Steve Alexander

Offseason Beat

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Shooting Guard Rankings

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



11. Wesley Matthews Blazers

Brandon Roy's chronic knee problems make Matthews an interesting option this season, as it appears that Roy's days as a starter (and superstar) are over. Matthews hasn't missed a game in his two seasons and averaged nearly 16 points and two 3-pointers per game last year in Portland. More rebounds, assists and steals would be nice, but Matthews has proven he is worthy of starting at shooting guard in the NBA.

12. Caron Butler UFA Mavericks

Butler can start at shooting guard or small forward, but is coming off knee surgery. He was hoping to play in the Finals, but still wasn't ready for Dallas. His numbers weren't great in the 29 games he played for the Mavs last year, but they were serviceable: 15 points, 4.1 boards, 1.0 steals and a 3-pointer per game. It's hard to say how his knee will hold up next season, while there's also a concern about having enough balls to go around in Dallas (if he stays there). But if healthy, Butler should be a nice value pick in the middle rounds of your draft.

13. Ray Allen PO Celtics

Allen will be back in Boston after exercising his player option and will start at shooting guard again, despite being 36 years old. He's missed just seven games in his last three seasons, should score 16 points per game again, hit a couple threes, and shoot it very well from the field and line. But he doesn't do a lot more than what was just mentioned, and his numbers should continue to fall as he grows older.

14. Jason Terry Mavericks

Terry had a great NBA Finals and it could cause him to be overvalued in some fantasy circles. And while he should still be a solid option, there are simply too many guards in Dallas, as well as the fact he's going to be 34 at the start of next season. His scoring average has dropped in the each of the last three seasons, coming in at just 15.8 points per game last year. He doesn't rebound, but will hit threes, hand out some dimes and collect some steals, but isn't likely to be a starter for the Mavs (again)
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15. James Harden Thunder

Harden, by most accounts, should have been a starter for the Thunder in the playoffs, and there's already been talk about him getting the job over Thabo Sefolosha next season. He even played some point guard for Scott Brooks, and put up very solid numbers in the playoffs. He averaged just 12.2 points in the regular season, and while he only upped that number to 13.0 per game in the postseason, he scored 21 or more in three of his last 11 games and knocked down 23 3-pointers in the playoffs. He's not going to be a guy you'll want to draft early, but his stock is rising and he could be a nice sleeper pick in the later rounds.

16. Jordan Crawford Wizards

Crawford was shipped from the Hawks to the Wizards last season and promptly started putting up big numbers in Washington. He only appeared in 26 games for the Wiz, but averaged 16.3 points, 3.0 boards, 3.9 assists, 1.4 steals and nearly a 3-pointer per game. His 3-point shooting was an atrocious 23.8 percent and contributed heavily to his 39 percent shooting from the floor. But it's important to remember he was a rookie, and that Nick Young was hurt for most of Crawford's run in D.C. Crawford scored in double digits in 17 straight for Washington, as well as 18 of his last 20 games of the season. He scored 39 points with five 3-pointers on March 30 and scored 29 on April 6. We're going to have to make sure he's going to have a real shot at starting next season, but as of now, he looks like one of the most intriguing sleeper picks in fantasy.

17. Gerald Henderson Bobcats

Henderson will be another guy worth taking a flier on late in your draft after he started for the final two months of the season in Charlotte. In March and April, as a starter, he averaged nearly 15 points, 1.3 steals, 4.5 boards and 3.5 assists, but also hit just five 3-pointers. Shooting guards who don't hit threes are not fun to own, but Henderson could make big strides next year if he starts, sending Stephen Jackson to small forward. But also keep in mind he underwent hip surgery and might not be ready for the start of the season.

18. Paul George Pacers

George showed potential last season as a rookie in Indy and they like him. He should see more opportunities and have a chance to build on last year's eight points per game. He only scored over 20 points one time all season, but he also wasn't a starter until the final 19 games. If he wins the starting job in camp, and I believe he has a very good shot at doing so, he'll be worth a late flier.

19. O.J. Mayo Grizzlies

Mayo was benched by the Grizz last season and will have to deal with Tony Allen, who Memphis has a love affair with due to his heart and defensive presence. Mayo's numbers fell far enough last season that he was dropped in many leagues, but he bounced back in the playoffs against the Thunder, starting the final two games and scored between 14 and 18 points in all but two games of the seven-game series. It remains to be seen if he reclaims the starting gig this year, but if he does, he'll likely be ranked higher than this once the season rolls around.

20. John Salmons & Carlos Delfino Bucks

Bucks players were very frustrating to own in fantasy last season, and both of these guys were very inconsistent. Delfino was balling until a concussion, and ended up playing in just 49 games, averaging 11.5 points and 2.1 3-pointers per game. Salmons played in 73 games and averaged 15.9 points per game in the month of December. We'll have to see how things shake out in training camp, but there's a pretty good chance both players will be worth drafting in the later rounds. And unfortunately, they'll likely split minutes and hurt each other's production along the way.

Others To Consider

Jamal Crawford UFA Hawks – Where will he end up?
Wes Johnson Timberwolves – Talent is there, will he get opportunity?
Marco Belinelli Hornets – Potential 3-point specialist, but inconsistent.
DeMar DeRozan Raptors – No threes really hurts potential.
Mike Dunleavy UFA Pacers – Injury concerns, could come off bench.
Landry Fields Knicks – Was last season a fluke and will he start again?
Vince Carter Suns – Fizzled in Phoenix, getting old.


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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