NBA Rumors: The Latest Word for the Top Free Agent at Each Position
Training camps are well underway, but a handful of capable role players remain unsigned.
Injuries cannot be predicted, so it is imperative that each team has sufficient depth at every position.
Even if teams are able to stay injury free, starters still need to rest, and the majority of benches could use an upgrade.
The remaining free agents are waiting for an opportunity, which could come via an injury or the poor play of players already on NBA rosters.
The veterans that remain unsigned are in a tough spot because teams with lower expectations are better off playing younger players that give them a chance to become a better team in the future.
Each player on this list has found a fair amount of success in their career and has the experience that GMs like to see when signing players in time-sensitive situations.
Point Guard Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher won five titles as a member of the Los Angels Lakers and is currently the president of the NBA Player's Association. That said, Fisher isn't half the player that he used to be, and it isn't unreasonable to think that he may retire within the next year.
While Fisher has had an excellent career and has a bright future ahead of him when his playing career is over, he hasn't been signed by a team as the preseason starts to gain steam.
At age 38, Fisher is a liability on defense and has lost the burst that allowed him to get to the rim earlier in his career.
Fisher will be nothing more than an average backup point guard at this point, but his leadership and experience make him the best point guard that is still on the market.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, Fisher could be an option for the Lakers. I don't see this happening because the Lakers already have Chris Duhon and Steve Blake to back up Steve Nash.
While Duhon and Blake leave a lot to be desired, Fisher isn't necessarily a superior option at this point in his career.
Fisher is in the final stage of his NBA career, and it appears as if he is clinging to the hope that he may be able to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy one more time before retiring.
Shooting Guard Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Barbosa is without a doubt the best shooting guard on the open market, but there hasn't been many rumors involving the nine-year veteran since training camps got underway.
Over the span of his career, Barbosa has averaged 11.5 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 46.1 percent from the floor.
At this point, it doesn't appear as if Barbosa's projected production is what has kept him from finding a new team. Rather, Barbosa doesn't want to play for the veteran's minimum and is willing to wait until an opportunity that he favors presents itself.
According to a translation of a UOL Esporte interview by Hoopshype.com, Barbosa claimed that he was being courted by the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers' signing of Jodie Meeks all but ensured the Barbosa won't be playing in L.A. this season.
Barbosa hasn't signed a contract with an overseas team, but that may be in the cards if he is unable to secure a contract with an NBA team once the regular season gets underway.
Small Forward Mickael Pietrus
Mickael Pietrus has been a valuable role player on teams that have had postseason success.
When the Orlando Magic made a run to the 2009 NBA Finals, Pietrus was one of their best wing defenders.
Pietrus was also a member of the Boston Celtics team that pushed the Miami Heat to seven games during the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.
As he has aged, Pietrus has become a less effective defender, which has greatly hurt his value on the open market.
Over the span of his NBA career, Pietrus has averaged 8.4 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 35.7 percent from behind the arc.
Throughout his time in the NBA, Pietrus has been unable to make any substantial improvements on the offensive end of the court. Since his play on defense no longer guarantees him a roster spot, it is not a surprise to see him searching for work while preseason games are being played.
Hoopshype.com translated an article from Basketsession.com, and rumors started circulating about Pietrus potentially playing in China.
If Pietrus is unwilling to accept the veteran's minimum, then he will probably be playing overseas this season.
Power Forward Kenyon Martin
Kenyon Martin has been known as a ferocious defender and adequate rebounder for the better part of a decade. While strong interior defense and the ability to clean up the boards are still valued in the NBA, Martin's age and poor offensive production has made it hard for him to find a new team.
Martin is 34 years old and is entering the final stage of his career, so it doesn't make sense for non-contenders to sign him.
If Martin is going to find a job in the NBA this season, it is likely to be on a team that has a chance to make a run in the playoffs.
According to Sam Amick of SI.com, there have been rumors surrounding Martin and the Boston Celtics. Amick also mentions that Martin may wait until the All-Star break to find a team, and if that doesn't work, he may call it a career.
Martin has had a very productive career in the NBA, but his diminishing offensive game will cause him to retire while he still has gas left in the tank.
Even if he finds his way onto a roster, Martin's tenure as an NBA player is almost finished.
Center Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson is known for his nickname "Birdman" and the myriad of tattoos that decorate his body.
While the tattoos cause Anderson to stand out, it has been his defensive intensity and ability to block shots that has allowed him to play in the NBA for a decade.
During the lockout-shortened season, Anderson was able to block 1.4 shots per game while playing just 15.2 minutes per game.
Anderson could be a good addition for teams that lack interior defense, as he can produce a spark on the defensive end of the court.
According to Jared Zwerling of ESPN.com, Anderson is on the radar of the New York Knicks. It would be a shock to see Anderson end up on the Knicks because they completed a sign-and-trade for Marcus Camby during the offseason.
Anderson won't do much on the offensive end, but his play on defense could entice a team that is struggling on defense to sign him as the seasons progresses.