NBA Free Agents 2012: Available Veterans That Would Still Help Contenders
Eddy Curry is not getting the respect he deserves. The former fourth-pick overall in the 2011 NBA Draft got himself, and his career, into a bad spot with a lack of focus and discipline.
But he worked hard to get back in shape.
Understandably, he didn't play much for the Miami Heat last year, but I think he proved enough to get a look as a third big man for a team. Curry's weight had ballooned through the low parts of his career, but he was visibly leaner last season.
He is one of a handful of veteran free-agents who still don't have a team.
Teams like Oklahoma City and Indiana could benefit from having Curry on their roster. He's always been an effective scorer in the post, He's never averaged less than 13 points per game in a season where he's started at least 50 games.
He won't get those types of minutes for a contender, but if he's in shape, he could provide a contribution off the bench. This would especially be the case in the postseason.
Curry has been through a lot, and I think he's serious about making the most of the rest of his career. He's only 29 years old, and he would be worth a low-cost contract.
Here are two other players still available that have some value:
Which of these players could provide the most value?
Yi's career has fallen off a bit since the 2009-2010 season. He started 51 games that year for the New Jersey Nets, and he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game.
He showed he has some game against Team USA in the Olympics. He and China were on the wrong side of a blowout, but Yi had 30 points in a losing effort.
Something tells me he just needs to find a fresh start. His performance in the Olympics should have grabbed the attention of at least one NBA general manager. He's a skilled seven-footer, and he's only 24 years old.
There is no way a guy like this, with proven NBA-success, doesn't deserve a look.
K-Mart still doesn't have a team. It seemed he might land in LA with the Lakers (per NBC Sports), but in light of the Dwight Howard deal things could be shaky. It's still feasible for him to join the Lake Show, and he could be a valuable low-post defender for them.
Martin always brings toughness and a defensive presence. For contenders like the Lakers, that is always a valuable skill set.
He'll find a job, and the rest of the league should hope that he doesn't land in LA. It would only make a very strong roster look even stronger.
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