Best Remaining 2013 NBA Free Agents at Every Position
If your favorite NBA team still desperately needs help at a certain position, you could be in some serious trouble. While there are players who stand out above the rest of their peers, there are few true standouts left on the open market.
Point guard is the strongest remaining position, and there are a few quality centers to be had as well. However, shooting guard and power forward are dwindling quickly, and small forward is just a disaster. If you don't already have a 3 on your team, just give up now.
The stars are all off the market, though two remaining players—one center and one point guard—have looked like stars for brief moments.
It's time to focus on the guys who don't always shine as bright.
Point Guard No. 3: Mo Williams
Last Team: Utah Jazz
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 12.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 14.4 PER
Mo Williams is no longer a starting-caliber point guard in the current guard-heavy NBA landscape, but he's a capable backup who will remain a consistent offensive presence whenever he's on the court. Whether he's scoring or distributing, Williams can put up points.
In order to regain trust with his new team, the 30-year-old floor general will need to start cutting back on the turnovers. During his one full season with the Los Angeles Clippers, Williams posted an 11.7 turnover percentage. It was easily the lowest mark of his career.
However, once he returned to the Jazz, the number shot back up to 18.0, which was worse than any season save the 2004-05 campaign with the Milwaukee Bucks, his second year in the league. He just tried to create too much, and the results backfired.
Finding a balance is crucial for Williams' success.
Point Guard No. 2: Nate Robinson
Last Team: Chicago Bulls
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 13.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks, 17.4 PER
Nate Robinson is another bench point guard, but he's different than Mo Williams.
Instead of serving as a steady No. 2 at the 1, Nate is at his best when he's allowed to play like an offensive spark plug off the pine. He can put up points in bunches thanks to that pull-up jumper that allows him to stop on a dime and elevate so high he convinces defenders he's actually 6'0" tall.
Robinson might not be much of a defensive player, and he's prone to shooting his team out of a game just as often as he does work them back into it, but he's valuable to any team seeking bench offense.
Wherever he lands, this diminutive point guard will be able to score.
Point Guard No. 1: Brandon Jennings
Last Team: Milwaukee Bucks
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 0.1 blocks, 1.6 steals, 16.20 PER
With Jeff Teague off the board, Brandon Jennings has emerged as the clear-cut top point guard on the market. It's not even close anymore.
Jennings certainly has weaknesses. His 39.9 percent shooting from the field attests to that in rather obvious fashion, and the southpaw hasn't become the legendary three-point marksman he'd need to become in order to make up for the missed two-pointers. He's a good perimeter shooter, but not a great one.
If he can display better shot selection and show off the passing skills that he developed throughout the 2012-13 campaign, he'll remind us once more of the player we watched during the beginning of his last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Jennings was actually getting a little All-Star buzz, but that quickly died away.
Shooting Guard No. 3: Richard Hamilton
Last Team: Chicago Bulls
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 9.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.6 PER
Rip Hamilton was waived by the Chicago Bulls, who didn't want to keep giving him a big slice of the payroll, but that doesn't mean he's completely washed up.
The masked shooting guard is no longer the standout he once was, but he can still capably score, especially from the perimeter. He shot only 30.8 percent from downtown during his final season in the Windy City, but that was a one-year aberration, especially in light of the 37.9 percent he'd put up over the two prior seasons.
Hamilton is also still an adept passer who can make plays for his teammates, and he'll likely continue doing that more and more as old age saps his athleticism.
Shooting Guard No. 2: Gary Neal
Last Team: San Antonio Spurs
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 9.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, 11.6 PER
With Gary Neal, you have to accept the good with the bad. When he steps onto the court, one of two things is going to happen: an offensive explosion or a flurry of missed shots.
Neal plays like the conscience has been removed from his personality. As soon as he misses a shot, he puts it behind him and gets ready to take the next one. But when he's on, he won't even hit the rim.
The 28-year-old combo guard's primary role has been shooting three-pointers for the San Antonio Spurs, but he also has a nice floater and pull-up jumper. He's developing into more of a well-rounded offensive player, even if his defense continues to lag behind.
Neal is a restricted free agent, so the Spurs can match any offer for him.
Shooting Guard No. 1: Gerald Henderson
Last Team: Charlotte Bobcats
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 15.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 16.4 PER
Believe it or not, a member of the Charlotte Bobcats actually ranks at the top of a position!
Well sure, the shooting guard market has dwindled rather significantly, but Gerald Henderson does still finish No. 1 in the depleted market.
The former Duke standout still isn't much of a long-range marksman, but he's a great slasher to the basket who thrives making plays around the rim. Thanks to his remarkable athleticism and ability to elevate off the ground quicker than most, Henderson is a great off-ball threat when he cuts to the hoop.
Additionally, he's developed into a quality defender during his NBA career, holding opposing shooting guards and small forwards to respective PERs of 15.7 and 15.1 in 2012-13.
Small Forward No. 3: Dahntay Jones
Last Team: Atlanta Hawks
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 3.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 6.4 PER
Dahntay Jones has two primary assets. He's a good three-point shooter and a solid defensive stopper on the perimeter.
During the 2012-13 season, 82games.com reveals that he held opposing shooting guards and small forwards to PERs of 14.0 and 13.0, respectively, while playing with the Atlanta Hawks. He was even better with the Dallas Mavericks before the midseason swap for Anthony Morrow.
However, Jones forgot how to shoot the ball. He hit only 22.4 percent of his attempts from behind the three-point arc.
If he can't regain his confidence from downtown, he's not worth playing.
Small Forward No. 2: Alan Anderson
Last Team: Toronto Raptors
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 10.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 12.6 PER
Alan Anderson loves shooting the basketball.
As indicated by his 38.3 percent shooting from the field, perhaps he loves doing so a bit too often. If Anderson could corral his shooting instincts and focus more on his strength—driving to the rim—he'd be an even more effective offensive player.
However, his ability to maintain control of the ball and limit turnovers remarkably well enables him to remain a consistent offensive presence even when his shot isn't falling.
Anderson isn't the most glamorous player out there, but he can be a useful seventh or eighth man.
Small Forward No. 1: Ronnie Brewer
Last Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 3.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 10.0 PER
Ronnie Brewer was never able to earn much playing time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but don't let that taint your opinion of him. That's indicative more of Scott Brooks' hesitance to change his rotations than Brewer's talent.
The 28-year-old swingman remains a great perimeter defender, and he should get a shot to prove that if he finds a new home during the offseason. Brewer has long arms and good defensive instincts, which allows him to jump into the passing lanes and wreak havoc quite often.
He just has to get onto the court in order to prove it, and his broken jumper doesn't help him out there.
Brewer is a decent bench player, but his ranking at No. 1 shows just how weak the remaining small forward market has become.
Power Forward No. 3: Ivan Johnson
Last Team: Atlanta Hawks
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 6.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, 15.8 PER
Ivan Johnson is all about energy.
The fearsome power forward isn't intimidated when he steps onto the court, regardless of who he matches up against. Whether it's LeBron James or Bismack Biyombo, he's going to approach the defensive assignment with the same reckless abandon.
Johnson hasn't developed much on the offensive end, sticking primarily to putbacks and easy dunks, but his defense was quite valuable for the Atlanta Hawks. In addition to matching up well with his own man, Johnson also showed a nice knack for rotations.
The 29-year-old is inexperienced enough that he's still improving, and he could end up being a nice value signing.
Power Forward No. 2: Antawn Jamison
Last Team: Los Angeles Lakers
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 9.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 15.3 PER
Antawn Jamison is very much an NBA veteran at this point of his career, and his value is limited almost solely to his three-point shooting and floor-spacing abilities.
Don't ask Jamison to play defense, because the results won't be very pretty. Earlier in his career, the stretch 4 was a bad defender, but now he doesn't even pretend to try on that end of the court.
A lessened role served Jamison well in 2012-13, as he was able to shoot 36.1 percent from behind the arc on 3.1 attempts per game for the Los Angeles Lakers. It was his highest percentage since the 2006-07 campaign when he averaged 19.8 points per game for the Washington Wizards.
There's apparently some concern over his wrist, which he had surgery on recently, but according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, Jamison thinks those concerns are ill-placed.
Power Forward No. 1: Kenyon Martin
Last Team: New York Knicks
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks, 13.9 PER
After playing 18 games with the New York Knicks during the 2012-13 season, it's quite clear that Kenyon Martin isn't yet ready to pull the plug on his NBA career.
He might not be the offensive standout he was in his prime, but Martin is well aware of that and reacts accordingly. By displaying remarkable awareness of his skills and deficiencies, he was able to shoot 60.2 percent from the field during his Madison Square Garden tenure.
Of course, Martin's primary contributions still come on defense, though.
Although he struggled containing versatile power forwards who could drag him out to the perimeter, Martin thrived when banging away in the paint. He did a great job shifting over to center and slowing down bigger opponents, which was nice when Tyson Chandler was either injured or on the bench.
Center No. 3: Greg Oden
Last Team: Portland Trail Blazers
2009-10 Per-Game Stats: 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.3 blocks, 23.1 PER
This spot could easily belong to Samuel Dalembert, who is undoubtedly the safer option for any team searching for a center. However, Greg Oden's upside makes him the choice at No. 3.
The No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, Oden hasn't played since the 2009-10 season. His knees have completely deserted him, and the road to recovery has been a long and arduous one.
However, don't forget that the Ohio State product has been remarkably effective whenever he's stepped foot onto the court and remained healthy. He has a career PER of 19.5, and he's averaging 15.3 points and 11.9 rebounds per 36 minutes during the 82 games he's actually played.
If Oden can somehow stay healthy, he'll prove to be one of the biggest bargains in this free-agency class.
That's a big "if," though.
Center No. 2: Brandan Wright
Last Team: Dallas Mavericks
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 8.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.2 blocks, 21.0 PER
Brandan Wright has managed to turn his remarkable athleticism and timing into a solid—and young—NBA career. Now he just needs to get paid for it.
The big man can comfortably play either power forward or center, though he tended to line up more at the 5 than the 4 for the Dallas Mavericks thanks to the presences of Elton Brand and Dirk Nowitzki. Regardless of where he plays, Wright has two main roles.
First, he's a superb shot-blocker.
Wright displays great instincts and doesn't over-pursue the blocks, which lesser shot-blockers often do. His 5.2 block percentage would have left him tied for seventh with Brook Lopez had he spent enough time on the court to qualify for the leaderboard.
The 25-year-old is also another self-aware big man. He knows his strengths and sticks to them, which helped result in a 59.7 field-goal percentage that was actually down from the 2011-12 campaign.
Center No. 1: Nikola Pekovic
Last Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 16.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.7 steals, 20.26 PER
Nikola Pekovic isn't just the best center available; he's the best player on the market as well.
At the 5, it's not even close. Brandan Wright, Greg Oden and the rest of the available bigs pale in comparison to the Montenegrin center. Pek is a tremendous two-way player who is able to turn his physicality and bull-in-a-china-shop mentality into both defensive and offensive success.
Now that the 27-year-old has learned to stop fouling, it's time for him to develop more of a finesse game. He needs to add more moves to his offensive arsenal and become a much more adept passer.
But even if he takes steps backward during the 2013-14 campaign, Pekovic will still be better than everyone else currently available.