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The Underappreciated Francisco Garcia

John Hollinger looks at 15 sleepers, and one King makes the cut.

Garcia isn't getting much attention, but he has more than doubled his scoring average from last season thanks to his increasing confidence in a deadly 3-point stroke. In his third pro season, he is shooting 39.6 percent from downtown and scores 18.7 points per 40 minutes, plus he's a solid defender who has cut down on all the hacking he did last season.

Now that the Kings have all their players back he may see his minutes cut, but if the much-discussed trades of Bibby and/or Artest happen, it won't be for long. While Garcia doesn't have the upside of some other players on this list because he's already 26, his shooting, defense and ballhandling make him a strong complementary player.

I'll offer this:
                     |------per 36 min-----|
Player     Year  Age  Pts  Reb  Ast  Stl   TO  FG%/3P/FT    PER
Christie  96-97   26 13.5  5.0  3.6  2.3  2.3   42/38/78   15.1
Garcia    07-08   26 16.8  4.7  2.2  1.5  2.2   45/40/80   15.1

Doug Christie at age 26 and Garcia at age 26 are really similar. Garcia's a more frequent scorer and a better shooter; Christie (even pre-Kings) was a good passer and ballhawk. But yeah, those are two similar guys. (I should note John Salmons is the long-lost triplet.)