NBA Free Agents 2012: Predicting Where Remaining Top Names Will Land
This summer has been a hectic one for the NBA and teams active in free agency.
With several big name players already inking deals and switching teams, there are still a handful of talented players who don't know for sure where they will be suiting up next year.
While there may not be any sure-fire superstars left on the free-agency wire, there are still quality players that can make an impact.
Let's take a look at ten players in particular and where they may be playing in the upcoming NBA season.
10. Raymond Felton, PG, UFA
UPDATE: Felton has reportedly been traded to the Knicks, along with Kurt Thomas.
Felton has been generating a decent amount of interest in the league from teams looking for point guard depth.
He is a decent point guard who can facilitate an offense while adding his own scoring punch. Felton isn't the most efficient shooter, however, as he averages a career percentage of just 41.2 percent.
The Knicks were reportedly interested in Felton as of last week, but that may have changed with the signing of Jason Kidd.
With the Knicks most likely out of the race for Felton, he may find some interest in a team like Dallas who could use more backcourt depth behind the recently acquired Darren Collison.
Houston might be an interesting fit as well since Goran Dragic is most likely on his way out and Kyle Lowry was recently dealt to Toronto.
However, the final landing spot I see for Felton will be in Dallas where they have lost a lot in free agency already.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks
9. Leandro Barbosa, SG, UFA
The Brazilian shooting guard has shown his scoring prowess during his nine-year NBA career, but he still finds himself without a team.
A former Sixth Man of the Year, Barbosa is capable of providing a scoring punch off the bench for a team and can hold his own on defense thanks to his length and speed.
He might find some interest from the Atlanta Hawks, who went on a salary cap-slashing trade spree and are in need of depth at the guard positions.
Barbosa would be a great mentor for rookie John Jenkins, who may benefit from having a veteran to share minutes with next season.
If he doesn't demand too much in a contract, I can see Barbosa suiting up for Atlanta next season.
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks
8. Aaron Brooks, PG, UFA
After spending the NBA lockout and the 2011-2012 season in China, Brooks is now a free agent looking to pick up where he left off in America.
Brooks found some moderate success in his time playing for Houston, averaging as much as 19.6 points per game one season. However, he was dealt to Phoenix in 2011 and finished the season playing limited minutes off the bench.
He is still only 27 and could prove to be worthy of a starting job which means he should have some interested teams calling him in the next few weeks. Of these teams, I see his former home of Houston giving him a call since they have a hole to fill at their point guard spot.
Prediction: Houston Rockets
7. Robin Lopez, C, RFA
While his brother Brook just got a nice deal from the Nets, Robin is still a restricted free agent.
Lopez is a good option for a team needing younger legs at their big-man position, and he could add some quality depth. Though he is restricted, other teams may look to put a high offer on the table for Lopez so that the Suns would decline to match.
One team that has confirmed interest in Lopez is the Portland Trailblazers, who have a definite need at their center spot. Rookie center Meyers Leonard would benefit from having Lopez to play with and they could form a nice, young center tandem in Portland.
I can see Portland pursuing Lopez and using their cap space to overpay, if necessary, to steal him away from the Suns.
Prediction: Portland Trailblazers
6. Anthony Randolph, PF, UFA
Entering into his fifth season at just age 22, Randolph may still be only scratching the surface to his potential as an NBA player.
The 6'11" power forward has shown his worth when given minutes on the court but didn't seem to fit in well in Minnesota's rotation. He isn't a dominant rebounder, but he can score well in the post and uses his ridiculous athleticism to his advantage.
His youth could certainly attract teams looking to rebuild with a young core, and it could also garner him a long-term, lucrative deal.
One team that could use his help at power forward is the Atlanta Hawks who will inevitably be parting ways with their current starter Josh Smith. Randolph could get the minutes he wants there and would make a nice front court duo with center Al Horford.
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks
5. JaVale McGee, C, RFA
He's known as being a bonehead on the court at times, but for what he lacks in his mental capacity of the game, McGee makes up for with his athletic plays.
Centers are at a premium in the NBA, and McGee is still only 24 years old with plenty of room to grow. He is a good shot blocker and rebounder who scores well in the post with his length. The Nuggets dealt for him last season in exchange for their much more reliable starter Nene.
By doing this, the Nuggets were instilling at least a little faith that McGee could possibly be the center of their future and that they would be able to keep him long-term.
I also see this as being the case, and I believe that the Nuggets will make McGee a good enough offer for him to stay in Denver.
Prediction: Denver Nuggets
4. Courtney Lee, SG, UFA
One player who is flying under the radar on the free-agent market is Courtney Lee.
While his numbers don't jump out at you (11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), Lee is a quality shooting guard that can give any team a good boost.
He is just 26 years old, but he has experience playing as a starter and off the bench. Though, he may find teams more interested in bringing him off the bench rather than getting big minutes.
Regardless, there will be interest for Lee and teams with needs for depth in the backcourt will be giving him a good look. One team to note is the Grizzlies, who will most likely be saying goodbye to their own young shooting guard in O.J. Mayo. Since Tony Allen isn't much of a scoring threat, Lee would complement him nicely.
Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies
3. Carl Landry, PF, UFA
The 6'9" big man from Purdue is still an unrestricted free agent, but I have a feeling that he may be close to finding a job.
Though a bit undersized at his position, Landry has proven he can still score effectively using a combination of post moves and a nice shooting touch. He's a versatile big man who can spread the floor for a team and can rebound at a decent rate.
Coming off a one-year deal with the Hornets, Landry is free to sign where he pleases. Teams that could use his services include the Golden State Warriors, who seem to be making the biggest play for Landry.
He would fit well in Oakland as a nice backup to David Lee and would add some great depth to the front court. The Warriors do have some money to work with in free agency, and they could very well use it to sign Landry to a multi-year deal.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors
2. Kris Humphries, PF, UFA
The former husband of Kim Kardashian is looking to move forward from the drama of last season and get back to playing basketball at a high level.
While many casual fans may hate Humphries for his short-lived celebrity marriage, it doesn't take away the fact that he is a very productive power forward.
In his last two seasons for the Nets, K-Hump has averaged a double-double in points and rebounding, putting up 13.8 points and 11 rebounds per contest last season. He would be a nice starting power forward in the Nets current core and would do well alongside Brook Lopez, who isn't such a great rebounder himself.
While there has been talk of Humphries being involved in a Dwight Howard deal, the talks of that deal are dead with the Nets, and now Brooklyn may be looking to bring Humphries back. If they can offer him the right amount of money, I think he would certainly like to play alongside the new-look Nets after the acquisition of Joe Johnson and the re-signings of Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams.
Prediction: Brooklyn Nets
1. O.J. Mayo, SG, UFA
In terms of pure potential and upside, O.J. Mayo might have the most out of the remaining pool of free agents.
The 24-year-old guard from USC hasn't fulfilled that potential during his four years in Memphis, and they are looking to move on after seeing a steady decrease in playing time from his successful rookie season.
Though things may have gone sour with the Grizzlies, a fresh start and change of scenery would really benefit Mayo, who has a good enough skill set to be a starter right away. One potential suitor could be the Phoenix Suns if their offer to Eric Gordon ends up getting matched by the New Orleans Hornets.
Mayo could become the go-to scorer almost immediately on the Suns, who lack much of a core after the departure of Steve Nash this offseason.
Without much other talent on their roster, I expect the Suns to make a hard push for Mayo if and when the Hornets match the offer made to Eric Gordon.
Prediction: Phoenix Suns
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