NBA Free Agents: Tyson Chandler and Top Difference Makers on the Market

Justin WeltonAnalyst IINovember 26, 2011

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 acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Basketball at the highest level is back.

The NBA will be making its much anticipated debut on Christmas Day, pending approval of a tentative agreement.

Now that we have a deal that was agreed upon, teams need to start thinking about adding pieces to their championship puzzle. There are several touted individuals in free agency but these players would be the biggest difference makers to a championship contender.

Shane Battier

Shane Battier can do a plethora of things on the court that could impact his team. He is known for his man-to-man defense. Not only does he defend the opposition’s best guard but he accepts the challenge.

Battier is a two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection.

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 29: Shane Battier #31 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates after the Grizzlies beat the San Antonio Spurs 99-91 in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 29, 2011 in Memphis, Ten
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Playoff-caliber team needs somebody who can lock a player down in the clutch who you know will take the final shot like Kobe Bryant or Paul Pierce. Battier is willing to fill that void.

Another area that he would give teams a boost in would be productive, spot-up shooting. Even though Battier is past his prime (33 years old), he still can be used if given a guard that can penetrate the lane with relative ease.

  Battier shot 39 percent and 33 percent from beyond the arc with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies in 2010-11. The better the point guard is at penetrating, the more productive Battier can be.

Battier’s defensive prowls and spot-up shooting would be a difference maker to playoff clubs.  


If healthy, and that’s a big if, Nene is one of the best centers in the NBA. Health has always been Nene’s No. 1 issue. He has only played in all 82 games once in his career.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 27: Nene Hilario #31 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the basket against Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at the Ford
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Nene can do work on both sides of the floor. He has averaged 12 points and seven rebounds in his 9-year career. He is one of them more efficient big men in the league, averaging a 56 percent field goal percentage in his career.

He is coming off a 2010-11 campaign where he averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and 62 percent shooting from the floor.

If he could remain healthy for an entire season teams would be happy to snatch him up in free agency.

Tayshaun Prince

Remember this guy? Tayshaun Prince hasn’t been talked about in recent years mostly because the Detroit Pistons haven't been any good. However, Prince has provided solid minutes to the Pistons and he could potentially be a tremendous difference maker for playoff teams.

Prince brings the experience wanted out of a free agent. He won the NBA Championship with the Pistons in 2004. He has played in 118 playoff games.

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 26:  (L-R) Arron Afflalo #28, Tayshaun Prince #22 and Walter Herrmann #5 of the Detroit Pistons sit on the bench in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

His production has been consistent in Detroit. Aside from his first year (2002-03) Prince has averaged double-digit points and four or more rebounds per game. Prince doesn’t miss a ton of time either. He has played in all 82 regular season games six times.

Prince can do it all on the court. Whether it’s scoring, dishing out assists, rebounding, blocking shots or steals, Prince has an all-around game.

But what gets overlooked is his defensive ability. Prince is a 4-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection. Prince’s lanky 6’9” body gives the opposition fits. He can guard multiple positions, doesn’t mind doing the little things, and he is a winner.

Prince would be a perfect fit for playoff teams.

Tyson Chandler

For years the Dallas Mavericks were missing an inside presence capable of blocking/altering shots, being active and being able to dominate the glass.

In comes veteran center Tyson Chandler.

His 7’1” 235 pound frame not only gave the Mavericks inside help but changed the culture and reputation of the club. He averaged 10 points and nine rebounds while averaging 28 minutes on the floor.

The NBA doesn’t have too many “pure” centers that dominate games like in the past, but Chandler brings different strings to both sides of the ball that make him reliable underneath.

His solid rebounding, ability to improve on his offensive game and hustle makes him one of the most touted free agents in the class.

He is a guy that isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Chandler will give you 100 percent maximum effort. Players like Chandler are needed to win a championship and teams would be crazy to overlook him in free agency. 

Note: This article is not intended for restricted free agents.