NBA

NBA Free Agents 2011: The 5 Best Unrestricted Free Agents at Every Position

Aaron MContributor IIIJune 13, 2011

NBA Free Agents 2011: The 5 Best Unrestricted Free Agents at Every Position

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    ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 26:  Jason Richardson #23 of the Orlando Magic drives against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The season is over, and for basketball fans, we are being introduced to an entirely different world.

    Every offseason, we are faced with the draft, the free-agent frenzy, NBA Summer League among other things. This season is particularly special because it appears as though a lockout is probable.

    However, when you view the success that this NBA season has had from a revenue standpoint, particularly the ratings of the postseason, it is in the best interest of both the players and the owners to find a workable solution to the many issues that are creating the possible lockout.

    With that said, this 2011 in particular has plenty of gems that could be found in the free-agent pool, and I will rank the top five unrestricted ones at each position.

    Enjoy!

No. 5 Point Guard: Earl Boykins

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 07: Earl Boykins #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks passes against the Miami Heat at the Bradley Center on January 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    2010-11 salary: $1.4 million

    2010-11 stats: 7.2 points, one rebound, 2.5 assists

    This 11-year veteran is still putting up excellent numbers and is a very efficient player. He helped the Milwaukee Bucks last season, and while he is 35 years old, he would be perfect for a team looking for a point guard who could contribute 15 solid minutes.

No.4 Point Guard: Earl Watson

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    DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 23:  Guard Earl Watson #11 of the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on February 23, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consentin
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 salary: $1.2 million

    2010-11 stats: 4.3 points , 2.30 rebounds , 3.5 assists.

    The 31-year-old NBA journeyman has been a solid addition to the Utah Jazz starting 13 times this season and capable of playing 20 minutes per game. He is very efficient and for the price, one lucky NBA team will walk away with a very good deal.

No. 3 Point Guard: Sasha Vujacic

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14:  Sasha Vujacic #20 of the New Jersey Nets waves to the crowd as he enters the game in his first return since being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO US
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    2010-11 salary: $5.5 million

    2010-11 stats: 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, two assists

    After leaving sunny Los Angeles and entering the paradise known as New Jersey, Sasha Vujacic was a good addition to the New Jersey Nets. He poured in 11.4 points per game in nearly 30 minutes. He is a very efficient player and has excellent size for the position.

No. 2 Point Guard: Mario Chalmers

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    DALLAS, TX - JUNE 09:  Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat makes a 3-point basket at the buzzer of the end of the first quarter against the Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 9,
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    2010-11 salary: $854,839

    2010-11 stats: 6.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists

    Fresh off the heals of defeat to the powerful Mavericks, Chalmers was excellent for the most part throughout this postseason particularly in the Finals where he averaged 10.6 points and almost three assists in under 28 minutes. He was excellent and had big games when the Heat needed him.

No. 1 Point Guard: JJ Barea

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Jose Juan Barea #11 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 salary: $1.7 million

    2010-11 stats: 9.5 points, two rebounds, 3.9 assists

    He made a difference during the finals and was simply phenomenal. He drastically increased the Mavericks chances of winning throughout the post season and came up big when needed. He was unstoppable at times and will be a tremendous asset wherever he ends up.

No. 5 Shooting Guard: J.R. Smith

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates after hitting a three point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 25, 2011 in
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    2010-11 salary: $6 million

    2010-11 stats: 12.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists

    While his attitude is questionable, there is no doubt about his ability or his energy. He can simply take over at times. However, there are other times where he can take the team out of the game. His shot selection is not always the greatest, but if he finds the right fit, he will be a great asset.

No 4. Shooting Guard: DeShawn Stevenson

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  DeShawn Stevenson #92 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after he made a 3-point shot in the first half against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $4.2 million

    2010-11 Stats: 5.3 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists

    Once again, we see a player who made a huge difference in the finals. He took over when needed during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, and because of his great three-point display, he will be highly sought out this summer.

No. 3 Shooting Guard: Mike Dunleavy

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls fouls Mike Dunleavy #17 of the Indiana Pacers as he shoots in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 26, 2011 in Chicago, Illino
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $10.6 million

    2010-11 Stats: 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists

    This former Duke Blue Devil can certainly bang with the best of them and is capable of hitting the three when needed. He could start for many teams in this league and is very efficient; another player that many teams will want on their roster once the 2011-12 season begins.

No.2 Shooting Guard: Jamal Crawford

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    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 12:  Jamal Crawford #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Omer Asik #3 and Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Geor
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $10.1 million

    2010-11 season: 14.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists

    He will give you 30 minutes a night and will hit the big shot when needed. He had an excellent postseason providing 15.4 points for the Hawks, and he was unstoppable at times.

No. 1 Shooting Guard: Jason Richardson

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    ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 26:  Jason Richardson #23 of the Orlando Magic drives against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER:
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $14.4 million

    2010-11 Stats: 15.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists

    He may be past his prime, but Jason Richardson will give you over 30 minutes a night. He is an excellent three-point shooter and a natural scorer. He will provide immediate scoring assistance wherever he ends up.

No. 5 Small Forward: Grant Hill

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 27:  Grant Hill  #33 of the Phoenix Suns drives the ball past  Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA game at US Airways Center on March 27, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Mavericks defeated the Suns 91-83.  NOTE TO USER:
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $3.2 million

    2010-11 Stats: 13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists

    He my be 38 with aging legs and an injury-plagued career, but Grant Hill has solidified his worth this season. He shot almost 50 percent from the field, played 30 minutes a night and started 80 games this season for the Phoenix Suns. Age is a factor, but the numbers do not lie, he had an outstanding season and should be rewarded.

No. 4 Small Forward: Josh Howard

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    MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Josh Howard #5 of the  Washington Wizards drives against the Miami Heat  at American Airlines Arena on February 25, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using th
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    2010-2011 Salary: $3 million

    2010-2011 Stats: 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists

    He did not have the numbers that Grant Hill had, but he is not 38 years old. Josh Howard is a very efficient player at times, and while he has had injuries throughout the season, he is expected to make a full recovery. In just over 20 minutes, he is exactly what a lot of teams are looking for in terms of production.

No.3 Small Forward: Shane Battier

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    MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 13:  Shane Battier #31 of the Memphis Grizzlies calls a defensive play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 13, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee.  NOTE
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $7.4 million

    2010-11 Stats: 7.6 rebounds, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists

    The 32-year-old Duke product provides an inside presence that a lot of teams will be looking for. When looking at Battier, the emphasis is not on the stats. The nine-year veteran plays excellent defense, and his presence on the floor is highly valuable.

No.2 Small Forward: Caron Butler

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 31:  Caron Butler #4 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots before Game One of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 31, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Butler is on the inactive roster. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $10.8 million

    2010-11 Stats: 15 points, 4.1 rebounds,1.6 assists

    Caron spent most of this season as a spectator due to a ruptured tendon in his right knee but expect a full recovery. Also, expect a pure scorer who will give you 30 minutes a night and can hit the three-point shot when needed.

No.1 Small Forward: Tayshaun Prince

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    AUBURN HILLS, MI - FEBRUARY 11:  Tayshaun Prince #22 of the Detroit Pistons llooks to pass while playing the Miami Heat at The Palace of Auburn Hills on February 11, 2011 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Miami won the game 106-92.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Gett
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $11.1 million

    2010-11 Stats: 14.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists

    He started 78 games this season, shot 47 percent from the field, averaged nearly 33 minutes a night and is known for his outstanding defense. He is a proven winner and is a threat every time he is on the floor.

No. 5 Power Foward: Chuck Hayes

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Chuck Hayes #44 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on December 20, 2010 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $2.3 million

    2010-11 Stats: 7.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists

    He does it all on the floor but is known for his rebounding. Hayes is capable of playing 30 starters minutes every night and will dominate the boards. He is also great at finding the open man; he will be a great asset next season.

No. 4 Power Forward: Carl Landry

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Carl Landry #24 of the New Orleans Hornets goes up for a layup in front of Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2
    Harry How/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $3 million

    2010-11 Stats: 11.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists

    He had a very big postseason averaging 16 points and five rebounds in six games. He has the 6'9" frame that many general managers will want and he shoots over 50 percent from the floor.

No. 3 Power Forward: Andrei Kirilenko

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25:  Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz drives to the basket past Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half at Staples Center on January 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $17.8 million

    2010-11 Stats: 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, three assists

    Kirilenko will be looking for a change of scenery; things did not quiet work out in Utah the way everyone would have liked. However, Kirilenko is capable of contributing from all areas of the court. He will have to take a pay cut but is very efficient and will be on the lists of many general managers. 

No. 2 Power Forward: Glen Davis

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 07:  Assistant coach Lawrence Frank of the Boston Celtics holds back Glen Davis #11 after teammate Rajon Rondo #9 was injured after a scuffle with Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the
    Elsa/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $3.3 million

    2010-11 Stats: 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists

    He may have magically disappeared during this offseason, but "Big Baby" could certainly play. He is young, capable of playing 30 minutes a night and is a legitimate scoring threat and is an excellent rebounder. He may have lost some value this postseason, but he is a terrific player.

No. 1 Power Forward: Kenyon Martin

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 27: Kenyon Martin #4 of the Denver Nuggets knocks the ball out of the hands of Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at the F
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $16.8 million

    2010-11 Stats: 8.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists

    This 10-year veteran is about as physical as they come. He averaged just 25 minutes per game this season but is a gifted rebounder. His physicality is highly desired in this league, and he had a great postseason which saw him grab nearly eight boards a game.

No.5 Center: Joel Przybilla

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    NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 13:  Joel Przybilla #10 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots a free throw against the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on November 13, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $7.4 million

    2010-11 Stats: 1.8 points, four rebounds, 0.4 assists

    The 10-year veteran does not have the stats to justify his salary and will take a drastic pay cut this offseason, but he could provide 15 solid minutes for a team in desperate need of some rebounding.

No. 4 Center: Jeff Foster

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26: Jeff Foster #10 of the Indiana Pacers watches his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls from the bench in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 26, 2011 in Chicago, I
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $6.7 million

    2010-11 Stats: 3.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists

    Another excellent rebounder, Foster is an 11-year veteran who can provide 17 solid minutes for any NBA team in the league. His rebounding is a terrific asset, especially his ability to grab offensive boards.

No. 3 Center: Samuel Dalembert

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 21: Samuel Dalembert #10 of the Sacramento Kings dunks the ball over Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Kings 132-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $13.8 million

    2010-11 Stats: 8.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists

    This eight-year pro from Seton Hall will provide a balance of scoring and rebounding. He should be providing over 20 minutes a night, and his 250lb frame is nothing but an asset to any team in the league.

No. 2 Center: Marc Gasol

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 15:  Forward Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is fouled by Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in O
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $3.6 million

    2010-11 Stats: 11.7 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists

    He is young, has a large 265-pound frame and can do it all. Marc Gasol is due for a big pay day, shooting almost 53 percent from the floor; he is capable of contributing over 30 minutes to any team in the league.

No. 1 Center: Tyson Chandler

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after the Mavricks won 105-95 against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    2010-11 Salary: $12.6 million

    2010-11 Stats: 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists

    A proven winner, he deserves to be No. 1 on this list. He came up big in the Finals, especially on the offensive boards grabbing a combined 16 rebounds during Game 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals. He is a very physical player and will be highly valued during this offseason.

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