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31. Daniel Gibson - CLE [PG,SG]
“Boobie” turned the Cavaliers’ win over the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals into his own personal coming-out party. He did so with clutch scoring and solid defense. Look for Gibson to play a much more significant and regular role in his sophomore season.
32. Delonte West - SEA [PG,SG]
Sent to Seattle in the Ray Allen trade, Delonte West goes from “promising guard on a painfully young team with a logjam at the point” status to… exactly the same status. Being stuck in a numbers crunch should be as familiar as green uniforms are to West. West probably has the most upside of Seattle’s point guard options; Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson are the competition. Assuming the Sonics don’t deal one of their guards to one of several teams looking for help at the point, look for West to emerge as the starter. However, his fantasy value will be dependent on how coach P.J. Carlesimo divides the playing time.
33. Jose Calderon - TOR [PG]
Last season, Calderon gave fantasy owners remarkable value from a bench player. You have to like getting five assists per game from a backup. In fact, Calderon had a better assist-per-game average than high-profile, starting guards like Mike Bibby (4.7), Devin Harris (3.7) and Mike James (3.6). The high-powered Toronto offense should continue to provide Calderon lots of opportunities for dimes, especially if T.J. Ford misses some time. (With Ford’s injury history, that’s a possibility that can’t be discounted.)
34. Nate Robinson - NYK [PG,SG]
Robinson is a remarkable talent, but he’s a scorer at heart. Unfortunately, scoring isn’t what the Knicks really need from their second unit. Upgrade Robinson significantly if he’s traded to a team with a more wide-open offense. In New York, he’s in danger of losing playing time to Mardy Collins.
35. Smush Parker - MIA [PG]
One might wonder if the free-spirited Parker will fit any better with the intense Pat Riley than he did with the equally intense Phil Jackson. On the other hand, one of the point guard’s main responsibilities in Miami’s offense is to hit the open three, and Parker does that very well (36.5 percent shooting from downtown last season).
36. Luke Ridnour - SEA [PG]
Just a year ago, Ridnour was highly regarded enough to merit an invite to Team USA’s camp and a three-year, $18 million contract extension with the Sonics. Now, he’s struggling with nagging injuries and trying to hold off challenges from Earl Watson and Delonte West. It seems clear that the Sonics would love to move Ridnour, if they could find a taker. (One rumor had Ridnour going to Atlanta, but the Hawks’ draft of Acie Law seems to have thrown a wet blanket on that.)
37. Earl Boykins - FA [PG]
Boykins opted out of his contract with the Bucks and is currently a free agent. He still has some value, especially in a sixth man/offensive jump-starter role, but a lot will depend on where he lands. Keep an eye on how this situation develops.
38. Kyle Lowry - MEM [PG,SG]
Early last season, Lowry looked like one of the steals of the 2006 NBA Draft. He posted a 10-rebound game on opening night against the Knicks and a 16-point, six-assist, five-board, five-steal box score against the Magic on November 20. On the November 21, however, he suffered a season-ending wrist fracture. He should be recovered to start this season, but he’ll face tough competition for playing time from rookie Mike Conley Jr. Upgrade Lowry if Memphis finds a taker for Damon Stoudamire.
39. Earl Watson - SEA [PG]
A solid defender and distributor, Watson is stuck in a point guard log jam with Delonte West and Luke Ridnour. It is probably best to avoid all three until Seattle’s backcourt playing time situation becomes clearer.
40. Mike James - HOU [PG]
More often than not, Tracy McGrady serves as the triggerman in Houston’s offense, which frees the point guard to look for open jumpers. That would be a great situation for James. Or Rafer Alston. Or Steve Francis. Or whoever actually gets playing time in that spot. Houston’s point guard will be worth drafting – as soon as we find out who that will be.
41. Speedy Claxton - ATL [PG]
We loved the Hawks’ acquisition of Claxton before last season, thinking the veteran guard would provide a steadying influence on Atlanta’s talented, athletic and very raw roster. Unfortunately, injuries ruined Speedy’s season. Assuming he’s back at something near 100 percent this year, Claxton has the talent to put up nice numbers distributing the ball to Joe Johnson and company, at least until Acie Law is ready to take over.
42. Aaron Brooks - HOU [PG,SG]
It isn’t your imagination – three of the top forty-one point guards in our rankings (Rafer Alston, Mike James and Brooks) are the property of the Houston Rockets. Clearly, Houston won’t be rolling out a five point guard starting lineup this season – they probably want to get Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming a little run – so something’s gotta give. That said, all the players on this list have the potential to put up very good fantasy numbers depending on how Rick Adelman’s rotation shakes out. Brooks offers a different look than the others – he’s a super-quick guard who can take his man off the dribble more or less at will, in the mode of a Tony Parker or T.J. Ford. Watch Houston’s transaction wire and preseason rotations closely. If it appears that Brooks will get regular PT, he’d be worth a late-round flyer.
43. Javaris Crittenton - LAL [PG,SG]
44. Chris Duhon - CHI [PG,SG]
Duhon will back up Kirk Hinrich at the point and log 20-25 minutes per game. He’s a defensive specialist that can occasionally knock down the three, but doesn’t have much offensive game to speak of otherwise. His biggest asset might be his ability to take care of the ball, something to keep in mind for deep leagues that count turnovers.
45. Antonio Daniels - WAS [PG]
Daniels is a quality backup guard who can play both the point and the two; however, with DeShawn Stevenson and rookie Nick Young around, there might not be a ton of minutes left alongside Gilbert Arenas.