Shane Battier is one of those veteran players every NBA team needs for a championship run. When he went to the Memphis Grizzlies last season they became a real threat in the Western Conference and shocked the No. 1 seed San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
Battier's defense and outside shooting are really helpful to a contending team, and there are several other free agents that aren't getting a ton of publicity but could play huge roles in helping a team realize their NBA Finals dreams.
Let's look at the five most underrated free agents that teams would be foolish to overlook.
Kris Humphries is a double-double player who will give good interior scoring and fantastic rebounding to the club that signs him.
He won't score 20 points or more too often but he will be a player coaches can depend on every game.
Humphries likely won't demand that big of a contract, and could be the difference maker on a contending team that needs more depth in the frontcourt.
The Boston Celtics must re-sign Glen "Big Baby" Davis because he is crucial to their success, but there will be other teams who want the young forward.
Davis is among the league leaders in charges taken, and plays defense well. His mid-range jumper has dramatically improved since his rookie season in 2008, and he can consistently hit that shot when open.
He also scores well at the basket—even though it doesn't look to pretty, he gets the job done against taller defenders.
Davis' effort and offensive ability will be huge to the Celtics or any team that signs him.
Samuel Dalembert is a quality center who rebounds well and plays good defense in the paint. Dalembert averaged a bit over eight points and eight rebounds per game last season, and teams will not have to pay a ton of money for his services.
Dalembert also averaged a block and a half last season. He would add tremendous depth to a contender this season.
You can never have enough big men, and in an era of NBA basketball with few quality centers, Dalembert has a lot of value to many teams.
Tayshaun Prince has been an integral part of the Detroit Pistons' success since he arrived to the team in the mid-2000s, but there will be several teams interested in signing the unrestricted free agent.
Prince is a good defender and his length and size give him the versatility teams need at the forward position.
He averaged about 14 points per game last season with just under five rebounds per game. Prince will give a team veteran leadership and playoff experience.
His outside shooting will stretch the floor, and he still is a starting player in this league at small forward.
Shane Battier is a very respected player around the league and is an elite perimeter defender. Top teams like the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls should all make a play for Battier, because he is an excellent veteran player.
Battier has guarded superstar scorers like Kobe Bryant very well, and his three-point shooting spaces the floor for driving scorers.
His combination of great defense, dependable outside shooting and the class he displays on a daily basis make him a player every team dreams of, and one all Finals contenders should pursue.
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