Top 5 SGs available at the Trade Deadline
One of the more valued commodities at the trade deadline, particularly for contenders needing bench offense, is a spark-plug wing who can do a combination of or excel at:
These traits are hallmarks of successful shooting guards and with the trade deadline suddenly getting very exciting, there’s a good number of interesting 2-guards that could be available as the trade deadline nears -- some of the best players in rumors.
Before getting into the top five, there are a few honorable mentions: players who just aren’t as good as those in the top five, or are so good that his team has come out and said that he is not really available, nor is John Wall or Otto Porter Jr. -- looking at you, Bradley Beal.
5. Alec Burks, Cleveland Cavaliers
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Alec Burks could soon be playing for his third team of the season, after being traded from Utah to Cleveland in November for Kyle Korver.
While Burks is limited in his two-way capabilities, he remains a solid bench scorer who can score off the dribble or as a catch-and-shoot threat.
In his 31 games in Cleveland, Burks is certainly getting a chance to play, starting 21 games and playing the most minutes per game since the 2014-15 season: 28 mpg. And he’s doing what he can with those minutes, averaging 11.5 points per game (his best since ‘15-16), 2.6 assists (his best since ‘14-15), and a career high 5.5 rebounds.
Shooting 39% from 3-point range on a career high 3.4 attempts per game is essential in the modern NBA, so the 27-year-old still has considerable value as a scorer off the bench; that’s he’s on a manageable $11.2 million expiring contract is another mark in his favor.
4. E’Twaun Moore, New Orleans Pelicans
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As the Pelicans look to a new era without Anthony Davis, E’Twaun Moore’s shooting acumen could be a useful pick-up for a contender at the deadline.
Hitting 41% of his 3-pointers this season, Moore can play at the shooting guard and small forward positions, though he’s a better fit at the two-guard.
He’s a below-average defender, with a defensive rating of 110.5, but some of those deficiencies appear due to overuse in New Orleans’ thin rotation. Moore would be a great fit for a contender’s bench where he can showcase his scoring in more limited playing time.
Averaging 12.3 points per game in 29 minutes, Moore would thrive in Houston or Golden State, and according to Zach Lowe, he could be had for draft picks and salary filler, though his new team will be on the hook for $8.6 million in the ‘19-20 season.
3. Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
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Fresh off a season-high 30 points in a 107-100 win over the Pacers, Ross is one of the preeminent microwave scorers and one of the best potentially-available 2-guards.
Averaging a career high 14 points per game while converting his 3-pointers at an almost 38% clip, Ross could be on the move for young assets if the Magic decide to sell high on him.
Ross can thrive in catch-and-shoot situations as a career 38% shooter on corner threes, while his performance against Indiana is an example of his broader scoring acumen, as he took over with 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Only earning $10.5 million this season before hitting unrestricted free agency, Ross and his marksmanship are available for a very affordable price.
2. Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks
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The 29-year-old from Atlanta is one of the more versatile 3-and-D wings available at the trade deadline, with the Hawks figuring to be sellers as they embrace the Trae Young/John Collins/Kevin Huerter future.
Bazemore’s 3-point accuracy is down to 33% this year after a 39% conversion rate last season, but he is the best two-way option so far on this list.
Bazemore creates 5.1 deflections per 48 minutes which ties him for the sixth-most amongst qualified players, and his defensive real-plus/minus ranking is sixth among shooting guards playing at least 25 minutes per game as well.
A solid stat line of 13.9 points (a career high), 2.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game this season makes Bazemore a highly-coveted player for any contender, especially Houston.
As Mike D’Antoni coached Bazemore in Los Angeles in the 2013-14 season, and Houston tried to sign him in the 2016 off-season, the Rockets have been constantly linked to Bazemore, according to Shams Charania.
Earning $18 million this season with a $19 million player option for next season, Bazemore is a versatile wing very much available for any contender to secure.
1. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
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After years of playing point guard since his rookie season in 2009-10, Holiday has shown the last two seasons he’s more than comfortable playing as a shooting guard, either alongside Rajon Rondo last year, or Elfrid Payton this season.
This season Holiday is averaging career highs in points (21.2), rebounds (4) assists (8.1), steals (1.7) and blocks (0.8) per game, building on explosive performances in the Pelicans’ first-round sweep of Portland in the Western Conference Playoffs last season to become one of the top backcourt players in the league.
Able to play on and off the ball, while being one of the toughest defenders at his position, Holiday is incredibly versatile and would fit on a number of playoff teams wanting to add a second star or final piece of the puzzle.
With a New Orleans fire sale on the horizon, if a team can absorb Holiday’s $26 million per year until his 2021 player option, the versatile guard would be the hands-down best shooting guard available at the 2019 deadline, and a true difference-maker if he changes addresses.