David West and the Top 10 Unrestricted Free Agents

Kristian Winfield@@KrisWinfield_Correspondent IIIAugust 14, 2011

David West and the Top 10 Unrestricted Free Agents

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    Following one of the weakest NBA drafts ever, teams are scouring the free agency for quality talent.

    Though there might not be any big-name players, like a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, in the market the pool is flooded with undercover talent ready to explode for whichever club signs them.

    There are 10 free agents who, without a doubt, will find a great deal before the season starts again.

Tayshaun Prince

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    Tayshaun Prince has been consistent for the Detroit Pistons for the past nine years of his career. His game hasn't developed much, but he's not trying to become something he's not.

    Prince is a decent shooter from deep and an above-average defender, but he definitely isn't anything special, nor does he have the potential to be. He can help a team with his streaky shooting, but don't expect him to receive anything more than role-player, sixth-man minutes.

Jason Richardson

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    Mr. 360 himself, Jason Richardson, might have lost a bit of the pep in his step, but he's still one of the upper echelon scorers in the NBA. He's got an unquestionable stroke from deep and he actually plays some decent defense on the perimeter. 

    His numbers dipped severely when he put on an Orlando Magic jersey, but there's no question he can still put the ball in the bucket. Richardson only averaged 13.9 points per game with the Magic, an all-time low, but in a new system he should prove to be more effective.

Shannon Brown

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    It's clear that Kobe Bryant isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and if Shannon Brown wants to further his career, outside of Los Angeles is where he needs to be.

    Brown averaged a menial 8.7 points per game, but watching him you can see that he's capable of putting up more points. He can shoot the three and his finishing ability is among the best in the league. If he gets into an offense that can actually use a player like him, expect to see his numbers catapult.

Kenyon Martin

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    K-Mart is one of those energy guys. Like Joakim Noah, Kenyon Martin's game relies on him being in the right place at the right time and his unmatched intensity on the court.

    He might have only averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds, but Martin's minutes were also reduced when the trade came around. K-Mart will be an instant upgrade, whether a starter or a sixth man, to any team he's shipped to. Any team that needs an elevation in its rebounding and defense would salivate at the opportunity to snag him.

Jamal Crawford

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    One of the craftiest players in the NBA is now a free agent and probably looking for a new home. Jamal Crawford had a breakout sixth-man season in Atlanta, but when his numbers dropped the second time around, they didn't give him a contract extension.

    Crawford is undoubtedly a dynamic scorer. He's deadly from deep and slashes to the basket with ease. He's got handles that put even the stickiest defender to sleep and he's just got a knack for finding ways to put the ball into the basket. Maybe it's time for him to crack a starting rotation somewhere in the NBA.

J.R. Smith

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    Why is J.R. Smith so high up on this board, you ask?

    The man is a pure scorer. He's a bit hard-headed and lax on the defensive end of the ball, but when it comes to offense—pure offense—Smith ranks high on the chart.

    His numbers might have dipped a bit from the previous two seasons, but Smith is still a high-capacity scorer with an unparalleled leaping ability. He's shown that he makes a few poor decisions with the ball, but if a young coach with a hard-nosed mentality can break him in, Smith will finally be an elite player in this league.

    We all know he's got range from the parking lot and he can finish at the basket with the best of them, but once he develops some work ethic and works on his intangibles, he'll be All-Star bound in a heartbeat. 

Nene

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    A lot of Nuggets on this list, right? That's because after their blockbuster deal with the New York Knicks, they received enough talent to let a few players walk away.

    Nene appears to be one of those players. He's a high-intensity big man who's hard-nosed and can defend both the power forward and center positions. Nene's numbers have never been noteworthy—he's been a 14-and-seven guy for most of his career—but his presence influences the shots that go up in the paint.

    He can score the ball in the paint and prevent it from happening on the opposite side of the court. If that's not enough to attract some attention, I don't know what is.

Caron Butler

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    Before all of Caron Butler's injuries, he was a top-tier scorer in the NBA. However, following all of his misfortunes, he's been on and off of the injured reserve just as much, if not more than Greg Oden.

    Still, a healthy Butler delivers the goods on time, every time. If he can make a comeback, which I suspect he can, Butler can return to being a 20-point, six-rebound, five-assist kind of guy. He was selected to several All-Star games in the past (2007 and 2008) but was forced to sit both out due to hand and hip injuries, respectively.

    Butler's never been much of a threat from three, but his game mainly revolves around his ability to create space and consistently convert 20-foot jumpers. If he can finally play a full season, something he hasn't done in his entire career, Butler could be a secret weapon for any team that gambles on him. 

Tyson Chandler

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    Tyson Chandler just might be the second most important piece to the Mavs' championship run next to Dirk Nowitzki. Chandler crashed the boards, scored opportune baskets and he defended the paint: the three things necessary of a prototypical center in the NBA.

    He averaged 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, but his biggest asset was his size and ability to change shots of players attacking the basket. Unless the Mavericks are planning to full restock their roster with young talent, Tyson Chandler is a player they need to re-sign ASAP.

David West

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    With David West opting out of the final year of his contract with the New Orleans Hornets, teams around the league are salivating at the opportunity to snag this killer whale.

    The best unrestricted free agent on the market, West averaged 18.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in a season many considered to be the worst in awhile. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in late March and didn't get a chance to compete in the playoffs, but he's ready to move on from the Hornets and build his career in a new place.

    West has a stroke from 20 feet out and he gets down and dirty in the low block. He's not the best on the defensive end of the ball, but he plays with a high motor and a lot of energy. Any team that signs David West will have an immediate upgrade to its roster.