NBA / Apr 15, 2010 / 12:45 pm

The Top 10 NBA Free Agents From Non-Playoff Teams

Chris Bosh, Dime #33

Although no one is signing a deal until July 1, the end of the regular season also signaled the end of days for many players in the League. While no one knows for sure whether or not they’ll re-sign with their team just yet, it’s time for these players (and NBA GMs) to start thinking towards the future. With that in mind, here are the top 10 free agents from non-playoff teams.

1. Chris Bosh (player option)
He hasn’t opted out of his deal just yet, but that’s just a formality. Chris Bosh is as good as gone. I do think that Toronto (even just to placate their fans) will make a play to re-sign him, but he’ll eventually end up as the cornerstone of another franchise for the next six to seven years. Of all the guys on this list, he’s the only max-contract guy.

2. David Lee (unrestricted)
After Bosh, the best available big man is David Lee. While he’s not a max-contract player, Lee will demand a $50 million-plus deal, and should be heavily courted. As an All-Star this year, Lee was an absolute beast. Remember that 37 point, 20 rebound and 10 assist effort? I’m pretty sure even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does. I can’t think of many teams that wouldn’t want to make a play for the five-year NBA vet.

3. Rudy Gay (restricted)
Just like Lee, Rudy Gay is not a max-contract player, but will demand a $50 million-plus deal. I give Lee the slight edge in the best available because of his All-Star season, but Gay is right there. Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has said that they’re going sign him, which may scare some other teams away. What it also could do is bid up his value.

4. Luis Scola (restricted)
With doubts around Yao Ming‘s future, the Rockets really can’t afford to lose Luis Scola. Plus, the tandem that he’s formed with Aaron Brooks this season has been one of the best in the League. The one downside to Scola is that he’s about to turn 30 later this month, but teams shouldn’t let that deter them from making a play. Even if the Rockets say they’ll match any offer that’s made.

5. Anthony Morrow (restricted)
At only 24-years-old, undrafted Anthony Morrow could be the next Gilbert Arenas to come out of Golden State. I’m not saying he’s going to get big-time money, but in his only two years in the League, he’s proven to be a big-time scorer. Last night on Twitter, Morrow said that the Warriors were one of the closest teams he’s ever been on, so if Golden State can foot the bill, I know he’d love to stay. But expect some other young teams (or teams looking to get young) to take a stab.

6. Ronnie Brewer (restricted)
I truly believe that had Ronnie Brewer not gotten hurt, the Grizzlies would have made the playoffs. While we won’t be able to tell, hopefully Memphis feels that way going into next season. Certainly their top priority is re-signing Gay, but brining back Brewer should be up there as well. This guy is a starter in this League.

7. Al Harrington (unrestricted)
Even though he’s already been in the League for 12 years, Al Harrington is only 30 years old. And while it’s been a fire sale going on in New York, Harrington showed that he can still be a contributor on an NBA team. What if San Antonio had him instead of Richard Jefferson? What if he landed on a team like the Nuggets and could come off the bench? While I don’t see Harrington making big money this summer, he might be ready to enter “get right mode.” And can do just that.

8. Will Bynum (restricted)
Although the Pistons were a debacle this season, Will Bynum proved that he’s an NBA guard. And while some guys are just a flash in a pan, signing Bynum would be more like catching lightning in a bottle.

9. Steve Blake (restricted)
This year’s NBA Draft is definitely short on point guards, so teams in search of one should definitely be calling Steve Blake. With Baron Davis and Eric Gordon, the Clippers really don’t need Blake, and Los Angeles is known for being stingy with their dollars. Some NBA team is going to swoop in and steal him this summer.

10. Shaun Livingston (unrestricted)
I might be the biggest Shaun Livingston fan left around. And I still believe that he can be a legit NBA talent for the next decade. At only 24 years old, it was promising to see Livingston back in action this year for the Wizards, starting 18 of 24 games. If Livingston is smart, he’ll live in the gym this summer, showing NBA GMs that he’s here to stay.

What do you think? Where do you see these guys landing? Would you sign them to your team?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

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  • Royal

    You think Brewer really would have made that much of an impact

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Royal

    For sure! The guy started over 125 games for Utah. He’s a pro’s pro.

  • http://www.dcsportsfan.com/Sports/teampage.aspx?tid=3&sectionid=5 Jacob Bourne

    Big time snubs: Raja Bell, CJ Watson, McGrady, Mike Miller and Randy Foye. But to quote an expert, “they all suck.” They should all be above Blake and Bynum. What a joke!

    I would even put Travis Outlaw above them. Oh, and Harrington’s a chump. Good call on Morrow and Livingston.

    With love,
    Jacob

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Bahaha after Blake, there’s a bit of a drop off.

  • http://myspace.com/40sand9s loc

    SUcks being a Raptors fan today…………

  • karizmatic

    I like Chris Bosh obviously he’s a top guy to have, but I see him as a second option on a team with a serious perimeter threat. I would love to see him on Miami with Wade

    I like David Lee, but I think his best bet is to stay right where he is, I think D’antoni’s system probably makes him look a little better than he is so I’d pass on him.

    I would have put Gay at number two on this list…I would really like to see him get with a premier player like Wade in Miami…I’d definitely pick him up.

    Scola is tough, I think his best fit is right where he is in Houston, I could see him in San Antonio if Duncan was willing to be a full time center, that could work out nicely.

    I always liked Anthony Morrow, I am a fan of every player getting out of GS as fast as contractually possible. It’s hard to see where he would be a good fit maybe New York, Phoenix, or maybe Milwaukee.

    Ronnie Brewer is a solid NBA player, I’m not sure he’s as good as you think, but the dude is for real definitely pick him up, but to come off the bench not a starter in my book.

    I always liked Al Harrington but I wouldn’t pick him up…he’s a good player but for some reason he reminds me of Tim Thomas, everyone always says he has the tools but you never see it, Tim Thomas is a little unfair, but he’s one of those guys who seems like he’s had “potential” his whole career, he can definitely score, but he plays no D. Uptempo teams would love him, maybe he finds a home in Toronto after Bosh leaves.

    Will Bynum is a beast in my book definitely a solid backup point guard, If I’m Phoenix or Dallas or any team with an aging point guard I’m looking at him.

    Steve Blake is a solid player, he plays smart and tries not to make a lot of mistakes. I wouldn’t pick him up though not my type of player.

    Shaun Livingston is one of those guys you always want to give a shot to play his way onto your team, you never know he might rebound and become a decent player in the league, I’d try him out and see if he could make the team. Maybe a team that has nothing to lose like NJ, Philly, or Milwaukee takes a shot at him.

  • NYDaredevil

    Chris Bosh: New York /Chicago/ Miami (in that order)

    David Lee: New Jersey /New York (if they get no-one)

    Rudy Gay: Miami

    Luis Scola: Houston

    Anthony Morrow: GS (if Monta leaves) Washington (if Monta stays)

    Ronnie Brewer: Utah

    Al Harrington: Chicago/ New Jersey

    Will Bynum: Detroit

    Steve Blake: Clippers.

    Shaun Livingston: New York (or maybe Minnesotta so Kahn can complete his collection of point guards)

  • Name (required)

    i bin thinking… right… if (big IF) the Knicks can get Lebron, would they be better off resigning Lee instead of Bosh? (assuming they wont get wade or JJ next to bron)
    Bosh is a better player, but Lee works harder, is a better rebounder, is more willing to do the dirty work and will be about 5 mill cheaper.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Jacob Bourne

    Are you serious? I know you sweat all things G-State, but C.J. Watson is not better than Steve Blake.

  • control

    I’d like to say that Bosh isn’t a max player, but with some of the guys out there making max money…I guess he is. The guy is so soft in crunch time though, it’s painful to watch. The guy even has a soft face, a small love tap to his face causes him to go to the hospital and require surgery. It’s tough to be a Toronto fan…

    I hope Bosh stays with Toronto, but not for a max contract…so he ain’t staying.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Wow. I agree with pretty much everything karizmatic said. Were we separated at birth?

  • K Dizzle

    lol @ a small love tap

    Good situation for New York/Toronto would be a sign n trade with Bosh for D Lee and some spareparts to make the numbers fit. The issue with New York is will a max player go without being sure of another max going there? Lee would be a great fit on the Raps. D’Antoni’s system got nuthin to do with rebounding and lee’s insane motor. He just never stops. He’d automatically make the Raps better defensively and up their toughness.

    Derrick Rose needs to be callin Anthony Morrow right now. Bulls need a lowpost offensive threat mostly, but a stone 3 point shooter like Morrow would make doubleteamin Rose or anybody else on the squad impossible.

    I like Will Bynum. Detroit paid that fat cash to Gordon and Charlie V and Bynum outplayed both those fools. Bynum is what Nate would be if he had any kind of basketball IQ and point guard skills.

  • Ansonious

    Am I alone in the thought that Livingston shouldn’t even be considered to be in the same sentence as top free agents in any conversation? Sure he’d be a good pick up on the cheap due to his wile e coyote ways but anything else is ridiculous. @ dime I got two words for ya “come on.”

  • sh!tfaced

    LOL@Bosh’s softness…

    If he ever wears a face mask like Rip, he’ll definitely look like Jar-Jar Binks…

  • http://thesphericalstudies.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=2 haslem

    shouldn’t the lakers pick up steve Blake? Derek Fisher is there weakest cog but there lucky plugging it up would only take a spot up shooter with average handles

  • http://dime eyes

    @Dizzle if Bynum worked on his jumper he’d be a starter in this league. He dribbles & plays better defense. They’re not similar at all except for maybe athleticism. Nate has a scorer’s handle & he can’t really pass. His passes are to the rim. Also Nate is like 5’5″. While Will is more like 5’9″ legit probably. I may be wrong on the Thrill. I’ve only meet Nate.

    Will Bynum would be perfect for the Celts or Lakers. While Nate should have went to L.A. for a much needed spark.

    Rudy Gay is definitely talented but I just don’t see him getting any better. Scola I like as well as Brewer improvement thus far. Shaun Livingston doesn’t look half bad. But the Penny Hardaway comparisons. NAHHHHHH.
    Set the kid up to fail.

    Anthony Morrow. There’s more to basketball than just shooting. He’s undersized & has no position. Spot minutes fine

    Steve Blake: I think he was called the Jewish Jordan if I’m not mistaken.

    Al Harrington can also help any contender. Would have been a better fit for Boston than Sheed. He does everything well on O. Defense forget about it & he’s got mileage on his young body. High School kid to the pros. Don Nelson didn’t utilize him well enough in GSW. Seems like a trend. I really hope he doesn’t come back next yr.

  • Brown

    I’d like to see Bosh go to either Chicago or Miami. He needs a perimeter player who can create his own shot for him to be part of an effective 1-2 punch, and so he isn’t the ONLY option in crunch time. He never had that in TO.

    If Chicago could add both Bosh and Morrow, that would be a solid lineup, although there wouldn’t be much money left over to fill out the rest of the roster.

  • karizmatic

    @ spliff

    I don’t know maybe lol.

  • karizmatic

    @ haslem

    I don’t think the Lakers should pick up Blake I think they are fine with what they have I would just like them to move Shannon Brown into Fisher’s spot, if they are going to pick up anyone I would defiinitely be talking to the Bulls about a trade for Kirk Hinrich if I were them, I think he’s a perfect fit for the Lakers’ system.

  • Dr Drey

    Pretty sure i am one of the biggest Livingston fans out there… probably the only Aussie with his jersey… Hope someone picks him up, he was looking the goods

  • KWAME

    chill…im the biggest shaun livingston fan

  • jau

    If we are going to lose chris bosh… then david lee would be a pretty good consolation prize

  • jdote

    Anthony Morrow is a big time scorer..for summer league… i don’t know about an actual game tho.. and i kno he’s probably put up some high numbers but so havent 15 d-leaguers on that squad..I like steve blake.. he could end up on a contender.

  • Sporty-j

    I dont think Bosh is worth a max but he is a good player. The only guys in this league that are worth Max are. Lebron, Wade, Durant, Melo, Howard, CP3, D.Williams, and Kobe when hes not ball hoging. I judge players based on the dominate greats that have played at there position. Like Magic, Jordan, Bird, Duncan, and Shaq. Those are max players that have played in the past and dominated at there position and i just dont see that with Bosh and Amare is starting to past him back up as the best PF in this league and might be worth more money than Bosh this summer if you ask me. Those guys have what it takes to lead a team to a championship and are the elite of the elite and can just take over games but Bosh would make a great Batman to those players if he really wanted to win a championship.

  • Hollywud15

    @ mr phillips: ur definetely not the only livingston fan left.. I believe in him just like i did when he was comin out of high school.. he still has it

  • Billy_ATL

    Good call on Livingston

    @Ansonious…are you serious on Livingston…have you been watching the last 18 games that he has played…He would b a great pick-up for anyone that needs a REAL PG…..He has finally gotten offensive minded and when he does that he is a beast for any team….most point guards are too small, other guards are too slow…6’7″ with the basketball IQ of the oldies but goodies. All he needed was a good shot and he found it in WAS and now the league knows what he can do…and don’t get it twisted he put numbers up against play-off teams that kept their starters on the floor…ask Boston and Atlanta plus avg 8 dimes on a team full of gunners and out for me minded folks