NBA Free Agency 2011: Predicting This Summer's Top 25 Free Agent Contracts
Although not as heralded as 2010's version, the 2011 NBA free agent class is a good one nonetheless.
There are many players who will demand larger contracts, and others who will keep earning the small bucks, deservedly so or not.
In the upcoming slides, I will rank where I think the top 25 free agent contracts will be issued this offseason. The ranking is based solely on how much money the player will make on average during his respective new proposed deal.
It will be another crazy summer in the NBA, and you have these guys to thank for it.
25. Nenad Krstic
Nenad Krstic, a piece of the Perkins-Green deal executed between the Celtics and the Thunder, might be out of Boston as soon as this summer as his $5.8 million per year deal is set to expire.
Don't expect the Celtics (or any other willing team) to pay him more than $2 million.
Final offer: One-year, $2 million
24. Shannon Brown
Shannon Brown has become a solid scoring role player during his time as a Los Angeles Laker.
He is making $2.2 million this season and has an option for $2.4 million for next season.
I expect him to take it but not to give anything away beyond 2012.
Final offer: One-year, $2.4 million
23. Tayshaun Prince
Tayshaun Prince is no longer a main catalyst for a championship-contending team.
That being said, he is still a decent player with the potential to be a great role player.
He'd be a great fit on the Miami Heat, where depth at the small forward position is needed.
Final offer: Two-year, $5 million
22. Arron Afflalo
Because J.R. Smith has made it known he wants out of Denver, that means Afflalo will most likely be the Nuggets' shooting guard of the future.
The 25-year-old shooting guard has made a solid case for a long-term deal this season, averaging 12.6 points and playing some pretty stingy defense.
Once he signs Denver's qualifying offer this summer, a long-term contract will be made public sometime within the next 15 months. He will be making oodles more than the $2.9 million he will make in the 2011-12 season.
Final offer (for now): One-year, $2.9 million
21. Wilson Chandler
The Nuggets' Wilson Chandler is one of the NBA's young underrated stars.
Acquired in the Carmelo Anthony trade, Chandler has stepped up to the challenge and performed exceptionally well.
Because all Denver has to do is get Chandler to sign his $3.1 million qualifying sheet, it is likely he'll be a Nugget next year, much like Afflalo.
Beyond that? Only time will tell. For now, he'll have a one-year deal.
Final offer: One-year, $3.1 million
20. Nick Young
This year was a breakout season of sorts for Nick Young, as he averaged 17 points in 32 minutes this season for the Washington Wizards.
Young's standing as a restricted free agent means that if he signs Washington's qualifying offer of $3.7 million, he will be set until 2012.
That's exactly what the 6'7" USC product will do.
Final offer: One-year, $3.7 million
19. Rodney Stuckey
Rodney Stuckey is your typical middle-of-the-pack point guard in the NBA. He averaged 15 points and five assists in 70 games this year.
After an embarrassing season for the Pistons, it's unknown whether the 25-year-old will sign another deal with the team he's spent the duration of his career with.
If he wants to sign for another mediocre year in Detroit, he will need to sign for $4 million.
Otherwise he's out.
Final offer: One-year, $4 million
18. Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson's current contract calls for $14 million per year, but there is no chance he will even sniff that in the following years.
His game has declined and so has his overall value in the league.
I can see a non-contender signing him to a three- or four-season deal.
Final offer: Three-year, $12 million
17. Carl Landry
Currently making $3 million this season, Carl Landry is set to become a free agent, and he will eagerly await to see what his raise will be.
I can see his pay nearly doubling, but at the same time, there's no real way to determine how much he will get paid because his solid value is just beginning to come to terms with reality.
Final offer: Four-year, $19 million
16. Kenyon Martin
Kenyon Martin's day as a fierce competitor are slowly dwindling as his 30s go by.
Teams will be looking for defensive forces like K-Mart, and although he isn't exactly at his peak, he will draw in a lot of money.
Someone who bids on Martin surely won't be sorry, and the former No.1 overall pick could etch a three-year deal.
Final offer: Three-year, $15 million
15. Glen Davis
Glen "Big Baby" Davis has been a phenomenal post player off the bench during his time in Boston, and one must wonder whether his time will continue in Beantown, or if he will go elsewhere.
He is making $3.3 million this season, but he has proven he is worth more than that,
Thus, some other team will offer him the long-term status and money that he simply won't be able to refuse.
Final offer: Five-year, $27 million
14. Kris Humphries
Kris Humphries, a Hopkins, Minn., native, had a breakout season in 2010-11, averaging 10 points, 10.4 rebounds and better than a block per game.
I expect Kim Kardashian's boyfriend to command a better salary than the current $3.2 million he is currently receiving from the Nets.
It'll interesting to see if New Jersey will be willing to pay him that because they've made it known they want a superstar.
Final offer: Three-year, $20 million
13. Shane Battier
Shane Battier is one of the better athletic and defensive stoppers in the league.
He's also one heck of a teammate and a guy whose rights will be shopped immensely this summer.
I could easily see a player like him getting a four-year deal somewhere for a lot of money.
Final offer: Four-year, $27 million
12. Greg Oden
At 23 and already "four seasons" into his career, Greg Oden is destined to reach his full potential, something NBA fans have wanted to see for years.
Although he has only played in 82 contests since joining the association, Oden will bring in big bucks if Portland decides not to sign his qualifying offer.
He has tremendous upside and, whether we like to admit it or not, we have seen them.
Final offer: Three-year, $22 million
11. Caron Butler
At 31, you can't accurately predict how much longer Caron Butler can play efficiently in this league.
He is injury-prone, and he shouldn't expect to go near the $10 million figure he made this year.
Somewhere around the $8 million per year or so will do.
Final offer: Three-year, $24 million
10. Jeff Green
Right at the trade deadline, Jeff Green and his rights were shipped to Boston in what looked like the biggest deadline on the clock.
Green, an unrestricted free agent, is making $4.4 million this season, but you know that number has to go up next season.
The C's have money, and they are set to not only sign his qualifying offer but to make him an integral part of their future, and for that, he will get a whopping check.
Final offer: Four-year, $33 million
9. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford is perhaps the NBA's most valued bench performer, and come this summer, people will realize what an asset he is.
He is currently making $10.8 million this season, but he might take a dip in his salary just to play for a contender—say, the Chicago Bulls?
It's a perfect fit, and Chicago might be willing to pay him $9 million per year to do it.
Final offer: Four-year, $36 million
8. Samuel Dalembert
Samuel Dalembert definitely isn't worth the $12 million he is earning this season.
In order to ensure he can lock a two-or-so-year deal, he will need to shave a few million off each year.
Only then will the possible number of suitors skyrocket for the 7-foot Canadian.
Final offer: Two-year, $18.5 million
7. Yao Ming
Let's be honest: Yao Ming is going to draw in a lot of money regardless of where he ends up.
He is one of only a handful of players who can singlehandedly change a franchise financially. Heck, even Houston might re-sign him.
With that, teams won't be shy to give him big bucks, even if he is terribly injury-prone.
Final offer: Three-year, $28 million
6. Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko, for reasons unbeknownst to me, is making $17.8 million in his final season on his Utah Jazz contract.
If the 30-year-old thinks he will draw anything close to that number in the coming years, he is off his rocker.
Still, he could—and probably will—attract the attention of a suitor who is willing to pay him eight figures.
Final offer: Three-year, $32 million
5. Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler has been a force all season long for the Mavericks in the paint, averaging 10 points and nine rebounds.
Statistics don't tell Chandler's story correctly though, as he is one of the best post defenders in the league and is well worth the $11 million he is making this season.
So why not keep pace and say the 28-year-old can earn that three seasons in a row?
Final offer: Three-year, $33 million
4. Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol loves and embraces his role on the Memphis Grizzlies with true passion and grit.
The re-signing of Zach Randolph by the Grizz is a clear sign of the future in the city, and there is a strong chance Pau's younger brother might be packing his bags this summer.
If Memphis doesn't sign his qualifying sheet, there is one destination that could become a real possibility for the seven-footer—New York.
Think about it: the Knicks need post play and defense, and Gasol provides both of these vital needs.
If the Knickerbockers are looking to contend within the next few years, they will need a quality top-five center like Gasol. He might cost almost $10 million per year, but he's well worth it.
Final offer: Three-year, $35 million
3. Nene Hilario
Nene has become a force to reckon with in the paint in the Rockies, and he is worth the $11 million he is currently making.
Despite the fact he technically has a player option for next season, Nene isn't going anywhere beyond that, unless he gets a much better offer. He's been in Denver his entire career (nine seasons), and that probably won't change.
Final offer: Four-year, $49 million
2. David West
As with most New Orleans Hornets' players, David West is vastly underrated.
He has a player option of over $7 million waiting on the table, but I think West will come to his senses and realize his skills can be used elsewhere, thus earning him more money.
I think around $13 million or so per year would be solid.
Final offer: Three-year, $40 million
1. Tim Duncan
Because Tim Duncan can technically opt out of his contract if he so chooses, he makes this list.
However, the chances that someone will pick up Duncan's hefty $21.3 million one-year contract is highly unlikely.
The greatest power forward of all-time will likely stay in the city he built for the remainder of his career.
Final offer: One-year, $21.3 million