NBA Free Agents: Most Overrated Players on the Market

Daniel Christian@@dchris_hawksCorrespondent IIIDecember 5, 2011

NBA Free Agents: Most Overrated Players on the Market

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    This year's class of free agents pales in comparison to that of last year's. There isn't a superstar at every turn, much less at all. There's an abundance of role players at the ready; players who could be seen as missing pieces to complete a championship team.

    Nevertheless, this class isn't fantastic and considering the hype it's receiving, clearly people are weighing certain factors a bit too much.

    Don't get me wrong, there are free agents worth talking about, worth gushing over and hoping that they are the missing link to your chain of championships. Realistically, they aren't. Not every role player comes with a sign that has the word "championship" emblazoned on it. 

    The Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Lakers and every other contender out there thinks the free agent they'll be getting will be that missing link. You know what? For one of those teams they might just find that, but 31 teams won't.

    Here are players that are claimed to be game-changers but really only have you getting your hopes up for no reason. These overrated free agents likely won't be helping your team hoist up a trophy any time soon.

Tayshaun Prince

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    Tayshaun Prince once was that heralded missing piece.

    A bench scorer and playmaker of the champion Detroit Pistons of 2005, Prince has regressed without the winning pieces around him. While he should be entering his prime, he, and his production, seems to have leveled out.

    In his time as a starter, he's been figured out. His long arms and lanky play don't intrigue and confuse defenses anymore, not does it help him grab an abundance of rebounds. He's tall and long and has the potential to block shots, but his finesse game isn't going to send any one team over the top at this point. 

    Prince built his reputation as a champion. While he'll always be a champion, his image as a game-changer is nothing but a mirage now.

    He'll be a valuable asset to any team, but he's not the player most casual fans think he is.

Shane Battier

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    Shane Battier was, at one point, arguably the best defender in the NBA; he seems to be relying more on reputation now than anything else.

    He's still a great defensive player, however. Sure, he's lost some lateral quickness, but on most teams (not Memphis thanks to Tony Allen) he'll be guarding the top-flight wing of the opposing team.

    The problem here is that he's not as good as he's made out to be. He could easily be that missing piece for Miami or Boston, but his potential presence is being overstated at this point.

    His plus-minus numbers have dropped significantly, and while taking it to the hole has never been his strong suit, you'll be lucky to see him attack the basket three times all year.

    He's the kind of guy that can certainly elevate a team to a different level—provided they already have impressive pieces in place—but realize he's not the all-world defender he was two years ago.

Caron Butler

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    He's being pursued by a plethora of teams, namely the Chicago Bulls, and going off his performance over the past three or four years, its clearly a good idea to take a chance on him.

    He is, however, far from a sure thing.

    People are assuming a guy who hasn't played since this time last year is going to come back and put up the same gaudy numbers he did when healthy. He just might. He's that talented.

    However, I'm not ready to chalk Caron Butler up as a total game-changer until I see how he's recovered from injury.

    Time will tell if Butler can still deliver the goods. Don't give him the benefit of the doubt—make him prove it. He's being overrated until he shows me he deserves the praise post-injury.

Kwame Brown

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    I know he's experienced a mini-career resurgence, but really?

    How is this guy getting legitimate attention from a handful of teams. Last time I checked he still has hands like feet and lacks a single post move. I don't even think I've ever seen him do a simple drop-step or up-and-under.

    He can rebound, I suppose, he runs the floor alright, and he can score some garbage time points, but that's about all Kwame is good for.

    I respect that he's working hard to shed his label as a bust, but that's easier said than done and he has a long road ahead of him to do so.

    Teams might want to cool it on the offers. He's being paid the right amount now; there is no need to overrate and overpay him in the long run.

Greg Oden

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    Greg Oden is in the same boat as Caron Butler.

    Miami fans shouldn't be praying for Oden to sign and claim that he is the missing piece to a title. First of all, Miami already has all the pieces it needs to win a championship. They could make a stronger case with a decent center, but the fact remains they probably should have won last season.

    Secondly, this guy has barely played a quarter of an NBA season. There is no need to dub him the answer to all your teams' big man problems. 

    Greg Oden could very well still turn out to be a dominant center in this league. He's being written off by some and being the bearer of massive expectations from others, but there needs to be a middle ground with him. Don't under or overrate Oden. 

    He's a wait-and-see player right now. Any judgement passed on Oden falls in one of the two aforementioned categories.

JR Smith

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    He's the type of player that can score 40 points in a game. He can nail eight threes in a row and dunk from the free-throw line the very next play. He's also the guy that goes 3-14 and shoots your team out of the game down the stretch.

    It's a high-risk, high-reward issue with JR Smith. However, if you think he'll go to a championship team and make all the difference, you're wrong. In fact, he might just do the opposite.

    He's been known to be a locker room cancer, a whiner and complainer, a hot head and, at times, poor teammate. A championship team doesn't need that, and no matter the talent he brings, he can easily negate every opportunity in front of him with his attitude.

    Lucky for us, we don't have to put up with it until his situation in China is taken care of.

Glen Davis

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    Once praised in Boston, dubbed Shrek, and the swisher of playoff game winners, Glen Davis had everything going for him.

    He was an NBA champion and an integral part of that offense. However, his flaws were exposed with Kendrick Perkins off the roster and in Oklahoma City. He's primarily a mid-range shooting big man who won't bang down low. 

    Glen Davis, or as some call him, "Big Baby," isn't going to be your team's added post-presence; he's an overrated power forward who thrives on his championship legacy.

    His role has been undeniable since 2008 with Boston, but it's now brutally apparent he's not the game-changer he was two years ago.