James Posey And 10 Good NBA Players That Would Thrive On Contenders

Stephen RosenbergContributor IJanuary 29, 2011

James Posey And 10 Good NBA Players That Would Thrive On Contenders

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    There are veteran players all over the NBA who are called lazy, washed-up, has-beens, and tired. What a lot of fans seem to not realize is that yeah, these players may be making millions of dollars regardless, but that doesn't change the fact that winning is winning, and losing sucks.

    Players will play their heart out on team competing heavily for a championship, then get traded the next year for someone fresher and younger.

    Most of the time the players are traded you a young, inexperienced team in need of veteran leadership and rebuilding. It's human nature to lose a little heart when going from constantly winning to the bottom of the barrel.

    I'm not saying players should act this way, but it's common sense. Then again, with some of these players, they've been in the rut for so long, it really would be refreshing to watch them thrive on a winning team again.

    Here are 10 players I believe would be amazing on contending teams.

10. Mike Bibby

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    Does anyone else miss seeing Mike Bibby play like a true elite point guard? Sure. He's one of the oldest starting point guards in the league, but being older doesn't take away a player's passion.

    Take a look at Steve Nash last year in the playoffs. When Bibby played for Sacramento, and they were a contending team, there were hardly any guards that could match his speed, intensity, shot choices, and pin-point jump shooting.

    Although he is starting for Atlanta, I just don't see them as a contending team. Bibby is just a different player since getting moved to the Hawks.

    It's true that he may be past his prime to be a starter, but I'd like to think he'd show some serious passion in leading a second unit as the reserve point guard on a great team.

    I can even imagine him doing better playing the starting position on an elite team that needs a decent point guard. (Miami, maybe?...just a thought.)

9. Corey Maggette

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    Maggette is one of those players who has always put up great numbers, and always been extremely explosive. In the last few years, Maggette has earned himself bench spots from respective coaches.

    At first, I thought maybe he played too much defense for Don Nelson's Golden State system, now he sits on the bench for Scott Skiles' defensive-minded Bucks. I've read in places that Maggette's attitude is what earns him his bench spots, rather than his play.

    But maybe his attitude would change if he got the playing time he deserved. I can only imagine that had Maggette, and Brand had stayed in LA, what kind of scary trio they would've made with Baron Davis...which brings me to my next slide.

8. Baron Davis

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    It's been a loooooong time since Baron has played for a winning team. When healthy, and whole-hearted, Davis plays as well as any point-guard in the league. His bulkiness and speed are a deadly combination for playing the one spot.

    The problem is, he pretty much finagled into playing for a losing team for five years. When signing with the Clippers, Davis admitted that he thought Elton Brand and Corey Maggette would both be signing extensions with the team.

    Aside from his eighth-seed Warriors that upset the Mavs, Baron hasn't played for a winning team since the Hornets.

    He's been called lazy, fat, and heartless, but now that Blake Griffin has the Clippers gunning for a playoff spot, Davis has been a great leader, and putting up double-doubles on a regular basis.

    Just imagine how he'd do on a team that was a lock for a top 4 spot.

7. James Posey

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    Anyone else remember James Posey's deadly three-point shot in 2006 when Miami grasped the title? How about in 2008 when Posey played lock-down defense on Kobe Bryant, making him almost obsolete?

    After winning two titles in three years, Posey decided that it was time for a big paycheck. He signed with the New Orleans Hornets, and since then, every article I read on him almost always ends with "He left his heart in Boston."

    Being a Boston fan, I've secretly hoped that Posey would change his mind and Boston would try and work out a deal to get him back.

    Now he plays in Indiana...where things are looking up from the last six years, but don't seem to be going anywhere fast. I see Posey moving to several more teams before he's happy.

6. Tracy McGrady

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    T-Mac has proven he can pull his weight around now that he's finally made his way into Detroit's starting line-up. He's putting up solid numbers, but has also shown that he's not the right man to lead a team into contention.

    McGrady is showing that he is healthy and happy in Detroit for one reason, and that is so a contender will pick him up next year, and he can help bring them a championship.

    If McGrady has been putting up 15-20 point games pretty consistently with a team that he most likely will not be re-signing with next year, and he knows it.

    I wonder what kind of numbers T-Mac would be putting up if he knew a championship was closely within his grasp. Isn't Chicago still looking for a good offensive shooting guard, and veteran leadership?

5. Darren Collison

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    Collison is a little young to be called a veteran, but there seems to be a big difference in his play with the Pacers, and his play last year when he took over for the injured Chris Paul.

    Sure, he's still putting up high numbers on certain nights, but he just doesn't seem to have the scoring consistency that he showed in NOLA.

    Where as I think the Pacers need a new coach and system to become elite, I don't think it's a long shot for the next few years.

    When the Pacers get to that point, I expect Collison to simply blow up and become on of the premier guards in the league.

4. Elton Brand

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    Twenty years ago, the league was filled with seven-footers and big men alike. Nowadays, finding true power at the four spot is few and far between for a lot of teams.

    Elton Brand chose to leave LA and go to Philly a couple years ago and was injured immediately, putting a damper on the multi-year contract he had just signed.

    Now Brand, who is finally healthy, is playing great basketball. Unfortunately, it's for a team that doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell at winning a championship anytime soon, especially with all the talk of blowing up the team, trading Iggy, and starting over from scratch.

    Elton Brand doesn't exactly fit the leader profile, so if Philly could dump his massive contract onto a contender that will be needing a new starting power forward in the next few years (San Antonio, Boston, Oklahoma City?).

    His good rebounding, good mid-range shot, decent defense, and excellent post game make him valuable to any contender, and he would only double his effort to play for one.

3-2. Jason Thompson and Carl Landry

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    The Kings have quite the log-jam with their bigs trying to find time for Thompson, Landry, Cousins, and Dalembert, which is why I see them moving one of these two players very soon.

    They are virtually the same player: excellent post-up game, great mid-range shot, great defense, young, and fast.

    Both play their heart out every time their feet touch the court and I can see them both having long, successful careers.

    I can see an older team trying to gun for one of these two guys to bring a little youth to their roster. A team like Dallas could really use their talent off the bench to step in and be productive for a second unit or if Dirk Nowitzki gets injured.

1. Rip Hamilton

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    Can anyone explain to me why this guy is sitting on the bench for such a horrible Detroit team? Rip is a multiple time All-Star, one of the leaders to a championship team, and still one of the best shooting guards in the NBA.

    There are hardly any other two-guards that are nearly as athletic and can move around through screens and keep their opponents on the constant guard like Rip can.

    I don't see why the Pistons aren't so eager to trade Rip, and I don't understand why teams aren't eager to eat him up.

    Granted his large contract has a lot to do with it, in the next year, don't be surprised to see a contending team make a move for Rip. Didn't Dallas just lose their starting shooting guard for the entire season?