Again, not much action going on around the league with no end of the lockout in sight. This week I’ll highlight some of the top unrestricted free agents available at the forward spots. The forward positions are certainly better stocked with quality veterans than the guard spot.
David West, NO: The top offensive player at the power forward spot, and will probably demand the most money at the forward spot once free agency begins. Injuries are a concern, as well as investing so much into a player who’s already 33.
Nene, DEN: He’s 5 years younger than David West, more of a physical presence, but is less polished offensively. Would likely make the most in a new contract out of anyone on this list, but has already said money won’t determine where he lands.
Glen Davis, BOS: Valuable 6th man for a high caliber Boston squad, and only 25. May be suited for that role more than a starting power forward spot. I imagine he will get the chance to start at the 4 somewhere though.
Andrei Kirilenko, UTAH: Great shot blocker and defender, crafty scorer as well, particularly when attacking the rim. Too often see him settling for long jumpers.
Kris Humphries, NJ: High energy guy who you hear more about for his life off the court than on it. He averaged a double-double alongside Brook Lopez in the Nets frontcourt last season.
Carl Landry, NO: Another underrated young player who has a strong post game. Only concerning issue with him is his low rebounding totals, averaging only 4.6 rpg at 6-9, 248.
Caron Butler, DAL: Will be interesting to see how he comes back from missing most of last season. Hard to see him ending anywhere else but back in Dallas.
Tayshaun Prince, DET: Probably needs a fresh start, and the Pistons should move towards rebuilding with a young core of Monroe, Jerebko, Daye, etc…
Grant Hill, PHO: This guy averaged over 13 ppg and shot over 48% at 38!! Would be a valuable piece on a championship contender.
Others worth mentioning: Peja Stojakovic, Al Thornton, Kenyon Martin, Shawne Williams, James Jones, Shane Battier, Josh McRoberts, Chuck Hayes, Brian Cardinal (he did get minutes in the Finals), Chris Wilcox, Troy Murphy
Hobby Impact: Nene is the player I see with the most potential for a jump in value, particularly if he lands with a contender like Miami. His Topps Chrome rookie card has a high BV of just $5.
With not much action as far as league news, thought I would highlight some of the top unrestricted free agents in the 2011 offseason.
Jamaal Crawford, ATL: One of the league’s best pure scorers, is capable of putting up serious points on any given night.
Jason Richardson, ORL: Veteran shooting guard still capable of putting up starter’s numbers at the position. Fell off last year after the trade to Orlando, but still should be considered one of the top guard free agents.
J.R. Smith, DEN: Comes with some headaches, but should still have many productive years ahead of him at only 25 years old. Above average three-point shooter and certainly has good size for his position.
J.J. Barea, DAL: Huge post-season in which he was inserted into the starting lineup for Dallas will surely help his stock once free-agency begins. Proved he can get to the basket and craftily get his shot up against larger defenders and top competition. Not many unrestricted FA point guards are available, and Barea may be at the top of the list.
DeShawn Stevenson, DAL: Another guy who helped himself with a strong postseason. Proved to be a strong defender and a clutch performer knocking down big three-pointers for the Mavericks.
Some others worth mentioning: Josh Howard, T.J. Ford, Mike Dunleavy, Earl Watson, Michael Redd, Delonte West, Mike Bibby, Tracy McGrady
Overall a pretty weak group. Point guard FA class is just weak overall. Shooting guard class is helped by some restricted FAs that I will highlight in a later post.