Every NBA Team's Biggest 2013 Free Agent Sleeper Target

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2013

Every NBA Team's Biggest 2013 Free Agent Sleeper Target

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    While stars like Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and Andre Iguodala receive the lion's share of the attention throughout free agency, some of the most significant signings are often those that go unnoticed. 

    Studs are the foundation of any championship team, but it's role players who can wind up having a profound impact for extended stretches during the regular season and playoffs. 

    It's important to note that many of the players listed in this slideshow have reportedly been connected with a certain team, but others are simply speculative. And, based on reported interests, there are players mentioned who could be fits for several teams. 

    Other sleeper targets have already agreed to terms with their respective teams, and are noted throughout. 

Atlanta Hawks: Brandan Wright

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    It's no secret that the Atlanta Hawks are in the market for size this offseason. They've been linked to Dwight Howard, but there remains a very real possibility that Danny Ferry won't be able to secure the big man's services. 

    A nice alternative, however, can be found in the form of Dallas Mavericks center Brandan Wright. 

    According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, Atlanta is one of several Eastern Conference teams interested in Wright's services. 

    A five-year vet, Wright is coming off of the best season of his career, one in which he posted averages of 8.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. 

    What's really eye-catching are Wright's per-36-minute statistics. According to Basketball-Reference, Wright posted gaudy per-36-minute numbers last season with averages of 17 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per contest. 

Boston Celtics: Beno Udrih

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    With Rajon Rondo recovering from ACL surgery, the Boston Celtics are in the market for a short-term, low-cost solution at point guard. 

    A player who adequately fits that description is Beno Udrih, formerly of the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. Acquired midseason by Orlando in the J.J. Redick deal, Udrih displayed his steadiness as a ball-handler and distributor in 27 appearances and nine starts with the Magic, posting averages of 10.2 points and 6.1 assists. 

    According to a tweet from Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the Celtics are among the teams interested in acquiring Udrih's services. 

    While Avery Bradley is capable of running the point in Rondo's absence, it couldn't hurt to add depth, even if just for a year. 

Brooklyn Nets: Shaun Livingston

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    The Brooklyn Nets bolstered their starting lineup with the likes of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but now it's time for Billy King to shore up the team's second unit with some low-cost additions. 

    According to the New York Post, the Nets have reached out to former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Shaun Livingston about backing up Deron Williams: 

    In order to fill that spot, the Nets reached out to free agent Shaun Livingston, according to a source. Livingston, the fourth overall pick in the draft by the Clippers in 2004, has played for eight teams in his career, including the Wizards and Cavaliers last season.

    Livingston, who bounced around between the Washington Wizards and Cavaliers last season, will turn 28 shortly before the start of the 2013-14 season and is still capable of being a productive player. 

    In 49 games and 12 starts with the Cavs last season, Livingston averaged 7.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. 

Charlotte Bobcats: Al-Farouq Aminu

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    The Charlotte Bobcats made a significant splash in free agency by agreeing to terms with center Al Jefferson. 

    With their big prize in tow, Charlotte must now focus on adding depth along the perimeter. Al-Farouq Aminu is one option, and projects as a solid rotational big with a low price tag. 

    The eighth overall pick of the 2010 draft, Aminu's numbers (6.3 point-per-game career average on 43 percent shooting) don't align with those reserved for high lottery picks. Aminu's downfall is that he's yet to excel offensively, but that doesn't make him entirely ineffective.  

    Aminu makes his living on the glass (7.7 rebounds per game last season), using his massive 7'3'' wingspan to haul in rebounds and disrupt shots. 

    An athletic wing who can play either forward spot, Aminu would be a sensible signing for the Bobcats. 

Chicago Bulls: Mike Dunleavy Jr.

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    The Chicago Bulls rounded out their rotation on Monday when they verbally agreed to sign former Milwaukee Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy Jr. to a two-year, $6 million deal. 

    While the Bulls may make a few small additions to fill out their roster as free agency progresses, Dunleavy was the sleeper they targeted, and they bagged him in short order. 

    In a strong rotation that already boasts Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich, Dunleavy is a wonderful fit. 

    Not only can he stretch the floor (hit on 42.8 percent of his threes last season), but Dunleavy is a capable wing defender with a 6'9'', 220 pound frame. 

Cleveland Cavaliers: Earl Clark

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    Update: July 4, 3:16 p.m.

    According to a tweet from Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Clark has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The deal is reportedly worth $9 million over two years. 

     

    Earl Clark made the best of a bad situation last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, posting career-highs of 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 59 appearances and 39 starts in relief of the injured Pau Gasol. 

    Able to showcase his dynamic skill set, Clark is now a sought after commodity on the free agent market. 

    According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, there is mutual interest between Clark and the Cleveland Cavaliers: 

    Free agent forward Earl Clark met with the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Tuesday, and though no contract offers were made, the two sides are expected to meet again Wednesday, a source told Sporting News.

    The source labeled the interest between Clark and the Cavaliers “very mutual.”

    In need of reliable depth behind Alonzo Gee and Tristan Thompson at both forward spots, Clark is a very sensible signing, and one who may come relatively cheap. 

Dallas Mavericks: Mo Williams

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    The Dallas Mavericks let Darren Collison walk and lost out on the Eric Bledsoe sweepstakes. So where do they go from here?

    According to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, one veteran point guard to keep an eye on is Mo Williams, formerly of the Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers: 

    The Mavericks also are heavily involved in the running for Utah free agent Mo Williams. They have been interested in Williams before and, again, he would represent a nice Plan B if Howard doesn’t agree to become a Maverick.

    Although the Mavs would clearly prefer to add a bigger name (i.e. Rajon Rondo) via a trade, fans shouldn't hold their breath. 

    Dallas doesn't possess the assets necessary to acquire a player of Rondo's caliber, and if they're looking for a stopgap solution at point guard, Williams is a fine addition. 

    Last season with the Jazz, Williams averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 assists per game. 

Denver Nuggets: Timofey Mozgov

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    Based on Timofey Mozgov's displeasure over his lack of playing time last season with the Denver Nuggets, it appeared as if the Russian center would waltz on out the door this summer in pursuit of a better opportunity. 

    That may not be the case. 

    According to a report from RealGM, Mozgov is negotiating a long-term deal with the Nuggets: 

    Free agent center Timofey Mozgov is in negotiations with the Denver Nuggets on a multi-year contract to re-sign with the franchise, a league source told RealGM.

    Ever since making changes within the organization, the Nuggets have become more interested in re-signing Mozgov, trading away Kosta Koufos on draft night. Mozgov has already received a qualifying offer from the Nuggets, but the parameters of a new deal have been discussed as a possible three-year contract with an option on the third season, a source told RealGM.

    Although re-signing Mozgov appeared like a long shot mere months ago, the team's decision to deal center Kosta Koufos to the Memphis Grizzlies has freed up a spot in the rotation. 

    With JaVale McGee presumably taking over the starting role, Mozgov now has the opportunity to play in a defined role as the Nuggets' backup center. 

Detroit Pistons: Chauncey Billups

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    While the Detroit Pistons are reportedly interested in acquiring a big-name talent such as Rudy Gay, Joe Dumars would be wise to focus his attention on adding veteran role players who can help his young studs grow. 

    Chauncey Billups is one such option, as the Los Angeles Clippers no long appear in need of his services. 

    A reunion with the Pistons would allow Billups to end his career on a high note. A brilliant basketball mind, Billups would also be able to teach Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. 

    On a young team that needs to mature before it becomes a postseason contender, Billups is the perfect man to help start such a transition. 

Golden State Warriors: Tyler Hansbrough

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    Tyler Hansbrough seems to be almost universally disliked for the way he approaches the game, but the aggression and passion he could provide the Golden State Warriors' second unit is undeniable. 

    The Indiana Pacers have reportedly rescinded Hansbrough's qualifying offer, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, which makes the former North Carolina Tar Heel a free agent. 

    With the Pacers in danger of losing Carl Landry any day now, Hansbrough feels like a logical, low-cost replacement who would blend in with a tough Golden State frontcourt that boasts the likes of Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. 

Houston Rockets: Corey Brewer

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    The Houston Rockets are going hard after Dwight Howard, but according to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, they will pursue Corey Brewer regardless of the outcome of the Howard sweepstakes: 

    The Rockets have expressed interest in Nuggets forward Corey Brewer whether they can get Howard or not. They are interested in Knicks guard J.R. Smith if they don’t get Howard and have cap room. There is also interest in bringing back forward Carlos Delfino.

    Brewer would naturally slot in at small forward for the Rockets, and would help patch up the team's porous perimeter defense in a presumably sizable role off the bench. 

    A stingy wing defender, Brewer posted the lowest defensive rating of his career last season (105) with the Denver Nuggets, according to Basketball-Reference

Indiana Pacers: Chris Copeland

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    According to a report from RealGM, the Indiana Pacers have interest in bringing Chris Copeland aboard: 

    After discussions with the Indiana Pacers since the start of free agency, free agent forward Chris Copeland hasn’t received a contract proposal from the organization and will continue talks on Wednesday, a league source told RealGM.

    Copeland has been one of the most sought after wing players in free agency, and he has received multiple offers from other teams that he’ll consider and no frontrunner has emerged, sources said. The New York Knicks offered Copeland a qualifying offer before the free agent process, and both sides know what terms of a new deal would look like should the 29-year-old return and he hasn’t ruled them out, a league source told RealGM.

    Copeland thrived in the Knicks' three-point oriented offense during his rookie season, shooting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc en route to 8.7 points per game. 

    With the Pacers looking to diversify their offensive portfolio this offseason, Copeland is a logical fit as a backup to Paul George at the three. 

    However, Copeland is big enough (6'9'', 235 pounds) that he's also capable of logging minutes as a backup to David West at the 4. 

Los Angeles Clippers: Carl Landry

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    Carl Landry may not stay long with the Golden State Warriors, but his stay in California could very well be extended should he sign on with the Los Angeles Clippers. 

    According to a tweet from Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, Landry has already met with Clippers brass. 

    Although the Clippers starting frontcourt of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan is set in stone, they're sorely in need of a reliable backup at the 4. 

    Lamar Odom flopped in his return to the Clippers last season, and Landry would provide stability on both ends of the floor as an energy player off the bench. 

    In his first season with the Warriors, Landry posted averages of 10.8 points and six rebounds on 54 percent shooting. 

Los Angeles Lakers: Sasha Vujacic

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    Sasha Vujacic would be the definition of an under-the-radar signing by the Los Angeles Lakers. 

    Vujacic, who's been out of the NBA since the 2010-11 season, reportedly wants back in and is targeting the Lakers for a return, according to a tweet from ESPN LA's Arash Markazi.

    Considering the Lakers are tight on cap space, Vujacic is the sort of low-risk, low-cost signing that makes sense for Mike D'Antoni's lowly bench. 

    A career 37.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc, Vujacic could help spread the floor and provide energy for a second unit in need of rejuvenation. 

Memphis Grizzlies: Dorell Wright

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    According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, the Memphis Grizzlies are among the teams interested in the services of free-agent swingman Dorell Wright. 

    Although the Griz have Quincy Pondexter and Tayshaun Prince holding down the fort on the outside, they are in need of another reliable wing who can knock down threes with regularity. 

    Wright had a down year with the Philadelphia 76ers last season, but it was a mere three years ago (2010-11) that Wright led the NBA in three-pointers made and attempted. 

    A pure shooter with nearly endless range, Wright would help add another dimension to a well-rounded second unit in Memphis. 

Miami Heat: Greg Oden

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    The Miami Heat aren't in need of significant upgrades at any one position, but if they're to bolster their depth somewhere, it might as well be center. 

    According to ESPN.com, the Heat are looking to solidify their depth at center by exploring the possibility of signing former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden. 

    While Oden has been sidelined for the last three seasons due to chronic knee injuries, the former Ohio State standout is looking to make a return to the hardwood. 

    A capable shot-blocker with good low-post mechanics, Oden should fit in nicely no matter which contender he chooses to sign with. 

    The real challenge will be staying healthy long enough to make an impact. 

Milwaukee Bucks: Nate Robinson

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    Brandon Jennings' future with the Milwaukee Bucks remains uncertain, and Larry Drew's bunch has no reliable backup point guard. 

    The answer? Nate Robinson. While there have been no reported links between the two parties to date, Robinson proved last season that he's one of the league's better creators of instant offense off the bench. 

    In 25.4 minutes per game with the Chicago Bulls, Robinson average 13.1 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting from the floor and 40.5 percent shooting from three. 

    Robinson does possess some frustrating tendencies, but they're a necessary evil that accompany his sometimes stunning performances. 

Minnesota Timberwolves: Chauncey Billups

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    Flip Saunders and the Minnesota Timberwolves are making it clear: They're sick of starting their summer vacation early year after year. 

    The T'Wolves went out and agreed to terms with sixth man extraordinaire Kevin Martin on Tuesday and will look to lock up restricted free agent center Nikola Pekovic later this month. 

    Once the flurry of activity has calmed down a bit, don't be surprised to see Minnesota pursue point guard Chauncey Billups. 

    According to a tweet from Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN, Flip Saunders is interested in Billups. And Flip's interest in Billups makes sense. Saunders coached "Mr. Big Shot" in Minnesota from 2000-2002 and again with the Detroit Pistons in 2005-2008 and could feasibly bring him aboard in Minnesota at a low cost to serve as a mentor to Ricky Rubio. 

    With Minnesota in need of three-point shooters and veteran leadership, it would only be fitting that Billups return to the Timberwolves for one last hurrah. 

New Orleans Pelicans: Corey Brewer

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    I mentioned Corey Brewer previously in relation to the Houston Rockets, but according to a tweet from ESPN's Marc Stein, the New Orleans Pelicans maintain interest in the 27-year-old forward. 

    The Pelicans have made significant improvements to their backcourt in the form of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans (per ESPN's Marc Stein), but it's now upon Dell Demps to add some reliable swingmen. 

    Considering Al-Farouq Aminu is a free agent and the Hornets have no starting small forward on the roster, Brewer could be a dynamite fit with a young but immensely talented squad in the Big Easy. 

    While Brewer would have to settle for a backup role in Houston or Denver, he could be thrust into the starting lineup from day one with the Pelicans. 

New York Knicks: Elton Brand

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    According to a tweet from ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling, the New York Knicks are prepared to offer Elton Brand a contract, although the parameters of such a deal are unknown at this time. 

    While Brand would be another old body on an aging Knicks roster, he's a fantastic veteran leader and glue guy who will do all of the dirty work on the defensive end and the glass. 

    Last season with the Dallas Mavericks, Brand averaged 7.2 points, six rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 21.2 minutes per game. 

    At age 34, Brand doesn't possess the explosiveness that once made him an All-Star. However, the grittiness and aggression that define his game at this stage in Brand's career could make him a fan favorite in New York should the two agree to terms. 

Oklahoma City Thunder: Sebastian Telfair

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    With Derek Fisher an unrestricted free-agent, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be looking to sign a third-string point guard to fill out their bench behind Reggie Jackson and starter Russell Westbrook. 

    One option, according to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy, comes in the form of Sebastian Telfair, whom the Thunder are reportedly interested in. 

    Telfair would be a nice upgrade over the aging Fisher. While he's not a threat to rise up and knock down shots from distance, Telfair is a savvy ball-handler who can create for teammates. 

    In a role that will require Telfair to play roughly 14 minutes per game (based on Fisher's playing time last season), the 28-year-old is more than capable of facilitating for Scott Brooks' second and third units. 

Orlando Magic: Darren Collison

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    One glaring position of need for the Orlando Magic is point guard. Jameer Nelson is only guaranteed to be under contract for one more season, and while the Magic will reportedly (per Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski) give rookie Victor Oladipo some run at the point during summer league, Orlando could use a steady veteran presence to back up Nelson for the time being. 

    Oladipo's not a particularly polished ball-handler, and with a skill set more conducive to playing the 2, will find life easier should the Magic slot him in at shooting guard early in his career. In time, Oladipo may develop into an explosive point guard a la Russell Westbrook. But for now, it's best to get Oladipo comfortable playing his natural position. 

    Instead, a short-term solution at point guard comes in the form Darren Collison, the former Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks point man who's coming off of a bump season playing for Rick Carlisle. 

    Collison excels on the offensive end, where he can blow by defenders or step up and knock down shots. A versatile threat in the backcourt, Collison averages 12.1 points per game for his career on a steady 46.3 percent shooting from the floor and 36 percent from deep. 

Philadelphia 76ers: Anthony Morrow

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    The Philadelphia 76ers figure to be one of the league's quietest clubs throughout the summer. By trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick, general manager Sam Hinkie made it perfectly clear that the Sixers are starting from scratch. 

    With several burdensome contracts (i.e. Kwame Brown, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen) set to come off the books next summer, it would be surprising to see the Sixers make significant financial commitments with this year likely to be one of the worst in franchise history. 

    Instead, look for the Sixers to round out their roster with one-year deals. One such deal could conceivably be offered to sharpshooter Anthony Morrow, who's hit on 42.4 percent of his three-point attempts over the course of his career.

    With Dorell Wright and Nick Young both unrestricted free agents, the Sixers need to shore up their depth on the wing. Morrow would be a fine solution if just for one year. 

Phoenix Suns: Francisco Garcia

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    Ryan McDonough did a fantastic job in acquiring Eric Bledsoe as the Phoenix Suns' point guard of the future. 

    Now, the real task will be finding sidekicks who can play alongside Bledsoe, especially on the perimeter. One such name that comes to mind is Francisco Garcia, formerly of the Houston Rockets. 

    With Jared Dudley now residing in L.A., the Suns are in need of reliable shooters at the 2, as Shannon Brown and Wesley Johnson are far from consistent with limited range. 

    Garcia could help the Suns' floor spacing, as he's a real threat to hit from anywhere beyond the arc. A 36.1 percent shooter from three for his career, Garcia is an under-the-radar acquisition who could be a real help to head coach Jeff Hornacek in his first year at the helm. 

Portland Trail Blazers: Samuel Dalembert

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    With J.J. Hickson an unrestricted free agent and preferring to play power forward next season (per Joe Freeman on Twitter), the Portland Trail Blazers find themselves in the market for a center. 

    One possible alternative to Hickson, as reported by CSN Northwest, is veteran Samuel Dalembert: 

    The Portland Trail Blazers have inquired about the services of free agent center Samuel Dalembert, CSNNW.com has learned.

    The 6-11 center is said to be “intrigued” with the possibilities of joining the Trail Blazers. Portland reached out to Dalembert early on in the free agency process, but so did multiple other teams, CSNNW.com was told.

    Dalembert offers very little offensively, but is a lanky shot-blocker who's also a capable rebounder. 

    In his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Dalembert averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16.3 minutes per game. 

Sacramento Kings: Jose Calderon

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    Update: July 4, 6:20 p.m.

    According to a tweet from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Jose Calderon "passed" on a chance to sign with the Sacramento Kings. 

    With Calderon out of the picture, Wojnarowski reports the Kings have acquired Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez projects as the team's starting point guard.

     

    Apparently the Sacramento Kings new management doesn't envision Isaiah Thomas as the team's long-term solution at point guard. 

    According to a report from HoopsHype, the Kings met with Detroit Pistons point man Jose Calderon on Tuesday about coming aboard: 

    Free agent point guard Jose Manuel Calderon will meet with the Kings today in Sacramento, agent Mark Bartelstein told HoopsHype.

    Owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro, head coach Mike Malone and Chris Mullin will be at the meeting with the Spanish guard, who returned to the United States yesterday. His stay in the country will be short as Calderon will be back in Spain in just a couple of days.

    With a young team that needs guidance, Calderon is a logical candidate to run the point for the Kings. 

    Calderon is one of the league's savviest ball-handlers and passers, and could not only help run a more efficient offense, but could help young pieces like DeMarcus Cousins flourish. 

     

San Antonio Spurs: Kenyon Martin

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    Kenyon Martin was a nice stopgap solution for the New York Knicks in the frontcourt last season, but it appears that the former No. 1 overall pick may be on the move. 

    According to a tweet from ESPN's Chris Broussard, the San Antonio Spurs are among the teams with interest in Martin. 

    Hardly a threat on the offensive side of the ball, Martin would give Gregg Popovich another intimidating defensive presence in the post. 

    In 18 games last season with the Knicks, Martin averaged 7.2 points and 3.4 rebounds. 

Toronto Raptors: Devin Harris

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    With John Lucas III and Sebastian Telfair both looking for new employers, the Toronto Raptors find themselves in the market for a new backup point guard. 

    Devin Harris fits the bill and would be a sensible signing to back up the feisty Kyle Lowry. At 30 years old, Harris is a well-traveled member of the NBA fraternity. 

    With experience playing for the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets and most recently the Atlanta Hawks, Harris has plenty to offer a young Toronto team. 

    Masai Ujiri has executed his offseason plan to perfection thus far and could improve his track record by adding a reliable scorer in Harris (career average of 12.8 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting). 

Utah Jazz: DeMarre Carroll

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    DeMarre Carroll is coming off the best season of his young career, one in which he started 12 games for the Utah Jazz en route to averages of six points on 46 percent shooting. 

    As Utah's roster undergoes a fairly significant facelift, it would be wise to keep a few things the same. 

    Luckily, according to Desert News, Carroll is interested in a return to Utah: 

    Carroll, an unrestricted free agent, made it clear at the end of the Jazz season that he wants to return to Utah, where he played for the past year and a half.

    "He would love to come back," Bartelstein said of the 26-year-old, who has played for four different teams in his four-year career. "He had a heck of a season—a unique player, brings unique things to the game."

    A player who can provide a quick spark off the bench, Carroll is a low-cost option to help build depth along the perimeter. 

     

Washington Wizards: Eric Maynor

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    The Washington Wizards didn't waste any time making splashes in free agency. In an expected move, the Wiz agreed to re-sign Martell Webster to a generous four-year, $22 million deal. 

    A more surprising move, however, came in the form of Eric Maynor, who will reportedly ink a deal with the Wizards. 

    In need of reliable depth behind John Wall, the Wizards went out and locked up Maynor, who is an immediate upgrade over A.J. Price. 

    Maynor, who was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers at February's trade deadline, averaged 6.9 points and four assists per game in 29 appearances last season after arriving in the Northwest.