NBA Free Agency 2011: The 7 Most Versatile Players on the Market
This year's free-agent class is noticeably underwhelming. There are no perennial All-Stars included this time around, after there where multiple last summer. No one will be patiently waiting for the signing period to begin like last year, and not only because of the lack of talent available, but also because of the looming lockout.
Despite its shallowness, the current edition of free agents has a number of guys who can fit into different styles of play. Here are the most versatile players on the market.
Thaddeus Young: Restricted
Through his four seasons as a pro, Thaddeus Young has played in multiple roles. He has been both effective as a starter and bench player. He is 6'8" and is real quick, which helps him score against different defenders. These attributes also allow him to play both of the forward positions. He would be a great fit almost anywhere.
J.R. Smith: Unrestricted
J.R. Smith is the definition of a streak-scorer. He's not a night-to-night threat when it comes to scoring, but when he gets in a rhythm, he can put up points with the best of them. He has spent the majority of the last few seasons coming off of the bench but certainly has the talent to start.
He is super-athletic, so a fast-paced team would be a solid fit for him. His shooting is impressive, especially when he's hot, so a team that runs a grind-it-out offense would be good for him as well. On top of that, he can be used as a large part of a team's scoring, or just as a glorified role player. His options are very vast.
Tyson Chandler: Unrestricted
Tyson Chandler served as one of the key components of the Dallas Mavericks' championship run. All season long he anchored their defense, protected the rim, and controlled the rebounding at a high rate. Very few plays were ran through him. His points came primarily from rebounds and teammates just throwing the ball near the rim for him to catch and finish.
Since he does not need the ball to have a major impact on the game, he could play anywhere in any system and be a key contributor.
DeAndre Jordan: Restricted
DeAndre Jordan, much like Tyson Chandler, is relied on to solely rebound, block shots and catch lob passes. He is strictly a dirty-work player, who finds ways to chip in without being a focal point of his team's strategy. Any team could incorporate a guy with his skill set in their system.
Jamal Crawford: Unrestricted
Jamal Crawford has been known to put the ball in the basket for most of his career. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he is always ready to score at will. When he gets into a nice flow, he can become a dangerous offensive weapon.
He can be used as in a variety of ways. In the starting lineup he can produce, and he is one of the elite reserves in the league when brought in off of the bench. He has the slashing ability and shooting range to play shooting guard, as well as the ball-handling skills to run the point. It shouldn't matter what role he is placed into because his game can adjust to almost any style.
Kris Humphries: Unrestricted
Kris Humphries enjoyed a breakout season in 2011. He was fifth in the league in rebounding, and collected 29 double-doubles. When it comes to respected rebounders in the NBA, Humphries is now a part of that class.
His whole game is based around his ability to crash the boards. A good deal of his scoring comes from cleaning up his teammates' misses right near the rim. He can also hit an open jump shot from distance if needed.
Humphries doesn't need much attention on the court to prove his worth. He'll find ways to contribute through unforced opportunities. He's the perfect kind of player to fit any system.
Tayshaun Prince: Unrestricted
Tayshaun Prince has built his career on defense. With his 6'9" height, lanky wingspan and quick feet, he can defend more than one position. That has been his signature quality over the years. He has never been a player who needs the ball that much either. He's a 13-point career scorer, mostly off of baskets assisted on or quick drives to the basket.
Prince could be placed on almost any roster without disrupting their current game plan. All he does is defend and score when the opportunity arises.