouldn’t be a splashy acquisition, but it would be a smart one.”
- Rodney Carney – From K.A. – “Although he’s a bit of a ball-stopper on offense and certainly not a glue guy, Carney is nevertheless an insane athlete who has proven himself to be a capable defender in the NBA. Last season, he put up some impressive on court/off court defensive numbers. At 6-6, he’s quick enough to guard triple-threat shooting guards and big and long enough to handle more physical 3s.”
The Clippers current roster is at 13 men, with only two point guards (Davis and Telfair) and one shooting guard (Gordon), depending on where you slot Mardy Collins and Ricky Davis. Even though the 2/3 wing spot appears to be the biggest hole, Dunleavy may opt to bring in a combo guard who can occasionally fill in at point.
What say you, Clippers fans? If the Clippers can’t sign Sessions, what position should they look to fill, and who should they fill it with? Let’s hear it.