Player Rankings: Shooting Guards (20-38)
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20. Randy Foye - Minnesota Timberwolves
Maybe the most NBA-ready of all the 2006 NBA Draft class, Foye will step in and see plenty of time at shooting guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves. At Villanova, Foye averaged 20.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.7 threes per game and looks ready to become a star in the NBA in a few years. That much he proved in the Vegas Summer League, putting up an impressive 24.8 points, 4.2 boards, 2.2 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.6 threes and 0.4 blocks while shooting 53 percent from the floor and 87 percent from the line. With Kevin Garnett down low, Ricky Davis slashing and Mike James running the point, Foye joins a talented team and is expected to be one of the contenders for Rookie of the Year honors.
Bottom Line: This year’s rookie class doesn’t have the immediate impact stars as years past, but Foye seems to be ready to contribute right away in both fantasy and reality.
21. Jamal Crawford - New York Knicks
Athletically blessed with great speed and quickness, Jamal Crawford is still a raw talent as a basketball player. Playing out of control at times, Crawford is as streaky as they come. He can light it up for 30-plus points on any given night, but he’ll also struggle at times scoring in the single digits. His inconsistencies should continue into this season, especially in the crowded Knick backcourt. Vying for playing time with Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis and Nate Robinson, Crawford will have a hard time seeing the minutes he needs to be a top fantasy option. That said, he’ll still be a nice option for points, threes, steals and assists if Isiah Thomas’ run and gun offense pans out.
Bottom Line: One has to worry if there’s enough ball to go around in New York, so Crawford is quite a risky selection in fantasy leagues. He does have plenty of potential, so he’s worth a late round gamble.
Update: Crawford seems to be the odd man out in the New York backcourt with Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis penciled in as the tentative starters. Don't be ready to give up on Crawford completely, but he’ll need to have a big camp to unseat Francis at the two.
22. J.R. Smith - Denver Nuggets
Smith had a tough time getting things going last year due to his season-long feud with head coach Byron Scott. With his minutes dropping off the table, Smith regressed in his sophomore campaign. Still, the kid oozes talent, and a change of scenery will do him well. He couldn’t have picked a better spot than Denver, either. Lacking a shooting guard, the Nuggets desperately needed a long-distance dialer and found one in J.R. In his rookie season, Smith came on strong after the All-Star break with 14.7 points, 0.9 steals and 1.3 threes a game. A great athletic talent whose range starts as soon as he enters the building, Smith has all the tools to be a dominant scorer in the NBA. Throw out last year’s statistics; he gets a fresh start with a new head coach and the opportunity to secure around 30 minutes per game for the Nuggets.
Bottom Line: A nice sleeper option due to the expected increase in minutes, Smith could be a nice surprise in 2006-07. Pay close attention to how he meshes with new head coach George Karl before drafting the youngster.
23. Eddie Jones - Memphis Grizzles
At 34, Eddie Jones might be on the downside of his career after experiencing two “down” years in a row. His first season in Memphis saw Jones return to dominance on the defensive end while his offensive game suffered. For now, Jones looks to have the inside track at the starting shooting guard spot and while he’s not the scorer he once was, he can still rain threes and create havoc on the defensive side of the ball. Using his long arms and great anticipation skills, Jones has always been one of the best steal artists in the NBA, never averaging under a steal per game in his 11-year career. Like most other SG, Jones’ field goal percentage will be weighed down because of his three point attempts. However, he’ll be helpful from the free throw line by shooting more than 80 percent.
Bottom Line: While Jones doesn’t have the upside of some of the younger shooting guards, he’s still as solid as they come in steals and threes. He’ll face stiff competition from rookie Rudy Gay but should still see around 30 minutes per game for the Grizzlies.
24. J.J. Redick - Orlando Magic
Despite his ailing back, Redick is the frontrunner to win the starting shooting guard spot for the Magic in his rookie season. At Duke, Redick was a big time scorer and three-point shooter, but it remains to be seen how he’ll fare with bigger and faster defenders on him. Gifted with a smooth shot and follow through, Redick shouldn’t have a hard time knocking down jumpers, especially with Dwight Howard commanding so much attention under the glass.
Bottom Line: Averaging 26.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 3.8 threes per game for Duke, Redick should be able to post solid numbers in points, steals and threes in his rookie season for the Magic. Be sure to check the status of his back in preseason action.
25. Anthony Parker - Toronto Raptors
Parker, who flamed out of the NBA back in 2000, revived his game in Europe, winning the Euroleague’s MVP for two consecutive seasons. Parker averaged 14.7 points, 6.5 boards, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game for Maccabi Tel Aviv last season and is considered one of the best players outside of the NBA. Unlike many shooting guards, Parker will not hit the three-ball, but he will shoot a very high percentage from the floor. He is expected to win the starting two guard spot for the Raptors but will have to battle Freddie Jones for the job.
Bottom Line: Parker is likely to be on many a sleeper list, but he’s not guaranteed to put up stats like he did in Europe.
26. Ronnie Brewer - Utah Jazz
Brewer is not your typical shooting guard. He’s more of a slasher and at 6’7”, he likes to take the ball to the hoop rather than relying on his outside shot. It’s not that he can’t shoot because he hit 1.6 threes per game at Arkansas but only 33.8 percent from downtown. Averaging 18.4 points, 4.8 boards, 3.3 assists and 2.6 steals per game, Brewer has the ability to step into the NBA and contribute immediately. It remains to be seen how Jerry Sloan will use the rookie, but with Gordan Giricek as his only competition, he should see plenty of time at the two for the Jazz this season.
Bottom Line: Brewer impressed in the Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue averaging 16.0 points and 1.6 steals and earning himself a first team selection. Consider Brewer in the later rounds for help in points and steals.
27. Rudy Gay - Memphis Grizzlies
Perhaps the best all-around athlete of the 2006 NBA Draft, Rudy Gay has the tools to be an explosive fantasy force in the NBA. Criticized by many for taking plays off, Gay has to shake the “lazy” label to earn consistent playing time in his rookie season. He’s talented enough to put up solid numbers right from the start and will help fill the void left by Shane Battier’s departure in Memphis. At UConn, Gay averaged 15.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.6 blocks and 0.8 threes per game. As you can see, Gay has the upside to be a major player in this league, especially for ability to produce in multiple categories.
Bottom Line: Gay makes for a great high-upside pick towards the end of drafts and should see solid playing time in his rookie season.
28. Martell Webster - Portland Trail Blazers
Showing us a glimpse of the future, Webster came on strong in April by averaging 13.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 threes and 1.1 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. Webster is a smooth shooter from the outside and has proved to be a solid rebounder. This is not to mention his ability to create steals on the defensive end. With the Blazers getting Brandon Roy in the draft, Webster’s playing time situation is a little more clouded this season, but he should see enough time to warrant a late-round flier due to his major upside in points, threes and steals.
Bottom Line: Even at just 19 years of age, Webster is ready to contribute in the NBA right now. If he can get 25-30 minutes in his second season, he’ll have plenty of fantasy value.
29. Francisco Garcia - Sacramento Kings
Armed with a great jump shot, Garcia gained valuable experience in his rookie season. He didn’t play much, but when he did, he showed the ability to be a multi-category producer in the NBA. In just 11 starts, he averaged 12.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.1 blocks and 0.8 threes per game. With Bonzi Wells out of town, Garcia could be in line for more playing time but will have to battle with Kevin Martin and John Salmons for minutes.
Bottom Line: Garcia would be a nice option for points, threes, steals and even blocks if he got the playing time. Problem is, he’ll be fighting with Martin and Salmons for playing time in Sacramento. Still, his upside warrants a late-round selection.
30. Marquis Daniels - Indiana Pacers
After two straight disappointing seasons marred by injury and lack of playing time, the talented Marquis Daniels will attempt to earn more playing time with his new team in Indiana. In his three seasons as a pro, Daniels showed flashes of brilliance including a dominant run in the playoffs during his rookie year. In 29 games as a starter last season, Daniels put up great numbers by scoring 13.6 points with 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 36.7 minutes. With long arms and a knack for getting in the passing lane, Daniels has the potential to force turnovers at a high rate on the defensive end. The Pacers already have Stephen Jackson at the two, but Daniels may be used at the point if incumbent Jamaal Tinsley goes down with an injury. Either way, look for Daniels to see in the ballpark of 30 minutes per night.
Bottom Line: It will be all about playing time for Daniels, who has the upside to be ranked much higher on this list. Watch the preseason carefully and be ready to grab him if he’s in line for a starting gig. He has major sleeper potential if he can find his way into the lineup.
31. Salim Stoudamire - Atlanta Hawks
A deadly three-point shooter, Salim Stoudamire knocked down 1.3 three-pointers in just 20.2 minutes per game during his rookie season. Struggling to get consistent minutes, Stoudamire will need to see more time on the court in his second season to have much of a fantasy impact. With Joe Johnson ahead of him on the depth chart and Josh Childress, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams in the fold, Stoudamire will have to settle for around 20-25 minutes per game.
Bottom Line: If he sees more minutes, he could have value, but only as a specialist for points, steals and threes.
32. Fred Jones - Toronto Raptors
Stuck in Indiana for his first four seasons, Freddie Jones didn’t see enough playing time to warrant much fantasy consideration. He did, however, show promise whenever the Pacers struggled with injuries. Last season, he saw increased playing time in the month of January, putting up 13.5 points, 1.1 steals and 1.4 threes in 29.5 minutes per game. Signing with the Raptors in the off-season, Jones will get a chance to win the starting shooting guard spot and should see increased minutes in Toronto. With an increase minutes, expect Jones to put up solid numbers in points, threes and steals but little else.
Bottom Line: Jones will battle Anthony Parker and Morris Peterson for minutes in Toronto. Pay close attention to this position battle in the preseason and upgrade Jones if he wins the gig.
33. Tony Allen - Boston Celtics
Knee surgery and off-court problems set Allen back a bit in his second season as a pro. He did see a minor increase in time on the court (19.2 minutes), and the defensive specialist proved to be adept in steals, blocks and the percentages. Starting in just nine games, Allen averaged 12.9 points and 1.9 steals in 29 minutes but couldn’t muster much in any other category. If given more playing time, we’d see a nice jump in his numbers across the board.
Bottom Line: Given his upside, Allen is nice gamble in the late rounds in fantasy leagues. His legal problems may carry over into the season, so he might miss some of training camp again this season.
34. Jarvis Hayes - Washington Wizards
Knee injuries have derailed what looked to be a very promising career for the young swingman. Hayes has the ability to put up numbers in points, threes and steals but has struggled to get consistent playing time with all of his injuries. He started in 13 games last year, averaging 10.0 points, 0.7 steals and 0.9 threes per game in just 26.5 minutes. With increased playing time, those numbers would jump, but it’s unlikely that he’ll see the playing time he needs to have fantasy value. With the ability to play both SG and SF, Hayes’ flexibility ensures him a spot in the rotation, but he’ll have to contend with Caron Butler, Antonio Daniels and the newly acquired DeShawn Stevenson for PT. This year, he’ll act as a sixth or seventh man off the bench and should put up decent numbers in points, rebounds, steals and threes if he can stay healthy.
Bottom Line: Unless injuries bite the Wizards, Hayes is unlikely to see enough playing time to warrant fantasy consideration.
35. Ronald Murray - Detroit Pistons
A guy who can put the rock in the hole, Flip Murray started 25 games for the injured Larry Hughes in Cleveland last year. In 36 minutes per game, he averaged 13.5 points, 2.4 rebound, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 threes per game for the Cavs. Signing with the Pistons in the off-fseason, Flip will be the sixth man off the bench, spelling both Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton at times. He’ll provide instant offense and should see around 25 minutes per game for the Pistons. Since both Billups and Hamilton are iron-men, Flip won’t get as much playing time as he did in Cleveland last season.
Bottom Line: A decent late-round option for points, steals and threes, Flip will need more playing time to be anything other than a spot starter for your fantasy squad.
36. DeShawn Stevenson - Washington Wizards
The Wizards went out and acquired DeShawn Stevenson in the off-season in the hopes that he could become a lockdown defensive specialist. Stevenson started all 82 games for the Magic last season, but didn’t prove to have much in terms of fantasy value posting just 11.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 steals per game. In Washington, with Antonio Daniels, Caron Butler and Jarvis Hayes all vying for time, Stevenson will be hard-pressed to see more than 30 minutes per game.
Bottom Line: Even though he may be the starter, the Wizards have too much offensive firepower for Stevenson to have much value. As a defensive specialist, Stevenson would need to do more in steals and rebounds in order to be considered in all but the deepest of leagues.
37. Juan Dixon - Portland Trail Blazers
A high-energy player who is better suited to come off the bench, Juan Dixon posted career highs in nearly every category during his first season with the Portland Trail Blazers. In 25.3 minutes per game, he averaged 12.3 points, 2.0 assists, 0.9 threes and 0.8 steals per game. With his quickness and anticipation skills, Dixon can generate a high number of steals if he’s on the court, but will struggle to find playing time with the rookie Brandon Roy around. He could, however, get some minutes at the point, if Jarrett Jack struggles.
Bottom Line: Dixon will likely be used as a sparkplug off the bench but could have some value if he earns consistent playing time.
38. Trenton Hassell - Minnesota Timberwolves
A great on the ball defender, Trenton Hassell finds his way into playing time because of his defensive prowess. He’ll play around 25 minutes a game, usually guarding the opponent’s best player but lacks the skills to contribute much on the offensive end. Last season, he averaged only 9.2 points, 2.8 boards, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.4 blocks in 32.6 minutes a game.
Bottom Line: Hassell is one of those players that is better in real life than he is in the fantasy world. Since we don’t get points for shutting down a big scorer without creating steals or blocking shots, Hassell shouldn’t be drafted in fantasy leagues.
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