Take your pick on the storyline you want to cover before Thursday’s Game 7, but if you ask me, the biggest story that no one is talking about is that 16 of the 30 players in the NBA Finals are going to be free agents after the season. With that in mind, we break down the Top 10 free agents in the NBA Finals.
1. Paul Pierce (Early Termination Option)
Depending on the type of game that Pierce has on Thursday, he very well could be the MVP of the NBA Finals. And while I don’t think anyone can picture him in another uniform, he’ll have to weigh his options once the season ends. What will most likely happen is that Pierce gets an extension under the current CBA, but don’t put it past some teams to make a run at him.
2. Ray Allen (Unrestricted)
One of the best shooters to ever play the game, Allen will definitely get some money thrown his way this summer despite his age. Whether or not the Celtics win Game 7 will most likely affect his decision, but any team searching for a veteran scoring presence would be crazy not to chase him.
3. Nate Robinson (Unrestricted)
Once Nate Robinson became “Donkey,” the free agency buzz began to percolate. Despite his ups and downs all season, the kid can play. And it’s no surprise that rumors have already started that the Lakers might be interested this summer. If you ask me, the team that will offer Nate the most money is a non-playoff one, so it will be up to him to choose playing time over loot.
4. Shannon Brown (Player Option)
It’s been known for a while now that Brown is going to most likely decline his player option and test the free agency waters this summer. And after a huge Game 6 last night, he’s probably trying to get an invite the the Free Agent Summit that “isn’t” happening. While Brown isn’t on that level by any means, he is an exciting young player that should fill some seats.
5. Jordan Farmar (Restricted)
Farmar is in for a rude awakening. Even though Derek Fisher is an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers don’t see him as the starting point guard for the Lake Show. And if he doesn’t get the love from the only team he’s ever played for, he’ll most likely end up as a backup somewhere else. Then again, maybe the Pacers like him.
6. Tony Allen (Unrestricted)
He’s definitely not as good as he could have been (before the injury), but Allen has proven to be a capable defender. Any team that needs a wing to guard the other team’s best player will give him a look. For some reason I see him landing in Denver. Don’t ask me why.
7. Derek Fisher (Unrestricted)
Yes, Fisher can’t seem to guard anybody. And yes, he also is the Lakers’ biggest liability on the floor at times. But at the end of the day, you want this guy on your team. While Fisher has made it clear that he wants to stay in L.A., it will be interesting to see how many years he has left in him. He’s slowly going the route of Sam Cassell and Brian Shaw.
8. Josh Powell (Unrestricted)
He’s shown glimpses in his five years in the League, and he’s Kobe‘s dude – so that has to say something. At only 27 years old, he’s definitely got a lot left in the tank, and could be a serviceable piece to a playoff team. It’d be interesting to see what he could do if he got starter minutes.
9. Marquis Daniels (Unrestricted)
I know what you’re think, and no, I’m not crazy. Daniels was a solid NBA player until he joined the Celtics this year, and he’ll definitely get another shot elsewhere. He needs redemption after this year.
10. D.J. Mbenga (Unrestricted)
When I asked everyone in the office to choose No. 10 from the last five remaining candidates, the general consensus was that I should make a Top 9. But I think you have to give it to Mbenga here. At 7-feet tall, he’s definitely a presence in the paint, although his role will most likely never change from what he’s done in Los Angeles to date.
The rest: Michael Finley (Unrestricted), Tony Gaffney (Unrestricted), Oliver Lafayette (Unrestricted), Adam Morrison (Restricted), Brian Scalabrine (Unrestricted) and Shelden Williams (Unrestricted)
What do you think?
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