The NBA Lockout is almost, almost over. We got ourselves a 66 game season that will be mostly a in-conference season. For the near future, the moment the final restrictions barring the season are lifted, we’re going to have an free agent frenzy to make up for lost time. Here are the top 10.
The best free agent in the market. West averaged 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds as his numbers, and minutes, keep dropping. Still, his offensive skills put him among the best in his position. I’m feeling he’d like to stay with the Hornets, but knowing that Chris Paul will probably leave next year will give him second thoughts. Probably not going to stay when it’s all said and done.
The combo guard averaged 14.2 points per game in another good season as one of the best bench players in the league, helping the Hawks to another conference Semi Final. Crawford has been with the Hawks for the last two years and his numbers dropped in 2010-2011 in terms of scoring (-3.8 ppg) and percentage. According to rumors, he’s interested in returning to the New York Knicks.
Glen Davis is entering the news season after his best regular season campaign of his young career, averaging 11.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Celtics. In the playoffs he struggled, with playing time dropping to 21 minutes a game and shooting less than 40% from the field. Boston’s tax situation will probably make them one of the teams hurt the most by the next CBA, and Davis looks like on the way out.
A fantastic post season, eventually being one of the key components, if not the biggest one (defensively at least), Tyson Chandler is going to be hard no to sign by the Mavericks. He averaged 10.1 points and 9.4 rebounds during the season, but the new tax rules hurt big spenders like the Mavs the most. Still, Chandler’s experience and defense are hard to give up on if Cuban plans to defend the title.
The Brazilian Center had arguably his best season in 2010-2011, averaging 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds on the very fun to watch Denver Nuggets. Still, there’s a sense that the Nuggets might blow up the entire package they got after the Anthony deal and Nene’s demands, probably too high than what he actually deserves, might ship him out of Colorado.
Tayshaun Prince’s numbers’ throughout his career, no matter the what the Detroit Piston had around him, remain pretty much the same. He averaged 14.1 points per game last season, but what’s been missing, since the Dumars project started nosediving, is his passion and energy on defense. A new home will probably do him a lot of good, because there’s plenty of basketball left in him.
McRoberts is headed towards a breakout year. It’s better for him to stay in Indiana, but the Pacers did try and move him last season, so a new home for the PF-Center who averaged 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 22 minutes last season might be in the cards.
Probably the second best free agent in the market this year. Marc Gasol’s numbers dropped in the regular season, but his minutes dropped as well. In the playoffs, Gasol averaged 15 points and 11.2 rebounds as the Grizzlies won their first ever playoff series and pushed the Thunder to the limit. It’s hard to see Memphis giving up on him as they have a real shot with the group they have (Gay, Randolph, Gasol, Conley, Mayo) to challenge in the West.
Had a really bad three quarters of a season with the Orlando Magic, averaging 13.9 points while shooting 43.3% from the field. It got even worse in the playoffs. Still, the 30 year old still has a lot of offense and hops, and would be a great asset to any team in the league, depending on the role they hand him.
Right now, Kirilenko might not be playing in the NBA. He’s making quite a lot of money in Russia playing for CSKA and it might not be even worth testing the waters with other NBA teams. It depends which source to believe, because some say Kirilenko has already decided leave CSKA and return to the NBA, others say the opposite. I’m pretty sure that after 10 seasons with the Utah Jazz, he won’t be playing there again.