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NBA Free Agents 2012: Top Unrestricted Player at Each Position

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets looks on in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Prudential Center on April 10, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  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 Chambers/Getty Images)
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Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 21, 2016

Players can make the All-NBA, All-Defensive or All-Rookie teams, so why not have an All-Unrestricted team? 

If there was such a thing, these five unrestricted free agents, one from each position in a traditional lineup, would comprise the starting lineup. 

A few of the choices should be fairly obvious, but the old guys are taking over at a number of positions. Read on to find out who makes it. 

 

Point Guard: Deron Williams

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets brings the ball up court in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Prudential Center on April 10, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Deron Williams is not only the best point guard in this free-agency class, but also the best overall player. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, he has limited his options to just two teams: the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets. However, that doesn't make him ineligible for a spot on the All-Unrestricted Team.

Thanks to the threat of both his passing and shooting games, D-Will beats out Goran Dragic and Steve Nash for the spot.

Williams labored away for a bad New Jersey Nets team, but still managed to average 21.0 points, 8.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. He only just turned 28 years old and is very much in the prime of his career. 

 

Shooting Guard: Ray Allen

MIAMI, FL - MAY 28:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics looks on against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackn
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Don't be fooled into thinking Ray Allen is completely washed up, even if he is just a glorified role player at this advanced stage of his career. If he looked like a shell of his old self during the playoffs, it was primarily because of the painful bone spurs in his ankles. 

Now that the all-time leading three-point shooter has had those surgically removed, he's ready to torch other teams from downtown once more. Allen shot 45.3 percent from behind the arc last regular season and can nail his shots when he chooses them selectively. 

His numbers may take a slight dip after averaging 14.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, but that will be more a byproduct of signing with a contender and taking on a smaller role. 


Small Forward: Gerald Wallace

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 19:  Gerald Wallace #45 of the New Jersey Nets attempts a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Prudential Center on March 19, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadin
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Gerald Wallace opted out of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets to test free agency, although the door for him to return to the newly-moved team is still wide open. 

Crash continues to play basketball with reckless abandon for his own safety, crashing the boards and playing defense without a second thought. His aggression is what makes him such a dangerous player, even at almost 30 years old. 

In the 16 games he spent with Jay-Z's team last year, the forward averaged 15.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. 

 

Power Forward: Kevin Garnett

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics warms up for the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 97-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Danny Ainge thinks that Kevin Garnett will either return to the Boston Celtics or choose to retire, but there's no guarantee that the big man settles for one of those two options. If he wants it to be, the basketball world is his oyster. 

Who wouldn't want a player who turned it on during the playoffs and showed just why he's one of the greatest of all time? KG was The Big Ticket of old, playing defense with relentless enthusiasm, crashing the boards and hitting jumper after mid-range jumper.

Garnett may be 36 years old, but he's still coming off a season in which he averaged 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds with a PER of 20.47, then took it up a notch in the postseason.  


Center: Chris Kaman

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 28: Chris Kaman #35 of the New Orleans Hornets puts up a shot past Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The center class is a bit weak this year, but Chris Kaman is still a solid option. He's not overly athletic, but he plays tough and remains a decent defensive option and an above-average rebounder

Kaman is now on the wrong side of 30 and just averaged 13.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game during what should be his last season with the New Orleans Hornets. 

The seven-footer should end up as a fourth or fifth option on a contender, but he does still have the game necessary to be a crucial piece of a championship puzzle. 

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