NBA Free Agency 2011: One Free Agent Each Team Should Look to Add

Preston DeGarmoAnalyst IJuly 17, 2011

NBA Free Agency 2011: One Free Agent Each Team Should Look to Add

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    Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler are two free agents who will be highly coveted during the free-agency period
    Caron Butler and Tyson Chandler are two free agents who will be highly coveted during the free-agency periodRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the 2011 NBA free-agency period. With the NBA lockout in effect and no clear end in sight, there is no way of knowing when teams will be able to begin pursuing free agents and how much flexibility teams will have in doing so. With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) under negotiation, the salary cap has yet to be set and owners are unsure how much money they will be allowed to invest in players. 

    In addition, there is always the chance that a rule change could occur and alter the free agency landscape. One such rule that could potentially be reinstated is the Allan Houston rule, which would allow each team to release one player from the roster while having that player's contract removed from their total payroll. Although that player would still be payed his contract by the owner, it would not count against the team's cap space and he would be free to sign a new contract with another team. 

    If such a rule were to be reinstated, it would greatly open up the flexibility of teams like the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Portland Trailblazers, who would be able to open up their cap space by releasing, Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis and Brandon Roy, respectively. 

    Therefore, teams like the Magic, who at the moment appear to be completely devoid of the flexibility to pursue high-end free agents, could have far more flexibility under the new CBA. This potential for change makes it very difficult to accurately predict the cap situation of teams heading into the free-agency period (whenever it might occur).

    Consequently, I have written this article to highlight the ideal player for each NBA team to sign, regardless of their previous cap situation. In addition, I have not included re-signings that teams would be wise to perform, as the purpose of the article was to suggest a new player that each team should bring in. 

Atlanta Hawks: Tyson Chandler, UFA

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks argues a call with referee Steve Javie #29 against the Miami Heat in the first half of Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO U
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    2010-2011 Stats: 10.1 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.1 BPG in 27.8 MPG

    The Atlanta Hawks are the perfect example of a team that in all likelihood will lack the financial flexibility required to attract a star free agent player. 

    Atlanta fans, you can thank Joe Johnson for that. 

    However, if the Hawks were to, acquire some cap flexibility, they could find a perfect team fit in Tyson Chandler. 

    He is a true center, a defensive beast and a leader, and the addition of Chandler to the team would allow Atlanta to slide Al Horford to his natural position of power forward. 

    Chandler sparked the Dallas Mavericks to their first championship, and he could be the final piece of the puzzle for the Atlanta Hawks. 

Boston Celtics: Marc Gasol, RFA

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    MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 07:  Marc Gasol #33 of the  Memphis Grizzlies celebrates during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 7, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee.The
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    2010-2011 Stats: 11.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG in 31.9 MPG

    Despite failing to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics are undoubtedly still one of the top teams in the East. However, Boston's big three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen aren't getting any younger, and the Celtics still have some areas to address if they want a final shot at the title. 

    One such area is rebounding. The Celtics were 29th in the league in rebounding last year, and could use a new center to bang in the paint and pick up valuable boards. 

    Marc Gasol, the definition of a banger, seems like their guy. 

    Gasol's rebounding numbers certainly don't seem all that impressive at first glance. However, when you take into consideration that Gasol spent last season playing alongside Zach Randolph, one of the league's top rebounders (he gobbled up 12.2 boards per game), seven rebounds per game doesn't seem too bad. 

    Furthermore, he averaged 9.3 rebounds per game during the 2009-10 season, which proves he is more than capable of being an effective pounder of the glass. 

    With Shaq's retirement, the trade of Kendrick Perkins and Jermaine O'Neal's decline, the Celtics desperately need a new center. Although Gasol would be very hard to lure from the Grizzlies, no one knows what the new CBA will bring, and the Celtics should at least make an effort to sign him or acquire him through a sign and trade deal.

Charlotte Bobcats: Jason Richardson, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 15.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.8 APG in 33.9 MPG

    Jason Richardson had one of the best seasons of his career as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats, when he averaged 21.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while proving himself to be one of the league's best shooting guards. 

    Although Richardson is no longer the player he once was, at just 30 years of age he still has plenty of gas in the tank and would be an excellent pickup for Michael Jordan's bobcats. 

    The Charlotte Bobcats traded away their leading scorer Stephen Jackson on draft day in a trade that allowed them to make a major investment in the future by drafting both Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo. 

    Although they acquired Corey Maggette in the same deal that saw the departure of Jackson, Maggette has proven to be inconsistent and injury prone, and many of the others players on the Bobcats are either too raw to carry the scoring load or simply don't have the offensive ability.

    Consequently, Richardson would be a perfect fit for Charlotte. Richardson is capable of averaging 20 plus points per game and is an excellent three-point shooter. Richardson could help carry Charlotte on the offensive end while Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson, who both have potential to be dominant scorers, continue to develop. 

Chicago Bulls: Aaron Afflalo, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 12.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.4 APG in 33.7 MPG

    It was clear all throughout last season, and particularly in the playoffs, that the Chicago Bulls were in dire need of an upgrade at shooting guard. Keith Bogans played solid defense, but was an enormous liability on the offensive end and failed to knock down threes at a satisfactory rate. 

    Aaron Afflalo, who will became a restricted free-agent during the free-agency period, is not only one of the league's best perimeter defenders, but also a lethal three-point shooter. Afflalo shot over 42 percent from deep last season while also scoring at a solid clip. His skills happen to be a hand—in—glove fit with the Bulls needs. 

    Although Afflalo would be a perfect fit on the Bulls, they have very little money to spend and the only chance they would have at signing him would be through a sign and trade deal. 

    Kenyon Martin is likely headed out of Denver and the Nuggets soon will be without a serviceable power forward. Perhaps they would be willing to take on Carlos Boozer in exchange for Afflalo and Al Harrington. Such a move would allow Taj Gibson to take over as the Bulls starting power forward, with Harrington providing scoring punch off the bench much like he did in Denver and New York. 

Cleveland Cavaliers: Nick Young, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 17.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG in 31.8 MPG

    The Cavaliers were the worst team in the Eastern Conference last year, and one of the biggest reasons for this was there absolutely terrible play from the wings. The Cavaliers rotated Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson, Joey Graham, Christian Eyenga and Manny Harris on the wings. Unsurprisingly, that did not work out particularly well. 

    The Cavaliers recently acquired Omri Casspi in a deal that sent J.J. Hickson to Sacramento, so they appear to be set at the small forward position. However, they still need a shooting guard who can score the basketball on a consistent basis. Nick Young, the leading scorer for the Washington Wizards last season, seems like the best candidate. 

    Young can fill it up and is basically a less problematic version of J.R. Smith, another free-agent shooting guard who the Cavaliers could consider. Although he won't do much else, Young has the scoring ability to be the Cavaliers' go—to—guy on offense and would be a great running mate for Kyrie Irving. 

Dallas Mavericks: Carl Landry, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.4 BPG in 26.4 MPG

    The Dallas Mavericks had one of the league's strongest second unit's last season, with players like J.J. Barea, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic and Brendan Haywood providing a spark off the bench. This fantastic depth was one of the main reasons why the Mavericks managed to win the championship. 

    Despite the overall strength of their second unit, the Mavericks were not particularly strong at the backup power forward position. Although Brian Cardinal did just fine in the limited minutes he received behind Dirk Nowitzki, it certainly would not hurt the Mavericks to find a better backup four. 

    Enter Carl Landry. Landry is a capable post scorer who can be very effective in big minutes. He would allow Dirk Nowitzki to rest during the regular season and save his legs for the playoffs, and could also play alongside Nowitzki at times. 

Denver Nuggets: Glen Davis, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 11.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.4 BPG in 29.5 MPG

    The Nuggets are stacked at point guard, where they have up and coming Ty Lawson and veteran Andre Miller. Shooting guard also doesn't seem to be a major need, as they are almost certain to re-sign the talented Arron Afflalo. Meanwhile, three-point shooter Danilo Gallinari mans the small forward position, where Wilson Chandler, if he is re-signed, also plays. 

    Consequently, it seems the only way for the Nuggets to go in the free agency is big. And if they want big, well, there's no better man than Glen "Big Baby" Davis himself. 

    After spending the first few years of his career in the shadow of Kevin Garnett, Davis is likely ready to be a starter on an NBA team, and the Nuggets could provide him with that opportunity. Denver needs a new power forward, and has plenty of money to spend in the free-agency period. Davis has displayed a solid mid-range jumper and great post skills, and would be a great fit on the Nuggets. 

Detroit Pistons: Nene, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 14.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.0 BPG in 30.5 MPG

    Many teams will be vying for Nene's services during the free—agency period, and the Detroit Pistons should be one of them. Detroit is in a serious state of flux, and seems set at only two positions: Power forward, with Greg Monroe, and point guard, with Brandon Knight. 

    Thus, they could use a new center. And an athletic big man like Nene seems like a great fit alongside two great passers in Knight and Monroe. 

    Ben Wallace is clearly no more than a shadow of his former self and the Pistons are going nowhere with Big Ben as their starting center. Nene would give the Pistons a huge offensive boost at the position without sacrificing too much defensively, and would help give the Pistons some identity. 

Golden State Warriors: Tyson Chandler, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 10.1 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.1 BPG in 27.8 MPG

    Tyson Chandler may be the most sought after free-agent this summer, and the Warriors shouldn't hold back in joining the sweepstakes for his services. Andris Biedrins is extremely injury prone and not exactly starter material, and Golden State could use a player like Chandler to anchor their defense and provide leadership. 

    The Warriors are a team just a couple of pieces away from the playoffs, and although Chandler likely wouldn't be particularly interested in playing for a rebuilding squad like Golden State, a large enough contract could lure him to Oracle Arena. 

Houston Rockets: Marc Gasol, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 11.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.7 BPG in 31.9 MPG

    With Yao Ming's retirement, the Rockets are officially in need of a new starting center. They should look no further than Marc Gasol. 

    Gasol is a powerful force in the post, and although he lacks the skill of his brother Pau, he is starting to put together a solid offensive game. 

    The Rockets are on the verge of reaching the playoffs and have a very deep and talented roster. However, their only centers at the moment are the 6'6" Chuck Hayes and the 7'3" yet somehow less effective Hasheem Thabeet. 

    Gasol would anchor the Rockets inside and would be a great pickup. However, stealing him from the Grizzlies would require a very substantial offer. 

Indiana Pacers: David West, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 18.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.0 BPG in 35.0 MPG

    Tyler "Psycho T" Hansbrough put together a solid run for the Indiana Pacers towards the end of the season, but proved to be extremely inconsistent, as evidenced by his abysmal field goal percentage (33 percent) during the playoffs. 

    The Pacers are a solid team with a strong core of young players like Danny Granger, Darren Collison and Roy Hibbert. However, they have yet to reach contender status, and could use a more experienced power forward to reach the next level.

    David West, who has spent the last eight seasons of his career with the New Orleans Hornets, would be a perfect fit on the Pacers. West is one of the league's premier pick—and—pop men and has already built chemistry with Collison, who played with West during his rookie year. 

    West would provide a veteran presence to the Pacers and alleviate some of the scoring burden placed on Granger. West has stated that he wants to contend, and he could be the final piece the Pacers need to become one of the top teams in the East. Furthermore, the Pacers are bound to have plenty of cap room under the new CBA and would be able to make West a generous offer. 

    Fellow Hornets power forward Carl Landry has stated that he would like to play for the Pacers, so he could be a fallback if Indiana is unable to sign West. 

Los Angeles Clippers: Wilson Chandler, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 15.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.7 APG in 33.3 MPG

    The Los Angeles Clippers, err, excuse me, Showtime Blakers, finally seem to be headed in the right direction, with rising superstar Blake Griffin leading the way. The Clippers have assembled a talented roster with rising young players like Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. However, they failed to make the playoffs last season and still have a gaping hole at the small forward position.

    Wilson Chandler, a restricted free-agent for the Denver Nuggets, could be just what the Clippers need. 

    Chandler is a versatile scorer and talented defender who drew some comparisons to Carmelo Anthony last season. Chandler was involved in the deal that saw Carmelo head to New York, and is currently stuck in a logjam in Denver. Danilo Gallinari, who arrived in Denver as part of the same deal, also plays the small forward position, and Chandler currently finds himself in the regrettable situation of having to compete for playing time with not only Gallinari but also Arron Afflalo. 

    The Nuggets seem determined to hold onto Afflalo and Gallinari, so Chandler could seek greener pastures elsewhere. The Clippers have the means to make a very enticing offer to the young forward, and should look to add him to their growing nucleus of young stars. 

Los Angeles Lakers: Aaron Brooks, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 10.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 3.9 APG in 21.8 MPG

    I'll start by saying that this is a major long shot. The Lakers were way over the cap limit under the old CBA and will likely be even further over it in the new one. However, Brooks could be just what the Lakers need to win Kobe one last title. 

    Derek Fisher is simply not going to cut it anymore for the Lakers. He has had a long and successful career and been one of the most clutch players of the decade. However, a starting point guard who averages less than seven points and three assists needs to make his way to the bench. 

    Aaron Brooks is a young point guard who won the 2009-10 Most Improved Player Award and who has shown an uncanny ability to knock down threes and get into the paint. 

    Brooks is a restricted free-agent for the Phoenix Suns and there is no way the Lakers would be able to offer him a contract large enough to bring him to L.A. However, the Lakers could attempt to negotiate a sign and trade deal for his services. Would Shannon Brown or Derrick Caracter do the trick?

Memphis Grizzlies: Caron Butler, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 15.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.6 APG in 29.9 MPG

    Caron Butler suffered a knee—injury last season while playing for the Mavericks, and as a result he sat out the entire postseason while his team went on to win the NBA Finals. Which begs the question, if they could win it all without him, how vital is Butler to the team?

    If he re-signs with the Mavericks, Butler would have to compete with Jason Terry, Rudy Fernandez, Shawn Marion and Rodrigue Beaubois for playing time at the shooting guard and small forward positions. On the Grizzlies, however, he would likely have little to no competition for the starting shooting guard spot. 

    Butler would certainly be an upgrade over Tony Allen, and could play well alongside Rudy Gay. O.J. Mayo, if the Grizzlies decide not to trade him, would be able to continue his role as the sixth-man. Butler, although not a great three-point shooter, possesses an excellent mid-ranged jumper and is a lock—down defender. 

    The Grizzlies surprised the league last year with their deep playoff run, and could be just one piece away from being legitimate title contenders. Butler could be that piece. 

Miami Heat: Samuel Dalembert, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 8.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.5 BPG in 24.2 MPG

    This one doesn't require much explaining.

    The Heat were very weak at center last season and could use a defensive anchor in the middle. Both parties have expressed interest in a possible union, and Dalembert could be the final piece the Heat need to earn LeBron his first title. 

    The Heat should also make a go at Tyson Chandler though. Chandler could make the team unstoppable. 

Milwaukee Bucks: David West, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 18.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.0 BPG in 35.0 MPG

    Much like the Pacers, West could be the last piece the Bucks need to return to relevancy after a highly disappointing season. The Bucks have several serviceable power forwards, including Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders. However, none of these players have been consistent enough to be starter material and would be better off coming off Milwaukee's bench.

    West, on the other hand, has been one of the league's top power forwards for the past few years and could provide some much needed offense for the scoring deficient Bucks. After acquiring Stephen Jackson in a draft day deal, the Bucks are already in much better position heading into the season.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyson Chandler, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 10.1 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.1 BPG in 27.8 MPG

    The Timberwolves finally seem to have assembled a quality roster, with Kevin Love emerging as a superstar, Michael Beasley doing almost as much scoring as he is smoking, and rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams ready to make an impact.

    However, they still have a rather unfortunate situation at the center position, which Darko Milicic and Brad Miller currently occupy. That's not exactly the dynamic duo you'd like at your center position, Kahn. 

    Tyson Chandler is a defensive beast capable of having a profound impact on a team. Kevin Love, despite being a great rebounder, is a rather poor defender. If the T-Wolves were able to add Chandler, they would greatly improve their defense and add a veteran leader to the roster, one who could knock some sense into guys like Beasley. 

    After just winning his first championship, I doubt Chandler would want to relocate to the team with the worst record in the league last season. However, he could be attracted by a solid offer and the pool of young talent in Minnesota. 

    Good luck with this one, Mr. Kahn. 

New Jersey Nets: Andrei Kirilenko, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 11.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG in 31.2 MPG

    Russians Unite!

    Ok, so maybe picking Kirilenko as a target for the Nets was more than slightly impacted by the fact that they happen to have a Russian billionaire by the name of Mikhail Prokhorov as their owner. However, he also seems like a great fit.

    The Nets could use a new small forward, as Travis Outlaw simply did not cut it last season. They could also use some help on the defensive side of the ball, which makes Kirilenko the perfect man for the job. Kirilenko would also be reunited with former teammate Deron Williams, and his defensive focus would complement offensively focused shooting guards Anthony Morrow and Marshon Brooks. 

New Orleans Hornets: Jamal Crawford, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 14.2 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 3.2 APG in 30.2 MPG

    The Hornets need to do everything in their power to try to persuade Chris Paul to stay in New Orleans, and adding Jamal Crawford, while keeping David West, would certainly help them in that goal. 

    Crawford would provide a great third scoring option and a decent shooting guard to fortify the starting lineup. Crawford is a veteran player who could give the Hornets the boost they need to make a deeper playoff run next season, an act which could persuade Paul to give the Hornets a second chance. 

New York Knicks: Samuel Dalembert, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 8.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.5 BPG in 24.2 MPG

    The New York Knicks got the superstar tandem they wanted in Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. However, they desperately need a new center and have little money to spend in the approaching free-agency. 

    Samuel Dalembert is coming off a huge contract and would likely be willing to take a pay-cut in order to compete for a championship. Although he is more likely to go to the Miami Heat, Dalembert would certainly provide the Knicks with the defensive force they need in the paint and would allow Stoudemire to shift to his natural position of power forward.

    The Knicks need defense, and Dalembert could provide it. Look for them to pursue him aggressively. 

Oklahoma City Thunder: Carl Landry, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.4 BPG in 26.4 MPG

    The Oklahoma City Thunder made it to the Western Conference Finals last season and proved that they are officially title contenders. However, they still have room to improve, and one area where the Thunder could use some help is in post scoring. 

    The Thunder's primary big man rotation consists of Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison, all of whom are great defenders and rebounders. However, they are not particularly effective post scorers, and although Ibaka is showing an increasingly capable offensive game, the Thunder could still use some help. 

    Carl Landry is an skilled post player who could provide some inside scoring to the second unit, and likely would not come too high of a price tag. The Thunder should definitely look to add Landry to the roster.

    They should also start James Harden. About time. 

Orlando Magic: Marcus Thornton, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 12.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.8 APG in 24.3 MPG

    The Magic are bound to be way over the cap under the new CBA, and as I stated before, their only real hope is the possible reinstatement of the Allan Houston Rule. 

    If this miracle were to occur, the Magic would be able to pursue a young free-agent in the hopes that he would help them encourage Dwight Howard not to abandon ship come the summer of 2012. 

    Marcus Thornton, a restricted free-agent for the Sacramento Kings, would be an excellent option. Thornton is an incredibly gifted scorer who could help take some of the scoring burden off of Howard. Howard, meanwhile, would cover for Thornton's defensive woes. 

    In 21 games as a starter last season, Thornton averaged 21.3 PPG and showed an outstanding proficiency from three-point range. He would fit right into the Magic's system and could allow them to once again compete with the Eastern Conference's elite teams. 

Philadelphia 76ers: DeAndre Jordan, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 7.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.8 BPG in 25.6 MPG

    I highly doubt Philadelphia fans were content with Spencer Hawes' play at the center position last season. And although the Sixers drafted center Nikola Vucevic in the 2011 draft, he is not the answer either, at least not immediately. 

    The Sixers would be wise to look to free agency to find their center of the future. There are a number of defensively solid centers in the free-agency, like Tyson Chandler, Samuel Dalembert and Marc Gasol. However, the Sixers should pursue the youngest of the bunch, a man named DeAndre Jordan. 

    Jordan is a great shot-blocker and a better dunker. He is also enormous and serves as an excellent target for point guards. The Sixers happen to have a very good point guard in Jrue Holiday, who could pair well with Jordan. 

    Jordan would be hard to acquire due to his status as a restricted free-agent, but if the Sixers could find a way to acquire him from the Clippers (perhaps through a sign and trade involving Andre Iguodala) they would be in great shape heading towards the future. 

Phoenix Suns: J.R. Smith, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 12.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.2 APG in 24.9 MPG

    The Phoenix Suns run one of the league's most up-tempo offenses led by Steve Nash. The Suns are currently on the verge of a rebuilding process, with Nash and Grant Hill both nearing retirement and young players like Aaron Brooks, Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley taking over the reins of the team. 

    The Suns should have plenty of cap room to use in the free-agency period, and they would be wise to target a shooting guard. Vince Carter and Jared Dudley currently occupy the position, and while Dudley is a solid player who had a great season for the Suns last year, Carter is way over the hill and no longer even worthy of a starting role, and he is likely to be bought out by the team. 

    After the departure of Jason Richardson early last season, the Suns were without a go-to scorer, a problem that was all too clear at times during the season. The Suns could use an athletic scorer who can run the floor and shoot the three-pointer (the two things the Suns do best). So what better man than J.R. Smith?

    Now, Smith is a bit of a problem child and has never gotten along particularly well with coaches. But when he gets playing time, he can certainly score. Smith could learn a thing or two about how to act on an NBA team from veterans like Nash and Hill, and he would likely be less of a pain if he got the playing time he feels he deserves, which the Suns could undoubtedly give to him. 

Portland Trailblazers: Joel Przybilla, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 1.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.4 BPG in 14.4 MPG

    Joel Przybilla played the last seven seasons of his career with the Trailblazers before being traded to the Bobcats in the deal that brought Gerald Wallace to Portland. The Blazers would be wise to bring the now free-agent center back to Portland. 

    Przybilla, a 7'1" center out of the University of Minnesota, provides very little help on the offensive side of the floor, as evidenced by his career average of just 4.0 PPG. However, Przybilla is an excellent low post defender and rebounder, particularly on the offensive glass. Przybilla averaged 8.7 RPG in just 23.8 MPG during the 2008-09 season, which rounds up to about 17.5 boards per 48 minutes. Point being: this guy can rebound the basketball.

    The Blazers were severely lacking in depth at center last season, since Greg Oden missed the entire season and Marcus Camby proved to be fairly injury prone as well. Portland likely will not have much money to spend in the free-agency, but Przybilla would come with a cheap price tag and would likely jump at the opportunity to return to Rip City. 

Sacramento Kings: Greg Oden, RFA

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    2009-2010 Stats: 11.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG in 23.9 MPG

    Greg Oden's numbers during his brief healthy stint with the Blazers during the 2009-10 season aren't exactly jaw dropping. At least, not until you look at the minutes per game. Then they become a whole lot more impressive. 

    During the 22 games he played for the Blazers during that season, Oden averaged a monstrous 16.7 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per 36 minutes. Those stats remind me a whole lot of Dwight Howard, and its clear that Oden is capable of being a dominant superstar if healthy and given starter minutes. Of course, the most important word in that sentence is "if". There is a great deal of uncertainty whether Oden will be able to recover from his knee injuries and still be the player he could have been. 

    Oden is the epitome of a high risk, high reward situation. And now a restricted free-agent, he should be garnering attention from plenty of teams. One of those teams should be the Sacramento Kings. 

    The Kings currently have three outstanding young big men under contract in DeMarcus Cousins, J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson. However, none of these players are particularly good defenders, and they have all spent most of their time at the power forward position to this point. 

    The Kings will have much more cap space in the free-agency period than the Blazers, and with a big enough offer, they could likely steal Oden from Portland. Although it would be a major risk, Oden could become a defensive anchor for the team and the center of the future. Oden and Cousins would form one of the league's biggest and most dominant frontcourt duos, and with Hickson and Thompson backing them up, Sacramento would have the league's strongest big man rotation. 

San Antonio Spurs: Nene, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 14.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.0 BPG in 30.5 MPG

    The San Antonio Spurs, like the Celtics, are facing a rapidly closing championship window. Despite finishing atop the Western Conference last season, the Spurs suffered an early exit in the playoffs and need to make some changes if they wish to have one last shot at a title during the Tim Duncan era. 

    The most pressing need for the Spurs is a new starting center. DeJuan Blair and Antonio McDyess both had solid campaigns last season, but neither can compete with the elite centers of the league. 

    Nene, an athletic beast and skilled defender, would be a great fit next to Tim Duncan in the Spurs frontcourt. Nene would bring some youth and scoring ability to the Spurs center position and could allow them to maintain their spot at the top of the West. Although he will undoubtedly receive larger offers from teams with more cap room than the Spurs, Nene could be attracted to the prestige of the organization and the prospect of a potential championship. 

Toronto Raptors: DeAndre Jordan, RFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 7.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.8 BPG in 25.6 MPG

    Andrea Bargnani, the starting center for the Toronto Raptors, averaged just 5.2 RPG last season, a horrendous number considering his seven-foot frame. Bargnani, although a gifted perimeter scorer and athlete, lacks motivation on the defensive end and failed to accomplish many of the tasks that a center should and is more suited for the power forward position. Bargnani has the potential to be a similar player to Dirk Nowitzki, but needs a solid center alongside him to cover his defensive issues. 

    Although last year the Raptors had Reggie Evans, one of the league's top rebounders, starting alongside Bargnani, Evans is completely useless on offense and not the kind of player the Raptors want in their starting lineup. And while Toronto also drafted Lithuanian big man Jonas Valunciunas with the fifth pick in this year's draft, Valunciunas will not be joining the team until the 2012-13 season and is still extremely raw.

    Consequently, the Raptors are in dire need of a new starting center. And with plenty of money to spend in the free agency, Toronto should be setting their sights on a man named DeAndre Jordan. 

    Jordan, who broke out last season as the Clippers' starting center, is one of the league's most athletic centers, and he is not only an excellent shot blocker but also runs the floor exceptionally well, which would make him an excellent complement to Jose Calderon. Jordan fed off of alley-oops from Baron Davis last season, and Calderon, one of the league's best passers, would be able to do an equally good job of facilitating Jordan at the rim. Furthermore, Jordan's strengths are Bargnani's weaknesses, and vice versa, so they would complement one another well and form one of the league's largest frontcourt tandems. 

    Although Jordan's scoring numbers aren't particularly flashy, he shot over 68 percent from the floor last season, as most of his points came off of his powerful dunks. With 30+ minutes per night, Jordan could easily become one of the league's top centers, so Toronto would be wise to give him a large offer. Although as a restricted free-agent he would be difficult to pry from the Clippers, Jordan would be well worth it.

    Tyson Chandler or Samuel Dalembert could also be good targets. 

Utah Jazz: Tayshaun Prince, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 14.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.8 APG in 32.8 MPG

    Andrei Kirilenko is likely heading somewhere else this offseason, so the Jazz may want to look at options for his replacement. Tayshaun Prince, a veteran dirty-work player, is almost certainly leaving Detroit, and could be a great fit for the Jazz.

    Gordon Hayward showed flashes of brilliance last season but he is not quite ready for a starting role. Prince, who was a starter on the Pistons' 2004 championship squad, could occupy that role for the time being, providing the Jazz with a solid defender and slight offensive upgrade over Kirilenko. 

    The Jazz could also target Wilson Chandler or Kelenna Azubuike to replace Kirilenko. 

Washington Wizards: Grant Hill, UFA

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    2010-2011 Stats: 13.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.5 APG in 30.1 MPG

    Grant Hill is 38—years—old and still going strong. After missing much of the prime of his career due to injuries, Hill experienced a resurgence with the Phoenix Suns and has become a core component of the team. However, with only a couple of years left in his career, it may be time that Hill and the Suns organization parted ways. 

    The Washington Wizards, currently in the midst of a rebuilding process led by John Wall, are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. They were near the bottom of the Eastern Conference last season and could use a veteran presence to mentor some of the team's younger players, particularly draft-pick Jan Vesely, an athletic forward who is somewhat reminiscent of Hill in his younger days. 

    The Wizards already have both Vesely and Rashard Lewis at the small forward position. However, Lewis plays best as a stretch four and Vesely is still extremely raw and may not be ready to start in his rookie year. Hill could start for the Wizards at small forward, at least to start the season, and gradually let his minutes go to Vesely, who could be the future for the Wizards at the small forward position. 

    Although many Wizards fans are crying out for a new power forward after Andray Blatche's immaturity has caused problems for the team, the Wizards would be better off looking to add depth and leadership through free agency while attempting to trade Blatche for a new power forward.