2012 NBA Free Agents: Ranking Top 10 Players at Every Position

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IApril 27, 2012

2012 NBA Free Agents: Ranking Top 10 Players at Every Position

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    Now that the 2012 NBA regular season has come to an end and the postseason is set to begin on Saturday, it's not too early to start looking ahead at this summer's free agent class.

    It's not the most star-studded class in recent memory, but there's still some quality talent out there that could be changing teams before long.

    Teams in search of guard play could be in luck because the strength of this class lies in the backcourt, where there's more than a handful of players that could potentially make an impact.

    Here's a look at the best at every position as I take a look at the Top 10 guys available at each position.

Point Guard

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    The point guard class is loaded with top-end talent, led by Deron Williams and Steve Nash, who could be the two most sought after players on the market.

    Looking at the Top 10 point guards, there are quality players such as Chauncey Billups, Aaron Brooks, Raymond Felton, Mo Williams, Kirk Hinrich and Jameer Nelson who don't make the list, but let's take a look at who does.

    1. Williams, Unrestricted 

    2. Nash, Unrestricted

    3. Jeremy Lin, Unrestricted, but under the Gilbert Arenas provision in the CBA, no team can offer him more than their mid-level exemption for next season.

    4. Goran Dragic, Unrestricted

    5. Ramon Sessions, Player Option ($4.6 million)

    6. George Hill, Restricted ($3.1 million Qualifying Offer)

    7. Louis Williams, Early Termination Option ($5.4 million)

    8. D.J. Augustin, Restricted ($4.4 million Qualifying Offer)

    9. Jason Kidd, Unrestricted

    10. Andre Miller, Unrestricted

Shooting Guard

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    The shooting guard position gives us a look at some young guards with a bright future to a guy like Ray Allen, who's a future Hall of Famer, and everything in between.

    Their may not be much player movement at the position as there are plenty of restricted free agents, which enables the current team to match any offer.

    This position may not have the top-tier talent like Williams and Nash, but there are some quality guards nonetheless.


    1. Eric Gordon, Restricted ($5.1 million Qualifying Offer)

    2. Jason Terry, Unrestricted

    3. Allen, Unrestricted

    4. J.R. Smith, Player Option ($2.6 million)

    5. O.J Mayo, Restricted ($7.4 million Qualifying Offer)

    6. Nick Young, Unrestricted

    7. Randy Foye, Unrestricted

    8. Landry Fields, Unrestricted (Early Bird Exemption)

    9. Courtney Lee, Restricted ($3.2 million Qualifying Offer)

    10. Danny Green, Unrestricted

Small Forward

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    As we move to the small forward spot, this is the thinnest of all the positions when you look at potentially available talent. After the restricted free agents are retained and the player options are picked up, there really isn't a ton of upper-level talent that can be had.

    Here's a look at the Top 10 small forwards.

    1. Gerald Wallace, Player Option ($9.5 million)

    2. Nicolas Batum, Restricted ($3.2 million Qualifying Offer)

    3. Michael Beasley, Restricted ($8.2 million Qualifying Offer)

    4. Carlos Delfinio, Unrestricted

    5. Chase Buddinger, Team Option ($0.9 million)

    6. Steve Novak, Unrestricted

    7. Matt Barnes, Unrestricted

    8. Grant Hill, Unrestricted

    9. Alonzo Gee, Unrestricted

    10. Josh Howard, Unrestricted

Power Forward

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    The power forward spot features a couple of first-ballot Hall of Famer's in Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, who throughout the course of the 2012 season, showed that they still have a lot to offer.

    After that there's a few young guys with potential to be very good mixed in with a couple of veterans who still have a couple of productive seasons ahead of them.

    Overall the power forward spot isn't deep on free agent talent, so if buying teams need a 4, they better buy early before the pickings become slim.

    1. Garnett, Unrestricted

    2. Duncan, Unrestricted

    3. Brandon Bass, Player Option ($4.3 million)

    4. Ryan Anderson, Restricted ($3.2 million Qualifying Offer)

    5. Ersan Ilyasova, Unrestricted

    6. Kris Humphries, Unrestricted

    7. Antawn Jamison, Unrestricted

    8. Marreese Speights, Restricted ($3.8 million Qualifying Offer)

    9. J.J. Hickson, Restricted ($3.4 million Qualifying Offer)

    10. Carl Landry, Unrestricted


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    The men in the middle feature a pair of young future stars in Roy Hibbert and Brook Lopez as restricted free agents, but after the the first four or five players, there's a severe drop in talent as the center position is also extremely thin.

    But for teams looking for depth or just looking to add another big body, there are a ton of free agent centers to choose from. With the Los Angeles Lakers already committed to picking up Andrew Bynum's option for next season, he's not included on the list.


    1. Hibbert, Restricted ($3.7 million Qualifying Offer)

    2. B. Lopez, Restricted ($4.2 million Qualifying Offer)

    3. Chris Kaman, Unrestricted

    4. JaVale McGee, Restricted ($3.5 million Qualifying Offer)

    5. Spencer Hawes, Unrestricted

    6. Marcus Camby, Unrestricted

    7. Robin Lopez, Restricted ($4.0 million Qualifying Offer)

    8. Mehmet Okur, Unrestricted

    9. Omer Asik, Unrestricted

    10. Greg Stiemsma, Unrestricted