Point Guard Option A: Free Agency

It's no secret that one of the biggest reasons the Jazz struggled last year was due to their poor point guard play. With Mo Williams, Jamaal Tinsley, and Earl Watson all unrestricted free agents, the Jazz either need to: A) sign a point guard or B) draft one. Most likely they will do both. This post will cover Option A, the free agency route.

Now I know many on this site have clamored for our own Alec Burks to become the PGotF, or at least something along those lines. He did play a lot of backup point guard this year for out team. In fact there were a lot of things he did well and he brings a lot of unique skills to the table. However, looking at his body of work, I just don't think he is a point guard. He's averaged just over 1.2 assists per game in his career, his assist percentage is only 11.4%, and his A/TO ration is 1.2. So what? Compared with all 74 PG's or PG/SG's drafted in the first round since 2000 his assist percentage is second worst (only to Troy Bell), and his A/TO ratio is fourth worst (sandwiched in between the immortal Quincy Douby and Ben Gordon). Furthermore, when taking everything into account, I have him rated as the 56th best PG of 74, Comparable to Jimmer and Iman Shumpert. I love Alex Borqles, I really do, but I don't think he's a point guard going forward.

That being said, there are a few viable options on the market to fill a need on the Jazz, even if just for 2-3 seasons. I took the 20 possible free agent Point Guards for the 2013 class and compared them to see how they stack up. I also added Eric Bledsoe just for fun, even though I know he's not a free agent. Here is the final rankings, along with the scores they received.


So what does this mean?

  1. Chris Paul is amazing. I mean amazing. The things he does year in and year out are superhuman. He rocks.
  2. Outside of Paul, I think Calderon and Teague are the only guys I would start on my team. I could handle Darren Collison or Jarrett Jack at a bargain, but I wouldn't pay market value for B Jennings.
  3. Mo Williams is not very good at basketball. This year he was comparable to DJ Augustin. DJ Augustin is not very good at basketball.
  4. Tinsley was the best PG on our team last year.
  5. Turnovers really bring Eric Bledsoe down on this list. His A/TO ratio last year was second to last and his assist percentage wasn't very good. I think with more experience and working in the Jazz system he could improve those immensely.
  6. I would love to have Nate Robinson off the bench. He just scores so well despite his size and actually moves the ball better than most would expect. I wouldn't sign him to a big deal or start him, necessarily, but I think he's a good bargain as a backup.
How I did these rankings
This was a pretty grueling process, and it took a lot of raw information from (a.k.a. the best site ever). The score listed in the table above comes from a composite ranking of various statistics, some given by basketball-reference and some I came up with on my own.
  • Awesome Scoring Statistic (ASS)- PPG36*PPS = a good measure of how well someone scores. The more they produce and the more efficiently they do so, they higher the score. Earl Watson was the low score at 3.33 and Chris Paul was the highest at 25.23.
  • True Shooting Percentage (TS%)- a given statistic that is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.
  • Help Score (HS)- When looking at guards, rebounds are worth .75, assists worth 1.5, steals and blocks are 2 each, turnovers are -2, and fouls subtract 1. The total Help Score is standardized and extrapolated over 36 minutes to assess how much a guard adds to his team without scoring in a set period of court time.
  • Game Score (GS)- The sum of ASS and HS, this puts a number on the total impact of a player on a game of basketball. Interestingly, 3/5 of the GS is incredibly close to PER. Seriously, I noticed a trend, and if you multiply any given GS by .6 it is usually within .5 of their PER, often closer than that.
  • Player Efficiency Rating (PER)- a measure of per minute production standardized so that the league average is 15.
  • Assist Percentage (AST%)- the percentage of teammates field goals a player assisted while on the floor.
  • Assist/Turnover Ratio (A/TO)- pretty self explanatory. 2:1 is usually a good baseline for PG's.
  • Offensive Rating (ORtg)- an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.
  • Defensive Rating (DRtg)- an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.
  • Player Rating (PRtg)- the difference between ORtg and DRtg.
To get the final score, I ranked every player from 1-21 on all of these statistics. 21 points were given to the best, and so on. All the scores were added up, except for ORtg, DRtg, and PRtg. Those stats can be greatly influenced by their team, so I took half points for those three stats in the final score. After tallying up the composite scores, they were ranked to get a look at who is available and what they can do.

If anyone wants to see the actual calculations or full statistics, let me know! I have a lot of information compiled.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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