The Best Available: NBA Free Agents

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Welcome back to the National Basketball Association. The lockout is all but completely over and the NBA 2011-12 season is set to begin on Christmas day. Before that, however, is December 9th, the day that the free agency period is set to begin. There is a strong list of free agents that can be had for the teams. Unfortunately for J.R. Smith, Aaron Brooks and Wilson Chandler, though, they cannot return to the NBA until March because they signed deals with no opt-out clauses to play in the Chinese Basketball Association. With that said, here is a list of some of the top free agents available when free agency starts on December 9th.

 

 


 


Nene Position: Center Age: 29 Status: Unrestricted

 

Nene is a young, physically gifted player that averaged 14.5 points per game last season on 61.5% field goal shooting. His 7.6 rebounds per game are also stellar. Those numbers have been consistent over the past three seasons, making him an expensive buy. Still being just 29, he can give a team a young, almost All-Star type player for many years to come.

 


Tyson Chandler Position: Center Age: 29 Status: Unrestricted

 

Almost similar in status to Nene, Tyson Chandler provides a very impressive defense that helped move the Dallas Mavericks to their first championship. His 10.1 points per game on 65.4% shooting and 9.4 rebounds per game are solid numbers, but last year was his best season in 7 years. He will get the money from some team with a need for defense, and Chandler provides tons of it.

 


Marc Gasol Position: Center Age: 26 Status: Restricted

 

It seems like the year of the big man with Marc Gasol (Pau’s little brother) rounding out the top three. Gasol is a young, upcoming player that averaged almost 11 points and 7 rebounds last year. His development helped lead the Memphis Grizzlies on an improbable playoff run last season. Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, however, has noted that he will match any offer that Marc Gasol receives from other teams.

 


David West Position: Power Forward Age: 31 Status: Unrestricted

 

Just three months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, David West opted out of his final year of his contact with the New Orleans Hornets. His age and injury will cause teams to shy away a bit, but there’s no doubt he has talent. He averaged almost 19 points per game last year and 7.6 rebounds per game. When healthy, he is a very effective low-post player and the lockout should only help him recover, allowing him to prove to teams that he is healthy and ready to go.

 


Jason Richardson Position: Guard/Forward Age: 30 Status: Unrestricted

 

Jason Richardson isn’t the player that he used to be, but that’s not to say he can’t still deliver quality play. He averaged over 15 points and 4 rebounds per game last season for the Suns and Magic. A team looking for a season veteran (Richardson has 10 under his belt) would be wise to look at Richardson to help push them towards becoming playoff contenders.

 

 


 


Best of the Rest Thaddeus Young, F, 23, Restricted Glen Davis, F/C, 25, Unrestricted DeAndre Jordan, F/C, 23, Restricted Tayshaun Prince, F, 31, Unrestricted Jamal Crawford, G, 31, Unrestricted Grant Hill, F, 39, Unrestricted Jeff Green, F, 25, Restricted Caron Butler, F, 31, Unrestricted J.J. Barea, PG, 27, Unrestricted Shane Battier, SF, 33, Unrestricted

 

 


 


The NBA is back and things are about to get interesting. These free agents can easily help teams in the playoff and championship hunt that starts Christmas day with a triple header featuring Celtics vs. Knicks, Heat vs. Mavericks, and Bulls vs. Lakers.

 

By: Brandon Williams


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