NBA Free Agents 2011: The 10 Worst Free Agents Teams Need to Avoid
Now that the NBA lockout has finally subsided, there's no doubt that there will be regrettable contracts handed out during the frenzy that will be the 2011 free agent process.
Adding new players onto the roster isn't just a simple game of cut-and-paste to see how a potential free agent target might fit; it takes a careful, close examination of how that new teammate is going to mesh with those surrounding him.
There are some players who serve a very specific role on their team. If they choose to change the letters across their chest, each of the following could be in for a very rude awakening.
10. Jason Kapono
Kapono had an absolutely horrific year for the Sixers, managing to get into just 24 regular season games and barely making his presence felt on the floor.
After averaging double-digits in Miami back in 2006-07—which netted him a ludicrous four-year contract—Kapono is going to find interest in his services rather scant around the league, as there's just not a market for a one-dimensional player on the wrong side of 30.
It'll be interesting to see if any club is interested in him as a veteran flier capable of spotting up and hitting the three, but his role is so limited that some might not even kick the tires.
9. Kyrylo Fesenko
It's incredible to think how Fesenko has lasted this long in the NBA, but that speaks to the value that size has around the league.
In four seasons with Utah, Fesenko has never played in more than 53 regular season games nor averaged more than nine minutes per contest, and his numbers actually took a hit last season from where they were in 2009-10.
He's likely to land a deal for a team desperate to upgrade in the size department with a seven-footer at the end of the bench, but he's unlikely to turn into a sizable contributor overnight.
8. Marco Belinelli
Belinelli actually turned in a decent campaign for New Orleans last season, but that was more a product of the team needing him to produce offensively than his progression as a player.
He's been largely inconsistent to this point in his career, and although he's capable of scoring 20-plus points on any given night, he also hangs up far too many bad games and his shot selection leaves a lot to be desired.
While Belinelli is best suited for a limited, specific role in the offense, he'll likely follow the money to a team that really needs him and wind up not living up to his next contract as a result.
7. Kwame Brown
Brown played a decent brand of basketball for the Bobcats down the stretch, and he even showed enough where people were discussing him as a potential free agent bargain.
Let's pump the brakes on that belief.
He's been a monumental bust in every stop along the way throughout his career, and unless he stays in Charlotte where expectations are low for him to perform, he's going to have an awfully difficult time meshing with new teammates in a bigger market.
6. DeShawn Stevenson
Stevenson was one of the most vocal players on the championship Dallas team, and despite playing solid defense at times for the club, he might not have a role on the roster any longer.
Assuming Stevenson does move on from the Mavericks, he's going to have to be signed to play a niche role as a defender off the bench or by a team looking for only 15-20 minutes nightly from him in an effort to live up to the contract he signs.
There are legitimate concerns about Stevenson's ability to mesh with any given group, and while that shouldn't dilute his market entirely, it will undoubtedly play into what teams are interested.
5. Glen Davis
Davis is on the outside looking in about a possible return to the Celtics, as the selection of JaJuan Johnson in the first round of the draft would seemingly indicate that the team is preparing for the future.
As an energy player off the bench, Davis will have a lot of teams interested in his services, but his questionable decision-making when it comes to shooting the rock might really crimp his potential payday.
Big Baby will have to show that he's matured both on and off the court for him to live up to a multi-year deal worth several million per season, and that's not something anyone can take to the bank just yet.
4. Kris Humphries
Humphries had a fantastic season for the Nets last year, as even the team couldn't have predicted what he wound up bringing to the table.
Despite the undeniable production in the form of a double-double average, Humphries is going to make major money from his previous accolades, and interested teams should be looking more at his potential for future production rather than what he's done in the past.
The 2010-11 campaign marked the first time in his career that he averaged better than 8.1 points or 6.4 rebounds per game, so it's fair to assume that a number of teams will be hesitant in doling out a major deal for Humphries.
3. J.J. Barea
Barea is a perfect example of a player who played a very distinct role for his team, and there may not be a player with more volatile stock around the league.
Although he's extremely undersized, there's no doubting what Barea can provide off the bench when used properly, but there are a fair number of teams that wouldn't be able to utilize him in the same manner which Dallas perfected last season.
He'd be smart to return to Dallas at a reasonable price, but the allure of money can certainly have a weighing impact, especially when one is coming off of a championship title.
2. Nick Young
Young is going to be ticketed for a serious pay increase, and whatever team that signs him is likely going to regret it in the long run.
It's not that Young is a bad player—he's far from that. However, he's shown that he can be a proven scorer within a starting unit, and in a free agent class as shallow as this one, that would seemingly indicate that he'll likely be overpaid by a club desperate for offense.
While most have Young penciled in for a return to Washington, there's always a chance that a team looking to build offers something he can't refuse.
1. Greg Oden
It's really tough to comprehend the idea that the Blazers extended Oden an $8.8 million qualifying contract offer prior to the lockout, given that he's played in just 82 regular season games over a four-year span.
Oden was the first overall pick in 2007, and while there's certainly still time for him to turn it around and enjoy a successful career, the clock is really working against him.
There's a strong chance Oden will accept the qualifying offer, as there shouldn't be a team willing to give him a multi-year contract at that insanely lucrative salary, but this is another $9 million Paul Allen might want back when the time comes for judgment.