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NBA Free Agency 2011: David West, J.J. Barea and the Top 10 Free Agents

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJune 14, 2011

NBA Free Agency 2011: David West, J.J. Barea and the Top 10 Free Agents

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    NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 01:  David West #30 of the New Orleans Hornets reacts to the loss against the Phoenix Suns at the New Orleans Arena on February 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downlo
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    It's that time of year again. Time to start wondering where the NBA's top free agents will sign their next contracts.

    Guys like David West, J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler might be on the move, possibly shifting the look of the playoffs in the 2011-12 season.

    Of course, the NBA and the Players' Association will have to settle their differences and draft a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before this next season happens.

    But, once that is all taken care of, teams can get back to signing free agents.

    So, here's a look at the top 10 free agents for this offseason.

10. Glen Davis

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Glen Davis #11 of the Boston Celtics controls a rebound against the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Th
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Davis has proven himself to be a very solid role player in the NBA.

    Though he wants to leave the Celtics to be a starter somewhere, I have a feeling he’ll end up coming off the bench again at some point.

    But, he could be a valuable addition to a playoff contender. He plays great defense and has developed a nice little mid-range jumper.

    I only wish he’d stay with the Celtics and continue being their sixth man.

9. Nene Hilario

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 23:  Nene #31 of the Denver Nuggets scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on April 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expres
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Nene is a defensive stalwart who can also put in 10-15 points a night if he needs to.

    If he decides he wants out of Denver, he’ll probably end up as a valuable asset on a playoff contender.

    The list of playoff contenders in need of a center includes the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Portland Trial Blazers and Houston Rockets.

8. Jason Richardson

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 22:  Jason Richardson #23 of the Orlando Magic against Joe Johnson #2 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Whatever was wrong with the Magic last season, it wasn’t entirely Richardson’s fault.

    He was the best player the Magic managed to acquire in the Vince Carter trade. He outperformed an incredibly disappointing Hedo Turkoglu all season.

    Plus, he’s pretty exciting to watch.

    If the Magic want to keep Dwight Howard after next season, re-signing Richardson wouldn’t be a bad start.

7. Yao Ming

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  Yao Ming #11 of the Houston Rockets looks on during their opening night game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agre
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Yao will be a high-risk, high-reward free agent.

    If a team takes a chance on him and he stays healthy, he’ll be a great addition.

    But, it’s likely that he won’t stay healthy for a full season.

    Maybe the Suns should take a look at him though. Their medical staff has managed to keep Steve Nash and Grant Hill healthy and did a great job with Shaq when he was out in Phoenix.

6. Caron Butler

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    DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 15:  Forward Caron Butler #4 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on December 15, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is c
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Butler wasn’t able to play in this year’s playoffs for the Mavs due to an injury.

    But, he’ll be ready to go next season for whichever team decides to sign him.

    He can score, he can defend a little and he’s a good teammate.

    He’ll be a good piece for any playoff contender that wants to give him a shot.

5. Jamal Crawford

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 10: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives past Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 10, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Crawford, the all-time leader in four-point plays, will hit the free agent market this offseason as well.

    If he wants a legitimate shot of winning and NBA Championship before his career is over, he needs to get out of Atlanta.

    If he decides to leave, there would be a lot of teams jumping at the chance to sign the clutch shooting guard. The Chicago Bulls would probably be the team at the head of the pack of suitors.

4. 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

    Prince is still a good swingman and has a few years left in his tank.

    He plays excellent defense and can score a little bit too.

    If he finds the right situation, he could be a valuable contributor to a playoff-caliber team.

    An ideal situation for him would be the Houston Rockets or the Orlando Magic, with Hedo Turkoglu moving to the PF position.

3. 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

    Chandler was able to showcase his defensive prowess throughout this year’s playoffs.

    Now, the Mavs will either have to pay him a lot more or cut ties with the young center.

    There are a number of teams who could use a defensive presence in the paint.

    The ideal situation for him though would be either returning to the Mavericks or possibly signing with the Boston Celtics.

2. J.J. Barea

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    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Jose Juan Barea #11 of the Dallas Mavericks drives against Mario Chalmers #15 of 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 acknowledg
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    No one improved his free agent value this postseason more than Barea.

    He was darting around defenders, making awkward layups, dishing out assists and even hitting an occasional three.

    With plenty of teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, in desperate need of a point guard, Barea should have no problem securing several million dollars in his next contract.

1. David West

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 07: David West #30 of the New Orleans Hornets moves against Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Hornets 85-77. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    A lot of people have forgotten about West since he was injured for the end of last season and missed the Hornets’ playoff series against the Lakers.

    But, he is still one of the best power forwards in the game and has a lot to offer a team.

    He’ll probably want to leave New Orleans and move to a better team, especially since the Hornets have little to no chance of retaining Chris Paul.

    He could be a valuable addition to a team like the Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets (if they lose Kenyon Martin) or the Milwaukee Bucks.

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