NBA Free Agents 2013: Unheralded Players Sure to Become Stars

Apr 14, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trailblazers center J.J. Hickson (21)  during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIJuly 1, 2013

Free agency in the NBA is a time for big names to change places, but it’s also a time for some players to go to a new team and thrive in the situation to become a star player.

It takes a perfect opportunity and a good player in order for someone to become a star.  Look at Paul George.  The Indiana Pacers let him sit back while Danny Granger was the go-to guy for a couple of years, and once Granger got injured, he was able to take over thanks to a good team around him.

With free agency now underway, here’s a look at a few players that could have the opportunity to finally become stars in the NBA.


J.J. Redick

The former Duke Blue Devil was a star in college, and after a number of years in the NBA, it seems like he’s finally ready to become a star in the league.

Last year was a year that Redick was finally able to start taking over.  He averaged 15.1 points per game while with the Orlando Magic, shooting 39 percent from behind the arc and 45 percent from the field.

A three-point specialist and an excellent free throw shooter, means that Redick has the tools to put points on the board.  As long as he can continue to do those things well and find ways to score in bunches with his new team, there will be plenty of opportunities for him to become a star next season.


Al Jefferson

To put it simply, if Jefferson hadn’t been playing on a small market team in Utah or being overshadowed by other big names, then he would be one of the biggest stars in this league right now.

Last season Jefferson put up 17.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game all while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor.  His PER of 20.99 was one of the best marks in the NBA last season. 

All that Jefferson needs is to go to a larger market.  He doesn’t need to be the team’s top scorer or best player; he just needs to go somewhere where he can be noticed by a larger audience.

Now that Jefferson is a free agent, he has the opportunity to do exactly that.


J.J. Hickson

Once again, this is an opportunity for a guy out of a smaller market team on the West Coast to possibly go to the East Coast and make his presence known.

Despite being relatively unknown, Hickson is possibly one of the best centers in the league.  He averaged 12.7 points per game, along with ranking seventh in the league in rebounds per game with 10.4 rebounds and sixth in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 56.2 from the field.

There are few dominating big men in the league right now.  Roy Hibbert and Dwight Howard have stolen the spotlight after the past couple of years, and it’s time for another big man to take over.

If he lands in the right spot, Hickson will be that man.

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