It Ain't Over Yet: NBA's 10 Biggest Free Agents Yet To Sign
With the dust finally settled from the bomb that LeBron James dropped on the world, the buzz around the NBA is gradually starting to grow fainter.
Yet, front offices are still hard at work, spending sleepless nights trying to figure out what the last piece of the puzzle could be for their respective franchises.
Well, this writer is here to tell them that there are plenty of good options still available this summer.
Here are 10 free agents who could come in and contribute right away and what they bring to the table with their particular skill set.
Check me out on Twitter for great sports news: https://twitter.com/zmac32
10. Flip Murray
Ronald “Flip” Murray is a classic journeyman in the NBA. After playing for eight teams in the past eight seasons, Murray is hoping to find a city to spend the rest of his career.
Last year, Murray split time with the Bobcats and Bulls. Murray has a career average of around 10 points per game and has always proven to be a solid contributor off the bench.
His ability to shoot the three makes him an asset to any team. Murray is a team player first and a guy that that you would love to have on your team for veteran leadership and consistency.
I believe that Flip will make his next stop in Cleveland, where his style fits perfectly for what the Cavs are looking for. When in rebuilding mode, any team would jump at the chance to sign someone of Flip’s caliber.
9. Will Bynum
Bynum came out of Georgia Tech with mild epectations to live up to.
However, he has pieced together a very solid career. After averaging 10 points per game this past season for the Pistons, he has showed that he definitely has the ability to make things happen off of the bench.
Bynum is still very young, entering only his 4th season, and I think we should only expect better things. He is fairly crafty and always seems to find ways to get open. He moves very well without the ball which is something that any team values from a backup guard.
I can’t see Bynum leaving Detroit’s grasps. Detroit will match any offer made and make sure that they secure his consistency and reliability for next season.
8. Earl Boykins
Earl Boykins may be the smallest player in the league, standing at a measly 5’5”, but no one questions his ability to play bigger than his height.
Boykins has shown that he has dunking ability, something that still baffles me. While many think this doesn’t prove much, I think it does.
Boykins displays a tremendous amount of athleticism when on the court. I mean, you would have to if you planned to survive an NBA game at that size.
Boykins would be a good contributing player off the bench. He is a great distributing point guard who has enough experience to earn trust with the ball in his hands. He would be a very good backup to someone who may be a little strapped for cash.
I think that the Indiana Pacers would be a great fit. With TJ ford’s career going downhill, and maybe leading out of Indiana, I think that the Pacers would be wise to stash this quick, versatile guard on their bench for the 2011 season.
7. Kwame Brown
Probably the most famous and disappointing draft pick ever, Kwame Brown has been known for one thing in his career: failure.
Failure to live up to the hype, failure to stay in the same place and succeed, failure to score in the low block, the list goes on and on. Yet, in a world where true centers are dwindling to the point of almost nonexistence, even the great bust of Kwame Brown can be seen as an asset.
Brown has made his way all around the country during his eight year career, finishing in Detroit last season in a backup role. Brown managed to rebound the ball well while in the game, and even showed glimpses of low post scoring ability.
As a die-hard fan, this hurts to say. But I think that Brown would be a serviceable fit in the Charlotte Bobcats’ rotation. With the departure of Tyson Chandler, the Cats are looking for a Center by committee.
I think Brown, along with Diop and Nazr Muhammad would be up to par. Brown would bring a little more athleticism to the table than either of his counterparts, and may even find himself in a starting role. You chomping at the bit yet, MJ?
6. Rafer Alston
Yet another journeyman on our tour of free agents. “Skip to my Lou,” or Rafer Alston, has been a great role player in the NBA.
This flashy point guard displays great athleticism, along with solid court vision. He has found himself in starting roles on a few occasions as well, so you know he brings a lot of experience to the table.
Not too much to say on this one. I think that Alston is on the back end of his career and is probably looking for one more payday and one more chance to win a ring.
He will look to sign with a contender who can still offer him above the league minimum. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him try to work out a deal with New York as a plan for the future. This may be a smart move!
5. Shannon Brown
Shannon Brown electrified all of Los Angeles during the playoffs with incredible dunks and awesome displays of athleticism.
Brown’s stock may never be higher than it is right now. He has teams looking at him, thinking that he can crack a starting lineup next year. I don’t think they are all that crazy.
With that said, I think that Brown is best suited as a high energy guy off the bench. His best bet is to stay with the Lakers. It puts him in contention for a championship every year, and he is perfect for his role.
Being the heir to Kobe Bryant’s two spot isn’t too bad of a gig, especially when you are bringing in world championships.
4. Josh Howard
It wasn’t too long ago that people were talking about Josh Howard being one of the better offensive players in the Western Conference.
Well, he has since moved on to the East, and lost a little bit of pep in his step. However, Howard is by no means washed up. He still has a great ability to get to the rim and finish in traffic. A solid jump shot makes him a very hard player to defend.
Granted, his 2009-2010 season wasn’t exactly what he expected, due to injuries. Howard will be entering next season hungry. I think the Wizards would be insane to let him go. He is a good wingman for John Wall, and will spread the floor to allow Wall to penetrate lanes. I like this combination.
3. Tracy McGrady
It’s no secret that T-Mac looks like he is going to Chicago. So I will elaborate on why I think this is a GREAT move for the Bulls.
After missing out on players like LeBron, Wade, and Johnson, the Bulls still found themselves with a large gap at the two guard spot. The trade of Kirk Hinrich left the spot vacant, and many of us anticipated it to be filled by one of the shining stars of the free agent class.
But instead, the Bulls ended up signing Carlos Boozer. Boozer will fit in and is just the star that they needed down low. I see a lot of baseline dunks coming for him off of Derrick Rose penetration.
McGrady has been accused of being too old, too slow, and too brittle to be considered as a starting shooting guard anymore. Well, I agree on one of the three parts.
McGrady has proven to be very brittle over the years, but I can’t see how anyone can question his athleticism. After all, this is one of the more dominant players in the last 10 years when he was on his game.
I think this is a great move. Chicago will secure a starting shooting guard for a backup’s price. I am really looking forward to seeing what comes out of the Windy City this season.
2. Allen Iverson
Honestly, I think he is done. The only reason I have him so high is because of the media attention this is sure to garner.
Is he coming back? I’d say more than likely. But I think his motivation is purely money, rather than a “love of the game” or the desire to get a ring.
Iverson is no doubt a future HOF member, but his best days are behind him. That lightning quick crossover isn’t quite as fast as it once was.
He will go to whoever writes the biggest check. As of now, I am not sure who that could be. But I am sure one team will get desperate enough at some point.
1. Shaquille O'Neal
I’m really not too sure what I think of Shaq at this point. Is he one of the best big men to ever step on the hardwood? Without a doubt. Is he one of the most physically dominating presences in the league? Unquestionably. But can he still contribute? That is the question on my mine, along with a lot of NBA execs.
I think for a veteran’s minimum salary, he would be a good sign for a team looking to build some big man depth. The big Shaqtus isn’t looking for another pay day, which is what I love, he wants to win a championship.
Don’t think it didn’t bother him that Kobe just got another one without him.
If I had to guess, I would say that Shaq will pack his bags and head up to Boston to make the lineup even older, which I didn’t think was possible. I think he realizes that he is no longer a star, and he wants to do whatever it takes to get another ring; even if that means coming off the bench.