In a free-agent class that isn’t overly deep, shooting guard features some of the better options. The top-end depth is dependent on player options, but there are solid contributors throughout this group.
1. DeMar DeRozan (player option)
DeRozan’s potential availability seems to change with each report. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported DeRozan would opt out without a contract extension. DeRozan refuted the report, but then several others indicated he’s been unhappy in San Antonio. If DeRozan opts out, he’s clearly the best available shooting guard. DeRozan shot a career-high 53.1% this season and averaged 22.1 points per game. He’d be a solid fit for the Knicks, Pistons or Hornets if they intend to push rebuilds forward quicker than expected. That said, DeRozan is likely to opt in, and test free agency next summer.
Fits with: Spurs, Knicks, Pistons, Hornets
2. Bogdan Bogdanovic (restricted)
Bogdanovic is a little older than most first-time free agents due to coming over several years after being drafted. He’s proven to be a solid scoring option as a starter or reserve for the Kings. Sacramento will reportedly match any offers Bogdanovic gets as a free agent. The Kings may be forced into that, as Bogdanovic is a great fit for any of the teams with cap space this offseason.
Fits with: Kings, Hawks, Hornets, Suns, Knicks, Pistons
3. Joe Harris
Harris has become one of the NBA’s best shooters and did so while on a bargain contract. The Nets might not get such a nice hometown discount this time around. Brooklyn needs to keep Harris, as his ability to space the floor and play without the ball is needed in a lineup full of ball-dominant players. That ability also makes him attractive to any number of contenders, which means Sean Marks will likely have to pony up with a big offer this offseason.
Fits with: Nets, Lakers, Hornets, Clippers
4. Tim Hardaway Jr. (player option)
Hardaway has a tough option decision. If he opts in, he’s back in Dallas for one year at $18.9 million. If he opts out, he’ll have some solid options, but may not see much of a bump in pay. Hardaway has found a home in Dallas as kind of a designated shooter alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s likely Hardaway opts in and hits the market next offseason.
Fits with: Mavericks
5. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (player option)
No player improved his fortunes more during the re-start than Caldwell-Pope. For his first two years with the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope was largely written off as being there because he’s represented by LeBron James’ agency. Last season, KCP proved those skeptics wrong. He played mostly off the bench as part of a wing defense trio with Danny Green and Avery Bradley. With better spacing around James and Anthony Davis, Caldwell-Pope has also shot a career-high 47% from the floor, including 39% from behind the arc. After starting for a champion, Caldwell-Pope is now likely to test the market this offseason.
Fits with: Lakers, Hawks, Hornets, Warriors
6. Evan Fournier (player option)
Like Hardaway Jr., Fournier is in a tricky spot. He’s coming off a career-year for the Orlando Magic, but it’s a tough season to be a free agent. Only a handful of teams have cap space, and the cap itself has so much uncertainty right now. Fournier has a $17.2 million player option. That’s a touch lower than he could get as a free agent, making it a tough decision. If Fournier does opt out, Orlando would like to retain him. He’s their best scorer and playmaker off the dribble. He also brings some outside shooting to a team that is inconsistent at best from deep. He could also fit with a handful of the cap space teams as a top wing-scoring option.
Fits with: Magic, Hornets, Pistons, Knicks
7. Malik Beasley (restricted)
Since his trade to Minnesota at the deadline, we saw just how good Beasley can be with more minutes. He nearly doubled his playing time and field goal attempts with the Wolves, and it came with good results. Beasley averaged 20.7 points on 47/43/75 shooting splits. In a class short on good, young wings, Beasley would normally be a hot commodity. The challenge is he’s had some recent legal issues. That makes his market more of an unknown for a player of his potential.
Fits with: Timberwolves, Hornets, Pistons, Knicks
Matthews has hit the “solid veteran” part of his career, but that doesn’t make him less valuable. Three-and-D wings are still prized around the league and Matthews is the best available player to fit that role. He doesn’t do much beyond spot up and defend, but that’s perfect for multiple teams, including the Bucks. And coming off a veteran minimum contract, Matthews is one of the less-expensive options in free agency.
Fits with: Bucks, Clippers, Raptors, Mavericks
Clarkson has finally found his ideal NBA role: scoring guard off the bench on a playoff team. He’s not good enough defensively to start, but his ability to score in bunches can turn games around. Utah’s structured offensive system also seems to have harnessed Clarkson’s former wildness in a good way. He can still create something out of nothing, but he also benefits from playing off Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and others. Bench scorers are always in demand, so Clarkson will have lots of options this fall.
Fits with: Jazz, Hawks, Nets, 76ers, Suns
10. Avery Bradley (player option)
After a couple of tough seasons with the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, Bradley was rejuvenated with the Lakers. Defensively, Bradley handles the opponent’s point guard. On offense, he plays off the ball as a cutter and shooter. He bounced back to 36% from behind the arc last season. Bradley’s ability to make shots and defend either guard spot will bring him suitors. The challenge is if he’ll make more than the $5 million player option he has for next season. Because of that, he’s likely to be back with the Lakers.
Fits with: Lakers, Celtics, Hawks, Warriors, 76ers
11. Justin Holiday
Holiday has become a good reserve. He can shoot (career-high 40.5% this season from three), handle the ball a little and he’s competitive defensively. That’s the kind of game that keeps getting him jobs. Holiday enjoys playing with his younger brother Aaron in Indiana, but keep an eye on older brother Jrue in New Orleans. The Holidays like being together, so Justin could prioritize either spot over other suitors.
Fits with: Pacers, Pelicans, Nets, Clippers, 76ers, Celtics
12. Pat Connaughton
Connaughton has gone from an afterthought, depth signing on a two-year, veteran minimum deal to a key contributor to the best team in the NBA. While his numbers won’t blow you away, you’re left with the sense Connaughton could put up bigger numbers with more minutes and a bigger role. That could eventually be what takes him away from the Bucks this offseason.
Fits with: Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Rockets, Hornets, Pistons, 76ers
13. Tony Snell (player option)
Snell has become the type of wing shooter all good teams have. Unfortunately, the Pistons aren’t a good team. That means Snell is a bit of a luxury for them. Even more unfortunate for Detroit, who is one of the few teams with a bunch of cap space this summer, Snell has a player option for $12.2 million. It’s highly unlikely he opts out with so much uncertainty this offseason.
Fits with: Pistons
14. Bryn Forbes
Forbes is the kind of guy who doesn’t get many kudos, but consistently contributes to winning. Essentially, he’s the perfect Spur. Forbes is undersized for a two-guard, but his shooting is better than most. He’s a career 40% shooter from three. Forbes is probably miscast as a starter, but as a bench shooter he’d fit in anywhere.
Fits with: Spurs, Celtics, Clippers, Lakers, Bucks, Rockets, Raptors, Heat, 76ers
15. Svi Mykhailiuk (team option, restricted)
There is little chance Detroit lets Mykhailiuk hit the market. He’s only 23 and he shot over 40% from three this year. He’s not the kind of guy you let get away, especially when he’s signed for the minimum. If the Pistons do decline his option, Mykhailiuk will be restricted anyway. That gives Detroit the chance to match any offers he might get.
Fits with: Pistons
The Next Five
16. Kyle Korver
Fits with: Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Heat
17. Dion Waiters
Fits with: Lakers, Magic, Warriors
18. Jordan McRae
Fits with: Pistons, Magic, Clippers, Cavaliers
19. E’Twaun Moore
Fits with: Pelicans, Clippers, Warriors
20. Rodney Hood (player option)
Fits with: Trail Blazers
Other free-agent shooting guards: Dwayne Bacon (restricted), Nicolas Batum (player option), Marco Belinelli, DeAndre’ Bembry (restricted), Sterling Brown (restricted), Alec Burks, Troy Daniels, Hamidou Diallo (team option, restricted), Damyean Dotson (restricted), Courtney Lee, Theon Pinson (team option, restricted), Garrett Temple (team option), Allonzo Trier (restricted)
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