NBA Free Agents 2011: Analyzing the Top 5 Unrestricted Big Men
The 2011-2012 NBA season is approaching with that ever-so-appealing Christmas Day triple-header. This means many things, one of which being the topic of free-agent frenzy. This year's free agency list really does have much in store for all NBA fans alike.
High-profile names such as Nene Hilario, Marc Gasol, David West, and many others are among the free agency list and for many teams, it's time to try and fill missing gaps, and prepare for a little Pre-Christmas Day shopping.
In this slideshow, I will be listing the top five unrestricted big men on the 2011-2012 free agency list, predicting whether or not the player will decide to resign or leave their current team, analyzing their current situation, and predicting their basic stats (points, rebounds, assists), going in no particular order.
Hope you enjoy, and please feel free to leave any comments below!
5. Glen "Big Baby" Davis (Boston Celtics)
When you think of the Boston Celtics, most people instantly think about the "Big Three." They often forget about their sixth man, Glen "Big Baby" Davis who has become a key piece on their veteran roster.
This last season, Davis averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, numbers that would satisfy most starting power forwards and centers.
Coming off the bench behind the great Kevin Garnett and solid veteran in Jermaine O'Neal, Davis has learned how to be successful in this league, and that is impressive considering he is only 6'9'', a size that many small forwards play at nowadays.
Davis is now a free agent and will be sought after by many teams in search of a solid back-up big man, but don't expect him to leave.
The Celtics have been the best fit for Davis and if he were to leave, it could easily end his success and potentially his career. Expect Davis to resign with the Celtics and for him to have a similar repeat of last season, continuing to be the solid back-up big man that he is.
2011-2012 Stat Predictions: 10.5 points per game, 7 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game.
4. Carl Landry (New Orleans Hornets)
When talking about underrated big men in the league, Carl Landry has to be on the list. For someone who is 6'9'' but plays like a center, Landry has proven himself to be more than a viable option in the Hornet offense.
Last season, Landry averaged 11.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game. Yeah, these numbers aren't anything special, but Landry's value goes beyond the box score; it lies in the effort and havoc he causes other big men in the league by working twice as hard as other players the entire game.
Landry is an unrestricted free agent this year and he may end up being one of the many players that leaves and signs with another team.
The Hornets last season gave a surprise fight to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers last year in the first round of playoffs. This run did last a lot longer than most expected, but the Hornets were once again back to where they were after being knocked out in the first round, a borderline play-off team that doesn't have enough tools to go far in the post season.
Landry is a now 27 years old and is possibly in the prime years of his career. The smart move for Landry would be to sign with another team while he still has some value left, and with the strong possibility that his starting point guard, Chris Paul may leave, there really is nothing left for Landry to do in New Orleans.
Expect Landry to sign with another team and don't be surprised when he continues to thrive next season as a solid role player.
2011-2012 Stat Predictions: 15 points per game, 6 rebounds per game, and 2 assists per game.
3. Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)
Every team has that one player that annoys the living "you know what" out of the other team. For the Mavericks, that one player is Tyson Chandler.
Labled as a hustler who does anything needed to win the game, Chandler has revived his career as a solid starting center, and has tasted his most successful season this last season with his first championship.
This last season, Chandler averaged 10.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game.
But the news for Maverick fans is looking grim. Chandler has been rumored to believe himself that he will not be a Maverick come training camp this year and though the Mavericks would be his first choice, the lack of communication has led to an uncertainty in his career.
The Mavericks will push hard to do all that they can to resign Chandler, but expect Chandler to be on another roster when the time comes to sign.
On a side note, the teams rumored to be interested in Chandler are the New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors.
2011-2012 Stat Predictions: 8.5 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, and 1 assist per game.
2. Nene Hilario (Denver Nuggets)
Of the big men listed in this year's free agency list, Nene Hilario is among the top of the of the list, especially of post players.
Last season, Nene averaged 14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, numbers we haven't seen quite often from him.
With the Nuggets making some significant changes by trading their marquee player Carmelo Anthony and back-up point guard Raymond Felton to the Portland Trail Blazers, they have transitioned into a time of rebuilding.
It will be quite interesting to see what Nene decides to do come signing time considering he has thrived with a group of young new faces.
The deciding factor will be the level of effort that the Nuggets decide to put into resigning Nene, and at this point in his career, the Nuggets may continue their quest to add younger foundations, which would mean letting go of Nene.
So expect Nene to sign with a different team this upcoming season, which could be between several different teams.
2011-2012 Stat Predictions: 12.5 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game.
1. David West (New Orleans Hornets)
Among all the free agents up for grabs, David West has been the most sought after alongside Nene Hilario, and for very good reasons.
Last season, West averaged 18.9 points per game (best in the 2011-2012 free agency list), 7.6 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game, numbers that are hard to deny.
With the current situation in New Orleans, it would be crazy for West to not take up an offer from a different team this next season. Chris Paul is most likely leaving the Hornets and the organization as a whole is struggling to survive, so now is West's golden opportunity to leave while he can.
Expect West to leave and sign with another team this season, but don't expect his numbers to be the same if he decides to leave. Without Paul by his side, his numbers may even suffer; having a great point guard to feed you the ball at all the right times can easily be overlooked.
2011-2012 Stat Predictions: 15.5 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, and 1.5 assists per game.