Free Agency 2011: 5 Big Men Who Should Be Signed Before Kwame Brown
I keep hearing that several teams are considering signing Kwame Brown.
That's fine, if you're just looking for a big body. But that's all he's going to offer you.
There are several other quality big men to be had for cheaper than Nene, Tyson Chandler and the like.
In other words, these are big men that you would NOT consider as starting power forwards or centers; big men that you would NOT consider to be stars or missing pieces.
Take a long look at these other big men before you consider offering Kwame Brown part or most (I can't imagine anyone offering ALL) of your mid-level exception.
Kurt Thomas, Chicago Bulls (Free Agent)
He's tough as nails. He's a GREAT defender in the low post, especially for 6'9". He's a solid rebounder and hits the open jump shot. He played over 40 minutes in a game multiple times last season. At this point in his career, he'll be a great addition to any contending team.
While I'd LOVE to see him come back to the Knicks, I feel certain that he's going back to Chicago.
Aaron Gray, New Orleans Hornets
I definitely would rather have Aaron Gray than Kwame Brown.
It appears as though Gray could be a great rebounder if given adequate playing time—he averaged over four rebounds per game despite only averaging 13 minutes. When given a chance to play over the second half of the season, he often grabbed double-digit rebounds.
Is he a starter? Probably not, but it would be interesting to see what he could do in an offense in which he's only required to crash the boards. It does, however, seem like he fouls frequently.
I think Gray could wind up anywhere. I've heard speculation about New York—but that's probably because I constantly visit the Knicks page. I just think wherever Gray goes, he probably won't start. But that rebounding ability makes me prefer him over Kwame Brown.
Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers
Josh McRoberts is a phenomenal athlete. A starter? Probably not, but I think he could be—he started some games for Indiana.
I'm not sure the Pacers will pay to keep him, especially since they seem to be after Carl Landry and David West.
McRoberts will command a decent raise—he can run the floor, has a post game, shoots a high percentage and is also a three-point threat, hitting on 38 percent of his attempts last year. He has only became better statistically in each of his years in the NBA (especially at shooting, free-throw and three-point percentage).
He's going to fit in just about anywhere. He has a wealth of talent and it would be interesting to see how he would fare if given a starting role.
Chris Wilcox, Detroit Pistons
Chris Wilcox hasn't panned out the way you would expect from a No. 8 overall pick (of course, Kwame Brown was the No. 1 overall pick!), but his last season was solid for a bench player. In just 17 minutes, he averaged over seven points per game and nearly five rebounds.
I'm sure Wilcox would like to play for a winner, and I could easily see him heading to Miami.
Though Wilcox, like Gray, seems to have a fouling problem, his high shooting percentage and quality stats in limited minutes put him ahead of Kwame Brown, to me.
Troy Murphy, Boston Celtics
I am not a Pacers fan, but I am a fan of Troy Murphy's game. His last two years in Indiana were outstanding, as he averaged 14 points and over 10 rebounds per game. A definite three-point threat, he shot 45 percent from long range in 2008-2009.
Murphy wants to win, as evidenced by his joining Boston late last season (only not to play much). I feel strongly that Murphy is still a starter in this league—but only if paired with a defensive-minded center.
Murphy is not a shot blocker but more than makes up for it with his rebounding. Every season in which he averaged 30 minutes per game or more, he averaged between 10 and 12 rebounds per game. Out of ANY of these "lower-tier" players, he should be snagged quickly by a team looking for rebounding and the ability to spread the floor.
And in Conclusion...
Another player I would consider signing before Kwame Brown is Jeff Foster. A hustle player who plays solid defense and rebounds very well is always desired on your team. Foster has often been injured recently, though, and I think he enjoys being in Indiana. I don't see him leaving.
Other interesting players include Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier and Jamaal Magloire. Yes they're all over 30 and played very little quality minutes for Miami, but two are former All-Stars and could be productive.
Other notables I would consider before Brown include Theo Ratliff and Tony Battie.
Do I hate Kwame Brown? I'm sure it seems like it, but I don't at all. If he signed with my Knicks, that would be fine.—as long as it was for the veteran's minimum ONLY. I would consider paying more for the other players mentioned on this list. However, none of them are at the same level as the "marquee" list of Chandler, West, Nene, Landry, Chuck Hayes and various others.
What do you think? Agree with any of these?