NBA Free Agency: Best Value Free Agents Available in 2009

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NBA Free Agency: Best Value Free Agents Available in 2009
(Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

With all the hype surrounding The Summer of LeBron in 2010, this summer's free agency has been overlooked. Stars like Ben Gordon, Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Carlos Boozer, and Ron Artest all hit the market.

What else does this free agency contain?

Bargains.

For cheap GMs looking to save salary cap room but still acquire productive numbers and solidify a core unit, this free agency has what they are looking for.

 

C Chris Anderson, Unrestricted

The Bird Man is a nice addition to any team's defensive core.  He was second in the NBA in blocks this season (behind Superman), and averaged almost seven rebounds in 20 minutes of action. 

He would be a perfect pickup for a team like the Knicks, who were last in the league in blocks and are trying to save cap space for next year. If the Knicks could pick him up, they could avoid having to trade up in the draft for Hasheem Thabeet and could nab Stephen Curry. Plus Bird Man's extreme appearance might fit in well in the Big Apple.

BirdMan's previous contract was a only $797,581.  Because of his still-recent drug suspension and the fact that he's turning 31, I would expect that a team wouldn't have to pay much more than $2 million for his services.


PF Brandon Bass, Unrestricted

Bass, who makes only $826,269, averaged 8.5 PPG and 4.5 rebounds in only 19 minutes of play per game this season.  With the Mavericks first priority in resigning Jason Kidd, Bass is fair game.

Bass, listed as 6'8" 250 pounds, is a ferocious rebounder—and he's only 24. If he lands on a team where he is given 30-plus minutes a night he could easily develop into a 15-and-10 player.  He's also a career 83 percent free-throw shooter. Not bad for a big.

If a team could nab him for the ballpark of $3 million to $5 million, they could get a nightly double-double machine and save cap space for next summer

 

C Marcin Gortat, Restricted

During the Orlando/Boston series, Gortat's strong play made GM's and scouts giddy.  The 6'11", 25-year-old center has done nothing but help his NBA stock this postseason. 

Sharing a position with Dwight Howard, Gortat only sees about 10 minutes of action a night. If he's picked up on a team that offers him more minutes, his production could easily double. I see him as pulling down eight or nine rebounds a night.

Because this is his first year actually playing in the NBA (stashed overseas for a few) he still hasn't proven himself enough to get a larger contract. Unless a GM drastically splurges on Gortat, he should be available in the $3 million to $4 million dollar range.

 

PF/C Ike Diogu, Restricted

Although he's paid almost $3 million a year, injuries and lack of playing time might keep down the necessary contract price for his services. 

The former lottery pick only tallied 4.1 PPG and 1.9 rebounds in 7.4 minutes of action this season. The bright spot shines when you look at his last five games of the season.

When the Kings actually gave him significant minutes, Diogu responded averaging 20.3 PPG and 7.8 rebounds in 29.3 minutes of play.  I know, its only five games.  But that could keep his agent's asking price down.

 

SG/SF Dahntay Jones, Unrestricted

Jones is a tenacious defender and ridiculously athletic.  Coming from Duke, he has an incredible basketball I.Q. and knows how to truly be a team member.  Dahntay Jones resurfaced during the playoffs, and brought energy similar what Eddie House did for the Celtics last season.

He's bounced around the NBA and the D-League for years, and only makes $797, 581 for Denver.  He's turning 29 and would be a very nice pickup for any team looking to up their defensive intensity.  Id imagine he could be picked up for less than $3 million, depending on how seriously Denver tries to resign him.

 

PF Paul Millsap, Restricted

The big question revolves around whether the Jazz want to keep Carlos Boozer or Paul Millsap—because they won't have enough money to save them both.

When Boozer was injured, Millsap was incredible.  Not only was he a catalyst to get the Jazz in the playoffs, he solidified himself as a centerpiece to any NBA team. Millsap averaged 13.5 PPG and 8.6 rebounds, while coming off the bench half the season.

It's not much of a secret that this guy is going to be great.  If the Jazz stick with Boozer, Millsap is almost certainly to hit the market hard this summer.  Although he gets paid less than $1 million from the Jazz, it might take a hefty contract to get him into your team's colors.

 

PF Glen Davis, Restricted

He must be the goofiest, most child-like player in the NBA.  But he can flat-out play.  He proved this in the playoffs, where he virtually carried the Celtics to the doorstep of the Eastern Conference finals, averaging 15.8 PPG, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

While playing most of the season behind Leon Powe and KG, Davis proved that more minutes equals more production.  His expiring contract is for only $711, 517. If a team could get him away from the Celtics, they could get a lot of bang for their buck. 

That IF is huge though.  I don't see any way the Celtics let him skip away to another team.  I also don't see any reason why Glen Davis would want to leave the Celtics organization.

 

 

 

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