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Free Agent Options: Point Guard Edition

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Who should the Kings pursue, come July 1st?

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Kings need a veteran point guard on their roster. Even though Vlade Divac drafted two young ball handlers just a week ago, including De’Aaron Fox with the fifth overall pick, the team still needs an experienced player at the lead guard spot in case our rookie isn’t ready to take the reigns.

Through conservative contracts given out last summer as well as waiving partially guaranteed players, and having some well-timed opt-outs by players who weren’t players of the future, Sacramento has opened up both oodles and gobs of cap space to spend in free agency. Theoretically, money isn’t a concern and if our Front Office is willing to overpay, almost any non top-tier point guard free agent could be had this summer.

The Big Names

This crop of guards would almost certainly have to be near-maxed out to come to Northern California. There’s been some discussions around signing one of these guys to a short, non-max deal, but they’ll have those offers elsewhere, and frankly, why would they choose to come here if they can make the same or more with an organization with a better reputation?

Another challenge may arise if De’Aaron Fox proves he’s ready to take over the starting spot well before he’s expected. Dave Joerger justifiably coaches to win games, so there could be some awkward situations or even stunting of our young players’ growth if we have two guys on the team who deserve to start at point guard.

George Hill

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
31 31.5 5.9 12.4 0.477 1.9 4.8 0.403 4 7.6 0.523 0.554 3.2 4 0.801 0.5 2.9 3.4 4.2 1 0.2 1.7 2.3 16.9

George Hill checks all of the boxes for Kings management: veteran leader, decent passer, solid scorer, high character. The former Spur is looking to join his third team in three years if he leaves Utah for free agency and can do a little bit of everything on the court.

Fit with Sacramento: His 40% accuracy from deep would certainly complement Buddy Hield’s deadly shooting and his constant effort on defense would be a boon to Dave Joerger’s game plan. Hill’s age may be a bit of a concern as point guards past the age of 30 tend to begin their decline. At 31, he’s probably looking for his last large payday, and if the Kings are interested, they should look to limit his contract length as much as possible. If Vlade Divac wants a high-character, solid veteran presence at point guard, and he’s willing to spend a bit extra to fill that gap, George Hill is certainly the man for the job.

Jrue Holiday

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
27 32.7 6 13.3 0.454 1.5 4.2 0.356 4.6 9.1 0.498 0.51 1.8 2.5 0.708 0.7 3.3 3.9 7.3 1.5 0.7 2.9 2 15.4

Holiday is a 27 year old, eight year veteran who was the centerpiece of the Nerlens Noel trade back in the summer of 2013. Since joining the Pelicans, Holiday has been a solid scorer and above average passer while also playing tough defense.

Holiday’s biggest weakness, and the main reason why I would be terrified to give him anything close to a large contract, is his lack of ability to stay healthy. In the past four seasons he’s averaged only 51.5 contests per year, including a low of 34 games in 2013-2014.

Fit with Sacramento: Jrue is a dynamic scorer and an above-average defender when he can stay on the court, but his inability to contribute on a nightly basis would turn me off to any potential signing.

Jeff Teague

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
29 32.4 4.9 11.1 0.442 1.1 3.1 0.357 3.8 8 0.475 0.492 4.4 5.1 0.867 0.4 3.6 4 7.8 1.2 0.4 2.6 2 15.3

Teague is another common name thrown around when contemplating a big-name point guard signing. The former Hawks star was dealt to Indiana after Atlanta decided that Dennis “the other type of ball handler” Schroeder was their future. Teague had a bit of a down year for the Pacers, and with Paul George most likely leaving, he’ll probably look to go to another franchise.

Fit with Sacramento: Teague is solid if not spectacular. He can score the rock, dish the ball, and hold his own on defense. He’s 29, so a contract past 3 years may be a little unwise, but he’s been consistently healthy in his career and may take some pressure off of De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III early in the year. The biggest worry is the experienced guard’s willingness to come off of the bench if he’s asked.

Derrick Rose

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
28 32.5 7.2 15.3 0.471 0.2 0.9 0.217 7 14.3 0.487 0.477 3.5 4 0.874 1 2.8 3.8 4.4 0.7 0.3 2.3 1.3 18

Rose is a big name who hasn’t lived up to his contract or to his hype since suffering multiple, major injuries. He’s missed significant time in each of the past six seasons and has also struggled with efficiency throughout his career. Last season was a bit of a comeback as he scored 18 points per game, but his miserable shooting percentages aren’t a good fit in the modern NBA.

Fit with Sacramento: Signing Rose would be the first major misstep of the newest iteration of our Front Office. He has some serious injury concerns, mysteriously skipped a game last season, and doesn’t fit with the our rebuild timeline. Of all of the players mentioned in this category, I believe it’s clear he would struggle the most to transition to a bench role if our guards are ready to go at some point in the season. Derrick Rose is my least favorite option of any point guard in this article.

Milos Teodosic

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
30 27.6 4.9 11.1 0.444 2.7 7 0.381 2.3 4.1 0.55 0.564 3.6 4 0.897 0.2 1.9 2.1 6.8 0.6 0 3 1.8 16.1

One of the best players in Europe, Milos Teodosic has been rumored to be interested in making the move over to the NBA after years of success across the pond. He’s a wizard with the rock and is one of the best passers of anyone available in free agency. He can also score at will and his shooting should translate to the league, but his defensive effort is questionable at best.

Fit with Sacramento: He’s a former teammate of Bogdan Bogdanovic, he has major connections with Vlade Divac through his Serbian roots, and he would be a flashy, fun addition to the roster. The two biggest concerns surrounding the European star are his ability to quickly transition at 30 years old and his potential cost. If he leaves the comfort of his current league, he’ll be looking to be compensated accordingly, and with the possible struggles adjusting to the speed of the NBA, the risk may be too great for a rebuilding team like the Kings.

The Fringe Fellas

Because of their draft investment in young guards, acquiring a mid-tier, fringe starter may be the best option for our organization. These are players who can start and do a solid job, but moving them to a backup role wouldn’t necessarily ruffle any feathers across the league, and their cost should be much lower than the big names above.

Darren Collison

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
29 30.3 5 10.5 0.476 1.1 2.6 0.417 3.9 7.9 0.495 0.527 2.2 2.5 0.86 0.3 1.9 2.3 4.6 1 0.1 1.7 1.8 13.2

A familiar sight in Sacramento, Darren Collison has been an underrated starting point guard over the past couple of years. The former UCLA star has found a nice rhythm with the Kings as he’s averaged anywhere between 13-16 points per game and he’s always a threat from long-range.

Fit with Sacramento: He’s not quite the player as George Hill or Jeff Teague, but his production is actually closer than many casual observers believe and his cost will be much lower as well. Darren is also familiar with the coaching staff, the playbook, and all of our young guys from last year. Concerns about his character are absolutely valid after his actions last summer, but if our management is comfortable with his dedication to change, he’s probably my favorite option on the board. He’s a cost-effective, replaceable option who’s immediate knowledge of our roster can’t be overlooked.

Ty Lawson

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
29 25.1 3.4 7.6 0.454 0.5 1.7 0.288 2.9 5.9 0.502 0.487 2.5 3.1 0.797 0.6 2 2.6 4.8 1.1 0.1 1.9 1.7 9.9

Ty had a bit of a comeback year with the Kings, but he has major legal matters ahead of him that may be too much to overcome. No update has been announced from his June court date, but if he’s guilty of the violations he’s accused of, his NBA career could be over before next season. On the court, he’s a willing passer who averaged seven assists per 36 minutes last season. His shooting leaves something to be desired and while he gives effort on defense, his lack of size can certainly be a liablity when facing opposing guards.

Fit with Sacramento: Like Collison, Ty is already acquainted with the Joerger and the Kings players left from last year. Our head coach raved about his locker room leadership and his teammates seemed to love him, but his future is just too unknown for a franchise that needs a veteran available to start the season.

Patty Mills

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
28 21.9 3.4 7.8 0.44 1.8 4.4 0.414 1.6 3.3 0.474 0.558 0.8 1 0.825 0.3 1.5 1.8 3.5 0.8 0 1.3 1.4 9.5

The Australian backup should be looking for his opportunity to start for a squad after backing up Tony Parker for the past several years. He’s been a highly successful substitute and his shooting stroke is his main threat, making a scorching 41% of his three-point attempts on 4.4 attempts per game.

Fit with Sacramento: The former SMC star (you’re welcome, Bryant) is a fan favorite for the Kings. He’s level-headed, comes from the Spurs continued string of successes, knows what it takes to win, and can hold down the point guard position. He’s likely to be a bit more expensive than some other options and Sacramento will certainly have to overpay him to lure the veteran from basketball paradise to a former (or current) laughingstock. Similar to D.C., Mills can easily transition back and forth between starting and coming off the bench, so if he’s available, he would be a great get for Vlade Divac and Scott Perry.

The Bargain Bin

There’s a possibility that the Kings spend a large amount of money on a free agent like Paul Millsap, and with cap flexibility still in mind, they may look to go for some guys that can hold down the fort while not wowing anyone.

Brandon Jennings

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
27 22.2 2.4 6.6 0.359 1 3.1 0.313 1.4 3.5 0.399 0.433 1.4 1.9 0.75 0.4 2.1 2.4 4.9 0.9 0 1.6 1.4 7.1

Shelvin Mack

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
27 21.9 3.1 6.9 0.446 0.7 2.2 0.308 2.4 4.7 0.51 0.495 1 1.4 0.688 0.4 1.9 2.3 2.8 0.8 0.1 1.6 1.8 7.8

Raymond Felton

Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Current Age MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
33 21.3 2.8 6.4 0.43 0.6 1.8 0.319 2.2 4.6 0.473 0.475 0.6 0.8 0.781 0.4 2.3 2.7 2.4 0.8 0.3 1 1.6 6.7

The Best Options

Personally, I believe the Kings should stay away from all of the big names. Our Front Office avoided handing out albatross contracts last summer and they should do the same this year as well. Mid-tier players like Darren Collison and Patty Mills should be targeted due to their ability to transition seamlessly between the bench and the starting five. With no proof that De’Aaron Fox or Frank Mason will be ready to run the point guard position from opening night, Kings management must take the pressure off of our young guards while not compromising the future flexibility of the franchise.