Many of the contending teams who were seeking a shooting guard upgrade at the trade deadline will once again be in the market this summer, regardless of whether they were able to make a deadline deal. The Pacers and Clippers, for instance, shored up their backcourts by adding Leandro Barbosa and Nick Young, respectively, but both players will be free agents at season's end. With a number of shooting guards poised to hit the free agent market this offseason, let's take a look at some of the options for summer shoppers….
Unrestricted Free Agents
Barbosa and Young fall into this group, as players who are still young enough to be worthwhile multiyear additions, but whose upsides are limited. Ray Allen and Jason Terry may be the top two options among this summer's unrestricted free agents. Both players will be on the wrong side of 35 next season, but they continue to provide consistent scoring and outside shooting for contenders. On the other end of the age spectrum, C.J. Miles, Shannon Brown, and Marco Belinelli are among the 27-or-younger players for teams who prefer to go younger, though the jury's still out on whether any of those guys will become more than a productive bench scorer.
Restricted Free Agents
Eric Gordon, who won't turn 24 until December, should be the prize of the restricted free agents, assuming he shows he's healthy over the season's final few weeks. The Hornets are expected to make every effort to re-sign the centerpiece of the Chris Paul trade. I'm not sure if the same can be said of the Grizzlies and O.J. Mayo though. Given all the trade rumors that have surrounded Mayo during his time in Memphis, it wouldn't be surprising to see the former Trojan sign elsewhere. I expect the Pacers to make a strong effort to keep George Hill in Indiana, but Courtney Lee, Rudy Fernandez, and Brandon Rush are candidates to be on the move.
Players With Options
The list of 2012/13 options provides at least three intriguing names at shooting guard — Jamal Crawford, Louis Williams, and J.R. Smith. All three players are able to opt out at season's end, and considering the relatively modest salaries on their option years, it wouldn't be a surprise if all of them elect free agency. The 76ers' Williams is a strong candidate for an extension, but I could see Crawford and Smith switching uniforms over the summer.
Free Agent Market For Point Guards