NBA / Jun 3, 2010 / 10:15 am

Top 10 NBA Free Agents Nobody Is Talking About

Ray Allen on the cover of Dime #11

After LeBron and Wade were eliminated, the basketball universe has been talking about the 2010 free agent bonanza almost as much as the playoffs that are still going on. While everyone is talking about the max contract guys and “free agent summits,” here are 10 unrestricted free agents who will make an impact for a team whose names you haven’t heard mentioned.

1. Ray Allen
For some reason Ray Allen’s name has not surfaced when talking about marquee free agents available this summer, but he will be unrestricted after the season. Despite showing signs of age, and sub-par defense that is covered up by the Celtics great team defense, Allen is still the purest shooter in the NBA. His release may not be quite as quick as it once was, but it is still quicker than anyone else in the League. Allen probably has two or three good years left, and if he doesn’t re-sign with the Celtics, another championship contender could really benefit from signing him.

2. David Lee
This guy has turned into a stud basketball player. At 6-9, he is a natural power forward, but has been playing out of position as a center in Mike D’Antoni‘s offense. With it looking like the Knicks won’t re-sign him, Lee could help a team right away. He hustles and rebounds with the best of them, and last season showed he has the ability to score from up to 18 feet instead of just on put-backs and lay-ups – which helped his value tremendously as he averaged 20.2 points and 11.7 rebounds for the pitiful Knicks last season. Lee will also benefit greatly from not being the biggest guy on the floor at all times for his team, making him the best free agent nobody is talking about.

3. Udonis Haslem
Like Lee, Haslem is a rebounding vacuum, pulling in boards with the best of them. He has been a valuable role player for Miami since their 2006 championship season, contributing his rebounding, mid-range jumper and defense to the team. While his minutes in Miami have decreased because of Michael Beasley‘s arrival, his production remains steady as he averaged almost 10 points and nine rebounds this year, and could help a rebounding deficient team right away.

4. Kyle Korver
Behind Ray Allen, Korver is probably the best pure shooter in the NBA. Before the Jazz acquired him, they struggled mightily when facing the zone, but Korver’s arrival solved that problem for them and he will do the same wherever he lands this summer. He set an NBA record this season shooting 53.6% from three, and was the main reason Utah almost squeezed out a Game 3 victory over the Lakers. His shooting can immediately help a team open up their offense and stretch the defense, and not many teams can say they have a shooter of Korver’s ability at this time.

5. Brendan Haywood
After being a disappointment throughout the early part of his career, Haywood over the last few years has shown an ability to consistently pull in double digit rebounds. While not a big scorer in the post, Haywood can provide a team with a big body, some much needed toughness on the defensive end, and shot blocking – as he averaged over two blocks per game this past season in Washington and Dallas.

6. Al Harrington
After Harrington’s magical run with the 2007 Warriors team that knocked out Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, he has somewhat fallen off the radar spending his last two seasons with the Knicks. Despite being on a terrible team, Harrington has put up some big numbers for the Knicks averaging 20.7 points in 08-09, and 17.7 in 09-10. While some of this is due to the fact that he played in D’Antoni’s offense and was often the Knicks’ best offensive player, Harrington can certainly help a team looking for wing scoring; and could be a good third option for a championship team.

7. Nate Robinson
Despite his run-ins with D’Antoni in New York, and his spotty play in Boston, Robinson can flat out score. This guy is exciting, and will quickly turn in to a fan favorite wherever he goes, providing instant offense off the bench. He will be a great investment for a team that needs scoring off the bench (i.e. Memphis) and probably be cheap due to his up and down season this year.

8. Raymond Felton
Felton has been playing point guard for the Bobcats since his rookie season, but he still doesn’t look like a natural point guard. However, Felton played a nice role in the Bobcats’ first-ever playoff berth this year. He can be a solid ball handler, and contribute double digit scoring for a team that signs him. But a team shouldn’t sign him looking for him to solve all their problems at the point, as he still hasn’t seemed to figure it out.

9. Jermaine O’Neal
Despite being on the decline in his career, and definately no longer a reliable second scoring option on a good team, O’Neal still has some juice in the tank as a serviceable big man. He played 70 games last year for the first time since 03-04, and if he stays healthy, he can be a solid 4 for many teams – either as a starter or off the bench. But he definitely is no longer the Jermaine O’Neal of old.

10. Jason Williams
After his one year retirement, Williams has returned to the NBA with the Magic and proven to be a very solid backup point guard for them. Williams shot 38 percent from three this year, and averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 assists in 20 minutes, proving he definitely can be a good backup point guard for the next few years. Plus, he can add much needed depth for a team looking for some.

What do you think? Who would you want on your team?

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  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    I still have this Dime mag in a ziplock somewhere in the crates…

  • NTstateOFmind

    “…O’Neal still has some juice in the tank as a serviceable big man.”

    yeah, prune juice. nobody is going to want to sign the reverse benjamin button

  • PJ

    Guys, Utah got swept. You guys posted Korver helped the Jazz beat the Lakers in game 3.

  • Diego

    I would love for the Hawks to forget about resiging Joe Johnson and instead go grab Haywood, Korver, and Childress from Greece.

    They would add some much needed size and outside shooting and get a great all-around utility guy in Childress. Then they just need a point. Maybe Ridnour if he is a free agent?

  • sh!tfaced

    And the best thing about these free agents? All of them can play with LeBron. Maybe except for Al Harrington, they’re gonna be a good compliment to LBJ…

  • Daniel Marks

    @PJ

    We mention Korver almost squeezed out a victory for Utah, not saying they won.

  • sh!tfaced

    Oh yeah, Hawks should definitely chase Haywood.

  • WLJ

    What about McGrady?

  • ShaqFu

    If the Celtics win this year no way Ray Allen is not coming back. He probably comes back even if they don’t win as he played well and they will most likely take the Lakers to at least 6 games if not 7. That is why he is not being spoken about as much. Also most of the teams with money (Nets, Knicks, Clippers) seem more likely to throw their mega bucks at a young stud then on a veteran as the final piece of the puzzle.

    D. Lee- Love his hustle but the guy is overated. No more than a solid 6th man outside New York, no winning team is going to feature him at the 4 he couldn’t guard his shadow.

    Haslem, Korver, Haywood, Felton- All most likely to stay with their current teams.

    Harrington/Nate- When teams offer you around the entire league desperate to get rid of you, you are not a talked about free agent. Though Memphis is a great spot for both to join Randolph and Tinsley!

    J.O and White Chocolate- Is this 2001? The Knicks can sign them both along with Shaq, Ray Allen and Michael Finley. All we need is a time machine and we’ll have a championship.

  • Luke

    JJ Redick is a free agent right? he proved himself, outplaying carter the BOS series

  • Heckler

    i’ve said on this board for 2 seaons now that the LA Lakers should really look into signing raymond felton.

    they need a young, quick point guard. and in the triangle offense, felton really wouldnt be responsible for too much. he at least can help them in their fast break attack.

    ray allen should consider denver.
    david lee should go to orlando. he’ll make a killing cleaning up after dwight howard.
    al harrington should go to OK City and come off their bench.
    jason williams should re-sign with orlando
    kyle korver should go back to philly.
    jermaine oneal should go to sactown or retire.
    nate robinson is needed in atlanta–bibby is finished.
    brendan haywood gonna stay in dallas.
    udonis haslem aint leaving south beach

  • sh!tfaced

    Bring David Lee to San Antonio, he’ll be solid and he’ll be a starter at the same time.

  • Steve A

    JJ Redick should be on that list. He would be if it was a poll of NBA Gm’s.

  • Daniel Marks

    Redick is a restricted free agent, the list only includes unrestricted free agents. As Nets fan I would love to see Lee or Haslem in NJ to keep the seat warm while Derrick Favors develops. Harrington to OKC would be a nice on the court but OKC has such great chemistry does Harrington put that in jeopardy?

  • ctkennedy

    dime fans me and my boys r havin a argument if u the knicks would u rather give joe johnson the max or offer it to rudy gay instead and hope the grizzles dont match

  • jryu

    @ sh!tfaced

    pop would tear Lee a new asshole after his repeated defensive lapses…

  • Celts Fan

    @CTKennedy – I wouldn’t give the max to either of those guys but I’d say go for Joe Johnson. Neither one of them is a true #1 though.

  • Heckler

    correction…

    Kyle Korver should consider OK City. and the Thunder should def consider making him an offer.

    I have never seen a team sooo desperate for an outside shooter

  • Heckler

    @ CTKennedy–

    neither one of them boys deserve the max.

  • ab_40

    j will over t-mac? you guys are cold

  • Daniel Marks

    @Heckler

    Korver would be a better fit than Harrington in OKC. Probably within their price range also.

    I wouldn’t give Johnson or Gay a max deal, the only way the Knicks give one of them the max is if they can’t get LeBron, Wade, or Bosh

  • Celts Fan

    @Daniel Marks – that would be the biggest panic move ever, and also known as the day that professional basketball died in NYC (until the Nets come to town anyway.) I’m pulling for the Knicks to tie up their cap space with Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer. That would be sooo funny and fitting for what they forced their fans to watch these past 2 years.

  • SayItAintSo

    Damn! I had no idea Korver shot that *&^%ing well from three.

  • isotope

    From the guys that brought you “Morey and Walsh”, here’s “Morey and Bosh”

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6689703/

    Dime, y’all gotta post this up.

  • Bruce

    Definitely not Definately! For crying out loud, you write for a living!

  • karizmatic

    I’d pick up David Lee and Raymond Felton.

  • 12thMan

    1,2,6,5,8 could end up being forgotten and get on some good teams. Thunder need Haywood

  • BlazersBabyBri

    My beloved Blazers could use Kyle Korver in our second unit. Heck, put him on the floor with B.Roy and that’s a lethal combo. He’s an AMAZING shooter. Super quick release, makes 53%+ of his 3′s. We’d love him.

  • hahns

    lol @ NTstateOFmind

    bro, isnt reverse benjamin button someone that just ages normally?

  • Jack

    @Heckler

    It isn’t a bad idea, but Felton struggles to guard the elites. Look at his numbers against CP3 (last season), D-Will, Rondo, and Jameer. He never does that well. While you’re right the pg in Phil’s system isn’t responsible for much, especially since Kobe does most of the pick and rolls, they still need one with superb defense. (although phil does like to a send a forward down the court on the break). Laker fans biggest beef this year has been that Fish can’t guard anyone, why sign a younger version of Fish?

    Best thing the lakers can do is hope that Toronto implodes and trade sasha’s expiring contract for Jarret Jack. Sure he can’t shoot, but his defense is solid. Like Bruce Bowen said, you can practice a shot, you can’t practice defense.

  • Jack

    @ blazers

    Dude where is the Martell Webster love? He played huge when Roy went down with injury. And he has a great outside touch himself.

    Have some loyalty man. Signing Korver sends Martell out of the rotation. Besides I’d take Webster over Korver any day.