NBA Free Agents 2012: Veterans Who Would Be Amazing Additions for Contenders
With the 2012-13 NBA season underway, there are a handful of big-name veterans still waiting by the phone for teams to call and offer them contracts.
For rebuilding teams, adding one-time stars can be useful in helping the development of young talent. For contenders, veteran supporting players can sometimes be difference-makers, and be key components to championship teams.
Now that the season has begun, here are a few of the available free agents that would be worthwhile additions to teams with championship aspirations:
No, Kenyon Martin isn't the All-Star that he once was with the New Jersey Nets a decade ago, but at 34, the power forward is still a useful depth player, and he proved last season that he still has some gas left in the tank.
Last spring, the former No. 1 overall pick was solid coming off the bench for the Clippers, playing over 17 minutes a night for L.A. during their two-round postseason run.
Now, with Martin still waiting on an NBA offer, there are a number of teams that would benefit from adding an experienced big-bodied forward like Martin.
Martin isn't the only former All-Star still on the market, as Josh Howard remains unsigned, and as the former Dallas Mavericks standout told The Washington Post earlier this week, he's eager to get back in the game.
“I’m just a surprise waiting to happen for anybody that picks me up,” Howard, a former Wizard, said in a recent telephone interview. “Of course, I am at the end of my career, as far as what they consider older guys, but I’ve got a lot left in the tank.”
On a contending team, Howard obviously wouldn't be the presence that he was during the Mavs' run to the 2006 NBA Finals, but he's more than capable of eating up minutes and putting up decent numbers coming off the bench.
Though he's apparently in China for a trial with the Shanghai Sharks, Gilbert Arenas would undoubtedly jump at the opportunity to resume his once-promising NBA career.
Just five years ago, Arenas was on his way to a Hall of Fame career with the Washington Wizards, as the three-time All-Star was coming off three straight seasons with at least 25 points per game.
He's not the dynamic scorer that he once was, but Arenas would be a valuable secondary scorer on a number of contenders, because he's got more game left in him than what he demonstrated with Memphis last season.
At just 30, Mickael Pietrus still has a couple of productive seasons left in him, and he'd be a worthy midseason free agent addition to a variety of contenders.
Since leaving Orlando midway through the 2010-11 season, the Frenchman's offensive numbers have dropped considerably, but he'd still be a quality supporting player on a contender, especially given his track record in the postseason.
During Orlando's run to the 2009 NBA Finals, Pietrus was one of the Magic's best players, averaging 10.5 points per game en route to the Eastern Conference title, and though he won't reach those figures again this season, he's still worth picking up for his abilities at both ends of the court.
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