2012 NBA Free Agency: Who's Left?

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2012 NBA Free Agency: Who's Left?
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The initial waves of the NBA's free-agent financing have come and gone, leaving a few handfuls of qualified candidates unpaid and unsigned while teams around the league take stock of what they have and what's needed.

It's a familiar process to those who pay attention to the ebbs and flows of the NBA offseason; teams largely don't enter free agency with the intent to use their cap space and cap exceptions on role players alone, and thus when the A- and B-list options dry up, general managers are left to regroup and see what else is available.

This time of the year is home to ridiculous mid-level exception signings and bargain-bin finds alike, given the divergence between desperate teams in need of an acquisition of some kind and the more patient franchises who have merely been biding their time on a final rotation piece.

With the full scope of that market in mind, here's a closer look at some of notables remaining in the free-agent pool:

 

Delonte West

West's off-court impact is, in many cases, either overstated or misunderstood. As a member of last season's Dallas Mavericks, for example, West actually proved to be a positive influence on a sometimes grumpy locker room—even if the same may not have been true had he been signed by a club with a less stable culture.

In the right setting, West is a tremendous perimeter defender and highly useful both with the ball in his hands (as a dribble penetrator) and as a complementary cutter/shooter. There honestly aren't many holes in his game, and considering the apparent lack of market for his services, it's surprising that one of the savvier clubs around hasn't locked West down for a paltry sum.

 

Joel Przybilla

It's hard to definitively say what Przybilla is capable of at this point. The 32-year-old played in just 27 games last season with some incredibly mixed results. Even with all that in mind, he's still probably the best defensive big man on the market and need not be guaranteed a particular role or slot of playing time.

Przybilla just comes in and does work. The only question is if his level of play is high enough to warrant any kind of consistent minutes at this juncture and if his roster spot might be better served on a developing player rather than an oft-injured center.

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Brandon Rush (RFA)

The Warriors seem relatively committed to Rush, making his inclusion on this list a bit of a moot point. Still, he's technically on the market, and thus available (in a sense) to all teams in need of a smart, sweet-shooting wing player who makes an impact without making mistakes. Know any of those?

 

Ronnie Brewer

The lack of a market for Brewer's services is confusing to say the least. It's likely attributable to his almost complete lack of a jump shot, but what Brewer lacks in range he makes up for in defensive ability and off-ball cutting.

The flex offense served Brewer well in Utah, and though those days are long behind him, Brewer has built on the principles of movement that made him so successful in that system. Creative head coaches can find ways to manage a lack of shooting from one position or another, and yet no team has volunteered to pick up Ronnie Brewer thus far this offseason.

 

C.J. Miles

Miles may seem like a finished product, but that's more a factor of how long he's been in the league than anything else. He's a 25-year-old with seven years of NBA experience, and while his last few seasons have offered a confusing precedent, Miles nonetheless offers plenty of promise through versatility alone.

He doesn't yet do anything at a particularly notable rate, but in terms of fill-in-the-gaps wings, he's a nice, affordable option.

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Carlos Delfino

I suspect the Olympics will boost Delfino's stock pretty substantially, regardless of where Argentina winds up in the final standings. He's simply that useful of a player, and his role for the Argentinians highlights his multifaceted utility.

He'll be a great get wherever he winds up stateside, but the next month or so should make for a pretty convenient audition.

 

Lou Amundson

Amundson doesn't score much, isn't a particularly good defender and really doesn't provide much benefit at all on the offensive end. He simply offers pure energy and pure rebounding, and whichever team inevitably signs him will likely do so on the strength of his strong per-minute rebound averages.

There's a need for specialists of all varieties, and though consistently hitting the boards may not be as attractive an attribute as consistently connecting on three-point attempts, it can be just as valuable in the context of the right lineup.

 

Carl Landry

Likely the best overall player left on the free-agent board at this point, but Landry comes at a higher price than most. That's a shame, because he would be perfect for a low-cost reserve scoring role for a winning team.

He's too flawed to play huge minutes on a contending club, but surround him with capable defenders and rebounders, and Landry's revealed to be the valuable contributor that he is.

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