Free agency is a period marked by absolute chaos. For NBA teams, there will be plenty of star power available for the highest bidders. Some stars will almost certainly part ways from their current clubs, such as Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard.
What about the future of other stars? How will they fare? Where will they end up?
Here’s a breakdown of this summer’s best available free agents.
1. Dwight Howard, C, Los Angeles Lakers
Howard's first year in L.A. proved burdensome and taxing, which may lead the seven-time All-Star to look for a new home in 2013-14.
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Howard tops the list of best available players in this year’s free-agent class for many reasons. Most importantly, he’s a physical and dominant center that every NBA general manager and coach covets.
He is a proven winner and will bring experience, leadership and wisdom to whichever club signs him this summer.
This season marked the first time in six years that Howard didn’t average 18 or more points per game. He totaled just 17.1 in his first, and perhaps only, stint with the Lakers.
Let the bidding begin for Howard’s services.
2. Nate Robinson, PG, Chicago Bulls
Nate Robinson signed with Chicago as a free agent last July, but his future in the Windy City remains blurry.
An eight-year veteran, Robinson is a journeyman. He's been with five different teams, including New York, Boston, Oklahoma City, Golden State and Chicago.
Though Robinson started just 23 games for the Bulls this season, he was the club’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs, averaging 16.3 points per game to Carlos Boozer’s 16.4.
Robinson is a true veteran and will be an asset to the team that signs him. He brings leadership and poise, which will make him a big target when free agency begins.
3. Will Bynum, PG, Detroit Pistons
Will Bynum, 30, completed his fifth season with Detroit, where he averaged just over nine points per contest in 65 games played. However, he managed a 46.9 field-goal percentage this season.
For his career, Bynum has converted nearly 45 percent of his shots.
Though he doesn’t eat up minutes, he would be a reliable veteran player capable of scoring points when called upon.
4. Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers may lose out on a standout player this summer in Chris Paul.
A six-time All-Star selection and 2005-06 Rookie of the Year, Paul has resurrected his career in Los Angeles over the past two seasons. In 2011-12, the 28-year-old point guard averaged 19.8 points per game. He followed up with 16.9 points per contest this season, but managed a steady 9.7 assists per game.
Moreover, Paul was dominant in the playoffs this season, averaging nearly 23 points per contest with the Clippers.
5. Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs
It’s rare to see a professional athlete spend his entire career with one team, but Manu Ginobili has spent his entire 10-year NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs.
This summer, however, Ginobili could end up elsewhere.
At 35, Ginobili doesn’t average 19.5 points per game anymore like he did 2007-08, but he’s still a versatile player who brings a veteran presence to any locker room.
He’s experienced and knows how to win. Ginobili would be a great fit wherever he ends up this summer.
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