2013 NBA Free Agents: Biggest Gambles on the Market

Chris ImperialeCorrespondent IMay 21, 2013

Some team will take a gamble on Howard.
Some team will take a gamble on Howard.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA free-agency market has plenty of big names who will create a lot of impact next season.  This year’s class is filled with superstars, however, some of these players are the biggest gambles out there.

A few of the top free agents include Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala.

Since the Miami Heat signed Chris Bosh and LeBron James three years ago, there’s been a larger emphasis on landing big players in free agency.  This year will be the same, despite the risk that comes with a few of the marquee names.


Dwight Howard

While he'll attract any number of NBA teams, Dwight Howard is one of the biggest gambles on the free-agent market.  Howard has shown throughout his career that he’s one of the best big men in the league, one who produces quality numbers each year.

The reason he’s such a gamble is the baggage and drama that will accompany his on-the-court talent.  Howard turned his latter years in Orlando and his only season in Los Angeles into soap operas. 

For years he demanded to get out of Orlando, and once he got his wish, he never seemed satisfied.  In the Lakers' up-and-down 2012-13 season, Howard had his share of issues with the team and its on-court leader Kobe Bryant.

There’s no doubting Howard’s importance in a league where there aren’t many dominating centers, but his reputation will cause some teams to think twice.


Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum is in a very similar situation as Dwight Howard.  With there being so few good frontcourt players in the NBA, Bynum will be highly sought after.  He’s considered a risk, though, for reasons including his attitude and maturity problems.

Bynum will not get nearly the amount of attention Howard will based on the gap between their skill set.  Bynum is regarded as a solid young player, but he’s never put together the numbers like Howard.

Another main reason Bynum is a gamble is that he didn’t play a single game last season for the Philadelphia 76ers due to knee issues.  Philadelphia took a risk on trading some key players for Bynum last offseason, just to see it all go to waste on their bench.

Bynum will land a big deal somewhere, but he’s absolutely a risk.


Monta Ellis

If Monta Ellis declines his player option for next season, he too will be one of the best free agents on the market this summer.

Ellis has solidified himself as one of the top scoring options in the NBA, averaging just under 20 points per game during his career.

The gamble that comes with Ellis is that he’s the type of guy who can shoot his team both in and out of games.  Ellis is a volume shooter and is known to be somewhat of a ball hog at times.

He’s also a risk because his lack of experience on winning teams.  In his eight-year career, Ellis’ teams have made the playoffs only twice.