NBA Free Agency 2011 logoNBA Free Agency 2011

NBA Free Agents 2011: Top Player Available at Each Position

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIDecember 1, 2011

NBA Free Agents 2011: Top Player Available at Each Position

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    While the 2011 NBA free agent class doesn't have as much star power as last year, it will be just as exciting, as the free agency period will be condensed to a few hectic days. 

    Teams like the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are looking to add that one last piece to win that elusive NBA championship, while teams like the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets are looking to retool. 

    LeBron James doesn't grace this list, but here are the top unrestricted and restricted free agents at each position. Players rumored to be cut by the NBA's amnesty clause are not included in this list. 

Detroit Pistons Point Guard Rodney Stuckey

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    Status: Restricted Free Agent 

    Good Fits: Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, 

    This year's point guard class is extremely weak, with players like the Dallas Mavericks' J.J. Barea and Miami Heat's Mario Chalmers being viable backups for contending teams. 

    However, the Pistons' 25-year-old Rodney Stuckey can fit the bill as a starter. 

    Stuckey, who played at Eastern Washington, is a point guard who has size (6'5") and can defend at both positions. He is a good post-up player who draws a lot of fouls. 

    The four-year NBA veteran has career averages of 13.6 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 42.3 percent. 

    Stuckey needs to work on his defending point guards off-the-dribble better. 

    The Pistons will try re-signing him, but he might not be high on their priority list as they drafted Brandon Knight. 

    Teams like the Heat and Lakers might make a run at Stuckey as he would provide an upgrade in a position that held both teams back from championship glory. 

Sacramento Kings Shooting Guard Marcus Thornton

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    Status: Restricted Free Agent

    Good Fits: Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks

    Marcus Thornton turned some heads after being traded to the Sacramento Kings last year. 

    The 24-year-old shooting guard averaged 21.3 points a game on 45 percent shooting in 27 games. 

    Thornton has some explosiveness and is a strong driver to the hoop. He's also a good ball handler who rarely turns the ball over. 

    The Kings will make a strong run at re-signing Thornton, but the Bulls might want to pair him up with Derrick Rose

    Also, the Atlanta Hawks might go after him if they fail to re-sign Jamal Crawford. 

Detroit Pistons Small Forward Tayshaun Prince

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    Status: Unrestricted free agent 

    Good Fits: Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks 

    The 31-year-old Tayshaun Prince is not LeBron James, but he is the top small forward out on the free agent market. 

    Prince, a nine-year veteran who played college ball at Kentucky, is a quality defender who also has point forward ball handling skills. 

    Prince's strength is playing above the rim. He led the league by making 77.5 percent of shots around the basket. He averaged 14.1 points and 2.8 assists last year for the Pistons and is a career 46.4 percent shooter. 

    The Clippers, Nets and Mavericks are all interested in obtaining Prince, according to the Detroit Free Press. 

New Orleans Hornets Power Forward David West

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    Status: Unrestricted free agent

    Good Fits: Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors 

    The 31-year-old David West still can bring it home, as he showed with the New Orleans Hornets last year. 

    West, a 6'9" power forward from Xavier, has a career average of 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds a game while shooting 49 percent from the field. 

    West has a deadly mid-range jumper and attacks off the dribble. He is an average defender who needs to work on his post defense. 

    The Pacers, Wizards and Warriors are all interested in adding a big man, and West would fit the bill nicely. 

Denver Nuggets Center Nene Hilario

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    Status: Unrestricted free agent

    Good Fits: Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets

    While the Dallas Mavericks' Tyson Chandler is a top center, the Denver Nuggets Nene Hilario edges him out just a bit. 

    Nene is a better scorer than Chandler (12.3 points a game to Chandler's 8.8) while providing top defense. 

    The 29-year-old Brazilian is a nine-year NBA veteran who has played his entire career in Denver and apparently wants a change in scenery after turning down the Nuggets' four-year, $50 million offer. 

    The 6'11", 250-pound Nene provides a tough force in the post and is a strong pick-and-roll defender. Nene can run the floor while he shot 71.3 percent around the rim in 2010-11. 

    Many teams are interested in Nene's services, including the Heat and the Trail Blazers.  

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