Finally. The chatter about the NBA is what is going to happen on the court and not off of it. Christmas Day games are set, players have returned from overseas, NBA gyms and training rooms have been unlocked, and the word lockout is slowly disappearing from basketball vocabularies. However, Dec. 9 is when all of the frenzy is set to begin.
Assuming that owners and players approve the tentative agreement, teams can begin courting and signing free agents. Here is a look at some of the top free agents:
He helped lead the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA championship last season averaging 10 points, nine rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting over 65 percent from the field. Chandler’s numbers are impressive considering he’s limited offensively. However, as a 7-footer, he plays great defense and runs the floor very well.
Nene is the most sought after big man free agent because he’s a true center that can control the paint, which is rare in the NBA. Last season he averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists while shooting just over 60 percent. At 6 feet 11 inches, he makes a much bigger impact than his numbers.
New Orleans Hornets
Coming off a serious knee injury may deter some NBA teams from West but if he’s fully healed, he’d be worth the risk. He averaged just under 19 points, which is impressive because half of those shots are made outside the paint. West is a two-time All-Star who would fit in very nicely with the Indiana Pacers.
Who would have thought more teams would want Los Angeles Laker center Pau Gasol’s little brother? At 26, Gasol is a back-to-the-basket center, which is literally unheard of, and he does everything so effectively. Teams who would love to sign Gasol know the chances are slim since the Grizzlies promised Marion, Ind.’s, own Zach Randolph that they would resign the big man. Together, the two are nearly unstoppable inside.
Crawford may be 31-years-old but he’s a solid player who can create his own shot. He can start or bring great energy off the bench. Last season he averaged 14 points and three assists coming off the bench for the Hawks.
- Caron Butler, Dallas Mavericks
- Vince Carter, Phoenix Suns
- Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns
- J.J. Barea, Dallas Mavericks
- Kris Humphries, New Jersey Nets
- Josh Howard, Washington Wizards
- Shannon Brown, Los Angeles Lakers
- Carl Landry, New Orleans Hornets
- Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers
- Shane Battier, Memphis Grizzlies