So what if Zeke is a rookie? And they didn't draft him #4 overall, given that he's a prototype 3-down back, to have him in a timeshare with Morris or McFadden. Behind that line, coupled with his skills as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker, there's no way he should fall past the first round.
A list of the top 2009 NBA Free Agent shooting guards.
Kobe Bryant (PO), Lakers (26.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.9 apg), Age: 30.
Kobe has a player option worth a little more than $23 million for the 2009-2010, and then would be under contract for almost $25 million in '10-'11. After the Lakers won the title, Kobe was quoted as saying, "I'm not going anywhere." And he shouldn't since no team can offer him the money or success like the Lakers.
Prediction: Stays with Lakers
Ben Gordon, Bulls (20.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.4 apg), Age: 26. Signed with Pistons (5 years, $50 million)
The Bulls have a lot of young talent led by the new savior in Chicago, Derrick Rose. Kirk Hinrich is already signed to a fairly pricey long-term deal and the Bulls have a cheaper alternative in John Salmons already locked up. It will be interesting to see how much money the Bulls will offer Gordon because he is probably expecting a monster payday as he reportedly turned down a five-year, $54 million offer last summer. The Pistons are reportedly hot on his trail, but Gordon is better suited helping Chicago try to win now.
Prediction: Re-signs with Bulls, 5 years, $72 million
Allen Iverson, Pistons (17.5 ppg, 5 apg, 3 rpg), Age: 33. Signed with Grizzlies (1 year)
I am very curious to see what is going to happen with AI this summer. He was vocal in his displeasure coming off the bench in Detroit at the end of the season and said he would rather retire than be a reserve next season. It is almost certain that he will not return to the Motor City, but is a team going to shell out enough cash to bring in a declining Iverson and hope that he thrives in a complementary role, something he did not do alongside Carmelo Anthony in Denver? Probably not. Re-uniting with former head coach Larry Brown in Charlotte has been a hot rumor.
Prediction: 2-year, mid level exception with the Cavaliers
Jamal Crawford (PO), Warriors (19.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 4.4 apg), Age: 29. Exercised option; traded to Hawks for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton
Here's my take on Crawford, no team will be a title contender if he is one of your starting guards. It's just not going to happen. He is a 6'6 shoot first point guard who shot 40% from the field, and this past season his coach said that he and Monta Ellis in the same backcourt was like "oil and water." If he can't excel in Nellie Ball, he is not going to excel anywhere else unless he gets a reality check and accepts the fact that he is better suited as a role player. Crawford has a $9.3 million player option with a guaranteed $10 million for 2010-2011. He is not going to get anywhere near that from another team this off-season, so...
Prediction: Exercises option with Warriors, who try their best to trade him for anything
Marquis Daniels (TO), Pacers (13.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Age: 28. Signed with Celtics
The Pacers declined Daniels' $7.3 million option, making him an unrestricted free agent. He was hampered by injuries all season, and as a result, lost his starting job to Brandon Rush. When healthy, he can still be a valuable scorer off the bench. He will have to take a major paycut but should be able to land a spot, possibly as a starter for a team in need of some scoring punch.
Prediction: Signs 3-year, $9 million with Cavaliers
Flip Murray, Hawks (12.2 ppg, 2.0 apg), Age: 29. Signed with Bobcats
Despite finishing seventh in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, Murray quietly put together an underappreciated season. At 6-3, he is a combo guard and was one of the few bench players Atlanta could rely on this past season. He has been a career NBA journeyman, playing for six teams in his 7-year career. The Hawks are about $12 million under the salary cap, but if they do not re-sign him, several playoff teams would likely offer him a chunk of their mid-level exception.
Prediction: Re-signs 3-year, $9 million with Hawks
Quentin Richardson (PO), Knicks (10.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Age: 29. Exercised option; traded to Grizzlies for Darko Milicic
Even though he is probably dieing to get out of New York, Q-Rich would be foolish to turn down his $9.3 million player option and become a free agent. He would be lucky to see one-third of that amount this off-season from another team. End of discussion.
Prediction: Exercises player option
Von Wafer, Rockets (9.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg), Age: 23. Signed with Greek Team
After bouncing around four teams in his first three seasons in the league, Wafer found his niche in Houston as a bench scorer. He can provide offensive firepower and at 23, should only get better. Considering Ron Artest is a free agent, T-Mac and Brent Barry are in the final year of their deals, and Shane Battier is a defensive stopper, the Rockets should be active in trying to re-sign Wafer. But if Wafer feels he can get more playing time with a younger team, he might not be able to turn down that opportunity.
Prediction: Signs 3-year, $8 million with Raptors
Dahntay Jones, Nuggets (5.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg), Age: 28. Signed with Pacers (4 years, $11 million)
Can we just call him a poor man's Bruce Bowen? Jones found his role in the NBA as a two-guard who will D up the best offensive player on the other team and won't complain if he doesn't get a lot of shots on the offensive end. Guys like that are hard to find in the league these days, so I would imagine several teams will inquire about signing Jones to fill that role.
Prediction: Re-signs 3-year, $7.5 million with Nuggets
Eddie House (PO), Celtics (8.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg) Age: 31.
House has made a living as a three-point bench threat during his nine-year NBA career. He has a very reasonable $2.8 million player option and is in a good situation in Boston having won an NBA title a year ago. It wouldn't make a lot of sense for him to opt out of his deal unless he was going to re-sign a longer deal with the Celtics seeing as he wouldn't get a bigger payday from any other team and would be in the exact same role.
Prediction: Exercises player option.
Other Notable Free Agent SGs: Anthony Parker (Signed with Cavaliers), Rashad McCants (Signed with Rockets), Royal Ivey (Signed with 76ers), Keith Bogans (Signed with Spurs), Juan Dixon, Luther Head, Fred Jones, Quinton Ross (Signed with Mavericks), Maurice Ager (Signed with Spanish Team), Morris Almond.