NBA Free Agents 2011: The 14 Worst Free Agents Teams Should Avoid Signing
While the Mavericks and Heat are finishing up the NBA Finals, all other teams are focusing on building toward next year.
Many are looking forward to the draft in a couple weeks, but they also have free agents to consider.
While there are many great choices this summer, there are other, not-so-good ones.
This is a list of the worst free agents available, be it because of price, age or skill.
Rodney Stuckey, PG
2011 Salary: $2.8 million, Detroit Pistons
Rodney Stuckey is a guy who hasn’t proven himself capable of being a starting point guard. His averages were up from last season, but they still don’t depict a true leader that most teams need.
Rather than sign someone for more that will come off the bench, teams are better off finding better deals or picking a fresh, new guy in the draft.
Wilson Chandler, SF
2011 Salary: $2.1 million, Denver Nuggets
Many teams will have their eyes on Wilson Chandler because of last season.
2010-11 was good to Chandler, who averaged 33.3 minutes per game and raised his averages in most of the important categories.
The problem with Chandler is trying to figure out just how good he will be in the next few seasons. He’s looking for a big pay increase during this offseason, and while he could be a key player for some off the bench, it’s probably not worth spending $8-10 million per year in a multiyear deal for someone who had a good season.
Josh Howard, SF
2011 Salary: $3 million, Washington Wizards
Josh Howard only played 18 games with the Wizards last season because of complications with his knee after an injury the year earlier.
While it’s better, it’s unsure how well he’ll do and just how good that knee will be. His injuries will probably continue to plague him, and that’s not what teams want to sign.
Jamal Crawford, G
2011 Salary: $10.8 million, Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks will probably not resign Jamal Crawford, which means he’s available to anyone.
At 31 years old with stats slightly slipping, it’s clear that Crawford is past his better years. There are plenty other guards that will be free agents this summer, and they didn’t have $10 million contracts.
Vladimir Radmanovic, SF
2011 Salary: $6.9 million, Golden State Warriors
Vladmir Radmanovic had some good games with the Warriors last season, but he’s not a player you want to spend a lot of money on.
There are a lot of one-dimensional players in the NBA, and Radmanovic is one of them. He’s good beyond the arc, but his stats fell last season, averaging 5.1 points and 1.1 assists per game. He doesn’t play defense, and there are better all-around free-agents available.
Samuel Dalembert, C
2011 Salary: $13.4 million, Sacramento Kings
Another guy with a salary much higher than he might be worth, Samuel Dalembert is not planning on taking a pay cut next year.
He can still help out a team, but as he gains another year of wisdom, he loses another year of timing and athleticism. It’s nice to have veterans on the court to guide and teach the younger players, but there are much cheaper ones out there.
Jeff Foster, C
2011 Salary: $6.7 million, Indiana Pacers
Defensively, Jeff Foster was great for the Pacers last season. With 6.3 rebounds per game, Foster was great on the boards and extremely aggressive during the postseason.
However, his lack of offense makes him a major problem on the other side of the court. He recorded less than his career average of 4.9 points per game this past season.
His salary was way too much for a one-dimensional player like Foster.
T.J. Ford, PG
2011 Salary: $8.5 million, Indiana Pacers
T.J. Ford had a great career going—then came his spinal cord injury in 2004.
Since then, he hasn’t been the same. He now deals with spinal stenosis, which means he has a narrowing of the spinal column. This just puts him at higher risk for an injury.
His stats have plummeted, too. Last season he logged 5.4 points, 3.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game, down from 11.4, 5.9 and 3.2 throughout his career. Combine that with his averaging seven minutes a game in the playoffs and 18.9 for the rest of the season, and Ford is probably well on his way to his last couple seasons.
Jason Richardson, SG
2011 Salary: $14.4 million, Orlando Magic
Another player passing his prime, Jason Richardson can definitely still help a team, but at the price it will come, he’s not worth it.
His averages are down and if 10 points per game in the playoffs is any indication of how he’ll be next year, his cost heavily outplays the benefits. Better off getting younger, cheaper guys.
Kenyon Martin, PF
2011 Salary: $16.5 million, Denver Nuggets
Kenyon Martin is one of those players who could either be helpful or end up hurting a team financially.
Martin is 33 years old and he isn’t getting any younger. His drop in stats throughout the 2010-11 season can emphasize this. His points per game fell from 13.5 to 8.6, and his playing time has gone from 32.2 to 25.7 minutes per game.
Martin’s salary last season was $16.5 million. It’s not going to be that high from now on, but at the price it’s going to take a team to sign him, they’re better off shopping around for better deals.
Nenad Krstic, C
2011 Salary: $5.5 million, Boston Celtics
When a 7-foot 240 pound player like Nenad Krstic is only averaging 5.4 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game for his career, there’s a problem. When last season’s stats were even lower than that, it shows someone that most teams probably don’t want on their team.
Krstic is alright offensively, but his lack of defense makes his height almost completely useless.
Michael Redd, SG
2011 Salary: $18.3 million, Milwaukee Bucks
After three injury-plagued seasons, Michael Redd is not a guy you want to overpay.
While his next contract won’t be as huge as $18.3 million per year, several million could still be a waste. After playing only ten games during the 2010-2011 season, Redd averaged 4.4 points per game and 13.4 minutes per game, down from 20 and 33.4, respectively.
While Michael Redd might not be the worst free agent talent-wise, he is one of the worst when it comes to spending millions of dollars that could be going to a younger, less injury-prone player.
Willie Green, SG
2011 Salary: $4 million, New Orleans Hornets
Basically, Willie Green just isn’t a good player. Granted, he could take me one-on-one, but my point is that he averaged 8.7 points and one assist per game this season, down from his career stats.
He doesn’t shoot well and his defense leaves so much to be desired. A player with his stats should not be getting paid $4 million per year.
Yao Ming, C
2011 Salary: $17.7 million, Houston Rockets
Several teams might go after Yao Ming this season and take a chance that this will be the season he doesn’t get hurt.
More likely, Ming’s body will once again ail him, which isn’t surprising. When you’re carrying around 310 pounds on a daily basis, your feet are going to have issues.
Chances are, Ming will be signed, then head right back to the inactive list.