NBA Saturday: Top Remaining Free Agents
The first 24 hours of free agency are in the books and a number of players signed new deals. Now, the second day of free agency is here and plenty of players are still available. Here is a position-by-position list of who is still on the market.
Point Guards: Rodney Stuckey (Restricted), J.J. Barea (Unrestricted), Delonte West (Unrestricted), Ronnie Price (Unrestricted), Sundiata Gaines (Unrestricted), Earl Boykins (Unrestricted), Anthony Carter (Unrestricted), Ben Uzoh (Unrestricted), Marcus Banks (Unrestricted), Royal Ivey (Unrestricted)
There are still a number of talented point guards available. Stuckey is obviously the biggest name due to his restricted tag, but Barea, West and Price were serviceable back-up options last season. This was an extremely weak position entering free agency and teams searching for a point guard may be better off bidding on an amnestied player such as Gilbert Arenas or Chauncey Billups.
Shooting Guards: Jamal Crawford (Unrestricted), Jason Richardson (Unrestricted), Arron Afflalo (Restricted), Nick Young (Restricted), Mo Evans (Unrestricted), DeShawn Stevenson (Unrestricted), Michael Redd (Unrestricted), Willie Green (Unrestricted), Daequan Cook (Restricted), Anthony Parker (Unrestricted), Marco Belinelli (Restricted), Alonzo Gee (Unrestricted), Dominic McGuire (Unrestricted)
There haven’t been many deals involving shooting guards. Many of these restricted free agents will sign later in the week once teams aren’t afraid to lock their money up for three days. Crawford, Richardson and Afflalo have received interest from a number of teams, but the drama surrounding Dwight Howard and Chris Paul has affected them. New Orleans and New Jersey are among the teams expressing interest so they must wait for those situations to be resolved before they can sign.
Small Forwards: Reggie Williams (Restricted), Josh Howard (Unrestricted), Earl Clark (Unrestricted), Al Thornton (Unrestricted), Jeremy Evans (Unrestricted), Jamario Moon (Unrestricted), Peja Stojakovic (Unrestricted), Shawne Williams (Unrestricted), Ime Udoka (Unrestricted), Rodney Carney (Unrestricted), DaJuan Summers (Unrestricted), Quinton Ross (Unrestricted)
More small forwards were signed in the first day of free agency than any other position. Caron Butler, Thaddeus Young, Tayshaun Prince, Grant Hill, Shane Battier and Jason Kapono have already signed deals. However, there is still some talent left at the positions. Veterans like Josh Howard and Shawne Williams have received interest from contenders while up-and-coming teams are tossing money at Reggie Williams and Earl Clark.
Power Forwards: David West (Unrestricted), Carl Landry (Unrestricted), Andrei Kirilenko (Unrestricted), Troy Murphy (Unrestricted), Kris Humphries (Unrestricted), Reggie Evans (Unrestricted), Luc Mbah a Moute (Restricted), Josh McRoberts (Unrestricted, Dante Cunningham (Restricted), Leon Powe (Unrestricted), Craig Smith (Unrestricted), Jason Smith (Restricted), Joe Smith (Unrestricted), Chris Wilcox (Unrestricted), Josh Powell (Unrestricted), DJ Mbenga (Unrestricted), Brian Cardinal (Unrestricted), Melvin Ely (Unrestricted)
Yesterday, rumors surfaced that David West was going to sign with the Boston Celtics. That has now cooled off and West remains available. Power forwards haven’t received much attention throughout this process, but there are plenty of teams interested in West, Carl Landry and Kris Humphries among others.
Centers: Marc Gasol (Restricted), Nene (Unrestricted), Samuel Dalembert (Unrestricted), DeAndre Jordan (Restricted), Joel Przybilla (Unrestricted), Spencer Hawes (Restricted), Nenad Krstic (Unrestricted), Brian Skinner (Unrestricted), Kyrylo Fesenko (Unrestricted), Erick Dampier (Unrestricted), Kurt Thomas (Unrestricted), Francisco Elson (Unrestricted), Aaron Gray (Unrestricted), Kwame Brown (Unrestricted), Theo Ratliff (Unrestricted), Etan Thomas (Unrestricted), Alexis Ajinca (Unrestricted), Hamed Haddadi (Restricted)
Outside of Tyson Chandler, many of the top centers remain available. Marc Gasol is searching for the best offer sheet, Nene is waiting on the Nets and Samuel Dalembert continues to weigh his options. There are also plenty of back-up centers that will need to find homes over the next few days.
Dwight Howard Responds to Rumors: Following the Orlando Magic’s first day of training camp, Dwight Howard took time to answer questions regarding his future with the team. There have been plenty of rumors surrounding Howard in recent days and he was clearly frustrated with the talk.
When asked about his future and what’s he’s planning to do long-term, Howard shook his head.
“Is that the only question you ever ask me?” Howard asked. “Every event you see me at, that’s it. I can be doing anything else and that’s the only question I get. Right now, we’re in Orlando. We just had practice and that’s what matters. Nothing else matters beyond today and this moment.”
Howard said he doesn’t know where some of these rumors come from, and joked that ESPN’s Chris Broussard must be “Jesus’ assistant” since he seemingly knows everything. The superstar is doing his best to ignore the rumors and not letting them distract him as he prepares for the season.
“I don’t do too much reading or looking at ESPN,” Howard said. “With that stuff, there’s no point. It’s just rumors, ‘sources say this and sources say that.’ Until you hear it from [my] mouth, until you see something happen, that’s when you know what’s happening. That’s how I see it. People are going to say whatever and do whatever.”
Broussard’s latest report indicated that Howard met with New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King on Thursday night in Miami. Howard denied meeting with anyone.
“I knew that was going to be the next question,” Howard said before a pause. “I have not had any conversations with anybody. If my agent has or anybody I’m associated with has, you’d have to talk to them about it.”
Howard praised the acquisition of Glen Davis, who joined the Magic yesterday through a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics. Howard had told Magic general manager Otis Smith to pursue Davis and he was clearly happy to see Orlando land the power forward.
“I think Glen is a guy who can spread the floor at the four,” Howard said. “He can play some five and really shoot the ball well. He had a few heartbreakers against us a few years ago. He’s also a guy who can defend in the paint. Even though he’s undersized for a four or five, he can bang and handle his own under the basket. That’s good for us to have. Also, he knows how to win. He’s been on a team that has been to the Finals multiple times. He’s a great guy to have in the locker room. Me and him, we’ve been playing against each other for awhile since we were 15. Now, we’re finally on the same team.”
At the end of the press conference, one reporter asked Howard if he had the “faith and patience” to give the Magic more than one year to rebuild their team. Howard paused and directed the question back at the reporter.
“Do you have enough faith and patience?” Howard said. “I’m asking you.”
The reporter responded, “Not the way it stands right now.”
Howard nodded his head and said, “Okay. Does anybody else have any questions?”
Overall, Howard was very noncommittal about his future in Orlando and dodged question after question about the topic. Howard was donning a hat that read “Orlando” but he didn’t use this opportunity to put the departure talk to rest and commit to the team. Let the rumors continue.
HOOPSWORLD Chats: There are no chats today. To view HOOPSWORLD”s upcoming chat schedule, click here.