by Will Overton
The offseason was a busy one and while we broke down some of the bigger moves we saw, there isn’t enough time or space to break down each move individually. To cover as much ground as possible and get enough information into your hands as possible we are grouping some of the offseason moves together by position. Last week we hit on shooting guards, and today we’ll break down some point guards who have moved teams.
In our point guard breakdown last week we hit on a couple of point guards moving teams, Jose Calderon and Isaiah Thomas. There were plenty of guys moving teams though and so we’re going to hit on three more today. As you can see when looking at my feelings on Calderon and Thomas, moving teams can move a player’s value up or down and it’s important to know which way each guy is headed.
Here are three of the point guards in new places this season:
Darren Collison – Sacramento Kings: At 27 years old Darren Collison is going to get another crack at being a starting point guard as the Sacramento Kings let Isaiah Thomas walk away and replaced him with Collison. After a strong showing as a rookie backup Collison got a shot at starting in Indiana, but never really became the player they expected him to be. He then was traded to Dallas where he couldn’t hold down the starting job there either.
A strong season backing up Chris Paul and getting some run as a starter with Paul hurt has gotten Collison another chance, maybe his last chance, to start. Just because he has failed in the past doesn’t mean he can’t succeed now. It does mean we shouldn’t automatically think he is a top 15 point guard just because he is starting. Collison will be good for 1 – 1.5 threes and steals each per game and 5 – 6 assists. Collison is probably going to be a lower tier point guard in the range of George Hill and Jose Calderon which isn’t a bad place to be. Draft Collison as depth point guard and hope for the upside of a solid number two point guard.
Jeremy Lin – Los Angeles Lakers: This is a pretty interesting one to me. Jeremy Lin has gone through spurts in his career of putting up big numbers and looking like a prime fantasy option. Lin is going from a timeshare in Houston with Patrick Beverley to one in Los Angeles with Steve Nash. Last year when he got a chance to start while Beverley was hurt Lin averaged 14.2 PPG, 4.5 APG, 2.7 RPG, 1.0 SPG and 1.5 3PG. Coming off the bench his numbers weren’t quite as good, but they were solid.
We don’t know if he’ll be the starting point guard in Los Angeles or not, but chances are he’ll play the same amount of minutes either way, that is until Steve Nash gets hurt. Lin is capable of 14 PPG, 6 APG, 1.5 SPG and 1.5 3PG given 32 minutes a night. He’ll also shoot 44 – 45% from the field which is a really solid number for a point guard who can hit threes. Lin is only 26 years old and there’s still decent upside. The unknown of playing time keeps him in the late 20 – early 30 range at point guard, but he has the upside of being a top 20 point guard still if everything falls right.
Raymond Felton – Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks shipped Jose Calderon out and in return they got Raymond Felton who pretty much wore out his welcome in New York last season. Felton is likely to inherit the starting job in Dallas, but along with Felton the Mavs also brought in Jameer Nelson. Not only that, but they re-signed Devin Harris too and still have Monta Ellis. Calderon is a solid assists guy and his value took a pretty sizable hit last season playing next to Ellis who likes to have the ball in his hand and is basically a point guard labeled as a shooting guard.
Felton has put up multiple seasons of 12 – 14 PPG and 6 – 7 APG and fantasy owners might be hoping for that again. It’s not that Felton isn’t capable, but he looked like a shell of himself last season, out of shape and unmotivated. A change of scenery might be just what he needs, but even if the ability and talent bounces back, I don’t know if the numbers will. The backcourt is crazy crowded with three point guards of very similar ability. Then you throw in the Monta Ellis factor and expectations shouldn’t really get to high for him. Consider Felton a bench option, or maybe a low end number two point guard in very deep leagues.