NBA Free Agency 2012: 6 Free Agents Teams Were Glad to See Leave

Ben Leibowitz@BenLeboCorrespondent IIIJuly 13, 2012

NBA Free Agency 2012: 6 Free Agents Teams Were Glad to See Leave

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    Good riddance.

    It's not only a Green Day song, it's also how some NBA teams feel when players from their previous roster leave for a new city during the offseason.

    Some NBA players wear out their welcome with their previous team. Others have diminishing skill sets out on the court. A few players even have both of these factors working against them.

    Often times when this is the case, the teams they were with previously usually aren't too beat up at the fact that they'll have to play against these athletes the following season.

    Here are six NBA free agents who won't be missed as they clean out their lockers and move to a new squad.

6. Jason Kidd

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    Previous Team: Dallas Mavericks

    New Team: New York Knicks

    Jason Kidd is an NBA legend and a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Even so, it's doubtful the Mavericks and Mark Cuban are bummed out to see him leave.

    In his prime, Kidd could fill up the stat sheet. His 107 career triple-doubles ranks him third all-time behind Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138).

    However, last season Kidd never notched a triple-double, which up until this year seemed like a guaranteed occurrence for the point guard at least once per year.

    Kidd's 6.2 points, 5.5 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game last season were all career lows. In addition, his 36.3 percent field goal shooting was well below his career average of 40.1 percent.

    The now 39-year-old Kidd is on an evident decline and conceivably just a year or two away from retirement.

    The Mavs desperately need to insert some youth into their rotation, so losing a guy who's pushing 40 years old and can't guard his own shadow isn't a huge loss.

    Kidd's absence next year will open up playing time for Rodrigue Beaubois and rookie guard Jared Cunningham in Dallas.

5. Michael Beasley

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    Previous Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

    New Team: Phoenix Suns

    Michael Beasley has had a tumultuous career thus far in the NBA. Although the former No. 2 overall pick has had some high points (namely averaging 19.2 points for the T-Wolves during the 2010-2011 season), he's also had more than his fair share of lows (including some injury troubles).

    The Timberwolves appeared poised to part ways with the former Kansas State star even before they acquired Chase Budinger from the Houston Rockets prior to this year's NBA draft. That move was evidently the one that made Beasley's departure a certainty.

    Minnesota has a lot of young, talented players on its current roster. Beasley was simply the odd man out of that mix.

    Last year's second overall pick in the draft, Derrick Williams out of the University of Arizona, will be a player to watch next season.

    Williams played well last season in limited time, but with Beasley out of the way, D-Will should rocket up the depth chart and embrace a larger role beside Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.

    Both Beasley and Williams are young talents, but there's nothing wrong with opening a spot for a guy with as much potential as D-Will.

    If nothing else, Williams should provide some much needed consistency when compared with Beasley, who, to this point in his career, is an enigma.

4. Hasheem Thabeet

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    Previous Team: Portland Trail Blazers

    New Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hasheem Thabeet came over to the Portland Trail Blazers via the Marcus Camby trade in an effort to cut salary.

    Thabeet was in the final year of his contract and opted to sign a two-year deal with the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder this summer.

    The 7'3" skyscraper of a center has been the definition of a draft bust up to this point in his career.

    Although Thabeet is now 25 years old, he's still extremely raw skill-wise, especially on the offensive end of the court.

    The Trail Blazers decided to draft Meyers Leonard, a 7'1" center out of Illinois, with the 11th overall pick. This choice made Thabeet expendable in Portland (if he wasn't already).

    Leonard has a long way to go to embrace his lofty potential, but he's a more polished offensive player right now than Thabeet is after three NBA seasons.

    The last thing Trail Blazers fans need on the roster at this point is another draft bust who can actually stay on the floor. That's just salt in the wounds following the Greg Oden saga.

3. Aaron Brooks

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    Previous Team: Phoenix Suns, Guangdong Southern Tigers (China)

    New Team: TBD

    We don't yet know what team Aaron Brooks will play for next season, but if he ends up re-signing with the Phoenix Suns I'll eat my shirt.

    Brooks originally joined the Suns following a trade that sent Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to the Houston Rockets.

    Before last season, Brooks signed a contract during the NBA lockout to play overseas with the Guangdong Southern Tigers team in China. Guangdong made the finals, but lost to the Beijing Ducks, led by former Sun Stephon Marbury.

    Although other players who chose to play overseas during the lockout-shortened year, like J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler, opted to return to the NBA mid-season, Brooks did not make a return to the Suns.

    The Suns had a logjam at point guard with Steve Nash, Sebastian Telfair and Ronnie Price, and decided to stick with those three instead of complicating matters with a Brooks return.

    The Suns still held the rights to Brooks this summer, and he was set to be a restricted free agent.

    However, Phoenix signed Dragic to a four-year, $34 million deal and withdrew their qualifying offer to Brooks, making him an unrestricted free agent, free to sign anywhere he pleases.

    Suns' management messed up badly in the deal that brought Brooks to Phoenix, but they were able to bandage some of those wounds by locking up Dragic and, seemingly, parting ways with Brooks.

2. Raymond Felton

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    Previous Team: Portland Trail Blazers

    New Team: New York Knicks

    Raymond Felton had a painfully disappointing year with the Portland Trail Blazers last season, but perhaps that was to be expected.

    Felton experienced his best NBA season by far the year before while running the up-tempo, run-and-gun offense under offensive guru Mike D'Antoni in New York.

    As the Knicks' starting point guard during the 2010-2011 season, Felton averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game, joining Steve Nash, Chris Duhon and Jeremy Lin on the list of point guards who have had their finest moments under D'Antoni's offensive system.

    With the Trail Blazers last season, he averaged 11.4 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.

    Felton's numbers took a big hit across the board as he played arguably his worst season as a professional.

    Portland will move on from Felton quickly with the No. 6 overall pick in this year's draft, Damian Lillard.

    On all accounts, I think the Trail Blazers will be happy to see Felton go to a situation better for both parties involved.

1. Jamal Crawford

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    Previous Team: Portland Trail Blazers

    New Team: Los Angeles Clippers

    It could be argued that the Portland Trail Blazers are happier to see Raymond Felton leave town, but at least Felton handled himself with class while a member of the team.

    The same can't be said for Jamal Crawford, who not only played his worst basketball since 2003 while in Portland, but he also blatantly disrespected the franchise.

    According to a tweet by Jon Bloom, referenced in this article by Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports, Crawford openly told Phoenix Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry, as well as Suns' announcer/former player Eddie Johnson, that he needed to play in Phoenix next season.

    Crawford did this while wearing a Trail Blazers uniform just minutes before tip-off.

    It seemed pretty clear from his play that Crawford was unhappy with his situation in Portland. Even so, openly telling an opposing coach that you need to play for him next year simply isn't professional.

    In addition, Crawford's stats have been on a steady decline for the past five seasons. I can't imagine the Trail Blazers are upset to see him go. In fact, it's probably fair to say that parting ways with the shooting guard was the best case scenario.