2011 NBA Free Agent Point Guard Rankings

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With the NBA Lockout coming to an end, we now know that teams can start signing free agents on December 9th.  Like the NFL experienced once their lockout ended, there will be a frenzy period for teams to fill out rosters with the season tipping off on Christmas.

With the new labor agreement, there are some changes to NBA free agency.  A player can only receive a four-year maximum deal (five-year deal if they re-sign with their current team) and beginning in the 2013-14 season, teams will start receiving a harsher luxury tax penalty if they exceed the salary cap.  Teams will now only have three days to match an offer sheet for one of their restricted free agents.  Also, some names will be added to free agency after teams decide which players will be released under the one-time amnesty clause option.

With the salary cap expected to be around $58 million, half of the teams will under that number and have room to sign free agents.  Check out the bottom of the page to see which teams have space and how much.

Here is a look at the top free agent power forwards, where they might sign, and what kind of payday they will receive.

1. J.J. Barea, Mavs (UFA)
Barea came up huge for the Mavs this season especially in the post-season.  Several teams should get in on the bidding for Barea to be their back-up but the Mavs will try their best to bring him back especially with Jason Kidd getting up their in age.

Predicted Contract: 4 years, $20 million
Possible Destinations: DAL, TOR, BOS, MIA, UTAH

2. Aaron Brooks, PG, Suns (RFA)
The Suns gave up a first round pick to acquire Brooks before the deadline so you would have to think that they figure he could be their Steve Nash of the future.  The final year of his rookie deal is worth slightly less than three-million dollars and he was looking for an extension with the Rockets last summer that never came.  Brooks is one of several NBA players currently locked into a contract in China and likely won’t be able to come to the States until March.

Predicted Contract: Plays out final year of rookie contract
Possible Destinations: PHX, SAC, MIA

3. Rodney Stuckey, Pistons (RFA)
Stuckey enters the off-season as a restricted free agent and I cannot imagine another team throwing a whole lot of money his way in hopes of luring him away from Detroit.  With that being said, I don’t think Stuckey is the long-term solution at the point for the Pistons especially since they used their first round pick on Brandon Knight.

Predicted Contract: Plays out final year of rookie contract
Possible Destinations: DET

4. Mario Chalmers, Heat (RFA)
Chalmers is only entering his third year in the league so there is still room for him to grow especially when you consider how he was thrust into a starting role during his rookie season.  The Heat will likely look to improve their point guard play, but if they cannot do so, Chalmers should be back in Miami.  If not, look for a team with a veteran point guard to bring Chalmers in as a back-up.

Predicted Contract: 2 years, $5 million
Possible Destinations: MIA, POR, GS, SAC, UTAH

5. Mike Bibby, Heat (UFA)
This is where the MASSIVE drop off comes into play for the free agent point guards.  Bibby has a year or two left on his legs but not as a starting point guard.  His experience will be attractive for playoff teams looking for a solid back-up who is post-season tested.  If Miami is unable to find an up-grade at the one, he could be headed back to South Beach.

Predicted Contract: 1 year, League Minimum
Possible Destinations: MIA, BOS, MIL, UTAH, POR, GS, WAS

6. T.J. Ford, Pacers (UFA)
Ford sorely needs a change of scenery and I would be shocked if he returns to Indiana.  He is only entering his eighth season in the league and is just two years removed from averaging 14.3 points, 5.3 assists per game.  The former Texas Longhorn could be a valuable reserve if he finds the right landing spot.

Predicted Contract: 1 year, League Minimum
Possible Destinations: WAS, UTAH, BOS, MIA, SAC, POR, GS

7. Patrick Mills, Blazers (RFA)
Add Mills to the list of players stuck in their contract in China and likely not returning to the NBA until March.  He will likely return to Portland when his overseas deal is complete and become an unrestricted free agent next off-season.

Predicted Contract: Plays out rookie contract
Possible Destinations: POR

8. Carlos Arroyo, Celtics (UFA)
Arroyo did start 42 games for the Heat this past season but ended up getting released which doesn’t say much about his ability to be a starting point guard in the league.  He is a serviceable back-up and should find a home but there is the possibility of Arroyo returning overseas like he did during the 2008-2009 season.

Predicted Contract: 1-year, league minimum
Possible Destinations: BOS, SAC, WAS, NY, SA, DAL, IND, UTAH

9. Earl Watson, Jazz (UFA)
Watson is nothing special but does understand how to be a serviceable point guard and could help out a playoff team or a club with a young starter.

Predicted Contract: 1-year, league minimum
Possible Destinations: UTAH, WAS, BOS, MIL, SAC, SA

10. Sebastian Telfair, Timberwolves (UFA)
It is almost embarrassing that Telfair is the ranked this high but again the free agent class of point guards is painfully bad.  At this point of his career, the potential that people keep waiting to see has probably passed.  He should get a back-up job somewhere, but may have to settle for a spot as a team’s third point guard.

Predicted Contract: 1-year, league minimum
Possible Destinations: WAS, BOS, MIL, SAC, UTAH

Other Free Agent Point Guards:
Marcus Banks (UFA), Earl Boykins (UFA), Anthony Carter (UFA), Sherron Collins (UFA), Antonio Daniels (UFA), Pooh Jeter (UFA), Acie Law (UFA), Jannero Pargo (UFA), Chris Quinn (UFA), Ronnie Price (UFA), Mustafa Shakur (UFA), Ben Uzoh (UFA)

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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