Whereas last summer reshaped the NBA and as a byproduct of that, helped usher in the extended lockout, the upcoming abbreviated free agency period won’t include a single franchise player. There are probably no future Hall of Famers available. Hell, there might not even be a single All-Star out there. But what is being given up will be replaced in a frenzy. The signings and player movement will be fast and furious, and without any sure things, there will be plenty of opportunities to criticize GMs who panic and throw ridiculous contracts at simply average players.
So if you need help keeping up, we’ve got your back just as we did last year (after you see this year’s list, check out the 2010 free agent class. So different).
For Dime’s 2011 Free Agent Tracker, we put together the master list of every free agent in the League, then we broke them up into tiers: From the franchise-caliber superstars (not) down to the guys scrapping for jobs who could find themselves in Europe or the D-League next season. Throughout the free agency period, we’ll keep the list updated with info on who is talking to which teams, who’s signed, who’s sealed, and who’s delivered. With training camps now getting underway very soon and mostly everybody starting to formulize a plan, here’s the latest update (R = restricted free agent):
Franchise superstars. You don’t just build teams around these guys, you build championship-caliber teams. They aren’t just the face of your franchise, they’re the icons who may end up with their statue outside the arena someday.
Maybe not full-on superstars, but they’re at least All-Star material. They could be the focal point of an OK team, but you’d rather have them as a No. 2 or No. 3 on a great team.
Solid starters who could crack All-Star level given the right circumstances. They can help carry certain teams and will take over a game here and there, but at this point they’re ideally a third option at best.
*Chauncey Billups – claimed off amnesty waiver wire by L.A. Clippers
*Tyson Chandler – signed four-year, $56 million deal with New York (via three-team trade)
*Marc Gasol (R) – signed four-year, $55 million offer sheet with Houston; Memphis matched
*Nene – signed five-year, $67 million deal with Denver
*David West – signed two-year, $20 million with Indiana
High-class role players. Most likely starters, they are 100 times more valuable on championship-contending teams than they are on middle-of-the-pack or teams going nowhere.
*Arron Afflalo (R) – signed five-year, $43 million deal with Denver
*Caron Butler – signed three-year, $24 million deal with L.A. Clippers
*Wilson Chandler (R) – signed in China with no opt-out clause
*Jamal Crawford – signed two-year, $10 million deal with Portland
*Richard Hamilton - signed three-year, $15 million deal with Chicago
*Grant Hill – signed one-year, $6.5 million deal with Phoenix
*DeAndre Jordan (R) – signed four-year, $43 million offer sheet with Golden State; L.A. Clippers matched
*Andrei Kirilenko – latest info
*Tayshaun Prince – signed four-year, $27 million deal with Detroit
*Jason Richardson – signed four-year, $25 million deal with Orlando
*Rodney Stuckey (R) – signed three-year, $25 million deal with Detroit
*Marcus Thornton (R) – signed four-year, $31 million deal with Sacramento
*Thaddeus Young (R) – signed five-year, $43 million deal with Philadelphia