The shooting guard position is a slot the Timberwolves definitely need some help at. They currently have Wesley Johnson and Wayne Ellington on the roster, but they certainly need some help.
The following is a list of the shooting guard free agents. Some of them have early termination options (player & team options), others are restricted free agents (any team that makes them an offer, can be matched by their current team) and lastly unrestricted free agents.
This is a look at all the possible shooting guard free agents and isn’t necessarily a list of a players that the Timberwolves need to target, but rather a list of the potential free agents and what they could bring to the table for Minnesota.
-Ray Allen (PO): Ray Allen is arguably the best pure shooter in the NBA! With a player option for the championship-contending Boston Celtics, I think you can be almost 100% certain that he’ll be back with the Celts next season. Hypothetically Allen would bring veteran-leadership and a dominant shot from any spot on the court. Allen would be a HUGE acquisition for the Wolves, but he’ll be back in Boston next season.
-Leandro Barbosa (PO): Barbosa was traded this last offseason from the Phoenix Suns to the Toronto Raptors. He has a player option for next season at over $7M. He certainly wouldn’t be able to get that much in free agency and with the CBA lingering, I’d expect him to be back, north of the border next season. Barbosa could bring a solid combo guard scorer as well as a good shooter, but a mediocre defender.
-Charlie Bell (ETO): Bell, a Milwaukee Buck before a trade along with Dan Gadzuric to the Golden State Warriors for Corey Maggette. Bell is a veteran point guard with an early termination option. It seems likely that he’ll stick in Golden State as a reserve guard. With the CBA and his sub-par ‘10-‘11 season, he won’t be leaving the city by the bay.
-Shannon Brown (PO): Shannon Brown has a player option to return to the Los Angeles Lakers next season. Brown is a capable starter in the NBA, but has been a reserve now for quite some time, behind Kobe. I’d say there is a good chance, Brown could decide to move onto another team. If that’s the case, I’d hope the Timberwolves “come knocking”. He’s an athletic young guard with a solid perimeter shot. He’s a quick and capable defender and could be just the guy the Wolves could use.
-Arron Afflalo (R): Afflalo is a talented young scorer, currently a member of the Denver Nuggets. Afflalo is the Denver starting guard and I’d expect him to remain just that. Afflalo is a restricted free agent and as long as an offer from another team isn’t ridiculous, I’d expect the Nuggets to retain him. However, to the Wolves, he could bring a sharp shooting touch and a go-to scorer (beyond Beasley) in the final minutes of a game.
-Nick Young (R): The Washington Wizards have two very talented young shooting guards: Jordan Crawford and Nick Young. The Wizards have said that Crawford’s play won’t effect them re-upping Young. Young made tremendous strides this season after Gilbert Arenas was shipped off to the Orlando Magic; he became the starting 2-guard. Young is seen as nothing more than just a scorer, he doesn’t play defense, his primary weapon is his scoring. The Wolves could certainly use another scorer, but his inability/”non-desire” to play defense would just hurt the TWolves.
-Jason Richardson: In a recent report, the Orlando Magic talked about the future of their current starting shooting guard. J-Rich became the starter after the Magic swapped Carter and Gortat to the Suns for Richardson and Turkoglu. The Magic have said that it greatly depends on the CBA as to whether they’ll even be able to offer Richardson a contract. If the new CBA has a mid-level exception clause, they could potentially offer him that, but nothing more. The Bulls have been a possible destination for the NBA journeyman as well who’s made stops in Golden State, Charlotte, Phoenix and now Orlando. Richardson would bring veteran leadership, athleticism and a probably 15-20 points a night.
-Jamal Crawford: Jamal Crawford was left off the list for Hawk extensions. Al Horford and Joe Johnson both got extensions and Crawford was vocal about hoping they could come to an agreement. It could all depend on how far the Hawks make it this season as to whether he’ll be offered an extension. Crawford is a great shooter who, like a lot of great shooters, doesn’t play great defense. Crawford is a solid 6th man-type player, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hops onto another, better championship contender for a run at a ring.
-Mike Dunleavy: Dunleavy is a proven veteran who has struggled in recent years due to a variety of different injuries. I don’t expect the Pacers to re-up the veteran shooter. Dunleavy is just a role player at this stage in his career. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up playing for a team like the Celtics or somewhere where he’ll get some minutes off the bench as a scoring punch.
-Sasha Vujacic: Vujacic was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Jersey Nets earlier this season. He went from a deep reserve on a contender Laker team to a starter for a lottery bound Nets. He, like most shooting guards is nothing more than a scorer and he’s “gained fame” for not even being a great scorer. The Nets have basically said that he isn’t in there long term plans and most likely will not be back. I could definitely seeing the Wolves making him an offer as a reserve guard off the bench for that scoring punch. If not the Wolves, Vujacic will most likely sign with a team that isn’t of elite-caliber, so he can get some play time and contribute.
-Michael Redd: Michael Redd made a return to the hardwood after a long rehab on injuries and re-injuries for well over a year. The lifelong Buck played in just 10 games last season, 18 the year before that and 33 the year before that. He’s a good scorer with a solid all-around game, but there’s no doubt he’ll never be the player he once was. The Bucks have said they have intentions to resign Redd to a contract, wanting to keep the lifelong Buck, a Buck for his career.
-DeShawn Stevenson: DeShawn’s career has been resurrected since being traded two seasons ago from Washington to Dallas. He’s the starter for the contending Dallas Mavericks. I’m not certain as to whether he’ll be back with the Mavs next season though. He’s a talented shooter and an capable defender. He would certainly be a welcome addition to the TWolves.
-Anthony Parker: Parker is a veteran shooting guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but I’d expect him to be on the move this offseason. The Cavs are going younger and there are plenty of contenders who would be interested in his services. However, Parker has said that he could potentially retire if there is indeed a lockout. Parker won’t likely look to jump from the second-worst team in the NBA (record-wise) to the worst (Wolves/record-wise). I could see Parker as a Bull, a Celtic or somewhere like that.
-Willie Green: Green moved from the Philadelphia 76ers to the New Orleans Hornets before the beginning of this past season. He was the main guard off the bench for the Hornets and if split some time in the starting gig with Marco Bellinelli. I wouldn’t be surprised, if he isn’t asking too much, if the Hornets decide to re-up the veteran guard. He brings a solid scoring punch, defense and athleticism.
-Sasha Pavlovic: The former TWolf, Celtic, Hornet, Maverick, Sun and just about every other team. Pavlovic is nothing more than a deep role player/bench warmer. I wouldn’t expect any team to come looking to sign him this offseason as he’ll likely be a free agent signed to multiple 10-day contracts with multiple teams again.