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