NBA Free Agency 2011: The 5 Best Forwards on the Market
With the NBA lockout in full effect and players threatening to move overseas, hopes for next season don't seem that high.
However, it hasn't stopped the usual summer speculation, and regardless of whether or not players might show interest in playing in foreign countries, once the lockout ends, they'll be back home in the NBA.
So while this summer isn't the same free agent fiasco that brought LeBron James to Miami or Amar'e Stoudemire to New York, this summer holds some pretty interesting possibilities.
One particular category of interest is in the forward department. While there isn't necessarily an abundance of small forwards and power forwards available, this summer has a few worth keeping your eye on.
Here are five of the best forwards on the market.
Hampered by injuries and left unable to participate in his Dallas Mavericks' 2011 NBA championship post-season, Caron Butler is now an unrestricted free agent.
A two-time All-Star and talented scorer, Butler posted some of his best seasons in Washington with the Wizards before being traded to Dallas, averaging around 20 points per game.
While he may not have been able to replicate All-Star seasons in Dallas due to injury, Butler's future is promising once again, especially after undergoing surgery on his knee.
Should he stay healthy, Butler is one of the best free agents on the market.
Despite being a member of the 2004 NBA championship squad, Tayshaun Prince has hit a rough patch with the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons have not made the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season, when they were eliminated in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Prince has since been part of a Pistons squad led by him and Richard Hamilton, which has been unable to find success.
Prince remains a gritty defender and an overall well-rounded player, as well as one of the more promising forwards available on the market.
He still contributes a solid 14 points and four rebounds each game, but on many teams he could find himself with the role of defensive stopper.
Should he decide to leave the rebuilding Pistons, he shouldn't have trouble finding himself a new home.
Should he decide to accept the offer from the Boston Celtics, Jeff Green would remain in Boston as one of their pieces to move the team forward in the post-Paul Pierce/Ray Allen/Kevin Garnett era.
If he doesn't, then that leaves him as one of the more promising young players available on the market.
Since his arrival in Boston, Green has not produced at the same level he did in Oklahoma City. However, that could be due in large part to the fewer minutes he received in Boston last season.
With another team, he could possibly regain that same momentum he had going during his three seasons in Oklahoma; however, he also could not do so.
It does seem more likely that, given his age of 24, he'll be able to grow into a promising player eventually.
After the departure of Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis was expected to take on more of the workload for the Boston Celtics around the rim.
Last season, he did just that, having the best overall season of his career. He averaged career highs in points, blocks, steals, assists and rebounds.
Davis is a fan favorite in Boston and one of their biggest role players. However, many teams could show interest in "Big Baby," and if the situation with Perkins was any indication, he may not be a priority for the Celtics.
A two-time All-Star and talented power forward, David West chose to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent.
Now with Chris Paul seemingly on the verge of leaving the New Orleans Hornets, West is testing the waters after coming off of his knee injury.
A solid presence in the paint capable of putting up a solid 18-20 points and about eight rebounds per game, West is sure to attract attention, and is probably the best forward available on the market should he stay healthy.