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Monday, October 09, 2006

Bull Market for Backup Points

Kenny Anderson, get your resume ready... it looks we're about to have a big run on backup point guards.

Two teams that consider themselves title contenders, the Heat and the Pistons, are reportedly looking for additional depth at the point. Miami is likely to make the first move; no one thinks that the tandem of Jason Williams and Gary Payton will make it through 82 games (plus the playoffs) healthy. Plus, Shandon Anderson's neck injury has put his future with team Riley in doubt, which means there may be an open spot on the champs' roster.

Detroit is also rumored to be on the lookout for point guard help, and Atlanta seems like a reasonable destination given Speedy Claxton's recent injury.

So clearly, there's a need -- what about a supplier? Milwaukee seems to be three-deep in serviceable guards with Mo Williams, Charlie Bell and Steve Blake. With the announcement that Williams will start, it would seem that one of the other two could be expendable. The Knicks seem to have a massive glut in the backcourt, but there's not really a pure point guard in the bunch, and the New York papers seem to think that Jim Dolan isn't eager to let Isiah Thomas swing another big trade (as evidenced by the reports that Jalen Rose won't be dealt this season).

Two names to watch: San Antonio's Beno Udrih and Utah's Brian Chase. Udrih has fallen to fourth on the Spurs point guard depth chart, behind Tony Parker, Brent Barry and Jacque Vaughn, and the Spurs haven't yet picked up his third-year option. Chase, an undrafted free agent from West Virginia, has reportedly given second-year man Deron Williams fits with his quickness and attacking style.

And let's not forget Jay Williams. I'm not sure about Williams' chances of sticking with New Jersey; not with Marcus Williams in the house. But all these openings -- some of them with very attractive teams -- have to increase the odds that he'll play in the NBA in 2006-07.


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