NBA Rumors: Breaking Down Speculation Surrounding Top Remaining Free Agents

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2012

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 12:  Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Most of the elite NBA free agents may already be off the market, but there are still several guys available who would be beneficial to teams with title aspirations or those who are trying to build a winning attitude. It isn't likely that anyone is going to find somebody who is going to play big minutes at this juncture, but there are role players galore.

Many teams still have spots to fill on their respective rosters, so the free-agent frenzy is far from over. In many ways, what teams do in the next few weeks will have a huge impact on how they fare in the upcoming season as depth is of the utmost importance in the NBA.

Here are the latest rumors and buzz surrounding three of the top remaining free agents regarding where they might land and when they might sign.


Andrei Kirilenko

Former Utah Jazz All-Star forward Andrei Kirilenko didn't play in the NBA last season, but he may be entertaining the thought of making a return.

Kirilenko starred in his native Russia last season for CSKA Moscow, and while the thought is that he is likely to remain in the Euroleague, the Brooklyn Nets are also an option, according to Lefteris Moutis of Kirilenko named both Moscow and Brooklyn as potential destinations and has yet to make an official decision.

While he is likely happy to be back home, perhaps Kirilenko will be swayed to play for the Nets by Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The mogul has gone to great lengths to improve his team as he re-signed Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries while trading for Joe Johnson.

Kirilenko is well known for his versatile style of play as he can score, pass and play spectacular defense. He would be a great sixth man for Brooklyn and could help the team become a true contender in the Eastern Conference.


Delonte West

Despite losing out on the Deron Williams sweepstakes and losing both Jason Kidd and Jason Terry in free agency, the Dallas Mavericks have made some solid improvements this offseason. They may have secured three new starters and a top-notch bench player as they signed Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo and Elton Brand, and traded for point guard Darren Collison.

In order to round out the positive offseason, though, the Mavs would like to bring back combo guard Delonte West, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

In order to sign him, the Mavs would likely have to use their $2.5 million exception as they are already over the salary cap. It may be worth it, though, as he could be a key backup to both Mayo and Collison.

West averaged nearly 10 points and over three assists per game as a top reserve for Dallas last season and would probably play a similar role in 2012-13. West reportedly has some other offers on the table, but if the money is comparable then Dallas probably gives West the best chance to win and play important minutes. 


Ben Wallace

It doesn't appear as though the Detroit Pistons are anywhere near a playoff team, but they could still benefit from bringing back veteran center Ben Wallace.

According to Dave Hogg of FOXSports Detroit, many within the organization are hoping to have Big Ben for another season so he can mentor first-round pick Andre Drummond. The UConn product is a talented big man, but he could use a hard-working guy with experience such as Wallace to show him the ropes.

The Pistons already have a pretty full roster, but Wallace's tutelage could truly be invaluable to Drummond's development. There may be a few other teams interested in Wallace as he is a strong rebounder and shot blocker, but he has played in Detroit for the vast majority of his career and would probably be most comfortable there.

Whether they sign Wallace or not, the Pistons aren't going to make the playoffs, but bringing him back makes a lot of sense.


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