Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best Bargain Free Agents Still Available

     The month of July is soon coming to a close and most, if not all, the big-name free agents have found their homes. At the end of free agency are the players teams sign to fill out their rosters. However, there are still several instinctive, capable role players that would help out a team for a cheap price. Let's take a look at some free agents left, including how much they would likely cost, what they would provide, and where they would fit best.

Mickael Pietrus

Cost: Pietrus is a big physical defender and a good shooter from the outside. He is a nice role player off the bench, but supposedly he has set his own price too high for clubs to consider signing him. He might have to take a pay cut if he wants a job on an NBA roster.

Skills: As I stated before, Pietrus is a good wing player who can guard multiple positions, and can shoot the ball from the perimeter. He was productive in Boston, and can provide some fundamental skills in any locker room he goes to.

Best Fit: Utah Jazz, who can use an athletic wing after letting go of Josh Howard and C.J. Miles.

Scalabrine is one of the NBA's most popular players.
Brian Scalabrine

Cost: Scalabrine will get the veteran minimum if any team picks him up. I'm utterly shocked no team has gone out of their way to sign this spectacle of a human being, excuse me, immortal.

Skills: Scalabrine has always been known for his shooting, and can hit the three during any moment. He also has the ability to increase ticket sales, because who doesn't want to see the White Mamba sitting on their team's bench?

Best Fit: Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats need anything that can sell tickets, and this man can certainly "make them rain."

Nate Robinson

Cost: Robinson is an interesting player. He is a gifted athlete, but nobody is really giving him a chance anymore. He's been a journeyman since his time with the Knicks, and I'd suppose he'll sign the veteran minimum unless a team gets desperate to sign him.

Skills: Robinson isn't a great passer, but he has one of the greatest verticals ever for a point guard. Even at a diminutive 5'9", he can still dunk over seven footers. Robinson can create and cause havoc on the offensive side of the court, but he is a bit of a risk because of his lacking defense.

Best Fit: Houston Rockets. The Rockets need a durable, proven point guard off the bench and Robinson can be a decent spark plug behind Jeremy Lin.

Bryant and Barbosa are Olympic foes,
but can they be teammates in Los Angeles?

Leandro Barbosa

Cost: He might be able to command the mini mid-level exception, but there are still a lot of decent reserve guards out on the market. I can actually see him taking the veteran minimum with a contender. But, he might be able to raise his stock if he performs well consistently during the Olympics for Brazil.

Skills: Defense was never really Barbosa's bread and butter, but he is a skilled offensive player who can provide some punch off the bench.

Best Fit: Los Angeles Lakers. They might need to work out a sign-and-trade with the Pacers if Barbosa wants a higher salary, but he would be a good energy boost off the bench and would give Kobe Bryant a respectable, veteran backup.

Kenyon Martin

Cost: Martin played well for the Clippers after his return from China. He still brings great intensity on both sides of the floor despite being injury riddled the past several seasons. He is an old player, and because of those past injuries, he will probably be offered the veteran minimum.

Skills: Martin is still a defensive force at this point of his career. He plays hard and battles on the glass. He's lost a little bit of his touch on offense but he proved he can still be a solid rotation player during his time with the Clippers.

Best Fit: Los Angeles Clippers. I would absolutely love to see K-Mart return to Brooklyn for the Nets, but they don't really need him with the forwards on their current roster. But, the Clippers loved his intensity and if you couple that with Blake Griffin's uncertain knees, Martin becomes more of a necessity than a liability in Los Angeles.

Gilbert Arenas
It remains to be unseen if Arenas can return to stardom.

Cost: It looks like Agent Zero has gotten zero interest. The former All Star is looking for a job after the last couple abysmal seasons. He has but almost no choice to take the veteran minimum, as he is now a bench player until he can prove to be a starter, if ever again.

Skills: Arenas was a solid point guard, and can still shoot and pass at an average level. Last season, he played with the Memphis Grizzlies to showcase what he still has left in the tank.

Best Fit: Indiana Pacers. The Pacers traded away backup point guard Darren Collison and lost A.J. Price in free agency. They need someone to fill the void those two players left.

Ronny Turiaf

Cost: The Frenchman decided to leave Miami in hopes of earning a higher salary. However, that probably won't happen. Turiaf will have several suitors, but will likely be offered the veteran minimum.

Skills: Turiaf is a solid defensive player. He is faster than most big men and can cover the pick and roll well. He's not established offensively, but he has proved he can start in the NBA like he did with the Knicks. But, he is a better option coming off the bench.

Best Fit: Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are in desperate need of a big man to play behind Brook Lopez. Turiaf provides the defense that Lopez does not and would be a reliable asset for coach Avery Johnson. Turiaf could even be counted on to start if Lopez got injured again.

Carlos Delfino

Cost: Delfino was a starter in Milwaukee, but is probably better suited to be a sixth man. He can command the mini mid-level exception, and I'm sure some team would sign him for that cost. I believe he's at least worth $4 million per year, though.

During his time in Milwaukee, Delfino averaged 10.5 PPG to go
along with 40% field goals made. Not too shabby, right Carlos?

Skills: Delfino has always been a productive shooter throughout his career. It's arguably his strongest quality. He had a bit of a down year last season, but he can still provide energy and efficiency on the perimeter off the bench.

Best Fit: Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers are thin at small forward, and Delfino would be a nice complimentary player on the wing who would platoon at that position with Israeli forward Omri Casspi.

Jodie Meeks

Cost: Meeks is one of a bunch of shooters still left on the market. He doesn't possess many other good qualities besides shooting, so he will probably get less money. There's a possibility some team may overpay for him because of his young age and potential still remaining.

Skills: Last season was not great for Meeks, but when he's knocking down his shots he becomes one of the most dangerous shooters in the game.

Best Fit: Minnesota Timberwolves. After the likely departures of Wesley Johnson and Wayne Ellington through trades, the T-Wolves need another shooting guard. They have Brandon Roy, but he just came out of retirement. Meeks would be a durable, cheap and safe option for the T-Wolves.

Greene is still young and has potential, but no
teams seem to want to give him a second chance.
Donte Greene

Cost: The former Syracuse star has gotten very little interest in free agency. If he latches on to any team, he will be signed for the veteran minimum.

Skills: Greene is a solid shooter and defender, but I don't think he ever got an ample amount of minutes to showcase his talents. He is lengthy at 6'11", so he can play both forward spots. He is better suited for small forward because of his slender figure, but because of his length, it gives coaches an advantage on defense.

Best Fit: Brooklyn Nets. I've admitted before that I'm a little biased since I'm a Nets fan, but I would simply love to see this guy playing in Brooklyn next season. He fills a need behind Gerald Wallace at small forward, and his attributes seem as though they would fit great with the Nets' system. I think if given a real chance, Greene could be a cheap steal of the remaining bargains in free agency.

Josh Howard

Cost: Howard played for the Jazz last season for just over $2 million. I would expect he'll be offered money in the same price range.

Skills: Howard has a decent all around game. He's lost some of the luster that he had in Dallas, but he can still be productive off the bench on a playoff squad.

Best Fit: Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder don't have depth at the small forward behind Kevin Durant, and Howard would be able to provide minutes off the bench and give Durant a couple more minutes of rest each game.

     This is my last blog entry on the 2012 Free Agent class. If you have any comments, you're more than welcome to write them below! In my next story, I'll tell you why this year's USA team wouldn't even be able to compete with the 1992 Dream Team, and why the Gold Medal isn't necessarily a lock this year. Stay tuned!

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