NBA Free Agency 2012: Ranking the 5 Most Exciting NBA Free Agents

Roy BurtonContributor IJuly 6, 2012

NBA Free Agency 2012: Ranking the 5 Most Exciting NBA Free Agents

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    The 2012 NBA free-agent class is more than 100 players deep, yet when it comes to providing pure excitement, there are a few talents in the pool that are head-and-shoulders above the rest.

    And while the solid, unassuming scorers, rebounders and defenders will get much of the love this summer, there's something to be said about someone who can get 20,000 people fired up with either a single tomahawk dunk or a long, buzzer-beating three-pointer.

    So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the five most exciting free agents that are still on the market.
    Please note: Although no free agent has officially signed a new deal, for the purposes of this slideshow, we've omitted those who already have tentative agreements with teams.

5. Javale McGee

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    It's almost maddening, really. 

    JaVale McGee is so naturally talented that he could easily be one of the top five centers in the NBA. Unfortunately, his basketball IQ leaves something to be desired, leaving fans and coaches alike wondering just how good he can be once he puts it all together.

    But even now, McGee's ridiculous athletic gifts make him one of the league's most intriguing players on both ends of the court. As strange as it may sound, the seven-foot, 252-pound center is almost more impressive goaltending a floater than he is when he's throwing down a one-handed dunk on the fast break.

4. O.J. Mayo

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    O.J. Mayo was considered a basketball prodigy at the age of 13, but while he has yet to live up to the lofty expectations foisted upon him, he has developed into one of the league's most exciting combo guards.

    Over the past two seasons, Mayo starred as the sixth man for the Memphis Grizzlies. However, with his killer crossover and exceptional ability to finish around the rim, the 6'4" Mayo could very well wind up as a starter on a new team once this summer's free-agency bonanza truly gets rolling.

3. Lou Williams

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    Lou Williams is a 42 percent shooter for his career, but if NBA field-goal percentages could somehow account the degree of difficulty of one's attempts, the 6'1" combo guard would be one of the league's best marksmen.

    Perhaps no player in the NBA has made more fall-away, step-back, 27-foot jumpers than Williams, a man who has passed up very few shots in his career. He is the type of shooter who has absolutely no conscience, and at times, that's exactly what his team needs.

    Williams' penchant for squeezing in "two-for-one" opportunities at the end of quarters is so blatant that Sixers' fans affectionately refer to those situations as the "Lou-for-one."

2. Nate Robinson

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    Almost everyone loves an underdog, and at 5'9", undersized point guard Nate Robinson clearly fits the bill.

    Robinson was always a quick and explosive player, but his unexpected victory in the 2006 Slam Dunk Contest is the reason why many consider the Seattle native to be one of the more unique talents in the Association.

    The three-time dunk champion is more than a high flyer, however: When Robinson's shot is on, he can be deadly efficient. Just ask Portland: As a member of the New York Knicks, Robinson scored 45 points against the Trail Blazers back in 2008.

1. Gerald Green

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    After a three-year hiatus (much of which was spent overseas and in the D-League), Gerald Green returned to the NBA and played like he has something to prove.

    Green washed out of the NBA back in 2009 because of his inconsistent play, but no one ever doubted Green's almost superhuman athleticism. In just 31 games this season with the Nets, Green re-established himself as perhaps the best dunker in the league.

    Simply put, very few players—if any—are as explosive as Green, and if he remains committed to playing more team-oriented ball, we should see him a lot more often in highlight packages next season.