NBA Free Agents: Mike Bibby, Jason Kapono and 10 Impact Players for Contenders
Being a spectator of this year's build up to the NBA trade deadline was truly sensational. There were superstars changing teams, championship organizations making I guess the necessary moves (i.e. the Celtics), and teams that were maybe in the hunt for June basketball now for sure in the hunt for June basketball.
With all that being said, there's still more off the court action that has yet to be finalized. In the NBA, you'll always have guys acquired mid to late season that can make a difference.
Here's a look at the top ten players coming off the free agent wire to make an impact for a title contending team.
10. Carlos Arroyo
Arroyo was cut by the Miami Heat earlier this week to clear space for veteran point guard Mike Bibby. Arroyo showed some signs of a true point guard with his ability to run an offense and knock down an open shot.
Unfortunately for the Heat, they don't have time for a so called "project" at the helm of their offense. Under the right system he could be a big time role player for any team in the hunt.
9. Morris Peterson
Peterson was waived on Monday by the Charlotte Bobcats after being acquired by them at last week's deadline.
It's been an exhilarating career for the 33 year old Peterson, but he's still got one thing left on his list: Win a championship.
Peterson is a shooting guard that can knock down the big shot when called upon. He will provide a spark off the bench for any contending team under the right playing circumstance.
8. Leon Powe
The former role player for the championship Boston Celtic team is back on the market. The Cavs were not the right fit for the veteran Power Forward/Center and he will move on with an open mind.
The Grizzlies approached him most recently, but Powe's services could be even more of an asset elsewhere.
Boston just lost some size in the paint and even though they just signed Troy Murphy, adding Leon Powe would remind them that their bench was the energy down the stretch a couple seasons ago that made all the difference.
7. Rasual Butler
After signing a one year $2.4 million dollar contract in the 2010 season, Rasual Butler was bought out by the Clippers and his tenure in LA is no more.
Butler struggled to find playing time after the acquisition of Randy Foye and the addition of Eric Bledsoe. Butler is a guy that can shoot the three, and certainly be what a James Posey type player was to the championship Boston Celtics team a couple seasons ago.
Any contending team in the hunt right now would love to add this three point specialist to their squad. Butler is averaging five PPG, and a three pointer per game this season.
6. Kelenna Azubuike
Azubuike has been battling a nagging knee injury all season that has caused him to be all the sudden jobless. The Knicks acquired Azuibuike last week but did away with him in the drop of a hat.
Kelenna has averaged upside of 17 PPG in his best season with the Warriors in the '08-'09 season. He's only been in the league less than five years and any team that needs a shooter would be lucky to have him if they can be patient with his recovery process.
5. T.J. Ford
Where did all of the opportunity for T.J. Ford go? What once was a starting role in Indiana has now spiraled into a possible buyout between the Pacers and Ford.
If the Pacers do try and buy out the remainder of Ford's contract, he'll be eligible to sign with any team. Ford's averaging 5.7 PPG and 3.5 APG.
He is in no way "over the hill" and could certainly fill a backup role on any of the contending teams in either conference. Look for Ford to bounce back with a fresh start in a new uniform.
4. Corey Brewer
Corey Brewer and Knicks have agreed to a buyout. Brewer got the short end of the stick with the Knicks feeling pressure to aid Ronnie Turiaf down low. It's a shame because the Knicks could use a guy like Brewer who provides a spark off the bench and a defensive approach which the Knicks obviously are in need of.
Brewer who's been with a pretty disappointing T-Wolves team his entire career, will look to sign with an organization that's headed toward the playoffs. Oh how exciting!
Kapono's role as a 76er has deteriorated. With Philadelphia set to make the playoffs in the East, Kapono's minimal role is no longer in need in the "City of Brotherly Love".
The Sixers are set to buyout Kapono's contract making him eligible to sign with a contending team. He looks to aid any squad that's in need of some long-range game.
Jason would be a key asset to a team like the Hornets or the Hawks who could use a guy with size that understands how to facilitate the basketball.
2. Troy Murphy
Troy Murphy has been bought out by the Warriors and is set to sign with the Celtics. He was traded from New Jersey to Golden State, and was let go by the Warriors under one condition: that he signs with an Eastern Conference team.
The C's jumped on him first even though multiple contending teams like Miami, Orlando, and New York all were interested.
Murphy's averaging 3.6 PPG and 4.2 PPG, but his numbers are down in large part due to injury. Now that he's healthy, watch out.
The man who's made over $105 million dollars in his basketball career is set to sign with the Miami Heat.
Bibby demanded a contract buyout all last week since being traded from the Hawks to the Wizards. He was awarded just that, and is set to take over a six million dollar pay cut with Miami in order to compete for a championship.
Kudos to the man who used to make "more cowbell" in the Arco Arena an every night occurrence.
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