Saturday , Oct , 31 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Best new back-up PG: Toronto’s Jarrett Jack, Portland’s Andre Miller, Minnesota’s Ramon Sessions, or Orlando’s Jason Williams?

In this edition of Head-to Head, HoopsVibe The Blog asks readers which second-string point guard will have the biggest impact in 2010: Jarrett Jack with the Toronto Raptors, Andre Miller with the Portland Trail Blazers, Ramon Sessions with the Minnesota Timberwolves, or Jason Williams with the Orlando Magic?

Best new back-up PG: Toronto's Jarrett Jack, Portland's Andre Miller, Minnesota's Ramon Sessions, or Orlando's Jason Williams?In Head-to-Head, we compare players. You tell us who you like best …

In the win-now world of the NBA, All-Star point guards are valuable. Teams rarely give top table-setters the chance to leave, especially during their prime -for instance, small market clubs like the New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz pulled out all the stops to keep superstars Chris Paul and Deron Williams 

For those that don’t have a Paul or Williams, the two-headed monster is in. Over the summer, several teams went the platoon route, signing strong back-up point guards to split time with their starters.

In this edition of Head-to Head, HoopsVibe The Blog asks readers which second-string point guard will have the biggest impact in their new home: Jarrett Jack with the Toronto Raptors, Andre Miller with the Portland Trail Blazers, Ramon Sessions with the Minnesota Timberwolves, or Jason Williams with the Orlando Magic?

The case for Jack …

He’s key to their make-over.

After a disappointing 2009 season, Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo set off on an ambitious summer rebuild project that would make Home and Garden Television jealous. And Jack -a desirable free agent- was inked to a four year, $20 million contract.

In 2010, the Georgia Teach alum’ will have a big role for the Raptors. With a fragile starter in Jose Calderon, Jack will see major minutes at the one-spot. And Calderon and Jack could also play significant stretches together in the backcourt.

Bottom line: adding the versatile guard makes Toronto a more talented and tougher squad.

The Case for Miller …

Some saw it as desperation. Portland’s front office, specifically General Manager Kevin Pritchard, wanted to make headlines by using the available salary cap space, while Miller, a free agent and respected veteran, was having trouble landing an offer in the summer’s bear market.

So they hooked up. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not exactly.

There has been confusion over his role. Miller claimed the club told him he would be the starter during contract negotiations; coach Nate McMillan said no promises were made. For now, Steve Blake is in the first-unit, with Miller serving as the $8 million per season back-up.

This arrangement should eventually work. All parties just need time to adjust.

The Case for Sessions …

What a fallback.

After failing to agree on a buyout with Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio, the Timberwolves’ front office quickly rebounded by inking restricted free agent Sessions to a four-year, $16 million contract. 

Sessions, fresh off a breakout season with the Milwaukee Bucks, could fill-in as the interim starter if rookie Jonny Flynn falters. Like Calderon and Jack in Toronto, expect Flynn and Sessions to often play next to each other in the backcourt.

The Case for Williams …

Williams, who took 2009 off to rest and spend time with family, inked a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum with Orlando in the off-season. So, yes, ‘White Chocolate’ is back in the building. 

Williams will add two things to the Eastern Conference champions. First, his amazing dimes – especially those alley-oops to center Dwight Howard – will become highlight reel fixtures on ESPN.

Second, Williams’ intelligence and experience will help. In Memphis and Miami, old school sideline bosses like Hubie Brown and Pat Riley saw him as an on-court coach. In both stops, he posted great assist-to-turnover ratios and started for the 2006 world champion Heat.

Simply put, this is tremendous pick up for the Magic.

Our Call: All four seem poised to have terrific seasons. Jack will likely average the best numbers because he’s entering his prime and Toronto wants to limit Calderon’s playing time.  However, keep an eye on Williams, who will have a role on a very competitive Orlando side.

Agree or disagree with ‘Our Call’ in this edition of Head-to-Head? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box on your top back-up: Jack, Miller, Sessions, Williams, or someone else? Follow Oly on HoopsVibe and Twitter. Image courtesy of Scott Ableman.