NBA Free Agency 2011: Power Ranking the Top 15 Players on Their Estimated Worth
After a spectacular NBA regular season, a number of quality players are set to become free agents in the offseason.
Among the top potential free agents this upcoming summer are many players in their 30s, as well as many in their early 20s, with very few guys in between.
As opposed to last year, when superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson were all on the market and each signed deals worth $100 or more, there are zero superstars in their prime that are eligible to become free agents this summer.
Besides the lack of star power, the current collective bargaining agreement will expire at the end of the season. Once the new agreement is put into place, player salaries are expected to decrease considerably.
Here are the top 15 potential 2011 free agent players based on their estimated worth.
15. Jamal Crawford: G/F, Atlanta Hawks
Crawford had a slightly disappointing 2010-2011 season compared to years past, but he will be a free agent this offseason and will undoubtedly be pursued.
Prior to this past season, the 31-year-old shooting guard was coming off of a career year in which he scored 18 points per game off the bench and earned Sixth Man of the Year honors for Atlanta.
While he may have lost a step, Crawford is still an excellent three-point shooter and a rare player that possesses the ability to create his own shot. Atlanta is looking to stay under the salary cap, and is therefore unlikely to resign Crawford.
Expect Crawford to sign a two- or three-year deal with a new team, earning approximately $7 million per season.
14. Arron Afflalo: SG, Denver Nuggets
With so many Nuggets expected to become free agents, don't be surprised to see Afflalo in a different uniform next season.
Afflalo had a great all-around season for Denver and will be a hot commodity over the offseason.
A great team player, Afflalo is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league and rarely forces shots.
Playing a career-high 33.7 minutes per game this past season, Afflalo averaged 12.6 points on an impressive 49.8 percent shooting. He also shot over 42 percent from behind the three-point line.
Denver is expected to extend a $2.9 million qualifying to Afflalo, but he may be looking at a potential three- or four-year deal worth at least $7 or 8 million per season from another team.
13. Jason Richardson: G/F, Orlando Magic
Richardson is an unrestricted free agent and is expected to switch teams before the start of next season.
A 10-year veteran, Richardson is one of the better three-point shooters in the history of the NBA and does not appear to be slowing down any time soon.
He is a tremendous athlete and a reliable go-to scoring option. In 79 games with Phoenix and Orlando this past season, Richardson averaged 15.7 points per game, including 2.4 three-pointers per contest.
He is coming off of a six-year, $72 million deal and is currently looking for a contract in the neighborhood of three years and $25 million
12. Andre Miller: PG, Portland Trail Blazers
Miller had another quality year for Portland, but he can become a free agent over the offseason.
Despite injuries to star player Brandon Roy, as well as center Greg Oden, Portland still managed to lock in the No. 7 seed in the West in large part due to Miller's leadership at the point guard position.
The 12-year veteran showed no signs of slowing down, averaging 12.9 points and 7.1 assists for the Blazers on 45.8 percent shooting.
He has a team option for next season worth $7.8 million, which is expected to be picked up.
However, if Portland does not pick up his option, for one reason or another, Miller figures to receive a two- or three-year deal worth approximately $9 million per season from another team.
11. Rodney Stuckey: G, Detroit Pistons
After six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, Detroit has struggled a bit over the last few seasons. But throughout that time, Stuckey has quietly evolved into a very good player.
He was the Pistons' leading scorer last season, averaging 17.7 points, while also dishing out 5.9 assists per contest. Stuckey has also worked on his defense since being drafted and has quickly become one of the better on-the-ball defenders in the league.
Detroit will make a $3 million qualifying offer to Stuckey, However, he is expected to be offered a three- or four-year deal worth approximately $9 million per year from another club, which the Pistons would would be hard pressed to match.
10. Jeff Green: SF, Boston Celtics
Green quietly put up points for the Thunder, but he could become a household name if he plays well in the postseason for Boston.
Before being traded to Boston in February, Green was one of the top scoring options in Oklahoma City. Despite having to share the ball with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, he consistently averaged over 15 points per game.
In just 23 minutes per game with Boston, Green has quickly become the fourth scoring option that the Celtics so desperately needed. He is a very good shooter and has the ability to create his own shot.
Still just 24 years old, Green is expected to receive a $5.9 million qualifying offer from the Celtics. However, if Green is offered $10 or $11 million per season elsewhere, which is a definite possibility, he is unlikely to come back to Boston next season
9. Nick Young: G/F, Washington Wizards
Young had a breakout season for Washington, but he may take his talents elsewhere this summer.
An excellent athlete, Young has the ability to play either shooting guard or small forward. He was Washington's leading scorer this past season, averaging 17.4 points per game, including 1.6 three-pointers made per contest.
Washington is expected to extend a $3.7 million qualifying offer to Young. However, Young figures to receive an offer elsewhere along the lines of three or four years and $30-35 million.
8. David West: PF, New Orleans Hornets
Prior to a recent knee injury that will require surgery over the offseason, West was in position to sign a long-term deal.
He is expected to miss at least the first part of next season, but could miss the entire season.
West has an early termination option for next season, but he can make $7.5 million if he remains in New Orleans.
A two-time All-Star, West has been extremely consistent over the last five years. He averaged 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds this past season, while helping New Orleans stay in contention.
Should West opt out of his deal, he is looking at a three- or four-year deal worth approximately $11 million per season.
7. Marc Gasol: C, Memphis Grizzlies
Gasol will be a restricted free agent after the season and figures to draw interest from a plethora of teams this summer.
The big seven-footer has made a great impression throughout his first three seasons, playing unselfish ball and shooting at a high percentage from the field.
Like his brother Pau, Marc Gasol is a very skilled big-man and does not try to force shots. He is a career 54.6 percent shooter and also rebounds very well.
Memphis would love to keep him, but it is unclear whether they would be willing to pay upwards of $40-45 million over four years in order to do so.
6. Tyson Chandler: C, Dallas Mavericks
Chandler had arguably his best season in 2010-2011 and may have earned himself a big pay day.
Dallas has not made it clear whether they intend on resigning Chandler, but they seemed to benefit tremendously from his play this past season.
The 7'1" center provided a much-needed presence in the paint for Dallas this past season. He can defend other big man on defense and allows other teammates to get open on the offensive end. In 27 minutes of play per contest, he averaged over nine rebounds per game and shot 65.2 percent from the floor on limited attempts.
Still just 29 years old, Chandler could sign a four- or five-year deal in the upwards of $11 or $12 million per season.
5. Wilson Chandler: SF, Denver Nuggets
Chandler has quietly put together a very nice four-year career and he could be on the move this summer.
Still just 23 years old, Chandler is a tremendous athlete, He has averaged nearly 15 points per game over the last three seasons and seems to be getting better and better.
He worked on his three-point shot last offseason, which was apparent, as he knocked in a career-high 1.5 three-pointers per contest this past season. He is also one of the most underrated defenders in the entire NBA.
Denver is expected to extend to him a $3.1 million qualifying offer for next season, However, he could be looking at a four- or five-year offer from another club in the $50-60 million dollar range, which the Nuggets would have a very hard time matching.
4. Nene Hilario: C, Denver Nuggets
When you take Dwight Howard out of the equation, there are very few legitimate centers in the league. Nene is one of them.
A Nugget for his entire nine-year career, Nene has no problems doing the dirty work inside. He is an unselfish player, whose presence makes his teammates better.
The Brazilian big-man averaged 14.5 points per game for Denver this past season and shot a league-high 61.5 percent from the floor.
He is expected to draw a lot of interest around the league this offseason and could sign a four- or five-year deal worth at least $13 million per season.
3. Zach Randolph: PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies
Randolph is coming off of a six-year, $84 million contract that he originally signed with Portland, but he could earn another big pay day this offseason.
He didn't quite live up to the hype of his first contract, particularly before this past season. A series of injuries and poor relationships with teammates were the story. However, Randolph went on to have his best season in 2010-2011, averaging 20.1 points and 12.2 rebounds on 50.3 percent shooting.
Despite Randolph's size, at 6'9", 260 pounds, he does not give you many blocks or play spectacular defense, but his offense and rebounding make up for it.
While Randolph has no shot at receiving another $84 million deal, he could earn the upwards of $56 million over four years with a new club.
2. Ray Allen: SG, Boston Celtics
At 35 years old, Allen is coming off arguably the best offensive season of his career.
He averaged a career-high 49.1 percent shooting from the field, including an extremely impressive 44.4 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.
Allen is certainly an impact player, as shown by the success his teams have had. Prior to signing with Boston, Allen played on several Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Supersonics playoff teams that would have had no business reaching the postseason without him.
He has a $10 million player option for next season, which may rest on how the upcoming postseason plays out.
Should Allen enter the free-agent market, he could be looking at a two- or three-year deal in the range of $14 million per season.
1. Tim Duncan: PF/C, San Antonio Spurs
It would be shocking if Duncan opted out of his contract.
Besides the fact that Duncan has spent his entire soon-to-be Hall of Fame career with San Antonio, there are zero teams in the league that would be willing to pay him the $21.1 million for next season that he is set to earn if he doesn't opt out of his contract.
In preparation for another postseason run, the 14-year veteran averaged a career-low 28.8 minutes per game, but he still averaged 13.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest.
Duncan will be 35 years old at the start of next season, but he is a proven winner and can still play great defense.
Should Duncan do the unthinkable and opt out of his current deal, he would most likely be looking at a two year contract in the upwards of $15 million per season.