Top 15 Free agent Small forwards
1. NICOLAS BATUM – The Timberwolves came in strong right out of the gate, but new GM Neil Olshey knows how valuable a piece the French swingman can be. Expect Portland to match and keep his services.
2. GERALD WALLACE – Although he’ll probably be a drain towards the end of his reported 4yr/$40 million deal, there’s nothing wrong with paying a guy who gives you everything he’s got nightly.
3. MICKAEL PIETRUS – His shooting stroke has never been worse, but the defense he played this past postseason highlighted his vlaue.
4. MARTELL WEBSTER – The Timberwolves are expected to buy him out or find him a trade partner, so consider him available. Foot injuries have derailed a once-promising career for the former No. 6 pick, but he’s still just 25 since he came straight out of high school and can really stroke it when healthy.
5. JOSH HOWARD – He showed flashes of his old self in Utah last season and may be ready for one final push in his return from a 2010 ACL injury. Does the little things that help a team win, which makes him an attractive piece in a down year for small forwards.
6. GRANT HILL – Even at 39, the oldest free agent on the market has some juice left, but last year’s career-low numbers scream buyer beware. He’s still a capable defender and playmaker, but suitors are investing in his stabilizing locker room presence as much as anything else.
7. ALONZO GEE – Held up decently playing major minutes in Cleveland these past two seasons, which could net him a raise from a team willing to test the Cavs stated desire to match any reasonable offer.
8. MATT BARNES – If he finds a way to be a more consistent perimeter threat, he’s a tremendous asset for a contender. His toughness and willingness to battle is tough to come across, though he’s worn out his welcome in most spots, set to join his fifth team in six years.
9. KYLE KORVER – The Bulls are still entertaining bringing him back, but with Derrick Rose out most of the season and him commanding a $5 million salary, there’s a window for another contender to steal one of the league’s most effective 3-point snipers.
10. DEVIN EBANKS – He’s got the build and athleticism to become a defensive stopper, though there is danger that he’ll never overcome being an offensive liability. Still, he plays hard, is just 22 and figures to only improve.
11. CARLOS DELFINO – He’ll remind teams of his value playing for Argentina at the Olympics, but considering he’s not 100 percent, his health is going to be monitored as he rushes back from May surgery. When he’s right, he can be a threat offensively.
12. TERRENCE WILLIAMS – Did his best NBA work during his late cup of coffee with Sacramento, where he reigned in his shot selection and consistently showed off his versatile game. Now 25, the hope is he finally gets it.
13. JEREMY EVANS – Still attempting to carve out a niche in the league, the reigning Slam Dunk champ is worth a gamble given his professional demeanor and next-level athleticism. Utah has reached a deal to continue fostering his development.
14. RASHARD LEWIS – He shot it horribly last season in D.C., looking like he belonged on a golf course. Still, after being moved to New Orleans and falling casualty to amnesty, he’ll look to make one final run at a championship by accepting the veteran’s minimum.
15. STEVE NOVAK – He shoots, therefore he is. He’s got a skill that’s a weapon, which means he’ll be employed despite being one-dimensional.
Rest of the crop: AL THORNTON, DERRICK BROWN, DOMINIC MCGUIRE, BILL WALKER, DONTE GREENE, SAM YOUNG, DEMARRE CARROLL, TERREL HARRIS, DAMION JAMES, SHAWNE WILLIAMS, MO EVANS, CARTIER MARTIN, ADAM MORRISON, BOBBY SIMMONS, OTHYUS JEFFERS, DERRICK BYARS, DAMIEN WILKINS, JULIAN WRIGHT, RASUAL BUTLER, BRIAN CARDINAL, JASON KAPONO, JAMARIO MOON, DARINGTON HOBSON, PAPE SY, CHRIS WRIGHT, DAJUAN SUMMERS, DJ KENNEDY, IME UDOKA.
Top 15 Free agent Power forwards
1. TIM DUNCAN – Naysayers shaking their heads: “even his free agency negotiations are boring.” He’ll remain a Spur for fair compensation.
2. RYAN ANDERSON – Criticism of his disappearing act in the playoffs is a little harsh. He had to adjust to a new role on the fly and couldn’t manage it. Still a terrific competitor, above-average offensive rebounder and an exceptional shooter.
3. ERSAN ILYASOVA – He can leverage opportunities in Europe to get a juicier deal, and reportedly has a 5 year/$40 million offer on the table to remain in Milwaukee. Similar to Anderson as an offensive rebounding whiz who can step out and knock down jumpers.
4. JEFF GREEN – Coming off a heart issue, he’s expected to be at 100 percent again. His ability to defend both forward spots and help a team without requiring the ball makes him well worth the risk.
5. MICHAEL BEASLEY – He’s got no excuse if he fails in Phoenix, where he’ll be guaranteed touches and an opportunity to grow with the franchise that he hasn’t honestly gotten in Miami or Minnesota. At both stops, he was always part of Plan B, viewed more with curiosity than conviction.
6. JJ HICKSON – A flop in Sacramento, he resurrected his image with a late 19-game stint in Portland, shooting 54 percent and averaging 15 and 8. Golden State is the front-runner for his services, banking that last year’s slow start can be attributed to an inability to adjust to new surrounding due to the lockout.
7. BRANDON BASS – Returning to the Celtics, Bass was quietly a superb glue guy who aided Kevin Garnett’s transition to the center spot late in the season. Expect him to be even more efficient in year two, as he and Rajon Rondo play well together.
8. KRIS HUMPHRIES – Can’t argue with his production or his motor, even though executives could certainly do without the Kardashian baggage or his issues on defense.
9. ANTAWN JAMISON – His production slipped in Cleveland, partially the result of having to do too much. Still, at 36, his best days are behind him, especially if he opts for a farewell tour with the Bobcats. He’s got experience trying to carry overmatched teams, but shot a career-low 40 percent last season and can expect similar numbers.
10. JASON THOMPSON – The former lottery pick is 25 and looked the most comfortable he has in his short career last season. As a result, given his size and nimble feet, he’s sure to have suitors testing Sacramento’s resolve to keep him on board.
11. JORDAN HILL – There are teams quietly hoping he’ll emerge as a major bargain, having provided a glimpse of his value this past postseason. He gave the Lakers solid minutes against OKC, protecting the rim and rebounding well.
12. KENYON MARTIN – The 34-year-old is a winner. Expect a title contender smart enough to want him out on the floor late in a game come May to emerge as his destination.
13. CARL LANDRY – Undersized, but he’s proven he can be productive despite his limitations. He’s relentless, though likely better-suited to come off the bench to spark a second unit.
14. CHRIS WILCOX – Entering his 10th season, he’s another former lottery pick who has tapped out his potential but knows what the job entails. Coming off a heart issue that cut a promising tenure with Boston short, he’ll be back in the league this season.
15. BORIS DIAW – There’s no better fit for him than San Antonio, but he’ll have to take a significant pay cut to hang around.
Rest of the crop: IVAN JOHNSON, ANTHONY RANDOLPH, YI JIANLIAN, JARED JEFFRIES, LOUIS AMUNDSON, ANTHONY TOLLIVER, TROY MURPHY, SAMARDO SAMUELS, LUKE HARANGODY, VLAD RADMANOVIC, DJ WHITE, CRAIG SMITH, JAMES SINGLETON, DARNELL JACKSON, SOLOMON JONES, GANI LAWAL, CRAIG BRACKINS, VERNON MACKLIN, JOSH POWELL, MAGNUM ROLLE, ERIC DAWSON, MIKKI MOORE, EDUARDO NAJERA, JEFF ADRIEN, BRIAN SCALABRINE.
Top 15 Free agent Centers
1. DWIGHT HOWARD – What, he’s not available? Rent-to-own? Nets or bust? Contact Rob Hennigan.
2. ROY HIBBERT – Will they or won’t they? Indiana has a replacement lined up in Chris Kaman, but could also match a max deal (4 years, $58 million) to keep a 7-foot-2 25-year-old entering his prime as the pillar of the franchise.
3. JAVALE MCGEE – He’s been a knucklehead, but had a national coming-out party against the Lakers in the playoffs, teasing suitors with his potential. Denver wants him back, but isn’t interested in breaking the bank to do it.
4. CHRIS KAMAN – Handled a difficult situation in New Orleans professionally, which is why the Pacers are confident he can adequately replace Hibbert if called upon and others are anxiously hoping Indy matches and they’ll get their shot at impressing the Caveman.
5. OMER ASIK – It seems like I’m in the minority in appreciating his value, even if the Rockets are over-paying (3 years, $25 million) to try and steal him from Chicago. Still, his impact on the defensive end is monumental, and you’ve got to think the 26-year-old Turk won’t be as huge an offensive liability as he has been once he gets more comfortable as a starting center.
6. SPENCER HAWES – The Sixers were at their best last season when he was, so while it was disappointing that he couldn’t raise his game to help them upset Boston when it mattered most, spending $13 million over two years on a skilled 24-year-old 7-footer is a good buy.
7. MARCUS CAMBY – At 38 years old, it’s hard to believe he hasn’t played in more than a single playoff series in the same postseason since his Knicks days. Winning is important to him, which is why it will be interesting to see where he ultimately ends up. Miami would be an ideal fit.
8. IAN MAHINMI – For starters, the Spurs found him, so you know he can probably play. He had some great games last season and disappeared in others despite getting regular minutes, but did shoot 64 percent against the Thunder. He knows his limitations. Strikes me as a spot starter with upside considering he’s still just 25.
9. ROBIN LOPEZ – His best game last season was his first: 21 points, seven boards, brimming with confidence. That he struggled so much the rest of the way makes it likely that no one will overpay to try and steal him from Phoenix.
10. NENAD KRSTIC – Since he can ink a buyout with CSKA Moscow, he’s out there. A truly gifted offensive center who can help a team — 20 minutes a night.
11. HASHEEM THABEET – The 7-2 bust can resurrect his career helping the Thunder win titles. It’s why Sam Presti applied a quick and effective full-court press, netting the former No. 2 pick to a two-year deal believed to be for the minimum. Playing with Serge Ibaka could be inspirational.
12. KWAME BROWN – He might join his seventh NBA team this offseason, which tells you that 7-foot busts can still earn a living.
13. GREG ODEN – The line for his services won’t be out the door, but it only takes one. It’s understandable people forget what he did when he was healthy enough to play, but in his final full game, he corralled 20 rebounds. Sadly, that was on Dec. 10, 2009.
14. JOEL PRZYBILLA – He’s as big as a house, so considering he’s still got a few years left where he can lean on smaller centers for 15 minutes, he’ll be employed.
15. JERMAINE O’NEAL – You can’t go to Germany for that gimmicky knee surgery and not make this list. Plus, I love J.O. He’s been through a lot and still willing to fight. That goes a long way,
REST OF THE CROP: NAZR MOHAMMED, AARON GRAY, SHELDEN WILLIAMS, RONNY TURIAF, KYRYLO FESENKO, HAMED HADDADI, RYAN HOLLINS, MICKELL GLADNESS, DANIEL ORTON, DJ MBENGA, PRIMOZ BREZEC, JASON COLLINS, JAMAAL MAGLOIRE, ERICK DAMPIER, TONY BATTIE, DAVID ANDERSEN, ALEXIS AJINCA, ETAN THOMAS, SOLOMON ALABI, HILTON ARMSTRONG, SEAN WILLIAMS, RANDOLPH MORRIS, KEITH BENSON, PATRICK O’BRYANT, GARRETT SILER, HAMADY N’DIAYE.
Top 15 Free agent Point guards
1. DERON WILLIAMS – The main domino that sparked every other move, his decision to open the Barclays Arena with the Nets means Mikhail Prokhorov made enough of an impression to ultimately build a title contender. People want to play with D-Will.
2. STEVE NASH – Nobody ever thought he’d be pulling a Lakers jersey on to his body. Despite being 38-years-old, the shape he keeps himself in means L.A. should get a nice return on its 3-year/$27 million investment. The goal is to get Kobe Bryant even with Mike in the titles department while netting his first.
3. GEORGE HILL – The Pacers aren’t making a mistake by investing $40 million over five years in a home-grown product. He’s excellent on the defensive end and getting better by the day as a scorer/facilitator at the point, using everything he learned in San Antonio as a base.
4. GORAN DRAGIC – Phoenix got him for the same $9 million price tag that Nash got from the Lakers, so they clearly regretted dealing him to Houston. He’s probably overpaid at this point, but there’s no question his improvement has fattened up his wallet.
5. LOU WILLIAMS – The plan is to keep him, but I’m not sure why someone hasn’t made it difficult for Philadelphia to do so. Sure, him and defense aren’t on a first-name basis, but he’s someone that’s been counted on to close out games. He can deliver the goods.
6. JEREMY LIN – So what if everyone is going to force him left. It’s sink or swim and Harvard guys typically figure it out. The Knicks know he’ll make them money whether he blows or dominates, so they’ll match the “poisonous” Houston deal and hope J-Kidd can bestown some wisdom.
7. CHAUNCEY BILLUPS – Is anybody really doubting that the Clippers made a great move in making sure he returned? He only won over Chris Paul and everyone else despite extenuating circumstances. He’s got a Finals MVP, which means he’s got a history of coming up big when it matters most. He’ll be an asset.
8. JASON KIDD – He’ll be in his 40s when his career ends, which is as it should be. His on-court IQ is genius. His 3-point stroke, as required, has improved. Not sure what kind of mentor he’ll be, but he’s sure to contribute to the Knicks winning.
9. JAMEER NELSON – It’s an upset that Orlando has invested over $6 million per year over the next three to keep him, but there’s no question he’s a phenomenal influence. A true pro, he’s apparently being paid to build a bridge. Nothing wrong with that.
10. DJ AUGUSTIN – Yes, it’s somewhat strange that in this climate of overpaying for point guards, no one has reached out. He’s gifted offensively, challenged defensively and best-suited to come off a contender’s bench. At this point, the Bobcats hope to keep him.
12. RAYMOND FELTON – Now that it’s unlikely he falls into New York’s Plan B, the ultimate backup point guard is going to have to play the waiting game. In the right situation, he’ll be tremendous. In the wrong one, status quo.
11. DELONTE WEST – Yep, he’s carried baggage. It seems to be significantly lighter now, and we didn’t dream that he can defend both guard positions like a rabid bulldog. When that mid-range jumper is on, he’s honestly tremendous.
13. KIRK HINRICH – If nothing else, he annoys Dwyane Wade. The Bulls would love for him to be the bridge, then quietly accept the backup role when Derrick Rose is healthy. Not that he won’t play with the 2011 MvP, because yes, Wade hates being guarded by him.
14. RAMON SESSIONS – The Lakers job put him under the microscope, and while he never embarrassed himself, he didn’t shine. Bottom line, he’s in Felton’s category as an elite-level backup.
15. AARON BROOKS – Did his damage in China last year, but there is a chance that the Rockets give him an opportunithy to re-embrace the NBA stage full-time as Plan F. You’re not alone in thinlking that’s a dubious name for it. JERRYD BAYLESS , BARON DAVIS, RANDY FOYE, LEANDRO BARBOSA, DEREK FISHER, JONNY FLYNN, CJ WATSON, KEYON DOOLING, DANIEL GIBSON, GILBERT ARENAS, LESTER HUDSON, PATTY MILLS RONNIE PRICE, AJ PRICE, JOHN LUCAS, ROYAL IVEY, JANNERO PARGO, MIKE JAMES, NATE ROBINSON SUNDIATA GAINES, MIKE BIBBY, ARMON JOHNSON, ISH SMITH, LANCE STEPHENSON, WILLIE WARREN, POOH JETER, BEN UZOH, SQUEAKY JOHNSON, EARL BOYKINS, WALKER RUSSELL, MARCUS BANKS, DONALD SLOAN, BLAKE AHEARN
Top 15 Free agent Shooting guards
1. ERIC GORDON – Sure he’s worth the maximum. If Phoenix reciprocates his affection, it will have to deal top assets Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris in any package. The Pacers would welcome the Indy-grown scorer, too.
2. OJ MAYO – He’s convinced his share of suitors that he wasn’t used properly in Memphis and that they’ll be getting a steal. Hopefully for him, he proves whoever wins his sweepstakes right.
3. JASON TERRY – A terrific shooter and brilliant pick-and-roll player, expect him to be a superb upgrade over Ray Allen. Seriously, this is a lock.
4. JAMAL CRAWFORD – JCrossover’s job is to make sure the Clippers pick up his option in that fourth year, cashing in the rumored full $25 million deal. Nice guy. Root for him. He’s got a chance to be this generation’s Microwave, but has to do the work on the back end to prove me right.
5. COURTNEY LEE – His agent has been shy of broadcasting his demands, since they’re not overly unreasonable but require a vast investment. He’s worth it.
6. BRANDON ROY – Knees that work? Who needs him. I know one thing. I picked this guy to be the MVP of the league before they stopped cooperating. With him staging a comeback that the Timberwolves are willing to gamble two years on, I see him as a gamble worth taking. Best of luck.
7. RAY ALLEN – It’s abundantly clear the lady would love to relocate to Miami. It won’t be easy to dissapoint brothers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but basketball is a business. He’ll likely be shooting 3-pointers for the Heat.
8. JR SMITH – Where Mark Warkentien is employed will make a huge difference, so considering the Clippers’ moves, he’s unlikely to land there. New York still works, especially since he became such a dedicated defender in the spirit of winning. He showed his true colors. Pretty pure.
9. DANNY GREEN – Sure, he’s testing the market. Still, it’s weird that a guy who became comfortable with being a key role player in college would ever be looking for work. Expect the offers to pour in soon.
10. LANDRY FIELDS – His poisonous new contract didn’t succeed in getting Steve Nash to Toronto, but the fact the Raps didn’t renege suggests they view him as the best available option next to DeMar DeRozan
11. NICK YOUNG – Another knucklehead who everyone hopes will grow up, it will be interesting to monitor what he’ll do when he’s faced with a real-life situation. Sounds like I’m talking about a soft runaway teen.
12. RONNIE BREWER – He’s an elite defender who struggles to score when called upon. If the Bulls give up on him, someone will gladly take up his cause.
13. SONNY WEEMS – A kid whose better-suited in a backup role, he put himself on the radar in Toronto last season. Seems like someone worth investing in.
14. CJ MILES – The former Jazz guard has already taken an interest in returning to his hometown of Dallas, which means that he’ll likely wind up in a reserve roll there.
15. GERALD GREEN – Finally grew up last year, demonstrating more than his ability to dunk. People who beat the odds like he did typically make it, so expect him to become a solid contributor for the Brooklyn Nets. Rest of the crop: SHANNON BROWN, JAMES ANDERSON, WILLIE GREEN, DESHAWN STEVENSON, JODIE MEEKS. ROGER MASON JR, MARCO BELINELLI. MARQUIS DANIELS, RAJA BELL, TRACY MCGRADY, MICHAEL REDD, KEITH BOGANS, ALAN ANDERSON, MORRIS ALMOND, MANNY HARRIS, CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS, SASHA PAVLOVIC, GARRETT TEMPLE, EDWIN UBILES, CORY HIGGINS, JERRY STACKHOUSE, XAVIER SILAS, MARIO WEST.
What is going on with Oden? has anyone offered him yet? Am I crazy for wanting to take a flyer on the guy? His potential was great, probably still is, its just those stinkin knees. maybe blair teaches him the art of playing without knees?
Oden is planning on taking this season off and trying to re-enter the league in a year.
A lot of this list is guys who are 1) re-signed 2) a lock to re-sign with their teams, though unannounced 3) seriously injured and not likely to play in the NBA again 4) scrubs.
There are still bargains to be had, though.
a pair of punisher knee braces from him, and blair lessons... :-)
“He’s everything, He has been the perfect coach for me. He understands what I need even if I don’t understand as a player what I need health-wise and time-wise. He continues to push me. He gets on my ass. He allows me to be a player, and at the same time I’m learning every day.” - Duncan on coach Popovich.
From that list, I´d be interested in looking at:
PF: Re-sign Timmy / Diaw
C: Oden - Kaman
PG: Mills - Hinrich - Barbosa
SG: Danny Green - Gary Neal
We won´t be making a big splash...
Surprising how someone will still take on Kwame Brown!!!!
My blog about series
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