Insider: Top Remaining Free Agents
Although all of the top NBA free agents have already decided where they will spend next season, there are still several players left who can make a significant contribution to an NBA team next season.
We’ll categorize those players into three categories; bigs (power forwards and centers), wings (shooting guards and small forwards) and point guards.
Carl Landy, New Orleans Hornets – Landry averaged 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in just 24.4 minutes per game for the Hornets last season. The Purdue product has been solid throughout his career and is still just 28 years old. Both the Charlotte Bobcats and Golden State Warriors have shown significant interest.
Kenyon Martin, Los Angeles Clippers – After playing in China, the #1 overall pick of the 2000 draft returned to the NBA, signing with the Clippers. He averaged 5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in 42 games. Martin is 34 years old, but his rebounding and defense will earn him another job. Martin appears to be waiting for the dominoes (like Landry) to fall.
Joel Przybilla, Portland Trail Blazers – The 12-year veteran returned to Portland last season, but appeared in just 27 games last season. Przybilla has averaged 4.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game over the course of his career. The Blazers, Bucks and Mavericks would all like to sign Przybilla.
Robin Lopez, Phoenix Suns – Brook’s little brother remains a restricted free agent. Lopez, the 15th overall pick of the 2008 draft, was a starter until the the Suns acquired Marcin Gortat from the Orlando Magic in 2010. He has since moved to the bench and averaged just 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game last season. No one has shown much interest in Lopez so a return to Phoenix seems likely.
Ivan Johnson, Atlanta Hawks – Johnson came out of nowhere last season to contribute to the Hawks as a rookie. In 16.7 minutes per game, Johnson averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. And yes, we put Johnson on this list instead of Darko Milicic.
The aforementioned Milicic, whom the Miami Heat, among other teams, are very interested in, Louis Amundson, Andray Blatche and Anthony Tolliver are other players who could make contibutions.
Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA Moscow (Russia) – AK47 decided to sign in Russia last year after spending 10 seasons with the Utah Jazz. He averaged 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in Moscow last year. He is signed in Russia for another season, but can opt out of that deal. Kirilenko is 31.
Brandon Rush, Golden State Warriors – After spending his first three seasons with the Indiana Pacers, Rush averaged 9.8 points per game for the Warriors last season. Rush’s biggest asset is his three-point shooting. He has shot 41.3% over the course of his career and scorched the nets last year, shooting 45.2% from beyond the arc. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who still has a hole at the two, could use Rush.
Carlos Delfino, Milwaukee Bucks – Delfino is putting himself back on the radar playing for Argentina in the Olympics. He averaged 9.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for the Bucks last season. The 29-year old has talent, but he’s been an awful shooter in his career (40.0% from the field over seven seasons).
Ronnie Brewer, Chicago Bulls – Brewer was another casualty of the Bulls offseason. He played in every game for the Bulls last season, starting 43. Known more for his defense, Brewer averaged 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game last season. The Arkansas product is still only 27 years old.
C.J. Miles, Utah Jazz – Miles, who has spent his entire nine-year career with the Jazz, put up 9.1 points per game last season, but shot a horrid 38.1% from the field and just 30.7% from beyond the arc. Miles certainly isn’t sought-after, but he’s still only 25 years old.
Former Magic players Tracy McGrady, Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes are also free agents. Josh Howard, Alonzo Gee, Al Thornton and Willie Green are other names ton keep an eye on.
Delonte West, Dallas Mavericks – West isn’t really a point guard, but can handle the ball if needed. The eight-year veteran spent last season in Dallas, averaging 9.6 points and 3.2 assists in 24.1 minutes per game. He started 33 of the 44 games he played in. West will turn 29 at the end of the month.
Randy Foye, Los Angeles Clippers – Foye is a combo guard who is pretty much out of a spot in Los Angeles after the Clippers re-signed Chauncey Billups and brought in Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill. Foye, the seventh overall pick out of Villanova in 2006, averaged 11.0 points, 2.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game, starting 48 of the 65 games he played in after Billups’s injury. Foye is 28 years old. Foye has agreed to a one year deal with the Utah Jazz.
Leandro Barbosa, Indiana Pacers – Barbosa was dealt to the Pacers by the Toronto Raptors at the trade deadline last season and averaged 8.9 points per game in a reduced role (he played just 19.8 minutes per game in 22 games with the Pacers). Barbosa, like the first two players on this list, isn’t a true point guard. However, he can handle the ball when needed and is a career 39.1% three-point shooter. Barbosa is 29.
Derek Fisher, Oklahoma City Thunder – Fisher has seen a huge dip in production – he averaged 4.9 points and 1.4 assists per game for the Thunder last season. However, he was still able to give the Thunder valuable minutes in the postseason and is a threat from beyond the arc despite shooting 31.4% for the Thunder last season (he shot 37.5% from three in the postseason). Fisher is 37 years old.
Keyon Dooling, Boston Celtics – The 12-year veteran surprisingly gave the Celtics some valuable minutes in the postseason. The 32-year old averaged 4.0 points in 14.4 minutes per game during the regular season. He didn’t play a lot in the playoffs, but shot 39.3% from beyond the arc.
Jannero Pargo, Gilbert Arenas and Nate Robinson are also out there.
(Andrew Melnick is the ESPNFlorida.com Magic and NBA Insider, co-host of the ESPN 1080 Insiders Show and publisher of Howard the Dunk. The Insiders Show can be heard Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST on AM 1080 in Orlando and on ESPNFlorida.com. You can follow Andrew on twitter here.)Insider: Top Remaining Free Agents by Andrew Melnick