Shooting guards are tricky. You have James Harden and Stephen Curry, who are out-of-this-world studs. You can also find quality value in guys like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson and Eric Bledsoe. But if you wait until late in your auction fantasy draft to target a 2-guard, it gets increasingly hard to land a multi-skilled threat, especially compared to what you can find for cheap at point guard and power forward/center.
Here are some potential bargain options at shooting guard, but the difficult reality is that most of these players are useful in limited categories. They may get you threes, but don’t expect much in terms of assists or steals. Or they may generate points, but don’t anticipate threes or dimes.
Therefore, you have to analyze team needs when it comes to selecting an inexpensive shooting guard. Don’t just mindlessly chase the best player available. Draft according to where the void is on your roster. Let’s get rolling.
*Only players with an average cost on Yahoo less than $10 were considered for this article.
Arron Afflalo, New York Knicks (Average cost on Yahoo: $1.4)
It was just two years ago that Afflalo accumulated these impressive figures with the Magic: 18.2 points per game, 1.8 three-pointers made per game, 45.9 percent shooting, 81.5 percent from the line and 3.6 assists per game. His numbers then dipped quite a bit last year as he split time between the Nuggets and Blazers. Can we expect a return to his 2013-14 digits? It’s certainly possible considering New York’s weak backcourt. The stage is set nicely for Spell Check to at least come close to his prior production. He isn’t going to provide much outside of scoring, threes and respectable percentages, but he can help you significantly in those categories for an extremely low price. Keep a steady eye on him throughout the draft.
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors (Average cost on Yahoo: $7.3)
DeRozan is an ideal target for fairly cheap if you’re desperate for scoring. He unfortunately has never been a good source of trey balls, and this is upsetting considering his sub-par field goal percentages the last couple years (42.9, 41.3). With that said, he should still average around 20 points with a stellar mark from the charity stripe. He’ll also chip in around four boards and assists an outing. He’s even soon hoping for a new contract, so he should have plenty of motivation to make 2015-16 his best season yet. I’d recommend not overspending for DeRozan, nor bidding for him if you’re already secure in scoring. But if he’s cheap, and you need points, then bite.
C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Average cost on Yahoo: $1.3)
The departures of Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews leave a gaping hole on Portland’s perimeter. As a result, McCollum figures to log plenty more minutes this year. His performance in the postseason (17.0 points in 33.2 minutes per game) gives hope that he could become a volume scorer during 2015-16. He could especially be a long-range threat. Per-36 minutes for his career, he has averaged over two three-pointers. He’s also a thief who should snag over a steal per outing. Don’t look for much in terms of assists and boards, but McCollum does have notable upside as a scoring machine, particularly in deep leagues.
Nik Stauskas, Philadelphia 76ers (Average cost on Yahoo: $1.2)
Stauskas had quite a disappointing rookie season, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because he was in a messy situation in Sacramento. An offseason trade to Philadelphia gives him new life, as well as a wide-open opportunity in Philly’s backcourt. Sauce Castillo should earn heavy minutes for the lowly 76ers, and this means he should be able to showcase his lethal shooting touch. It’s realistic to forecast him averaging 15-plus points and two-plus threes, and who knows, maybe that’s conservative. There will be some growing pains for the soon-to-be 22-year-old, and he likely won’t produce much outside of scoring and threes. But he could still serve as a steal at the end of the draft if you’re searching for some extra points and trey balls.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (Average cost on Yahoo: $4.3)
Beal’s scoring declined during 2014-15 (15.3 points per game) after averaging over 17 points in 2013-14. He did miss close to 20 games last year due to injury, so this perhaps impacted his rhythm. Entering 2015-16, he’s healthy and is soon due for a contract extension. It appears that the pieces are in place for Beal to magnify his skills effectively. Beal could have a similar line to Afflalo. He should notch between 16-18 points per game while also netting around two threes per game. His worth doesn’t extend to many other places, but he could still be a good value addition if you can ink him for cheap.
Jarrett Jack ($1.5), Tyreke Evans ($4.5), and Reggie Jackson ($6.0)
These players were mentioned in the point-guard article, but I’m noting them again here because they also possess shooting-guard eligibility. Truthfully, they may be the best overall bargain buys at shooting guard because they actually contribute in multiple categories and provide lineup flexibility.
Read their complete outlooks in the point-guard feature here.
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