NBA Free Agency 2012: Red Flags for Available Free Agents

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2012

NBA Free Agency 2012: Red Flags for Available Free Agents

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    Now that the NBA free-agent crop is thinning out and the top targets are off the board, the challenge for general managers is to sort through the remainder and weigh the good and bad for each player.

    A lot of the remaining free agents come with risks. Rolling the dice and crapping out on particular free agents can ultimately turn a contender into a pretender.

    However, there are warning signs surrounding some of the available free agents. It could be production, off-the-court problems, age, etc.

    With that being said, here's a look at some of the remaining free agents on the block. Teams need to be very careful with these guys, as they have red flags all over them.

Gilbert Arenas

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    The days of Arenas being an NBA superstar are over, and there's a red flag around him because some teams may still view him as such.

    He's now 30 years old, he's had a ton of injuries which have impacted his effectiveness and he's had enough off-the-court issues to make teams think twice about signing him.

    Last season, Arenas had to wait until March to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, and he wasn't very productive, averaging only 4.2 points in a little over 12 minutes of action per night.

Ramon Sessions

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    Sessions has proved throughout his career that he's a very nice guard coming off the bench. He can give a team energy and a decent bit of production.

    For a stretch, he also showed that he could run the Lakers' offense effectively.

    But Sessions was exposed in the playoffs, especially on the defensive end of the floor. In addition, in 12 playoff games, Sessions shot only 37.7 percent from the floor and 16 percent from behind the arc.

    That's a big red flag right there.

    Teams must decide what player they are getting, but more importantly, they have to determine whether Sessions is capable of being a starting point guard for an 82-game season.

Kwame Brown

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    NBA general managers love size and players that have potential. Brown qualifies in both categories.

    But when will teams stop throwing money at this guy?

    It's insane that a player like Brown has earned $58.2 million in his 11-year NBA career. For that money, he's rewarded several different teams by posting career averages of 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

    It's a red flag for teams to take a chance on former potential, thinking they can catch lightning in a bottle.

    But some teams never learn.

O.J. Mayo

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    Mayo's talent has never been questioned, and he's been productive, averaging 15.2 points per game in four years in Memphis.

    However, he's had his off-the-court issues, dating back to his recruitment to USC. Mayo has had his share of problems in the NBA as well, like getting into a fight with Memphis teammate Tony Allen in 2011.

    You also have to be a little wary of a player who will put winning aside in order to seek a higher contract, as Mayo has said he's not interested in signing for the mid-level exception and would seek a much larger deal.

    I will never knock a player for trying to make as much money as possible, but it is something that certainly raises some red flags.

Delonte West

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    West has plenty of talent—and plenty of off-the-court issues.

    There was a gun possession charge that he accrued during a traffic stop.

    In addition, West suffers from depression and mood disorders.

    It's nice that West has admitted those problems and has worked very hard on dealing with them, but that doesn't mean that NBA general managers won't think twice about signing him. 

JaVale McGee

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    McGee really showed some heart matching up against the Lakers' Andrew Bynum in the playoffs, but how far is he removed from all of the boneheaded and selfish plays he made during the year in Washington?

    There's a reason Washington traded him, and it has nothing to do with his talents (see video).

    McGee is a restricted free agent and will end up getting big money because of his size and potential, but the way he acted on the court in Washington should be enough to raise some red flags.

    He's a guy teams need to be very careful with before throwing a ton of money his way.