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Free agent options: shooting guard

With Gerald Henderson's long-term future with Charlotte unknown, the Hornets may look to the free agent pool to find a potential replacement.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Shooting guard is alternately one of the assets and weaknesses of the Charlotte Hornets. Gerald Henderson, despite his inconsistency, can be a terrific player at times, and Gary Neal, like most shooters, has his hot and cold stretches, though I think we more often saw the better end of Neal's streakiness. Both of them are under contract for the 2014-15 season, so it's probably not expected for the Hornets to pursue a shooting guard in free agency this summer. That being said, they may decide to give a look to some unattached options, especially if they fit the Bobcats' system, so keep an eye out on unsigned players who can guard multiple positions on the perimeter, or can both pass and shoot from outside, or some combination of those skills.

I'll deal with only unrestricted free agents, as there's too much speculation to determine whether they'd be legitimate options. Let's take a look at a few of the best unrestricted shooting guards on the market this summer. (Note: Lance Stephenson is an unrestricted free agent, but Josh covered the possibility of signing him in a full post.)

Vince Carter: I expected Carter to break for good a few years ago, but he's still a productive offensive player. However, he is 37 years old, can no longer do much on defense, and might not be even as good as Gary Neal next season. He'd be cheaper than you'd expect (I think. It should be noted that I cannot predict the future), and he'd hit his threes, and also has a little positional versatility, even if he does play the same no matter if he is the 2-guard or the small forward but I'm not sure he'd deserve much playing time in the Hornets backcourt.

Rodney Stuckey: It might be easy to forget at this point, but Stuckey was once a quality scorer, even if he could never (and still can't) reliably knock down the three. He did bounce back a little in a smaller role this season, but for a player whose primary (if not only, at this point) ability is scoring, the lack of an outside shot is very troubling, especially as he won't (well, shouldn't) be playing the point much more. His previous contract, at $8.5 million per year, was a clear overpay, and that will assuredly come down, but I'm not sure where Stuckey would get his minutes in the Charlotte rotation.

Ray Allen: Forget it, they have no shot.

Jodie Meeks: This is an option that intrigues me. Meeks has experience playing three positions and was sneakily terrific offensively last season, shooting .463 from the floor and .401 from three, where -- and stay with me on this -- he launched 404 attempts. Or, if you prefer, he shot a little more than five attempts per game from beyond the arc. Meeks was/is/will always be a shooter, and for the most part, a lot of his shots go in. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, and he's almost purely a shooter offensively, but he vary rarely turns the ball over, which is nice to see from someone who chucks as often as Meeks does. A little over three free throw attempts per game isn't nothing, either. The approximately $1.5 million he made last year will definitely go up as he signs a contract this summer, but if the price is right, Meeks might be too good to pass up for a team that desperately needs some perimeter shooting.

Thabo Sefolosha: Here's the defensive specialist on this list, although Sefolosha also shot pretty well in the 2012 and 2013 seasons before regression hit him like a brick wall in 2014. He's still a quality defender, can guard two positions, and his athleticism shouldn't fall off a cliff next year, so I doubt his skills will degrade to the point where he couldn't help a team. I also don't think he'll sign for more than the $3.9 million he earned the previous season. That being said, if the Hornets decide to bring back Chris Douglas-Roberts, Sefolosha would have to fight for his minutes, and Douglas-Roberts would probably be a lot cheaper, and a few years younger.

Ben Gordon: NO THANK YOU.

Kent Bazemore: Bazemore is intriguing, as he's definitely "toolsy," to borrow a term from baseball scouting. But has anyone seen enough of him to make a definitive judgment? While I do like what I've seen from Bazemore at every level, he seems more like a bottom-of-the-rotation option than anyone who should see legitimate minutes. That being said, if Douglas-Roberts goes elsewhere this summer, Bazemore might be the first replacement option Rich Cho & Co. look at.

Jimmer Fredette: Everyone knows what Jimmer is. But he'll definitely hit his threes, and that's no guarantee with some other players. That being said, I have a suspicion some team will wildly overbid for him. If that doesn't happen, I'd hope he's someone the Hornets front office considers.

Other unrestricted free agents at SG: Richard Hamilton, MarShon Brooks, Andrew Goudelock, E'Twaun Moore, Shannon Brown, Malcolm Delaney, Mickael Pietrus, Jared Cunningham, Othyus Jeffers