Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Anybody who follows the NBA, even remotely, knows the list of free agent superstars who could be available in 2010 - LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge among others.
But the list of those who will be "up for grabs" in 2009 could also have a big effect on next year's fantasy results. So to help you make decisions in your keeper leagues, lets begin to look at the list starting with the "little" guys - the guards.
We will investigate mostly unrestricted free agents since much of the time teams retain their restricted players.
The 2009 free agent roster consists mainly of solid, though not spectacular players, unless Kobe Bryant opts out of his contract, which we think is unlikely. There is a good mix of points guards (Mike Bibby, Jason Kidd, Andre Miller) and shooting guards (Ben Gordon, Allen Iverson).
Bryant would be the ultimate prize, but there is no way he leaves "Hollywood." He's a top-three fantasy player wherever he plays and will be for years to come.
Gordon seems to be underrated in the fantasy world, with owners getting more from him than his 2008-09 Average Draft Position (ADP) of 79 would lead you to expect. Twenty plus points-per-game and great shooting percentages across the board. Gordon's offensive game requires the ball which means a move could effect his production.
Golden State management has tried its best to run Crawford out of town and the guard should take the opportunity to go where he is wanted. He can score, but he's also a liability at the defensive end. That makes his destination important as to whether he can get the court time to produce at this level next year. There is no way you can keep him on your roster until you know where he will be playing next season.
Iverson (ADP 13) is no longer the player he once was and it's hard to imagine a situation in 2009-10 where he will get the opportunity to even put up numbers like this year. Unless a miracle happens, I'm planning on passing on Iverson no matter what team he lands with.
Miller (ADP 58) is a great "team player" and a solid fantasy contributor. His only downfall is a low three-point shooting percentage. If he stays in Philadelphia, he will continue to produce at this level. If he heads elsewhere, his point production could drop depending upon whether the team already has enough scoring options.
Bibby had a solid year with the young Atlanta Hawks and could continue to produce at a similar level next year if he stays. In nine NBA seasons (Vancouver, Sacramento, Atlanta) he has never scored less than 13.7 ppg, so even if he leaves, he'll likely be able to maintain that level of scoring.
Kidd's scoring production has dropped for six consecutive years from a high of 18.7 ppg to 9.0 ppg in 2008-09. If his rebounding and assists take any kind of dip, he'd be hard to start. He didn't produce enough for me to think he should again be a third or fourth-round selection as he was last season, but someone in your league will overrate him and take him too high. Don't be that guy.
2009 Free Agent Guard Statistics