NBA Free Agency 2011: The Top and Bottom 5
Now that the two sides have finally kissed and made up, the NBA season is back in defect as they have struck a deal.
It's now time to play some hoops and give the fans what they have been craving for. The NBA is back to live action, as owners and players have agreed how to share their millions that will now have the season commencing on Christmas Day.
Santa will be bringing live NBA games to local TV's all over the country, but what other gifts will he be bringing via free agency? Just as the NFL recently had the experience of a free agent frenzy, NBA owners and fans will see a plethora of movement from all 30 teams in hopes of plucking the best of what there is to offer.
Teams will be looking for that Black Friday-type of deal, while some owners will grossly overpay for a player based on need, want or potential.
Let's take a look at the 2011 NBA free agents from top five to the absolute bottom five. Owners should go all out in hopes of getting the top five, while the 30 team should do everything possible to avoid the last bunch.
Top 5 FA: # 1 Tyson Chandler
Dallas has been good to Tyson as he was part of the 2010-2011 Championship Dallas team. Owner Mark Cuban has deep pockets and knows how to keep players Happy. The question here is does he return for a chance to win back to back championship or does he venture into new territories with a hefty raise and the years to go with his new millions.
With such a lack of quality big men who can actually play both ends of the floor, teams will put in bids for the 7ft 235lbs services. Chandler will give any team a strong shot blocker who controls the defensive boards and finishes strong around the basket. Imagine a younger Marcus Camby as the 29 year old Chandler has improved his free throw shooting, gotten tougher over the years yet still lacks a true post game.
Favorites: Dallas and Toronto
Nene for Hire
While Chandler holds the top spot, many will argue that the more rugged Hilario is the man needed in the middle for some teams. The 6' 11" 250lb is the same age as Tyson (29) but a bit different type of player on the court. Nene is not as effective a shot blocker but is the better pick and roll defender as well as post player. He attacks the basket with both hands and has the strength to post up and maneuver in the post area.
Nene doesn't demand the ball much but once he does gets it, he can pass it around to others with solid results. Nene really does run the floor with great ease and that will make uptempo teams take a closer look as well. Denver will have the most cash to offer and would be wise to not let him go with the team losing many players.
Carl in Charge
Enter Carl Landry, who could be a potential 6th man of the year. Landry is just the type of tough minded workhorse every team needs to play both inside and out. He is a solid defender who just needs to find a home for the next few years. In addition, Landry plays over the rim and has the ability to score in the post and the perimeter. Whether its a starter or off the bench player you need, Landry has experience in both and can flourish in either role. Some might see him as an undersized player at his position but any team who acquires his services will be quite happy.
Favorites: Pacers and Nets
Former Dunk Champ Looking for Work
Jason Richardson has been through many wars in his 10 year NBA career. Richardson will provide you with a solid shooting and strong rebounding from his 6'6" 225 frame. While he is only a shell from his ultra athletic younger years, Richardson has stayed quite healthy over the years and teams will take notice to that. His lack of ball handling skills and lateral movement on defense wont be obvious on some teams that have great point guard or center play.
Favorites: Lakers and Dallas
Restricted Big Man for Hire
Gasol has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the NBA. He was thought to be the brother who would not be able to make the adjustment to the faster, more athletic play in the league. Well, the younger of the two has carved quite a valuable rep amongst owner with his consistent play. Plays the position like the old school big man...slow, strong and passionately. Has a nice baseline jumper to go with a soft hook shot in the paint. Won't play above the rim but will plays well below it due to a good IQ for the game. Some concerns are his lack of ability to block shots and his weight at 265.
Favorites: Grizzles and Nuggets
BUYER BEWARE....STAY AWAY?
1. DeShawn Stevenson: Has a title, a bad back and poor attitude to go with a FG% of well under 40% fort he last 4 years. For an NBA shooting guard, that's not going to cut it.
2. Mike Bibby: An undersized shooting guard whose age has caught up with him. Still can shoot the rock but will not be able to defend many guys in the league.
3. Sheldon Williams: Must be tough when the best player in the household is named Candice Parker. Undersized center who does not do much well besides rebound and has little to no offensive game.
4. Yi Jianlan: Too soft to be a center/power forward and not quick enough to handle opposing small forwards. A seven footer who is unsure how to impact in the NBA but does have age on his side (24).
5. Troy Murphy: A player who better days are well behind him. He does posses a decent outside shot but that about all he's going to give you anymore. Can't defend and lacks any athleticism to do damage on the floor. Shot 36% from the floor last year.