2012 NBA Free Agents: Must-Have Veterans to Pursue This Offseason

Ethan NorofCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 04:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics celebrates a shot in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks on March 4, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 115-111 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Deron Williams is dominating headlines when it comes to 2012 NBA free agency, but there are several very interesting candidates who could be switching teams.

Although the league is incredibly youthful, there are a handful of veterans well over 30 years old who are proving that age is just a number.

These guys are all showing why nobody should write them off, and it would be a shock if anyone listed here wasn't playing big minutes during the 2012-13 season.


Steve Nash, PG

2011-12 Stats: 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 54.4 percent shooting 

It's hard to comprehend why we don't talk about Nash shooting at a ridiculous clip far more often, but this 38-year-old baller simply isn't ready to stop being a magician with the rock in his hands.

He's having a remarkably efficient season and is doing so in a year where several were questioning if he had anything left in the tank, and there's no doubt he's got more beyond this year.

The departure of Mike D'Antoni and "Linsanity" has decreased the speculation surrounding Nash heading to New York, but he'd be a great short-term pickup for a team that is a point guard away from title contention.


Kevin Garnett, PF/C

2011-12 Stats: 15.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.1 blocks, 51.2 percent shooting 

Garnett's overall stats have certainly been impressive, but the numbers don't do him justice as to what he's done since taking over as the starting center.

In 21 games in the middle, Garnett is having a career resurgence with averages of 16.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks.

He would be a really solid addition for a team that needs his leadership, although it will certainly be strange to see him donning another uniform after making his mark as a member of the Boston Celtics.

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 03:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers bites his jersey as he controls the ball against Andre Miller #24 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on February 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 93-89
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Andre Miller, PG

2011-12 Stats: 10.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 44.2 percent shooting 

It's going to be very intriguing to see where Miller lands after the season because wherever he goes next, the veteran will certainly want to start.

He's remained productive despite serving in a reserve role behind Ty Lawson, but Miller is an absolute iron man and is capable of starting in this league.

Although Miller has never been much of a shooter, he doesn't need to be in order to be successful in the right spot.


Chauncey Billups, G*

2011-12 Stats: 15.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 36.4 percent shooting

Billups' season was cut short due to an Achilles' injury that has been a big blow for the Los Angeles Clippers this season, but he's determined to make it back and has no intentions of retiring.

He was playing out of position as a shooting guard, but the next team he lands with should allow him to go back to being a point guard.

Still very much capable of running an offense, Billups should prove to be a value signing as long as he can show that he's healthy.


Ray Allen, SG

2011-12 Stats: 14.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 46.3 percent shooting 

Allen is shooting a career-high 45.9 percent from beyond the arc as well as 92.1 percent from the foul line, indicating his smooth stroke certainly hasn't evaporated.

He'll probably have to take a pay cut from the $10 million he's making this season on his next deal, but Allen is still a very productive player who would fit perfectly with a number of contenders.

He keeps himself in remarkable shape, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Allen join a team that is a shooting guard away from legitimately competing to win it all.


Marcus Camby, C

2011-12 Stats: 3.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.4 blocks, 42.5 percent shooting 

The lanky veteran isn't going to score in bunches anymore with his unorthodox jumper, but what he does do well (rebounding, blocking shots) can certainly help a lot of teams.

Camby is a force around the rim and is capable of altering shots, but health is always something to consider when talking about the prospects of the UMass product contributing.

He's not going to play 30-plus minutes every night, but he'd certainly be a nice complement to a starting center who shouldn't exceed 25-28 minutes.