The 2011 NBA offseason has been and will continue to be, for the foreseeable future, an example of basketball purgatory in every sense of the word with the unassuming lockout, European infested draft and a lackluster class of free agents. However, being an optimistic fan that expects the season to occur, shortened or not, I remain hopeful that the recent NBA power shift can continue with some smart signings by the teams that can afford them.
The “old-guard” teams like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs appear to be capped out this offseason, giving the young teams on the rise like the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and the New Jersey Nets, who all have ample cap room, chances to continue to close the gap in talent and experience.
There are some big-names in the free-agent class of 2011 such as Tyson Chandler, Nene Hilario and David West, but when considering what they bring on the court, their injury history and then how those two things coincide with their respective asking prices, a misjudgment of how those factors mix can quickly become a burden to a team’s future aspirations.
The ability to properly gauge a free-agents potential value to your present and future team is one that will be essential to any team going into the “new NBA” where a hard cap looks imminent. So I present you with the top eight values in the 2011 free-agent class.