Ranking 8 Best Remaining 2012 NBA Free Agents for Desperate Teams

Tom Firme@TFirmeAnalyst IISeptember 7, 2012

Ranking 8 Best Remaining 2012 NBA Free Agents for Desperate Teams

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    Teams that believe that all of the worthwhile free agents are off the market shouldn't despair. Several players who are capable of making a significant impact on a team are still available. Some defensive stoppers are sitting by their phones, while some instant scorers are hoping for a call.

    Many of the players waiting to be signed have several years of experience. Derek Fisher, who won five rings with the Los Angeles Lakers, is available. Kenyon Martin, who has 100 playoff games under his belt, is there for the taking.

    A few less well-known names, such as Jannero Pargo, are worth a look.

    Following is a ranking of the remaining free agents most worth a contract with less than four weeks left before training camps officially begin.

8. Derek Fisher

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    Derek Fisher is years past his prime and doesn’t have much left in his tank. He averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 assists per game. He shot 37.1 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three-point range last season, both of which were the second worst figures in his career.

    However, Fisher continues to stand as a solid leader off the bench. He’s a reliable leader as a backup point guard.

    The 38-year-old showed in the playoffs that he can step up when needed. He dropped 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. He scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

    Fisher is getting looks from a few teams. The Brooklyn Nets showed interest in Fisher, according to the New York Times.

7. Jannero Pargo

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    One guy who flies way under the radar could be a great addition to a team's bench. Jannero Pargo is a keen scorer off the bench. At age 32, Pargo shot a career-high 41.5 percent from the field while averaging 5.6 points in 13.2 minutes per game. He also shot 38.4 percent from three-point range.

    Pargo has always been one to score quickly off the bench, albeit inefficiently. He averages 15.2 points per 36 minutes on his career. His 103 points per 100 possessions last season was much better than his career rate of 96 points per 100 possessions.

    A team could grab a nice scoring punch for its bench by signing Pargo. He's given some thought to re-signing with the Hawks, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

6. Gilbert Arenas

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    Gilbert Arenas is letting the world know that he wants to have another year of relevance in the NBA. According to Hoopsworld, Arenas is "slimmed down" and "healthy."

    He'll have to show it when he tries to jump on with a team. Arenas struggled with injury during his stint with the Memphis Grizzlies last season. He had a torn ligament in his finger in April.

    Arenas had a few hot performances for the Grizz this spring. He was a big part of Memphis' win against the Miami Heat, knocking down four of five three-pointers. A day later, he hit three of five three-pointers en route to 14 points in a win against the Dallas Mavericks.

    Arenas faded at the end of the regular season due to injury. In the playoffs, he was buried in the Memphis bench, playing 22 minutes in six games.

    He'll try to bounce back and pose a significant scoring threat off the bench this season.

5. Josh Howard

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    Josh Howard is looking to extend his career with additional work coming off a team's bench. Howard was a decent scorer when he was healthy, averaging 8.7 points in 23 minutes per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the field. He scored in double figures in 21 of 43 games.

    Teams are going to be wondering whether he'll be able to stay healthy for a large portion of the season. He played 98 of 230 possible games in the last three seasons.

    He also hasn't been a spot-on shooter in the last three seasons. He shot 39.4 percent in the last three seasons. In 2009-10, he shot 40.5 percent from the field. In 2010-11, he shot a miserable 35.8 percent from the field.

    The nine-year veteran has received attention from the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks and has worked out with the Charlotte Bobcats, as Marc Spears of Yahoo!Sports tweeted.

4. Matt Barnes

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    Matt Barnes quietly had a nice season in 2011-12. Barnes averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in just 22.3 minutes per game. He maintained health better than he did in 2010-11, playing 63 games, 10 more than he did in 2010-11.

    Barnes’ metrics were pleasing. He produced 112 points per 100 possessions. While he averaged less than a block and a steal per game, Barnes showed that he could make a significant impact on defense by allowing 103 points per 100 possessions. He had an 18.3 percent defensive rebounding rate.

    The 32-year-old still has one good year left in him. He’ll be able to hit some shots while crashing the boards and helping make stops on the defensive end. Barnes remains a swingman who can be a good aid off the bench.

    According to CBSSports.com, the Los Angeles Lakers are still leaving the possibility of re-upping him open.

3. Kenyon Martin

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    Kenyon Martin is a good option for teams looking for defensive help off the bench. He averaged 4.3 rebounds, a block and a steal. Also, he allowed a nice 102 points per 100 possessions. His defense was strong in the playoffs. He blocked 1.7 shots per game in 11 playoff game and pulled down 3.2 boards per game.

    That made up for his dismal offensive play (5.2 PPG, 44.1% FG, and 37% FT).

    Martin is receiving some calls. According to Sports Illustrated, the Lakers and Nets are interested in him.

    Martin could make a difference on defense and perhaps be a good helper in the playoffs.

2. Michael Redd

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    Michael Redd was a risky signing by the Phoenix Suns last season, but he gave them a good return. Redd averaged 8.2 points in just 15.1 minutes per game. That comes out to a remarkable 19.5 points per 36 minutes. Redd scored in double figures 19 times, including three games in which he scored 20 points or more.

    Redd showed a renewed aggression, posting a 26.3 percent usage rate.

    He wasn’t very accurate, hitting 40 percent from the field.

    The 33-year-old is far removed from the days when he’d drop tons of points night after night as a Milwaukee Buck. However, he still can flash a bit of quickness and knock down some shots while coming off the bench.

1. Leandro Barbosa

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    The most surprising player to still be standing on the roadside waiting for a team to pick him up is Leandro Barbosa. Barbosa's season was decent overall. He averaged 12.2 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting in 42 games for the Toronto Raptors before being traded to the Indiana Pacers.

    After the trade, Barbosa averaged 8.9 points in 19.8 minutes per game while shooting just 39.9 percent from the field despite knocking down threes at a brilliant 42.4 percent clip.

    Barbosa redeemed himself to some extent this summer by averaging 16.9 points per game for Brazil in the Olympic Games.

    At age 29, Barbosa is in the prime of his career. He's a smart player. His ability to drive quickly to the basket and score has never waned.

    The Lakers showed interest in the nine-year veteran during the London Games, according to Yahoo! Sports.