Rockets News

NBA Free Agency: Top 5 Free Agent Point Guards

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Nov 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (17) drives to the basket as Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (17) drives to the basket as Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
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With the launch of 2016 NBA Free Agency fans are witnessing contracts reach outrageous ceilings.

Given 21 teams can offer max contracts this year there will be obvious players who’ll attract major attention from copious teams.  In an effort to help fans track who to keep an eye on SCS outlines the top 5 coveted players at each position for your perusal.

First up the point guards:

Mike Conley

Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies

2015-16:  per game stats

Points: 15.3

Rebounds: 2.9

Assists: 6.1

Steals: 1.2

3 Point Shooting: 36.3%

Field Goal Percent: 42.2%

Conley will undoubtedly be the most coveted free agent. He is a reliable quarterback who mixes up pace well, can hit the three when needed at a decent percentage and is top notch at working the pick and roll with his bigs.

Memphis will have the edge to keep him given they can offer the max deal and full five years. Adding to this is Conley is extremely close to Marc Gasol and was pivotal in the him re-signing his own contract. His 2015-16 salary was $9.68 million so he stands to be in line for a big pay day. As noted Memphis can offer him a max contract over a term of 5 years (which Conley is seeking) to the tune of $153 million whereas other potential suitors can only offer 4 years ($113M).

It’s rumored if Memphis doesn’t come to the table with the full 5 years it may increase the odds of Conley leaving.

As Marc Stein of ESPN reports:

The @TheVertical says #MikeConley likely to resign with Grizzlies #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

After his face-to-face meeting Friday afternoon with Mavs in Dallas, Mike Conley is still pondering a meeting with the Rockets, sources say.

— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 1, 2016

Teams said to be interested in Conley are the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets though it would make sense for the Chicago Bulls to entertain a discussion with him given the exit of Rose. Also, with the 76ers still needing a quality point guard I’m sure they’ve inquired, but whether Conley would be open to waiting for the team to develop may is unlikely.

Edited

Edited to add agreement with Grizzlies:

#Grizzlies & UFA Mike #Conley agree to 5year Max $153M deal so he'll join buddy Chandler Parsons as Grizz shore up troops #NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 2, 2016

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo may not have had a great stint in Dallas clashing with head coach Rick Carlisle but he survived the tumultuous locker room scene this past season in Sacramento posting some of the best stats of his career.

The problem is, it seemed at times that filling up the stat sheet was more vital for the enigmatic point guard than registering wins.

Still, with Conley likely returning to Memphis (or paradoxically to Rondo’s old team the Mavericks) he is sure to be one of the most sought after point guards.

2015-16:  per game stats

Points: 11.9

Rebounds: 6.0

Assists: 11.7

Steals: 2.0

3 Point Shooting: 36.5%

Field Goal Percent: 45.4%

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin  was a free agent many pundits thought would be earmarked for Houston given his relationship with head coach Mike D’antoni. So his early agreement with the Brooklyn Nets came as a bit of a surprise.

2015-16:  per game stats

Points: 15.3

Rebounds: 2.9

Assists: 6.1

Steals: 1.2

3 Point Shooting: 36.3%

Field Goal Percent: 42.2%

Take Jeremy #Lin off list surprisingly inks deal with NETS 3 years $36M as per Woj Kind of shocked #Rockets weren't in play#NBAFreeAgency

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) July 1, 2016

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings  had a workout in Brooklyn with the Nets, but apparently it didn’t go as hoped since they came to terms on an agreement with Lin instead. Questions remain regarding his explosiveness as he recovers from his Achilles Heel injury.

2015-16:  per game stats

Points: 6.9

Rebounds: 2.0

Assists: 3.5

Steals: 0.6

3 Point Shooting: 32.9%

Field Goal Percent: 36.8%

Free agent point guard Brandon Jennings will work out for the Brooklyn Nets Friday morning at UCLA, according to a league source.

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2016

Deron Williams

Deron Williams:  I could make an argument guards like Jerryd Bayless or Matthew Dellavedova should leap frog Williams for 5th on the list. Given his history with injuries and his age it’s a logical direction to head. That said, Williams is the most talented of the remaining guards and his value in mentoring can’t be undersold.

2015-16:  per game stats

Points: 14.

Rebounds: 2.9

Assists: 5.8

Steals: 0.9

3 Point Shooting: 34.4%

Field Goal Percent: 41.4%

More from Space City Scoop

Moving into free agency though the Rockets hadn’t earmarked point guard as their priority roster spot to fill there remains the unspoken issue of getting the ball out of James Harden’s hands at least for some portion of the game.

If Houston expect to have any success they’ll need to find a point guard who can coexist with Harden and allow him to play off the ball. Ideally, this scenario would mix up opponent defenses who generally just load up on The Beard. It would seem the Rockets are at least considering this ploy given two recently failed trade attempts included Patrick Beverley as part of the package.

SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely consider checking out my Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams:

Next: Free Agency Profiles for all 30 Teams

And early free agent signings:

Next: First 12 hours of Free Agency

Along with articles covering the draft:

Next: Reviewing the top 30 Draft Picks

Next: SCS Editor Mock Draft

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