The final installment of our team needs series. (Also see Backup Small Forward and Center/Big Man)
You can tell me all day long that Rondo is going to get traded, offer me whatever proof you want, lay out the rationale all you like, but I still won't believe it until it happens. Danny Ainge himself could tell me that he's shopping the guy for pennies on the dollar and I wouldn't believe him. Call it homerism, call it wishful thinking, call it delusion for all I care. I don't believe he's being traded.
With that out of my system, lets get back to the point [believe it or not, there was no pun intended, but now that I see it, I like it]. He needs a reliable backup. I'd prefer a veteran who can run the offense and knows a few tricks to keep opposing PG's honest. I'd very much prefer a legit point guard, and not a combo guard, or undersized shooting guard.
For the last two years, we've made due with Eddie House until after the trade deadline. Then we picked up cast-offs Sam Cassell and Stephon Marbury, both with mixed (at best) results. This year it would be nice to bring someone in for a full training camp and a whole year of playing in the system to be ready for the playoffs without using the final two months as spring training.
So what are our options? See after the jump.
Free Agents (see my list of potential free agents for reference):
Raymond Felton - Felton seems talented (if erratic) and could be a nice addition coming off the bench. It looks like the Bobcats are committed to DJ Augustin so they might be willing to let Felton go. However, he's a restricted free agent and the Cats have offered him a $5.5 M qualifying offer (confusing at least one Cats blogger to no end). So I'm not sure what his pricetag will end up being.
Ramon Sessions - He had a breakout year with the Bucks (even if nobody noticed because he was playing in Milwaukee). Again, he's a restricted free agent, but the Bucks are sending out mixed signals about how willing they will be to sign him.
Andre Miller - He has been the steady hand and driving force behind the surprising Philly 76ers the last couple of years. I'm not sure if he'd accept a backup position but he is getting up there in age and he may wish to finish out his career on a legit contender.
Stephon Marbury - Hey, sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't. I'm on record as saying I'd like to hold off making any promises to him until we see what else is out there. However, you never know what could happen with a full training camp and more practice time with the team could do for him.
Others: Bobby Jackson, Jacque Vaughn, Jarrett Jack (r), Carlos Delfino (r), Tyronn Lue
This years' draft is supposed to be one of the weakest in recent memory. On the flipside, it is seen as one of the stronger PG drafts we've seen in a while. But don't take my word for it. Here's what Ian Thompson had to say:
This is an undersized draft heavy with potential point guards. The highest-rated prospects are young -- Rubio is 18, Evans is a freshman and Flynn is a sophomore. But upperclassmen Ty Lawson and Eric Maynor can be had later in the first round, and Florida State senior Toney Douglas is a first-round talent. "Any one of them could turn out to be better than those guys [in the lottery]," an Eastern Conference team president said.
We might just wait to see who drafts a point guard and see if we can pick up the guy that is cast off. It sounds like Portland is trying to move Sergio Rodriguez. If they can't I wonder if Steve Blaker would be available. Thought I'm not much of a fan of Skip To My Lou, with Jameer Nelson making a return to the lineup next year, Rafer Alston could be available. If not, how about the sold-but-savvy Anthony Johnson? After those few names, your guess is as good as mine.
Gabe Pruitt: He's on the team already, ...so he's got that going for him... which is nice. We'll see if he's still on the league long after Summer League.
Bottom line is that I don't have a very strong opinion on who I want to fill this position because I don't have a very good feel for any of these guys. The best point guards aren't going to be available and the ones that can't lock down starting spots have fundamental flaws in their games. But that's what you get with a backup point guard. I just want someone in early that holds down the position all year.