Saturday, June 30, 2012

NBA: FREE AGENT RANKINGS and ANALYSIS

The 2012 NBA Free Agent class is very good if your team is looking for a scoring two guard, a role playing PF or a backup PG.  However other than Deron Williams and Steve Nash there are no superstars.  The class is also low on centers. Therefore guys like Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, Spencer Hawes and Brook Lopez (if you consider him a center, I do not as you'll see below) will get overpaid due to shortage on the market.  I didn't include Kevin Garnett on my list because he's already said to agree on a 3year-34 million dollar deal to stay in Boston.  I also didn't put Tim Duncan on the list because there is no way San Antonio is letting the greatest player in their franchise's history and greatest PF of all time leave.  Duncan will likely sign a deal similar to KG's deal.

Note: Restricted Free Agent means current team has three days to match a new teams offer on their free agent.  If they do not match the offer the free agent become a member of a new team.  Restricted free agents can also just play the final year of their qualifying offer from their current team and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.


THE STUDS (5):
Deron Williams-PG-BRK-28 years old
Last Year’s Stats: 21.17ppg and 8.7apg
Possible Destinations: BRK or DAL
Market Value:
Superstar Max Deal, 17m to start
Williams is the best player in the free agent class of 2012. He will either stay in Brooklyn and hope they make a trade for Dwight Howard or he will return to his hometown of Dallas to team up with Dirk Nowitzki.

Steve Nash-PG-PHO-38 years old
Last Year’s Stats: 12.5 ppg, 10.7 apg, 3.0 rpg
Possible Destinations: TOR, DAL, PHO
Market Value: past prime star-KG-3yrs-34m, 11m to start
Nash is still a top tier PG. He may return to his home country of Canada to lead a young Raptors team or he could return to Dallas where he started his career and pay with one of his best friends Dirk Nowitzki. If Dallas cannot get Deron they would love to get Nash.

Roy Hibbert-C-IND-25 (restricted)
Last Year’s Stats: 12.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.0 bpg
Possible Destinations: IND, DAL, POR
Market Value: Stud center-Marc Gasol-4yrs-57m, 13m to start
Hibbert is a skilled offensive player that commands double teams all the time. At 7-2 he is a matchup nightmare. Expect the Pacers to lock him up long term this summer.

Eric Gordon –SG-NO-23 (restricted)
Career Stats (played in only 9 games last year): 18.2ppg, 3.3apg, 2.7rpg,
Possible Destinations: NO, IND, BOS or PHO
Market Value: Great scoring starting SG-between Monta Eills-6yrs-66m, 11m per and Danny Granger 5yrs-60m, 13m to start
Gordon has now had two straight years where he has battled injuries. When healthy, he can average 22 a night but it’s hard to give near max money to a player that’s such an injury risk. The Hornets will demand to get something in return via sign and trade if he leaves New Orleans. Gordon is from Indiana and has expressed an interest in joining the Pacers. The Hornets wouldn’t mind taking back Paul George, former Hornet Darren Collison or New Orleans native Danny Granger as part of the deal.

Brook Lopez-PF-BRK-24 (restricted)
Career Stats (played only 5 games last year): 17.4ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.6bpg
Possible Destinations: ORL via sign and trade, PHO, NO
Market Value: Andrea Bargnani-5yrs-50m, 9-10m to start
I don’t consider Lopez a center, I consider him a stretch four. I think if you play him as an offensive PF, he will be most effective. That’s why I think Phoenix would be an ideal fit where he would be paired with Marcin Gortat. He could also be a stretch five next to a shot blocking PF like Anthony Davis in New Orleans.

THE SPECIALTY SCORERS (12):
Several teams have a need for a starting SG/6th man that can be a compliment scorer
Teams with Cap room include: BOS, IND, MIN, DAL, BRK, PHO, TOR and CLV
Teams with Full Mid-level exception: LAC and MEM
Teams with luxury tax MLE: MIA, CHI, NY
Market Value: between Rodney Stuckey-3yrs-25m, 7.5m to start and MLE depending on players age and role on a new team
This year's crop is particularly deep:
Lou Williams-CG-PHL-25
Last Year's Stats: 14.9 ppg, 3.5 apg
OJ Mayo-SG-MEM-24
Last Year's Stats: 12.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg
JR Smith-SG-NY-26
Last Year's Stats: 12.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Ray Allen-SG-BOS-36
Last Year's Stats: 14.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg
Jason Terry-CG-DAL-34
Last Year's Stats: 15.1 ppg, 3.6 apg
Jamal Crawford-CG/F-32-POR
Last Year's Stats: 14.0 ppg, 3.3 apg
Nick Young-SG-LAC-27
Last Year's Stats:  14.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Courtney Lee-G/F-HOU-26 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats:  11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Michael Beasley-SF-MIN-23
Last Year's Stats: 11.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Randy Foye-SG-LAC-28
Last Year's Stats: 11.0 ppg, 2.2 apg
Marco Belineli-G/F-NO-26
Last Year's Stats: 11.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Chauncey Billups-CG-LAC-35
Last Years Stats:  15.0 ppg, 4.0 apg

CONTRACT GUYS (11):
These players picked the right year to have a breakout season. Most will get paid over value due to potential and need.
FORWARDS:
Ryan Anderson-PF-ORL-24 (restricted), won NBA's Most Improved Player
Last Year's Stats: 16.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 0.8 apg
Ersan Ilysova-PF-MIL-25
Last Year's Stats: 13.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg
Nic Batum-CF-POR-23 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats: 13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Possible Destinations: All three players are likely to re-sign. Like Lopez, both Ersan and Anderson would be a good fit in NO or PHO.  MIN is said to have interest in Batum.  They might try to work a sign and trade with Portland where they would send Derrick Williams or Wes Johnson back.
Market Value: good starting forward-Luis Scola-5yrs-47m or Shawn Marion-5yrs-40m, around 7m to start.
POINT GUARDS:
Goran Dragic-PG-HOU-26
Last Year's Stats: 11.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 2.5 rpg
Jeremy Lin-PG NY-23 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats: 14.6 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.1 rpg
Possible Destinations: Both players took major advantage of opportunity this year. Linsanity took over the NBA for a good two weeks while Dragic led Houston for the final two months. Both players are likely to re-sign with their current teams but TOR and DAL will go after them if them cannot get Deron or Nash. Both have major need at PG and have a lot of cap room. 
Market Value: Good starting PG-Mike Conley-5yrs-40m, 6.6m to start
CENTERS:
JaVale McGee-C-DEN-24 (restricted)
Last Year's Stats: 11.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Spencer Hawes-C-PHL-24
Last Year's Stats: 9.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.6 apg
Possible Destinations: POR, NO and CLV all have cap space, a young roster and need a big man.
Market Value: Role playing starting Center-DeAndre Jordan-4yrs-43m, 10m to start, young 7 footers are always over paid
DIRTY WORK FORWARDS:
Brandon Bass-PF-BOS-27
Last Year's Stats: 12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.6 bpg
Kris Humphries-PF-BRK-27
Last Year's Stats: 13.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 0.9 bpg
Gerald Wallace-CF-BRK-29
Last Year's Stats: 15.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.1 apg
Carl Landry-PF-NO-28
Last year's Stats: 12.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Possible Destinations: BOS, SA and LAL (if they trade Pau) could all use a role playing defensive hustle guy at PF. PHO, BRK, GS and ORL may need help as well depending on who leaves in free agency. Market Value: Full MLE

MYSTERY GUYS (5):
Andrei Kirilenko-CF-CSKA Moscow (Russia)-31
Played last year in native Russia, likely to only comeback and play for the Nets 
Aaron Broooks-PG-China-PHO (have restricted rights)-27
Played in China last year, is he really a quality starting PG in the NBA? I think not
Jeff Green-CF-BOS-25
Out two years after heart surgery. Says he's 100%. He's still only 25. Some team will give him a chance.
Chris Kaman-C-NO-31 Injured three of past four seasons. A great role playing Center when healthy. A solid backup now
Mizra Teletovic-PF-from Bosnia, one of the top players in Spanish League-27
Teletovic is a stretch four that can shoot lights out.  However just like Andrei Bargnani and other skilled Euro big men, he doesn't like to bang down low despite his size 6-9/254


LOW LEVEL STARTER/QUALITY BACKUP PG (11):  
This year's class is really deep. However almost all of these guys will be singing a contract to be a back up or will split time with another PG. Everything will depend on where Deron, Nash, Lin and Dragic play. Kyle Lowry is a top 15 PG that is likely to be traded to LAL, ORL or TOR if they don't get Nash.
Here's the list:
Ramon Sessions-LAL-25
George Hill-IND-24 (restricted)
Andre Miller-DEN-36
Jason Kidd-DAL-39
Ray Felton-POR-27
Jameer Nelson-ORL-30
Nate Robinson-GS-28
DJ Augustin-CHR-24 (restricted)
Delonte West-DAL-28
Jerryd Bayless-TOR-23 (restricted)
Kirk Hinrich-CHI-31

GOOD 30+ VETERAN ROLE PLAYERS (10):
A guy like this could be the missing piece to a championship puzzle.
Boris Diaw-F/C-SA-30
Marcus Camby-C-HOU-38
Antawn Jamison-PF-CLV-36
Rashard Lewis-SF-NO-32 (will be UFA once he's waived by NO)
Matt Barnes-CF-LAL-32
Kenyon Martin-C/F-LAC-34
Reggie Evans-PF-LAC-32
Carlos Delfino-F/G-MIL-turns 30 in August
Mickael Pietrus-G/F-BOS-30
Grant Hill-SF-PHO-39 will turn 40 in October

OTHER INTERESTING YOUNG ROLE PLAYERS (16):
Rotational guys that have some good value due to their youth.
Jason Thompson-C/F-SAC-25 (restricted)
Marreese Speights-PF-MEM-24 (restricted)
JJ Hickson-PF-POR-23
Landry Fields-G/F-24 (restricted)
Omer Asik-C-CHI-26 on July 4th  (restricted)
Alonzo Gee-F/G-CLV-25 (restricted)
Danny Green-SG-SA-25 (restricted)
CJ Miles-SG-Utah-25
Rudy Fernandez-SG-DEN-27 (restricted)
Shannon Brown-SG-PHO-26
Lavoy Allen-PF-PHL-23 (restricted)
Robin Lopez-C-PHO-24 (restricted)
Greg Stiemsma-C-BOS-26 (restricted)
Gerald Green-SF-BRK-26
Steve Novak-SF-NY-28 (restricted)
Jordan Hill-PF-LAL-24

There it is.  The top 70 free agents.  Who will go where?  Who will get over paid? Who will lose out on their top target?  Who will get better going into next season?  We will know in a matter of weeks.

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