NBA Free Agents 2012: Who Will Be the Biggest Steal of Star-Studded Class?
We all know the big names of this free agent class.
Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash and Deron Williams.
We even know most of the restricted free agents.
Those guys will certainly make significant impacts wherever they go, and the restricted free agents likely will remain with their current squads.
The real intriguing question in my mind is who will end up being a steal.
Here are the top seven potential free agent steals of this class.
Goran Dragic, PG
Dragic had an opportunity to shine last year, and he took full advantage of it.
Not an elite athlete, Dragic depends on court savvy and above average vision.
He has a good feel for the game, and makes up for his shortcomings with intensity.
Ersan Ilyasova, PF
Ilyasova was not on anyone's radar just a year ago.
He had bounced around between Europe and the Bucks since being selected in the 2005 draft. However, Ilyasova showed great ability in limited minutes last year, averaging nearly a double-double and showing tremendous offensive skills.
I think Ilyasova could develop into a poor man's Dirk Nowitzki. He has the same type of un-blockable shot and court sense on offense, plus he might become a better rebounder.
J.J. Hickson, PF
J.J. Hickson has already had somewhat of a roller-coaster career.
He was envisioned as the big man of the future for the Cavs, routinely being included in draft proposals for some of the bigger names in the game during his run in Cleveland.
After bouncing around, he found his way to Portland, where over the last quarter of the season he was tremendous.
In 19 games, he averaged 15 points, eight boards, and a block in just 31 minutes per game.
Andre Miller, PG
Miller certainly is one of the more well-known players on this list.
That being said, he will be a huge bargain this year as he likely won't command the $8 million he made last year.
Miller still is a very underrated point guard. He has great court vision, excellent size, and the ability to get into the lane at will.
George Hill, PG
It's amazing how you can just tell who was a Spur at some point based on their game.
Hill is your prototypical ex-Spur.
He is smart, savvy and rarely makes mistakes on the court.
He might not be a starting point guard in this league, but he is the kind of player that every team wishes they had.
Courtney Lee, SG
Lee may have finally figured it all out last year.
Always an excellent shooter, Lee started to do some of the other things that make a player complete last year.
He never will be an elite defender, but last year he showed an increased willingness to work harder on that end of the court.
Lee could become a very good sixth man for a number of teams, and maybe a fringe starter.
Ian Mahinmi, PF/C
It's not often that a former first round pick that just so happens to be a legit big man finds himself as an underrated free agent target.
But Mahinmi has mostly been relegated to the bench with Dallas.
That being said, when you project out his minutes you see a different player.
Already a solid scorer around the hoop, Mahinmi has quick hands and the makings of a decent defensive game.
Last year, per 48 minutes he averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, a little over a block and steal per game.
But he will never average 48 minutes per game, right?
Over 36 minutes his numbers are still pretty darn good: 11 points, nine boards and a block and steal.