NBA Free Agents 2012: Former Stars Destined to Take a Pay Cut to Win a Ring

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJune 15, 2012

NBA Free Agents 2012: Former Stars Destined to Take a Pay Cut to Win a Ring

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    While the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder are busy competing for a championship, there are a whole bunch of veterans sitting at home wishing they had the opportunity that the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant currently do.

    Every year, we see a few veterans around the league take less money in order to sign with a contender.

    Why? 

    One last shot to chase that ring that has eluded them their entire career.

    This offseason should be no exception, as we should see some NBA vets take a pay cut in order to have one last chance at winning.

    Here's a look a a few that could.

Steve Nash

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    For the two-time MVP, it's been a long 16-year career that has gone without ever coming close to winning a championship.

    In 2005 and 2006 Nash made it as far as the Western Conference Finals before losing to the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

    As an unrestricted free agent who made over $11 million this season, Nash really has two options.

    He could stay in Phoenix for the money.

    Or he could chase that ring by signing with a contender for less than half of what he made in 2012.

    His resume won't be complete without a title, so I expect to see Nash in a different uniform next season.

Jason Kidd

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    Kidd has done it all as an NBA point guard.

    He's second in NBA history in assists and finally won his ring in 2011.

    Kidd will turn 40 next season, and as an unrestricted free agent the only reason to come back would be to win another ring.

    He could be a useful backup guard on a contending team, but he would have to do it for much less than the $8.2 million he made this season in Dallas.

Ray Allen

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    It was a rough year for the soon-to-be 37-year-old Allen, as he fought injuries all season long.

    But the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers could be a useful piece to a contender as a role player.

    At this stage in Allen's career he might be nothing more than a shooter, but he can chase a ring by coming off someone's bench and knocking down shots.

    Shortly after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that Allen has his eyes on Miami and the New York Knicks (via ESPN). Wherever Allen ends up, it will have to be for considerably less than the $10 million he made this season.

Grant Hill

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    It's almost odd to think that one of the most successful collegiate players of all time hasn't come close to winning an NBA championship.

    Grant Hill played for three championships at Duke and won two, but he has yet to capture that ring in the NBA.

    He could have the opportunity next season when he's an unrestricted free agent.

    Hill will be 40 when next season begins, but he still averaged 10.2 points per game this season.

    He would be a nice bench piece for a contender, but I can't see anyone paying him near the $6.5 million he made this season.

Marcus Camby

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    It's hard to believe that Camby is 38 years old already, but the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year hasn't come close to winning a championship.

    Camby has led the NBA in blocks four times and has been named a member of the NBA's All-Defensive Team on four different occasions (twice first team), but he has experienced very little postseason success.

    He averaged 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks on the season and would still have value as a big man off the bench for a contender.

    No one is going to pay him the $12.6 million he's making now, but he should have the opportunity to chase a championship if he wants it.

Antawn Jamison

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    Jamison is a two-time All-Star who in his 14th year in the NBA, but he has only appeared in the postseason six different times.

    He's put together a nice career, in which he averaged 19.5 points and 7.9 rebounds. He's also coming off a 2012 season where he averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 boards for the Cavs.

    The former North Carolina product made $15 million last season. He won't touch that, but he's a guy that can still play and could spend a couple years chasing a title at a much lower figure.

Elton Brand

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    The former Duke Blue Devil, Brand has put together a nice 13-year NBA career in which he averaged 18.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

    People tend to forget how good the two-time All-Star really was from 2000-07 with the Clippers and Bulls. However, a real chance at a title has eluded him, as he's been to the postseason only three times and has played in only 30 total playoff games.

    He hasn't quite been the same player since arriving in Philadelphia, but he's still serviceable and could spend the final years of his career chasing a title.

    Brand makes this list with an asterisk next to his name, as he's not an unrestricted free agent.

    He has an Early Termination Option in his contract and could also be an amnesty candidate from Philadelphia.

    If Brand hits the market next season, don't expect him to earn anywhere near the $18 million he's set to make in Philadelphia.