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NBA Free Agency 2012: Players Who Will Go Bust for Their New Teams

Bryant KnoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2012

NBA Free Agency 2012: Players Who Will Go Bust for Their New Teams

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    There's one word in sports that virtually nobody likes to hear when it comes to a team's newest acquisition.

    Bust.

    Free agency is a time for NBA front offices to make their teams better, but with a number of players to choose from on the market, the right choice isn't always made.

    Whether it be team chemistry, a lack of production or simply too much money, not every addition lives up to the hype, and some end up being complete disappointments for their teams moving forward.

Ryan Anderson

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    If Ryan Anderson ends up being a bust for the New Orleans Hornets, it could be a result of playing out of position next season.

    Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, will likely be the starting power forward, and John Reid of The Times-Picayune has stated that Anderson could find himself at either the center or small forward spot next year.

    Anderson had a breakout 2011-12 season, averaging career highs in points, rebounds and three-point percentage.

    Having agreed to a four-year, $36-38 million deal (according to ESPN's Marc Stein), the 24-year-old forward will have to earn his money by producing the same way he did last year with the Orlando Magic.

Nicolas Batum

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    Nicolas Batum is about to receive a serious pay day from either the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Portland Trail Blazers.

    The 23-year-old restricted free agent has agreed to a four-year, $45-50 million deal (via espn.com) with the Timberwolves, and according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, he prefers to play for the T-Wolves despite the Blazers willingness to match the offer.

    Batum posted career highs in points, rebounds, blocks and steals last year, but the early part of his career has been plagued by inconsistency.

    Having gone through stretches on both ends of the floor during which he seemingly disappears, Batum has rarely shown greatness, despite the potential that his talent suggests.

    Aggressiveness has been a question mark to this point, and it will be interesting to see if he can live up to the huge expectations that come with such a big-time contract.

Brandon Roy

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    Brandon Roy should prove to be either a fantastic pickup for the Minnesota Timberwolves or a complete bust.

    If his knees are healthy and he's able to play at a high level, he just might remind people of the three-time All-Star that played for the Portland Trail Blazers in the not-so-distant past.

    While Roy's knees are going to be a concern wherever he plays, the 27-year-old guard and the Timberwolves aren't exactly a match made in Basketball Heaven—even if he's healthy.

    In Portland, Roy thrived because of Nate McMillan's slow-it-down offensive system.

    Roy plays one of the slowest, most methodical style of basketball you'll ever see, and it's questionable how well he'll fit in with the team that ran the fourth-highest pace in the NBA last year.

    Darren Wolfson of 1500espn.com reports that the two-year, $10.4 million deal is not guaranteed in the second year—which is a smart move by a Timberwolves organization that knows it's taking a risk in signing Roy this season.

O.J. Mayo

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    O.J. Mayo's talent has never been a problem.

    His skills are versatile, as he can play the point guard or shooting guard spots, but a lack of production and off-court problems (via aolnews.com) have plagued the 24-year-old up to this point.

    Mayo put up good numbers his rookie season, but he has seen a statistical decline ever since.

    If he can land on a disciplined squad with veteran influence, he might be able to crack the starting lineup and give the kind of production you'd like to see.

    The four-year guard may just need a change of scenery, but having underperformed throughout his NBA career, his new contract will be based mostly on talent and potential, making him a big-time question mark moving forward.

Omer Asik

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    As reported earlier this month by ESPN's Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets have come to an agreement with center Omar Asik that is worth $25.1 million over the next three seasons.

    Having a true seven-footer in your rotation is a great tool to have, but that's a lot of money for a 26-year-old backup who has averaged just 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds throughout his career.

    Asik's rebounding numbers are more than solid considering his limited playing time, but you have to wonder if that will forever be the extent of his game.

    Being a great rebounder is a way to make a living in the NBA, but with a deal worth $15 million in its final year, Asik will further help his team if he develops any semblance of an offensive game.

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