The Hawks, Mavericks, Lakers, Heat, Knicks, Nets, Magic, Suns, and Trail Blazers are among the potential 2012/13 playoff contenders who could be in the market for a point guard this summer. Some of these clubs will head into the offseason looking to retain their current point guards, but there could be a handful of attractive options available via free agency. Let's take an early look at the market.
Unrestricted Free Agents
Steve Nash and Jason Kidd may be the two oldest players on this summer's point guard market, but they're a couple of the more intriguing names among this year's unrestricted free agents. It would be great to see Nash play for a title contender, but many potential suitors could only offer him the mid-level exception, and the Suns are expected to be aggressive on him. Besides Nash, there won't be any top-tier options available in unrestricted free agency, though Raymond Felton and Goran Dragic could draw a good deal of interest. Felton is young enough that a change of scenery could mean a bounceback season, while Dragic is even younger and has been impressive filling in for Kyle Lowry. Andre Miller and Kirk Hinrich are among the remaining options here.
Restricted Free Agents
While most of this summer's restricted free agent point guards are part-time players at best, a few names stand out, including Jeremy Lin. It's been widely assumed that the Knicks will use their mid-level exception to retain the marketable point guard, though we'll have to see how the rest of the season plays out to be sure. D.J. Augustin and Jerryd Bayless should also draw significant interest, and it'll cost the Bobcats and Raptors to keep them. Aaron Brooks is due to return from China in the near future, so if he and the Suns can work something out in the coming weeks, he may be off the market before the summer.
Players With Options
Although there are a number of point guards with options for next season, no decisions are nearly as important as Deron Williams'. He's expected to explore free agency rather than waiving his early termination option, and I imagine the Mavs and Nets won't be the only teams with a lot of interest. And Williams isn't the only player here who could inspire a bidding war — if Ramon Sessions keeps up his excellent play with the Lakers, he'll almost certainly be seeking a long-term deal rather than opting in for one year at $4.55MM. Most of the other point guards with player options, such as Jameer Nelson, Beno Udrih, and Mo Williams, likely won't find a better payday on the open market, so I'd expect them to exercise their options.