NBA Free Agents 2012: Best Remaining Options at Each Position
With all of the dust starting to settle around NBA free agency, there aren't a ton of solid options left on the market.
What remains are the leftovers, the second choices and, in some cases, the very few solid under-the-radar pickups. And just because nobody wanted to snatch them up within the first week of free agency doesn't mean they can't make a difference next season.
Here's a look at the best remaining options at each position.
PF: Carl Landry
There are a vast number of 3's and 4's still on the market, most of whom could realistically make a difference next year. Landry is the best of them. He's only 28 and is a former almost-first-rounder (he was the first pick of the second round in 2007), and he's coming off his strongest season since 2009-10.
In 41 games for the Hornets last year, he tallied 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds and shot over 50 percent from the floor. He could be a key contributor on both ends of the floor off the bench next season.
SF: Andrei Kirilenko
At 31, he's a bit older, but he is a former first-rounder (24th overall in 1999) who brings a lot of veteran experience to the table. He missed the entirety of 2011-12 when he opted to join CSKA Moscow during the strike-shortened season.
Now that he's no longer committed to Moscow because of an opt-out clause, he could be a solid pickup for a team in search of someone who can eat up minutes and provide some decent offense. The latest rumors, according to NBC Sports, claim the Timberwolves are the front-runners to land him. Yahoo! Sports reports that a two-year deal just needs to be finalized.
But you know what they say. A deal's not done till it's done.
C: Jermaine O'Neal
Full disclosure: There are barely any centers left in free agency who are worth taking a chance on. Competent centers are already hard enough to find; you have to figure that the ones that are still left standing at this point have something seriously wrong with them.
In the case of O'Neal, what's wrong with him is that he'll be 34 in October and he hasn't played since last February. Over parts of two seasons with the Celtics, he's been perilously hindered by injury and has played in just 49 games, making him an incredible gamble. Nobody wants to pay an aging center a big chunk of change to sit on the bench.
In his prime though, O'Neal was one of the best around. If he can miraculously get healthy, O'Neal can be a solid backup for a lot of NBA teams in desperate need of frontcourt depth.
Who's the most valuable FA among this crop?
SG: Carlos Delfino
He's only 29 and he's a former first-rounder. So why has nobody scooped him up yet?
Mostly because he's been incredibly inconsistent throughout the course of his seven-year career, and because he's only played a full 82 games twice. Still, he's worth a chance because he can play the 2 or the 3, and that versatility could be beneficial for a variety of teams looking to shore up their benches. Delfino can give you nearly 30 minutes per game and a guy who shoots 40 percent from the field. If the price tag isn't too high, he's definitely worth a gamble.
PG: Derek Fisher
A few months ago, it seemed like the Lakers might be the most logical landing spot for this aging point guard, mostly because Kobe Bryant reportedly wanted him back. But now, the Lakers have too many other higher priorities—and they have Steve Nash in the house—so Fisher is still on the market.
And although he'll be 38 when the 2012-13 season starts, he still wants to play. How effective he can be is the question. Last season, he ate up 20.4 minutes per game for the Thunder, and though his numbers weren't stellar (4.9 points, 1.3 assists, 1.6 turnovers), he can offer the kind of leadership that very few free agent point guards boast. Particularly on a young club without a lot of direction, he can be very useful in guiding the team.
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