NBA Free Agents: Top Targets for Every NBA Contender
This season's NBA free agency has been pretty crazy to say the least. It's usually wild, but given the short span of time to grab free agents, 2011 is different than most seasons.
While most of the top-tier free agents have been gobbled up, there are still some that remain.
This list contains five Western Conference teams and five Eastern Conference Teams. I feel that just a handful of teams have a legitimate shot of winning the NBA Championship, but I will use the ten best odds to win the NBA Title as a tool in considering who are legit contenders.
Oklahoma City Thunder: James Posey
James Posey would bring the Oklahoma City Thunder experience. He won a NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2007-08.
He has played in 65 playoff games in his 12-year career.
Certainly Posey doesn’t bring youth and athleticism to the Thunder, but they already have that with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. He does, however, bring you experience, craftiness, ability to hit the outside shot and the ability to defend.
He has averaged eight points and five rebounds in his career.
Posey could take over for Nate Robinson who won’t be on the roster this season.
New York Knicks: Baron Davis
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Baron Davis and the New York Knicks seem like a pretty solid fit especially now that the Knicks missed on Chris Paul (point guard) via a trade and failed to pick up Jordan Crawford (shooting guard) in free agency.
New York needs a point guard, unless you count Mike Bibby as a formidable fit which the Knicks clearly don’t with their interest in Davis.
When inspired, and that isn’t a given with Davis, he is one of the best guards in the NBA. When he was with Golden State he averaged 18-22 points, eight assists and four rebounds per game.
His production went down while he was with the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers. He needs to be surrounded by quality players and New York gives him one of the best opportunities to succeed.
Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire give the Knicks their star power, Tyson Chandler gives them productive inside defense and rebounding and Davis could give them a productive boost from the point guard position once he returns from injury.
Defensively will be the issue for the Knicks. Mike D’Antoni isn’t exactly a defensive coach, but if they want to compete for championships he better show he can coach some type of defense.
Miami Heat: Gilbert Arenas
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Gilbert Arenas being a “top target” of the Miami Heat is the case because they already grabbed their No. 1 priority in Shane Battier.
When you surround yourself with better talent sometimes it makes a player that is legitimately over-the-hill play similar to when they were considered as legit.
Playing with guys like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James would only open up opportunities for Arenas to do what he does best and that’s shoot the rock. Wade and James will be able to penetrate the lane at will which will allow several opportunities for Arenas to succeed, even if he plays 10-15 minutes a night.
Arenas averaged 10 Points, 3.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game in 2011.
It will depend on how willing Arenas would be to making significantly less money. If he wants to win a championship, he should consider Miami if he plans to be around his family who were relocated to Orlando.
Maybe Arenas could be a scoring spark off the bench for the Heat this season. He definitely has the talent.
Boston Celtics: Keith Bogans
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Chicago Bulls recently released guard Keith Bogans. With the Boston Celtics losing Jeff Green for the entire season, searching for guard help should be a priority.
Ray Allen and Paul Pierce need to have suitable backups to spell them some minutes because of their age.
Bogans is a very aggressive, physical guard that can defend multiple positions. He started every game for the Bulls last season, posting 4.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in 18 minutes played.
He would be a decent fit into what the Celtics need and would be an upgrade to their lack of depth at the guard position.
This is the type of player the Celtics will look closely into especially if they can grab him without giving up more money than he is worth.
Boston has several holes to fill in their roster. Bogans could help with one, but i'm sure they will look in all different directions.
San Antonio Spurs: Joel Przybilla
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Joel Przybilla would bring the San Antonio Spurs added size and depth to a front line that lacks in a true center.
He is a career four points and six rebounds per game center that uses his 7'1" size effectively. Przybilla is a "blue-collar" type of player that doesn't mind doing the dirty work in order to win games.
Przybilla has a solid work ethic which will help the front line of the Spurs. He could also spell Tim Duncan some minutes.
Orlando Magic:: Samuel Dalembert
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The Orlando Magic still need to find a backup for center Dwight Howard. Glen Davis isn’t and can’t be a backup to Howard in terms of the center position.
In comes Samuel Dalembert.
Daniel Orton is the only true center that could spell Howard some time, but that isn’t saying much at this point. The Magic should grab Dalembert in free agency to rectify their lack of depth.
Dalembert is a career eight points and eight rebounds center that is capable of blocking and altering shots. He has averaged two blocked shots per game in his 9-year career.
When Howard is on the floor, the gap between the backup and starter would be narrowed with the addition of Dalembert.
Chicago Bulls: Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson is not returning to the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. That leaves him open to join any other team.
Chicago filled their void of shooting guard with Richard Hamilton, but "Rip" isn't necessarily a three-point shooter. He could certainly fill the role of being that guy who can score when teams double team Derrick Rose, but it wouldn't hurt having another three-point shooter on the floor.
Robinson is a career 11.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He could be a valuable bench player now that Chicago doesn't have Keith Bogans in town anymore.
Robinson is only a 35 percent three-point shooter in his career but he does have the capability of being an "instant offense" type of player off the bench.
Dallas Mavericks: Joel Przybilla
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No Tyson Chandler to protect the rim for the defending NBA Champions. Joel Przybilla is a big man that the Mavericks are eyeing in free agency.
Przybilla does the dirty work on the floor. He has averaged six rebounds and four points per game in his 11-year NBA career. His 7’1” 245 lbs frame would give the Mavericks their missing big body to protect the paint.
Chandler’s production on offense and defense would be missed, but Przybilla would give the Mavericks something more than they currently possess.
Denver Nuggets: Arron Afflalo
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I wouldn’t consider the Denver Nuggets true title contenders but the odds makers give them a decent shot.
If they want an increased opportunity to win the title then they must resign Arron Afflalo.
Afflalo had his best year of his 4-year NBA career last year with the Denver Nuggets. He recorded 12.6 points, 2.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game.
The 26-year-old shot 50 percent from the floor including 42 percent from beyond the arc. He also provides the ability to defend.
Afflalo has really made a name for himself since coming over from Detroit after the 2008-09 season. He has started 144 games in two years for the Nuggets.
Los Angeles Lakers: Baron Davis
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Los Angeles made a crucial mistake by giving Lamar Odom to Dallas for draft picks which was an absolute joke. The Lakers went to back-to-back-to-back NBA Finals yet they wanted to give up a valuable piece off the bench.
Then they missed out in the Chris Paul sweepstakes.
They should grab Baron Davis once he returns from injury. He would be a solid fit in LA.
Now they have to make Davis to LA happen because of their issues at the point guard position. Derek Fisher is a 15-year NBA veteran that is 37 years old. His better days are well behind him. It’s time to get a little more athletic and a little better fit at the point guard position.
Davis is a career 16.5 points, 7.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game player. His lack of motivation can get the best of him sometimes, but Kobe Bryant won’t allow or accept Davis to play below his level of expectations.
Kobe will drive Davis into being the player that his athletic ability suggests he is.
It’s time to get a little younger in the backcourt. The 32-years-old will be able to help in multiple areas for the Lakers.