The 20 Best Available NBA Free Agents
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
1. Eric Bledsoe
- Bledsoe and the Suns cant seem to agree on terms, but he is a restricted free agent and despite their bounty of point guards there is little chance they let him leave, as he is their best player. Phoenix apparently gave the restricted free agent 48 million and he said no because he would like 80, but either the Suns and him will agree somewhere in the middle or they will match a contract that some team gives them. He is the prize of the market.
2. Greg Monroe
- Bledsoe and Monroe are the only All Star caliber players still on the market and the young big man, like Bledsoe is a restricted free agent whose team would like to resign him. Whether they trade Josh Smith or keep him, Monroe will be resigned by Detroit.
3. Jameer Nelson
- Nelson is still a starting caliber point guard and some playoff team will be signing him as an elite reserve and a strong sixth man. He just averaged 12 points and 7 assists and is only 32, so he can still play a big role for a franchise.
4. Shawn Marion
- Marion is still an excellent defender and a more than capable offensive player that could start for a number of teams including a contender or 2. Dallas isn’t a viable option, so he will be playing for another franchise.
5. Emeka Okafor
- Okafor missed the season because of injury, but is still a strong starting NBA center when healthy and is an excellent defender and rebounder who can score the ball. Expect some title contender to sign him to a 1 season contract so he can try for a ring and regain his value on the market.
6. Mo Williams
- Williams isn’t a starter anymore, but he is still a very strong sixth man who can come off the bench for a contender and give them 10+ points and run their 2nd unit. Will he look for wins or money? Probably the latter since he exercised his player option on the Blazers.
7. Ray Allen
- Allen will either retire or sign with the Heat or Cavaliers. It’s that simple.
8. Michael Beasley
- Beasley cannot be trusted with a long term contract or a big salary, but he proved that he can still provide excellent scoring and rebounding off the bench. The Heat could resign him or another team with a strong locker room could take a chance on him.
9. Jordan Crawford
- Crawford played very strong basketball in Boston, as a scorer and distributor, but he played a much smaller role in Golden State, so he lost a lot of his value. Some team will land themselves a steal in Crawford this offseason.
10. Mike Scott
He is a restricted free agent, so the Hawks could match any contract, but he plays a premium position and plays it well, the stretch 4. The Hawks have no need for Scott, so another team is probable.
11. Al Farouq Aminu
- Aminu is the best young perimeter defender on the market, so someone will pay him. The Pelicans should resign him, as they have more than enough offense on their roster.
12. Andray Blatche
- Blatche is still a very strong scorer and rebounder to bring off the bench, but he too cannot be trusted with a long term contract. He seems to have found a home with the Brooklyn Nets, so he should be resigned, it is best for each of them.
13. Elton Brand
- Brand was an All Star, but now he is just an excellent veteran. He can still score, rebound and defend and be an elite 4th big man on any contender.
14. Jermaine O’Neal
- Basically what was just written for Brand, except he is a more injury prone player.
15. Ramon Sessions
- Sessions is the best reserve point guard on the market. He has played well for multiple seasons, but most haven’t noticed because of the small markets he plays in. He can score and he can run an offense and should come rather cheap.
16. Ekpe Udoh
- Udoh is young and wont become half the player his draft status says he should, but he is still a solid defender and rebounder who can become an excellent NBA role player.
17. MarShon Brooks
- Brooks can score, a lot, he just needs help finding his niche in the NBA, which should be as a very strong NBA sixth man. If some team can nurture him, he can become a big time producer in this league.
18. Shelvin Mack
- Mack is a solid 2nd point guard who played well for the Hawks this season. He is a restricted free agent and if they can resign him, they should. He played a big role for them this season and deserves a payday this offseason.
19. Francisco Garcia
- Garcia is a veteran shooter and scorer to bring off the bench. That is it, but he plays his role well.
20. Toney Douglas
- Douglas can score, he can distribute and he can defend. He is a versatile contributor who can play a role on any NBA franchise next season.