Free Agency 2011: Howard, Dunleavy, Kapono: Free Agents Going Unnoticed
I've read a few articles off and on here on the NBA's section of Bleacher Report. I've heard all the rumors linked to my team, from Paul to Thomas to Chandler. I've heard about Chicago needing a shooting guard. I've heard about Dallas needing nothing. I've heard about Miami possibly getting a whole new supporting cast.
But these are some names I have NOT heard mentioned and they include a couple former All Stars attempting returns from injuries. Also, note that all of these listed are perimeter players. Makes sense when I think about it due to the lack of big men nowadays (see Houston's team, for example, where 6-foot-8 Chuck Hayes plays center). It is sad to see Kwame Brown, a horrific player, linked to all kinds of teams while these players are often overlooked.
So ... I only made this list to include five and there's no particular order. And yes, some players will be inevitably left out.
Mike Dunleavy, Jr. G/F
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Mike Dunleavy Jr is someone who should command a moderate amount of attention. Yes, he only played 61 and 67 games the past two seasons, respectively. But the former Duke Blue Devil is still capable of being a sixth man on many teams and producing double figures off the bench.
It is important to note that Dunleavy is a career 44 percent shooter and 40 percent from long range. However, last season he shot two percent and four percent higher, respectively, in each category, while averaging 12 points per game. A player who can play multiple positions, as well as handle the ball adequately is valuable.
Is he the missing piece to a championship run? Probably not by a long shot. However, a team looking to solidify its bench could do no wrong here. Am I making predictions? Not at all, but I think he'd fit in good with San Antonio, where veteran players play well (Michael Finley, Antonio McDyess).
What Happened to Jason Kapono?
Does Jason Kapono even play? If you look at the past two seasons, nope. He played in 12 games last season and 37 the season before. Will anyone sign him? It's possible, given the fact that he is a career 44 percent shooter from long range. As you see in the video, he is a sharpshooter.
With the past couple of years in Philadelphia, he has been seemingly buried. The few amount of games he played in only amounted to an average of about four minutes per game.
Will anyone sign him? I could see a team easily signing him. I'm thinking of my own Knicks (except for the fact that they have a logjam in the backcourt) as a team who could use three point shooting to help eliminate the double teams of Stoudemire and Anthony. Or, perhaps, Miami, who will possibly not resign James Jones and are trying to get rid of Mike Miller.
Josh Howard: A Forgotten Man
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Who? Josh Howard, the former Maverick who averaged just a 10th of a point shy of 20 per game back in 2007-2008. He is injury-prone, having missed 78 games two seasons ago and 64 last season. A former All-Star (in 2006-2007, due to injuries to other All Stars), Howard is probably past his prime due to his injuries. But he can score and rebound.
Howard also has averaged a steal per game over the course of his career. Where could he fit in? Obviously not as a star, like his Dallas days. But 20 minutes per game for a contender would be good. But, who is willing to take a chance on a player that missed 142 out of 164 games in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011? We shall see.
Peja Stojakovic: Where Should He Go?
The video above (while not as good as Reggie Miller's eight points in 16 seconds or Tracy McGrady's 13 in 35 seconds) highlights that even just last year, Peja can still light it up. He's a former multiple All-Star but is best suited now coming off of the bench. Thirteen years and multiple injuries have taken their toll.
The only problem with Peja coming off of the bench is that he needs to get into the flow of the game, in my opinion. Sometimes, he needs a few minutes to get going, and if he's missing a few shots, he's probably going to get pulled in favor of someone else. All he is out there to do is shoot. So if that's not working, he will be benched.
However, a European sharpshooter with proven experience will NOT have a problem being signed. I wouldn't be surprised to see him stay in Dallas, though.
Michael Redd: Intriguing
Had to get my Knicks and their bad defense in here somehow...
Nick Laham/Getty Images
This is the most interesting free agent in the league to me. I had completely forgotten about him. Michael Redd is a career 20 points per game scorer and is only two seasons removed (injury plagued, none the less) from a 21 points per game average. Can he regain the sharpshooter's touch and scoring game he had? I'm very interested to see.
I honestly believe that he COULD come back and average 12-15 points per game for some team. He can shoot and drive and could be a team's third or fourth option. Again, Miami comes to mind. Also perhaps a team like Chicago, who needs a shooting guard. I'm sure he can be had for a cheap price, after the injury.
And to Conclude ...
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
I would include several players on the "honorable" mention list. I know everyone would like to see what McGrady can do. I didn't include Battier since I didn't consider him to be "overlooked" or "forgotten."
Also, is Allen Iverson or Antione Walker (groan) attempting to come back?
Other notables include Carlos Arroyo, Mike Bibby, Roger Mason and Mike Bibby. Where will all of these (or any of these) land their next job at? It's beginning to get interesting!
Thanks for reading.