NBA Free Agency: Ranking the Top Five Free Agents on the Market (Part II)

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IJuly 19, 2010

SAN ANTONIO - MAY 09:  Forward Richard Jefferson #24 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 9, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With all the top NBA free-agents off the market, NBA Primetime ranks the top five remaining free-agents that are still available to be signed to an organization (Part II). Click here to check out Part I.


1. Shaquille O'Neal

It's tough to find a decent big man that can provide a team with production on both ends of the floor, and although he is 38 years of age, O'Neal can still produce for a team that's willing to sign him.

It was reported that the Cavaliers and Hawks were in sign-and-trade talks in which O'Neal would be sent to Atlanta in exchange for forward Marvin Williams, but since then those rumors have died down.

The Chicago Bulls are in need of a back-up center, and with a decent amount of salary cap space available, don't be surprised if the Bulls scoop up Shaq for a two-year deal.


2. Richard Jefferson

Thirty-year-old Richard Jefferson is arguably the most talented player still available on the open market. He opted out of the final year of his $15 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs and is seeking to compete for a team that is in the hunt for a title.

Since there are not many teams out there with sufficient salary cap space or in desperate need of a small forward, it seems likely that the Spurs will offer Jefferson a multi-year contract which he will probably accept in the weeks to come.


3. Josh Howard

While Josh Howard is mostly known for his injuries and inappropriate off-the-court behavior, the forward still has talent and the ability to score close to 20 points per game left in him.

Unfortunately, from the looks of things, it seems as if no team (at this moment) is willing to take the gamble on the malefactor.

Howard will be lucky to receive a mid-level exception from an above-.500 team this offseason.


4. Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes enjoyed a very successful season with the Orlando Magic, proving his worth on the defensive end of the court (being assigned to defend the top stars in the league).

Barnes showed his versatility, knocking down just under one three-pointer per game, snatching a career-high 5.5 rebounds, and dishing out 1.7 assists per game during the regular season last year.

The forward is searching for a multi-year deal worth somewhere around the $10-15 million range, and from the way he played last season, he surely deserves it.


5. C.J. Watson (restricted)

Watson posted career highs in every statistical category last season, shooting 46.8 percent from the field while scoring 10.3 PPG in 27.5 MPG.

It has not been reported on whether or not the Warriors anticipate re-signing the restricted free-agent this off season.

With the departure of Kelenna Azubuike and sharp-shooter Anthony Morrow, Golden State seems to be in need of a back-up shooting-guard.

Honorable Mentions: Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson, Will Bynum, Rasual Butler

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