Top 10 Remaining NBA Free Agents and Which Teams Should Be Interested

Mike Dyer@Mike_Dyer13Contributor IIISeptember 11, 2013

Top 10 Remaining NBA Free Agents and Which Teams Should Be Interested

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    By the time September comes around, the NBA free-agency talent pool thins out to the point where teams are actually inviting Fab Melo to training camp

    The simple truth is, every major free agent has long since signed, leaving the remaining free agents scrambling for jobs like kids playing musical chairs. And no one wants to be without a team when the music stops. 

    But despite the lack of star power, there are still quite a few big names on the market. Sure, for most of them their best days are behind them, but that doesn't mean they're no longer useful players to the right team. 

    With that in mind, let's take a look at the top 10 remaining free agents and which teams could be interested. 

1. Drew Gooden

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    Before last season's disastrous campaign in Milwaukee, Drew Gooden had delivered 10 consecutive seasons of at least 10 points and six rebounds per game. 

    He was as consistent a low-post player as there was in basketball for much of the past decade, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers make a run to the 2007 NBA Finals. 

    And Gooden has had recent success as well. Just two seasons ago, Gooden had one of the best seasons of his career, averaging 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Bucks. He also has an 18.8 player efficiency rating (PER), the second best of his career. 

    But after two solid seasons with the Bucks, it all fell apart for Gooden last year as he was benched for the first time in his 11-year career and later was amnestied by the Bucks.

    Despite playing 11 seasons for nine different teams, Gooden is still only 31 years old and could be a great pickup for a team that figures to be in the playoff picture and is looking for one more big man off the bench. 

    Considering he's already set to collect over $13 million the next two years, Gooden shouldn't be worried about money. He'll likely be looking more at what kind of role he'll have with his next team. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Chicago BullsTaj Gibson is the only bench big who is guaranteed a role as of now, meaning Gooden could earn significant playing time for a team that figures to be right in the mix. 

    Portland Trail Blazers: Portland finished 2012-13 with the worst bench in basketball, and Gooden could help fortify the team's second unit alongside young bigs Victor Claver and Meyers Leonard

    Dallas Mavericks: Dallas is looking to throw together a playoff team, and considering it just invited Melo to camp, it's clear that it is looking to bring another big into the mix. 

2. Sebastian Telfair

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    Some players just can't shake a label. For Sebastian Telfair, that label is of a massive draft failure. He was drafted 13th overall in 2004 by the Blazers but has never been able to produce consistently enough to hold a starting job. 

    But he is still valuable as a backup. 

    He's a poor shooter, but his career 2.33 assist-to-turnover ratio is solid for a point guard, and he's well above average on the defensive end. 

    For his career, he has averaged 1.2 steals per 36 minutes and Synergy Sports has him allowing only 0.82 points per play on the defensive end since the start of the 2011 season. The league average is 0.84.

    When you stop to consider he's only 28 years old, whoever gets Telfair figures to get one of the better backup point guards in basketball for dirt cheap. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Boston Celtics: With Rajon Rondo's timetable for return still unknown, Telfair could provide the Celtics with a more proven backup than rookie free agent Phil Pressey. 

    San Antonio Spurs: Telfair would immediately step in and become Tony Parker's backup, providing some level of insurance in case Parker goes down with a short-term injury during the season. 

    Brooklyn Nets: Brooklyn has Shawn Livingston as a backup, but with his injury history, Telfair would be a solid guy to have around. Plus, the Coney Island kid could head back to Brooklyn. What's not to love?

3. Richard Hamilton

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    It's startling how fast Richard Hamilton's star faded after signing with the Bulls two years ago. 

    After averaging 18.4 points per game during his nine seasons in Detroit, Hamilton seemed to age in dog years once signing with Chicago during the summer of 2011. 

    He was injured (missing 70 games over two seasons), unproductive (he averaged only 10.5 PPG on 43.8 percent shooting) and, at times, benched. 

    It's fair to question whether Rip, now 35, is done. But if you were an NBA general manager, wouldn't you bet around $2 million (the veteran's minimum) that he wasn't? 

    Even at his absolute worst, he was still productive on a per-minute basis with the Bulls, putting up 16.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3 rebounds per 36 minutes played over the past two seasons. 

    So while Rip is never going to be the guy we saw in Detroit again, he could provide bench punch to a contender. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Detroit Pistons: Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups came back this summer, why not sign Rip, deal for TayShaun Prince and lure Ben Wallace out of retirement? OK, but seriously, the Pistons' bench is weak, and Hamilton would be an upgrade over Will Bynum

    Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakerss are going to try to patch together a playoff team, and Rip could step in and provide stable bench scoring alongside the more up-and-down Nick Young and Jodie Meeks

    New York Knicks: The Knicks are in major need of a backup guard as J.R. Smith is both recovering from knee surgery and facing suspension. 

4. James Johnson

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    Former Sacramento Kings power forward James Johnson is one of the more intriguing free agents remaining thanks to his combination of athletic ability and youth. 

    Johnson is 6'9" with a 7'0" wingspan that has allowed him to rack up steals and blocks. During his four-year career, Johnson has averaged 1.9 blocks and 1.5 steals per 36 minutes of action, showing just how explosive he is on that end of the floor. 

    Johnson's biggest issue is foul trouble. He fouls at an alarming rate, averaging 4.5 fouls per-36 minutes. This is a sign that he falls in love with his ability to block shots. 

    He's the type of player GMs drool over based on his body type and length, but he has yet to put it together at the NBA level. 

    Johnson has already been dumped by the Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Kings, but he's the type of guy who will get multiple chances based on his pedigree. 

     

    What Teams Should Be Interested

    Charlotte Bobcats: Charlotte is looking to try to make a run at the No. 8 seed this season with the signing of Al Jefferson. Johnson could provide some versatility to their bench which is thin at the forward position. 

    Celtics: Just like with Beasley, the Celtics could use their 15th spot on a lottery ticket with potential. If it fails, it only costs them $1 million. 

    Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks worked out Johnson recently but did not sign him. He would be a nice bench piece for them as they currently have only DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver as options at the 3. 

5. Corey Maggette

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    Corey Maggette joins Hamilton and Gooden as players coming off of disastrous campaigns desperate to prove that they have something left to prove. 

    Maggette appeared in only 18 games for the Pistons last season, averaging a mere 5.3 points per game for Detroit. It was by far the worst season of Maggette's now 14-year career, in which he has averaged 16 points per game, three times topping 20 points per game. 

    He doesn't do much besides score, but if he can bounce back to near career norms in that, he'll be a fantastic signing for someone. 

    Maggette's biggest issue seems to be staying on the floor, as he has appeared in only 50 games the past two seasons combined. But if healthy, the 33-year-old Maggette can still score as evidenced by him averaging 20.3 points per 36 minutes with the Bobcats just two seasons ago. 

    Maggette also has experience coming off of the bench, which he has done 349 times in his career. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested 

    Pistons: No, things didn't go well for Maggette in Detroit, but head coach Lawrence Frank is gone, and Maggette is interested in returning. Detroit needs players who can score from outside the paint, and Maggette can do that. 

    Los Angeles Clippers: Maggette could return to the Clippers, where he spent eight seasons between 2000 and 2008. The Clips only have 14 players under contract and could use some depth at small forward behind Matt Barnes

    Oklahoma City Thunder: With Kevin Martin in Minnesota, the Thunder need someone to emerge as a scoring option off the bench. Considering they only have 14 players on the roster as well, Maggette would be a nice gamble for them. 

6. Rodrigue Beaubois

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    Two and a half years ago Mark Cuban declared then-22-year-old guard Rodrigue Beaubois"pretty much untouchable" in trade proposals, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.

    Now, Beaubois is floating through the latter stages of free agency without a team to his name. 

    Beaubois showed flashes of brilliance during the first two years of his NBA career as a part-time player with the Mavericks. He averaged 19.1 points, 4.2 assists and 3.9 boards per 36 minutes during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, earning that "untouchable" label. 

    And then he stopped progressing. 

    Over the past two seasons, his production dipped to just 13.8 points, 5 assists and 4.4 rebounds per 36 minutes, a huge drop-off in scoring for a player who should have been improving. 

    The Mavs finally pulled the plug this summer, but Beaubois is only 25 years old and should get a shot somewhere. 

    He's another guy who fits the low-risk, high-reward label. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Philadelphia 76ers: Hey, someone needs to play for Philly, right? The Sixers have only 11 players under guaranteed contract, and an intriguing player with upside like Beaubois is exactly the type of player they're likely to target to fill out their roster. 

    Spurs: San Antonio could use a backup point guard, and Beaubois has some experience playing with Tony Parker from their time on the French national team. It could be a nice fit. 

    Thunder: With Hasheem Thabeet and Daniel Orton already in house, it's clear that Thunder GM Sam Presti likes taking chances with potential.

7. Leandro Barbosa

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    One of the better bench scorers in the league, Leandro Barbosa could be a huge get for a contending team if he's healthy. 

    Of course, whether or not he's healthy is a valid concern considering he tore his ACL February 11. 

    Even if he's not ready for opening night, Barbosa should be set to return around New Years, and when he does, he could provide a huge boost to whoever signs him. 

    The "Brazilian Blur" has been one of the most consistent bench scorers of his generation, with a career average of 18.1 points scored per 36 minutes. 

    He's also a fantastic three-point shooter, knocking down 39 percent of his threes over his 10-year career. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Pistons: Detroit's entire roster is made up of athletic guys who run the floor but can't shoot to save their life. Barbosa, if healthy, can run with the Pistons athletes and help spread the floor with his three-point shooting. 

    Houston Rockets: Houston has Aaron Brooks in house, but he is not nearly as efficient as Barbosa (career 41.6 percent shooter, 36.4 percent from three). Barbosa could be a great bench option to help spread the floor while either Dwight Howard or Omer Asik are on the floor. 

    Miami Heat: It would be tough for Barbosa to earn playing time, but if he wants a ring, Miami is the place to go. He would also give Erik Spoelstra another option to turn to if either Ray Allen or Norris Cole were struggling. The Heat need shooters around LeBron, and Barbosa is just that. 

8. Marquis Daniels

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    The best way to stay in the NBA for a long period of time is to be a great player. 

    The second-best way to stay in the NBA for a long time is to do at least one thing really well. 

    And that's exactly what Marquis Daniels does. 

    Daniels defends, and he defends at a high level. According to Synergy Sports, Daniels allowed a microscopic 0.69 points per play last season, the seventh-best number in the entire NBA. 

    He was also fantastic defending players one-on-one, allowing just 0.65 points per play in isolation. 

    Daniels is a poor offensive player, scoring just 0.79 points per play (384th in the NBA), but he has that one distinct skill that pops out at you. And that should get the 32-year-old Daniels, who played last season with the Bucks, another job this year. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Indiana Pacers: Indiana only has 13 players under contract and will have to go through LeBron James to win a title. To me, it's a no-brainer. Put Daniels on your roster, and when you need a big stop come May or June, you'll be happy he's there. 

    Spurs: Another team that could use one more defender, San Antonio doesn't have anyone on its roster to match up with elite opposing wings when Kawhi Leonard is on the bench. 

    Knicks: I'm not trying to call Daniels the "LeBron stopper" or anything (after all he was on the Bucks squad that Miami swept last year), but I think he's a good enough defender so any team that is going to have to go through the Heat in the playoffs should be giving his agent a call

9. Jamaal Tinsley

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    After not playing at all during the 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons, it appeared Jamaal Tinsley's career was over. 

    But Tinsley bounced back with the Jazz last season, averaging 3.5 points per game and 4.4 assists per game for Utah in a reserve role. 

    That assist number was particularly impressive as Tinsley only played 18.5 minutes per game. 

    Passing has always been Tinsley's game, with his career average of 8.3 assists per 36 minutes showing that he can run an offense better than a lot of his contemporaries. 

    You know what you're getting with Tinsley, who's now 35—a solid backup point guard who can give you 15 to 20 solid minutes per night. 

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested 

    Lakers: The Lakers carried four point guards last season and may be looking to do that again because of Steve Nash and Steve Blake's advanced age. Tinsley gives them another veteran who can run the offense. 

    Spurs: A veteran to back up Tony Parker and help run the Spurs' second unit would be a perfect use of their currently vacant 15th roster spot. 

    Washington Wizards: The young Wizards are looking to make a run at the playoffs and don't really have a backup point guard. Tinsley could be a fit. 

10. Lamar Odom

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    What a difference two years can make.

    Two years ago, Lamar Odom was the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, coming off of yet another well-balanced season for the Lakers, in which he averaged 14.4 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game and 3 assists per game. 

    Flash forward to now and we really don't know if we'll ever see Odom play basketball again. 

    There have been reports of heavy drug use, which he has denied. While we don't know exactly what is going on with that, what we do know is that Odom is nowhere near playing basketball again. 

    Odom would be a lot higher if we knew more about his situation, but we don't. And for now, it's safe to speculate that NBA teams will be steering clear of Odom until he gets his life back on track. 

    But if he can get his head on straight, he'll immediately become one of the top free agents on the market. While he was not great with the Clippers last season, he's a versatile bench player who can impact the game on both offense and defense. 

    Hopefully, he defeats whatever demons he's facing and can eventually return to the NBA.

     

    Teams That Should Be Interested

    Lakers: If and when Odom is fit to return, his first choice will be the Lakers. Considering his relationship with Kobe and management, this is the best bet. 

    Clippers: The Clips were interested in bringing Odom back but quickly moved on to Antawn Jamison after his life started spiraling out of control. It's a long shot, but it's hard to see Odom playing anywhere but Los Angeles after the way his tenure in Dallas went.