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Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady, Arron Afflalo among 20 best wing free agents

It’s probably not all that instructive to rank free agents who can’t sign anywhere, but hey, gotta fill the copy monster, right? SI.com’s Zach Lowe unveiled his list of the top 20 wing players who will be available when the lockout is resolved and a couple of Pistons made the list:

2. Tayshaun Prince

At 31, Prince isn’t what he once was, and he was part of a poisonous atmosphere in Detroit last season. But he’s another guy who helps on both ends, and he’s ideal as a third or fourth option on a good team — a guy who might not work as a primary threat, but someone who can post up, hit spot-up three-pointers and isolate in a pinch as the shot clock winds down.

18. Tracy McGrady

McGrady’s season in Detroit has to be considered a success, as he proved he can work as an effective point forward type even though his old athleticism is mostly gone. In what may be a one-year fluke, his one-on-one defensive numbers were outstanding (per Synergy Sports), and the Pistons played much better defense with McGrady on the floor. Painting McGrady as a plus defender at this stage doesn’t quite pass the eye test, and the Pistons were pretty bad on that end regardless of personnel.

But McGrady showed he can be a productive bench guy just about anywhere.

Oh, and to satisfy commenter Kagiso Bayer (Bob Edwards?), who is out for blood about Arron Afflalo getting away, no one should look at No. 1 on the list unless they are prepared to be depressed:

1. Arron Afflalo (restricted)

It’s fine if you think this is crazy. Other guys have bigger names and flashier games, filled with isolation highlights and pick-and-roll mastery. But Afflalo is a two-way player, something several guys on this list can’t say, and he looks to be entering his prime, both in terms of age (he’ll be 26 in October) and playing style. He has gradually evolved on offense from a one-dimensional spot-up shooter into someone who can hurt you in a variety of ways — in transition, coming off screens, working off the dribble and even posting up smaller defenders.

He’ll have to continue that evolution to justify this ranking, and placing him here amounts to a bet that he will.


  • Jul 11, 201111:46 pm
    by Andrew


    i miss arron, so much.

  • Jul 12, 20118:13 am
    by gmehl1977


    I just read a story on freep that says Joe wants to re-sign prince. Here is the link:

  • Jul 12, 20119:15 am
    by brgulker


    Tayshaun is pretty overrated at this point in his career. His pedigree is trumping his actual on-court performance. He’s an MLE guy at this point, but someone will probably overpay him.

    Hopefully, not Detroit. I’ll miss Tay, but it’s time to part.

  • Jul 12, 20115:02 pm
    by Jason


    HEY STAT   Please go look at Afflalo game log for last year. 

    If you see when he was out with injury it looked like Denver still played extremely well.  Maybe better.

    Just my two cents.

    • Jul 12, 20115:16 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      When Afflalo played, including the playoffs, the Nuggets went 41-31. When he was out, they went 10-5. I wouldn’t call that a large enough sample to draw a conclusion one way or the other. You realize Denver made this big trade that significantly altered their roster, right? That sort of skews things, too, considering all the games Afflalo missed were after the trade.

      Are you saying Affalo is not a good player?

    • Jul 12, 20115:19 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Wow. That’s the extent of your “supporting data?” “Look at the game logs, DUR!”

      Afflalo missed 13 regular season games. Denver won 10 of those. Teams they beat: Detroit (lottery team), Sacramento twice (lottery team), Washington (lottery team), Phoenix (lottery team), Minnesota (lottery team). So that’s six wins. They also beat Dallas (who was without Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd) and San Antonio (playing without Tim Duncan).

      So, of their 10 wins minus Afflalo, they beat six lousy teams, one playoff team playing without two of its best three players and another playoff team playing without its best player. They also beat New Orleans and the Lakers. Those were the only two wins in that stretch against teams at full strength.

      And, oh yeah, if you remember correctly, Afflalo sat out the first two games of the playoffs against OKC. Denver lost both.

      So once again, your premise is simple, poorly researched and illogical. Denver was not a better team without Arron Afflalo. They were a lucky team without him. Lucky that, minus one of their best players, they encountered a spot in their schedule when they were playing some bad teams and a couple of the good teams they played also weren’t at full strength.

      Your commenting game is weaker than a Reggie Miller breakaway layup, son.

  • Jul 12, 20115:02 pm
    by Jason


    I meant HEY STAT BOYS

  • Jul 12, 20115:28 pm
    by Jason


    I like Afflalo a lot. Just showing another side. And good job trying to hide the fact that they still won very easily with out him.

    I think my commenting is like nailing 5 3′s in a row.


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