Team Needs: Point Guard

Published: December 19, 2011

With Chris Paul out, it’s necessary to address the problem of finding a successor at the point. The first thing to mention is, that it’s not possible to get somebody, who is able to come even close to the talent, that CP possesses. The team instead has to move on and find it’s new identity. Probably they have to come up with something, that doesn’t rely on having a dominant point guard.
As Jarrett Jack is a point guard, let’s start with him. He played very solid last season as a back-up of Paul and has a history of being the starting point guard of mediocre teams. I can remember him starting in Toronto and Indiana, but won’t look into stats or stuff to prove that he is probably not the type of player the team is looking for. He can be very productive at times, mainly because of his energy and scoring abilities, but as a floor general and focal point on offense, he often fails to stay in control or can’t manage to make the guys around him better. So he is definitely better coming off the bench and front office should look for a potential starter with the right age, character, salary and skill-set. Don’t get me wrong, Jack isn’t that bad, but if the team could bring someone in so that he would come off the bench, talking playoffs would’t be that far away.
Now let’s check the possibilities of trades and free-agency.
After selecting ‘guard’ in the free agent tracker, about 13 free agent point guards stick out, who obviously aren’t committed yet.

Really the only interesting name is restricted free agent Aaron Brooks. From the group of unrestricted free agents, only Gilbert Arenas, Acie Law and Chris Quinn are worth to mention (or not). As Arenas is most definitely the best player out of that group, he is already 29 and probably just won’t want to come to New Orleans. At least I can’t see that coming, as he will have better opportunities to show up and also won’t get a lot of $$ from the owner-searching Hornets. Acie Law made a name for himself in college as a classy clutch-performer. He didn’t have much success in the NBA so far, but also would’t be very expensive. I don’t see Chris Quinn’s future in the Hornets starting five or any other starting five in the world, so let’s just look deeper into Aaron Brooks’ abilities.
I believe the Suns could be willing to let him go, as they are still build around Steve Nash at the point. They acquired Brooks at the trading deadline while sending Goran Dragic and a first round pick to Houston.
Brooks is very streaky on offense and is able to score a lot. His weaknesses are his size and his lack of passing skills as he mainly looks for his own shot. If the Hornets try to throw the ball in the post a lot (to Kaman or Landry), Brooks shooting could be a good weapon to stretch the defense. Surely he can’t run the team like Paul or even Collison did the last couple of years, but he is a valid option.

All together, free agency isn’t very useful this year to get a serviceable point guard, now let’s turn to trades.
First you have to check, what you could or would offer in a possible trade. Because of his contract and his little upside, Trevor Ariza is probably on the block, and potential suitors are teams who need an aditional perimeter defender instead of a second or third string point guard. After checking all rosters, the Rockets and Cavs are pretty deep at the point. Houston has Lowry, who will get the most minutes, Flynn who is a (promising) prospect and Goran Dragic who is pretty familiar in recent trade scenarios. They are not very deep at small forward, but it’s unlikely they want Ariza back, cause he already played there two years ago with moderate success.
The Cavs are in a tough rebuilding situation and have guards Sessions, Gibson and number one draft pick Kyrie Irving on their roster, who will definitely lock the most minutes, due to the fact that they want to improve him quickly. But with Arizas’ contract, it’s necessary to include a third team to get Gibson or Sessions, who could both be potential starters. Another interesting name could be Jordan Farmar. He will come off the bench in New Jersey and the up and coming Nets could use Ariza as their starting small forward.

Concluding this, Farmar straight up for Ariza or signing Aaron Brooks to an offer sheet would be my favourite options. Both moves would improve the team, although that depends on the development of Aminu and Q-Pon. The trade with the Nets would also be a financial improvement, which finally could prevent the Nets from actually doing it. But hey, does anyone got a generous russian owner out there?
A more complicated move would be a trade for Ramon Sessions. He is maybe the best guard almost nobody ever heard of. Not the best scorer, but definitely capable of running a team and a good supplement to Jack. I don’t know how the Cavs actually like him, maybe it’s even a much shorter way to get him than one would expect. What are you guys thinking?


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