Top Free Agents Left on the Market
With the NBA season now just four days away, most teams have solidified their rosters. They’ve spent their money, worked on their rotations, and filled in their gaps, but there are still some pretty decent talents left on the market without a new contract. Here’s a quick look at the top names still without a team.
Gilbert Arenas, guard: Still just 29 years old and with a career scoring average of 21.2 points a game, Arenas is being picky about his next situation. After Orlando used the amnesty provision on him, guaranteeing him a financial windfall, he can afford to be picky. His most likely destination is probably the New Jersey Nets, who still have over $9 million in cap space after signing Kris Humphries. He wants to sign on to play wherever Dwight Howard is traded, but could just take a one-year deal in Jersey to get back on the court and build his market value back up. After a couple injuries in Washington and never fitting in with the Orlando Magic, playing alongside Deron Williams as a complementary scoring option may be his best career choice.
Samuel Dalembert, center: Dalembert boasts career averages of 8.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 52% shooting from the field. He has also missed just two games in the past five seasons, both last season. He is a solid positional defender and rebounder, but his offensive game isn’t the most reliable. He entered free agency expecting to get a big payday – perhaps not as big as Nene or Tyson Chandler, but not too far away either. Instead cap space across the league has gradually dried up and now, after the Houston Rockets have decided to pass, his best bet at a payday is back in Sacramento. The problem for him there is the Kings seem set on starting DeMarcus Cousins and J.J. Hickson at their big man spots. While he wants a long-term deal, a one-year deal with the Kings and then hitting free agency again next summer could be his smartest move.
Andrei Kirilenko, forward: Kirilenko is close to a deal with New Jersey Nets, but it hasn’t been signed yet. It’s probably not a surprise, considering he has been rumored to be headed to Jersey ever since Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team in the spring of 2010. The Kings had also been on his radar.
Michael Redd, guard: Yes, Redd has played just 61 games over the past three seasons, a time in which he also earned over $50 million, but he still is one of the best shooters in the league. He didn’t play last year until the very end of March and took a few games to get his legs under him, but scored in double digits off Milwaukee’s bench in two of the final three games. It’s a small sample size, but given his background just about any team would be better off with this sharpshooter off the bench. He was rumored to be heading to Indiana, but the Pacers seem satisfied with their roster now.
DeShawn Stevenson, guard: Last year Stevenson started 18 of 21 playoff games for the Dallas Mavericks, the same Mavs who won the NBA title, shooting 40% from three-point range during that run. He hasn’t shot over 40% overall from the floor since 2006-07, but Stevenson is still a decent defender and a good spot-up shooter when he gets his feet under him. With his experience a lot of teams could use him as a fourth guard.
Willie Green, guard: Green brings a lot of the same aspects to the floor as Stevenson. He’s a streaky shooter with not a good percentage overall, he can play a little bit of defense – not a ton – and can create his own shot. He’d be a decent choice for a team looking to fill 12-15 guard minutes off the bench.
James Posey, guard/forward: Posey isn’t the lockdown defender and solid three-point shooter that won rings with Miami in 2006 and Boston in 2008, but at 34 years old he can still bring pressure in some bench minutes at the wing positions. He had been linked to the Knicks, but after adding Steve Novak they seem to be done for now.
Hot Free Agents When They Come Back From China: Aaron Brooks (restricted – Phoenix), Wilson Chandler (restricted – Denver), Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith
Other Names of Note: Francisco Elson (F/C), Jamario Moon (G/F), Rodney Carney (F), Yi Jianlian (F), Malik Allen (F), Joel Przybilla (C), Etan Thomas (C).
What teams do you think should add these players? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Follow Jason Fleming on Twitter @jfleminghoops.