The summer of free agency is rapidly approaching and and many rumors and intriguing possibilities have surfaced. Free agency is the most exciting part of the off-season, for both players and fans alike. It is a time where big name superstars and role players find themselves in a new city, playing with a brand new organization.
Last summer, we saw former Oklahoma City small forward Kevin Durant bolt for the opportunity to play in the Bay Area alongside 2-time MVP Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for the Golden State Warriors. Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade decided that being extremely underpaid in the city he brought three championships to was enough, as we saw him relocate to Chicago to sign with the Bulls for one season, and then have the player option to become a free agent or stay with the team. Dwight Howard decided to head home, joining the Hawks in his hometown of Atlanta.
Free agency is also where we see many big players with expiring contracts get rewarded for their high level play by their teams, who offer them newer and more lucrative contracts. The most notable players who re-signed or agreed to extensions with their teams are Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), and Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons). The Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley came away with the biggest pay-day, as he re-signed with Memphis on a 5 year, $153 million deal.
Here, we explore the top three shooting guards on the market this off-season, taking an in-depth look at their most recent seasons and what they have to offer.
Honorable Mentions: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Pistons), Kyle Korver (Cleveland), Andre Roberson (Thunder), Tim Hardaway Jr. (Atlanta), Jonathan Simmons (Spurs), Tony Allen (Grizzlies)
3) Dion Waiters
Current Team: Miami Heat
Free Agent Status: Player Option
2016-2017 Earnings: $2,898,000
2016-2017 Season Statistics: 15.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.3 RPG, 42.4 FG%, 39.5% 3P
Dion Waiters played very well this season, after coming off a couple disappointing seasons. He established himself as a clutch shooter and the go-to man in Miami over the course of his inaugural season in South Beach. He did not get to play as much as he wished, as various injuries (most notably the left ankle sprain at the end of the season), sidelined him for a total of 36 games. In the games that he played in, Waiters averaged 15.8 points and dished out 4.3 assists per game.
Though he only appeared in 46 games, Waiters proved himself to Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley. Though he will certainly field the options thrown at him during the off-season, Waiters is expected to be donning the red and yellow colors of the Miami Heat again come opening night.
2) JJ Redick
Age: 32 (33 by opening night)
Current Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Free Agent Status: Unrestricted
2016-2017 Earnings: $7,377,500
2016-2017 Season Statistics: 15.0 PPG, 1.4 APG, 2.2 RPG, 44.5 FG%, 42.9% 3P
Though he fell off a bit last season, JJ Redick is still one of the premier sharpshooters in the game. Shooting at a 42.9% from three in 2016, the marksman showed that he still has the ability to change games with big shots, keeping him in the game down the stretch. The former Duke star brings more to the table than scoring, as he is also a decent perimeter defender and has the veteran experience that many teams in the league want in their locker rooms. He won’t be looking for too much money, so he will likely receive a lot of offers.
1) Dwyane Wade
Current Team: Chicago Bulls
Free Agent Status: Player Option
2016-2017 Earnings: $23,200,000
2016-2017 Season Statistics: 18.3 PPG, 3.8 APG, 4.5 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 43.4% FG, 31.0% 3P
Though the aging Wade is well past the days of his prime, he continues to be one of the most impact-full guards in the game. Wade’s numbers declined this past season, but his aggressive play showed that he still has the ability to change games and come up big down the stretch. Check out this big step-back jumper by Wade in his Chicago debut earlier this season:
Dwyane Wade did not fit into Fred Hoiberg’s system too well in Chicago and he is expected to opt out, in search of another ring.
Although it may mean nothing but Wade finding the tweet funny, many people speculated a possible Miami homecoming and read deep into this tweet after their beloved star retweeted it:
Wherever Dwyane Wade ends up, it will be good to enjoy watching him wrap up his career as it gradually begins to come to a close.