NBA Free Agents 2013: Brandon Jennings and Star Players to Avoid

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NBA Free Agents 2013: Brandon Jennings and Star Players to Avoid
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Jennings, Dwight Howard and Andre Iguodala are star free agents that teams should avoid this summer once NBA free agency kicks off.

Howard is an unrestricted free agent and figures to command multiple suitors on the open market. Jennings, while in a restricted-contract situation, could still be available if a team desires. Iguodala recently opted out of the final year of his contract to search for a long-term deal.

But are these top stars worth the money or draft picks that it will take to acquire them?

We’ll take a look at reasons why teams should avoid all of these players this summer.

 

Brandon Jennings, PG

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The idea that the Milwaukee Bucks prefer to re-sign Monta Ellis over restricted free-agent Brandon Jennings became much more visible recently. Milwaukee is reportedly shopping Jennings on the trade block this summer, according to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

He came out of high school, went pro in Europe and then was selected by Milwaukee with the No. 10 pick in the 2009 draft. After four years in the league, Jennings is what he is. He’s an erratic shooter who plays very quick, offensive basketball. Defensively, he leaves something to be desired.

For such a volume shooter, Jennings hasn’t been very impressive, either. After last season, he became just the fourth player in NBA history to shoot below 40 percent from the field while scoring 17 or more points per game.

As a pick-and-roll facilitator, Jennings shot just 40.1 percent and scored just 0.84 points per play off of the screen.

Then there’s his attitude, immaturity and general poor outlook.

Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale compiled an encompassing tale of Jennings’ poor attitude toward coaches and his teammates.

While Jennings is certainly very talented, he definitely comes with some serious character concerns and shooting inconsistencies that he may never overcome.

Teams would have to give up too much in a sign-and-trade to make a deal for Jennings worthwhile. Plus, he would have to agree to any deal because he’s a restricted free agent. Interested teams should pass and allow him to hit free agency next summer.

 

Dwight Howard, C

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

Why should teams avoid a double-double machine like Dwight Howard?

It’s pretty simple. Howard has created rifts in the only two NBA teams he's ever played for. He has demanded that he be the center of attention, attempting to dictate coaching philosophies and ball-distribution tactics in the process.

Ask Stan Van Gundy what he thinks about Howard as a franchise centerpiece.

Howard is currently on his way out in Los Angeles after reportedly citing coach Mike D’Antoni’s “system” as his reason for desiring a new start elsewhere, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:

Howard’s frustrations might be centered on D’Antoni’s system, but there is more going on behind the scenes—his ego.

During an exit interview with the Lakers following the end of their 2012-13 season, Howard expressed the true reason for his discontent with his coach:

…part of the discussion between Howard and Kupchak centered around Howard's frustration with D'Antoni -- particularly how the center felt marginalized as the coach looked to Bryant and Steve Nash for leadership and suggestions and discounted Howard's voice.

Sure, everyone wants to be the guy franchises turn to, but D-12 brings that confidence—or arrogance—to a new level. His inability to accept a secondary role, or rise to the occasion to carry his team on his shoulders, is a peculiar predicament for potential suitors.

The biggest question is whether or not he really deserves to be the player that teams run an offense through. There’s no doubting his ability around the rim. Howard, when healthy and at his best, is a tenacious force in the paint.

However, he is rarely fully healthy and at his best—both physically and mentally—and is a liability most teams should shy away from this summer.

 

Andre Iguodala, SG

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The former Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard recently decided to opt out of the final year of his contract to test free agency, leaving the $15.9 million owed to him to next season on the table.

Several teams are interested in the wingman too. But should they be?

Soon to be 30 years old, Iguodala still figures to attract a hefty sum from potential suitors this summer. The biggest question is whether or not he is worth it.

The answer, at this point in his career, is no.

As a defender, Iguodala is a solid presence on the perimeter. His versatility in that respect allows him to play solid defense at both shooting guard and forward. However, it’s his offensive game that leaves something to be desired.

Shot chart provided by NBA.com

Iguodala doesn’t have the range that many teams demand from their wings. He’s an incredible finisher around the rim and a decent three-point shooter, although he struggles significantly from the corners.

While he is effective near the hoop, Iguodala’s shot selection does not support his skill set. He settles for too many jumpers and can’t be relied on in that regard.

Would he be an upgrade for some teams at the position? Absolutely. But top teams won’t likely be able to afford him, and he’s simply not worth the price of admission for teams vying to get back into contention.

 

All stats used were obtained from ESPN.com unless otherwise noted.

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