NBA Free Agency 2014: Ranking the Top Sixth Men Available
The offseason is upon us and boy does it hold many questions.
Where will Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James decide to go? Will disgruntled T-Wolves star Kevin Love get traded or instead be forced to stay in Minnesota which would create a ‘Love-Mare’?
Enough already! What about the smaller names that haven’t continually dominated the sports nation and ‘twitter-sphere’?
Lo and behold our rankings for top sixth men available in free agency, a list of high quality reserves that provide astounding numbers for teams in need of an additional scoring punch off the bench.
Honorable Mentions: Jordan Crawford, Mo Williams, Danny Granger, Jerryd Bayless, C.J. Miles, Alan Anderson
Vince Carter, Dallas Mavericks, SG/SF
‘Visanity’ had another successful season for the Mavs, averaging 12 points on 40.7 percent shooting from the floor and 39.4 percent shooting on three pointers.
And while he may have lost some of that stellar athleticism he was once known for, he has continued to evolve his game over the last few years, transforming from a high-flying dunker into a lockdown shooter that can still score points in bunches on any given night.
Look for a team on the rise like the Toronto Raptors to try and lure Carter in with a more lucrative deal, but at his age, dreams of winning a championship as soon as possible may sway him to take the veterans minimum with a true contender.
Ray Allen, Miami Heat, SG
The 38-soon-to-be-39 year old veteran continues to defy father time after another productive season, providing consistent perimeter shooting and veteran leadership for a Heat team that just fell short of a third straight championship.
Barring that the ‘Big 3’ all decide to leave South beach (which seems highly unlikely), expect Allen to return for one last title run and close his career in Miami after 18 miraculous seasons in the league.
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers, SG/SF
Nick Young is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 18 points in 28.3 minutes for the Lakers, emerging as a legitimate sixth man in the league last year after ranking 8th in voting for the award.
The catch is… he posted those numbers on the worst Lakers team in franchise history, which indicates his stats were purely inflated, given the fact that he averaged the same kind of numbers on a 23-59 Wizards squad back in 2010.
With numerous teams in need of a scorer off the bench, Young may pass on rejoining the Lakers and accept a pricey deal he simply can’t refuse, unless he suddenly becomes interested in taking a pay cut to join a winning franchise.
Rodney Stuckey, Detroit Pistons, PG/SG
During the first month of the season, Stuckey was playing at an All-Star level for the Pistons, averaging 17 points on almost 50 percent shooting from the floor.
Unfortunately that superb production went down hill for the rest of the year, as the combo guard dropped his points per game to 13.9 and shooting percentage from downtown to an awful 27.3 percent.
Even though Stuckey’s numbers have proved that he isn’t the most consistent sixth man in the league, he still should field offers from numerous teams that could use a player with the ability to man either guard position.
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets, PF/C
Blatche completely revived his career during his two-year tenure with the Nets, supplying much needed scoring off of the bench and stretching the floor effectively with an impressive mid-range shot.
Unfortunately his consistency still continues to be a pressing issue with his overall game, as the big man can score tons of points one night and completely disappear the next.
Blatche has already informed the Nets he’s looking for a bigger payday this offseason, so if he finds a better opportunity elsewhere, don’t be surprised to see him leave Brooklyn in a heartbeat for greener pastures.
Agree or disagree? Hit me up on Twitter @fieldhoops and lets talk basketball.