NBA Free Agents 2012: Michael Beasley and the Market's Most Overrated Players
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The 2012 installment of NBA free agency comes screeching down hardwood rails. On July 11, it will finally pull into the station.
The market has been hectic thus far, with plenty of marquee names and prime-time talents changing jerseys. But with such a competitive class of free agents comes a handful of overrated players enjoying the ride.
Check out the league's most overvalued free agents, including forward Michael Beasley (pictured).
Landry Fields, G
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Landry Fields was caught in the crossfire of a Steve Nash bidding war and now sits on a potential contract worth far more than his abilities suggest.
As a member of the Knicks last season, Fields boasted solid perimeter defense and a hard-nosed attitude. However, despite seeing nearly 30 minutes of floor time, the second-year pro put up just 8.8 points and 4.2 boards a night.
Fields was startlingly regressive in his NBA development.
After notching a .393 three-point shooting percentage as a rookie, he dropped to just .256 in 2011-12. Fields looked perpetually hesitant towards the tail end of the season.
He has ideal wing size and is still very young, but nonetheless, the Raptors seem to have grossly overvalued him.
Raymond Felton, G
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
A former lottery pick, Felton has since fallen from grace, to the tune of 11.4 points and 2.8 turnovers per game in 2011-12. He's always been a serviceable set-up man, but his numbers have been less than stellar since leaving New York in 2010.
Felton's .407 shooting percentage last year was his worst since the 2006-07 season. He's certainly not a bad option at the 1, but his career appears to be on a troublesome downward trajectory.
J.R. Smith, G
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
J.R. Smith's name holds a lot of weight in NBA circles, but the seven-year pro struggled immensely down the stretch last season.
Smith shot just .316 from the field in the 2011-12 playoffs and takes an alarming number of shots, despite seeing limited minutes. His defense and overall production have been the source of frustration for coaches and fans alike.
With a slew of off-court controversies and an inefficient offensive game, Smith is by far one of the league's most overrated free agents.
Michael Beasley, F
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Beasley has the potential to be a bona fide star, but he hasn't made a clean transition to the pro level since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2008.
After an impressive 2010-11 season, Beasley took a colossal step backward, starting just seven games and averaging under 12 points a night.
Gerald Wallace, F
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Though the Nets gave up the world for Wallace at this year's trade deadline, they did so for a player who simply lacks the career credentials to justify his hefty new salary.
Wallace has been a middling scorer the past few years, and his career average of 13.5 points a night is less than stellar. He's a gifted athlete and shows flashes of explosiveness but has never played an entire season and struggles with inconsistency.
Gerald Wallace remains a respectable NBA 3 and plays aggressive defense but isn't worth the $10 million a year he'll be getting in Brooklyn.
Omer Asik, C
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Asik remains on the market but is set to ink a big contract with Houston.
He's arguably free agency's most overvalued talent, with paltry career averages of 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Granted, Asik was never a full-time starter in Chicago, and with the right opportunity, he may flourish.
But for now, it looks like the new-look Rockets spent too much on a backup big man.