NBA Free Agency: The Top 5 Most Overlooked Free Agents
Aaron Afflalo, Tyson Chandler, David West, Jamal Crawford, Jason Richardson, Nene...these are the names that have dominated the headlines in NBA free agency talk this season.
There are many unheralded players that haven't received the attention of the above mentioned names, but could provide equal contributions to a new team this upcoming season.
Let's take a look the five free agents that have managed to go under the radar as the negotiation period gets underway.
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Part of the reason we haven't heard much about this un-contracted Denver Nugget, is because he is stuck in China.
During the lockout, Smith signed a contract to play basketball for the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls. Smith's contract contains a "no opt-out" clause which doesn't allow him to return to the states until the Chinese Basketball Association's season ends in March.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, in order to get out of said contract, Smith (along with other NBAers in China) could have to agree to a crazy buyout that includes returning all the pay he's received so far, plus agent fees and an additional $1 million.
Something tells me good ol' J.R. might wait this one out.
When he does return, Smith is a good three-point shooter (39 percent last season), explosive on the break, and very capable on the defensive end.
Best Fits: Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns
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If Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had his way, he would re-sign all of Dallas' free agents and make a run at being back-to-back champions.
If DeShawn Stevenson is lured away from the Lone Star State, he will bring with him a solid three-point shot, and his ability to be a positive spark off the bench.
With Stevenson's well-publicized dislike for LeBron James, how nice would it be for him to go to a Eastern Conference team to help prevent King James from reaching the finals again?
Don't hold your breath, however, for Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter (part-owner of the New Jersey Nets, LeBron BFF, and author of the official DeShawn Stevenson "diss" record) to extend a contract offer to DeShawn.
Best Fits: Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks
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Reggie Evans has his "Get out of Toronto Free" card, and probably can't wait to use it.
Even though most of Evanss 2010-2011 campaign was plagued by injury, in the 30 games he played in, he managed to average 11.5 rebounds at power forward for the Raptors.
What team couldn't use double-digit rebounds in only 26 minutes a game?
Best Fits: Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat
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Michael Redd is yet another player that might be overlooked due to his injury history.
Redd may have managed to play in only 61 games over the last three seasons, but he still has averaged 20 points per game over his 11-year career.
Now that he is no longer able to put the weight of a team on his back, Redd would make an excellent spot-up shooter for a team with depth
Best Fits: Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers
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Chuck Hayes has made somewhat of a name for himself in the last two seasons by filling in for the now-retired Yao Ming at center for the Houston Rockets.
Did I mention he's only 6'6"?
Hayes' numbers are far from gaudy, but his heart and intensity on defense are immeasurable.
He would be a great addition to almost any team in the league looking for a forw...a cent...a big m...a good player to add depth and quality minutes to their roster.
Best Fits: Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings
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To close, I just want you all to remember that the big names will get you TV time, but it's those pesky under-the-radar guys that get you championships...just ask Mark Cuban.