2012 NBA Free Agents: Lamar Odom and Players Teams Should Take a Chance on

Justin JanssenCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks is guarded by Lamar Odom #7 of the Dallas Mavericks and Dominique Jones #20 of the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden on February 19, 2012 in New York City. 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 Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

With the playoffs already here, it's getting closer and closer to the free agency period during the 2012 summer. There is great talent available on the market, and teams will be looking to spend. 

The following four 2012 free agents all have significant baggage or carry question marks regarding age, work ethic or injury. But NBA teams should take a chance on them because the potential upside is far greater than the risk.

 

Lamar Odom

Now that Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom cancelled their reality TV show, Odom can get back to focusing on basketball. 

In 2011-12 Odom could not commit to basketball and played a horrific season. Odom averaged less than seven points and four rebounds per game while shooting 35 percent from the field.

In his prior 12 seasons, Odom averaged at least 10 points per game in all of them and was also a significant contributor as a passer and rebounder. 

But if Odom, a 2012 free agent, can return to the Odom of old, he can be a pretty solid player. 

 

Steve Nash

Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, another free agent, is 38 years old, but is still a top-five player at his position in the NBA. 

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 25:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the NBA game against the San Antonio Spurs at US Airways Center on April 25, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Spurs defeated the Suns 110-106.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledg
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

For much of the season, Nash led the league in assists and finished with 10.7 assists per game.

Nash doesn't like to shoot all that often, but he has one of the best strokes in the league. Nash shot 53 percent overall, 39 percent from downtown and 89 percent from the line. 

Nash just wants to win and would take significantly less money to play for a team he has a chance to win a championship with, such as the Miami Heat. 

Nash may not believe the Suns have the pieces in place to win a title in the next couple years, and Nash will likely walk. 

 

Jeremy Lin

After captivating the globe by coming out of the D-League to be the New York Knicks' best player, Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is a free agent in the 2012 summer. 

Clearly, Carmelo Anthony and Lin cannot coexist in New York. Anthony's game revolves around isolation plays designed for him, while Lin needs the ball in his hands. 

When Anthony was injured Feb. 6 through Feb. 19, Lin averaged 19.5 points and 9.5 assists per game. 

Lin will certainly generate tons of interest on the open market this summer. He's still considered a risk because of the small sample size, and the current injury doesn't help matters. 

 

Kris Humphries 

After splitting with Kim Kardashian, Nets power forward Kris Humphries will be a free agent in more ways than one this summer. 

What is lost in the shuffle when talking about Humphries is the fact that he can actually play ball. Humphries, now in his eighth NBA season, is averaging career highs in points (13.8), rebounds (11), assists (1.5) and blocks (1.2).

Humphries' rise to fame is largely attributed to marrying Kardashian for only 72 days but should be looked at as a basketball player instead.