by Kevin Pelton (for Hoopsworld.com)
July 6, 2002
You can't be expected to research every free agent. We can. Who should your team be looking at? Whose phone calls should they not be returning? It's all right here in News@Hoopsworld.com's free agency primer, with an emphasis on statistical analysis.
Editor's Note: I lean heavily upon use of 'effective shooting percentage' or 'scoring efficiency', which is calculated by points/(2*fga + fta).
Greg Anthony, point guard, Milwaukee
It's been a quick trip for Anthony from one of the league's top reserve ones to afterthought. He's not that old, and could probably help a number of teams as a backup point.
Dana Barros, guard, Detroit
Barros was off to a good start to last season, starting 20 of the season's first 29 games, before he was sidelined with an injury that kept him out until the playoffs. In that time, Chucky Atkins took the starter's role and the Pistons are expected to sign a free agent point, so Barros is likely looking for a new home.
Travis Best, point guard, Chicago
Best is a curious little player who has always played far better when he's been a starter than when he's been a reserve. Even that improved play, however, was not enough to make him an average starter, which is why he keeps getting pushed back to the bench. He'd better learn to overcome this trend, because teams aren't really looking at Best as a starter. If he plays up to his abilities, he can be one of the league's better reserve guards and a fine investment.
Mike Bibby, point guard, Sacramento
Oddly enough, during the regular season I recall defending Bibby from people that thought he had been mediocre at best. His regular-season statistics (a rather pedestrian 13.7 points and 5.0 assists per game) show one player and the hype following his strong fourth-quarter play shows an entirely different one. As my colleague Cameron Martin effectively explained earlier this week, Bibby's field goal percentage was essentially unchanged during the playoffs and the change in his scoring average is largely explained by the absence of forward Peja Stojakovic. Bibby's true ability probably lies somewhere between these two extremes; he is probably on the fringe of the NBA's top ten points and sure to improve, but the notion that he belongs in the same tier of points as Jason Kidd and Gary Payton is ludicrous. Bibby will probably be somewhat overpaid (by Sacramento, of course) the rest of his career, but if he can help deliver a Championship next season, it will be money well spent.
Chauncey Billups, point guard, Minnesota
Billups resuscitated a career that seemed doom for ignominy as the bust lottery pick by Boston in 1997 while playing in the isolation of Minnesota. Taking over for Terrell Brandon after his knee injury, Billups did a fine job at the helm of the Wolves, averaging 12.5 points and 5.5 assists. More impressive were his secondary numbers: 55% effective shooting and a 3.3 assist/turnover ratio. This is a player who can capably start at the point guard for a good team. Remind me why Jeff McInnis is getting more attention? A bargain is to be had here for the median exception.
Mookie Blaylock, point guard, Golden State
There might be a little something left in Blaylock's tank, but looking at the alternatives for backup point guard on this list, it's tough to see him getting much more than a non-guaranteed contract and a camp invitation.
Mark Blount, center, Boston
Blount did decently two years ago, shooting 51%, grabbing some boards, and blocking a ton of shots while starting 50 games in the middle for the C's. The hype machine started during summer-league play, and Blount did not fail to . . . fail, barely playing at all last season. There's some talent in there somewhere; whether it ever shows again is anyone's guess.
Bruce Bowen, swingman, San Antonio
In my humble opinion, Bowen is the best defensive swingman in the NBA. Unfortunately, he might just be the worst offensive starter in the NBA -- Detroit's Michael Curry gives him a good run for his money -- which is why he hasn't yet cashed in with a big deal. The Spurs are expected to give him all or part of their median exception this summer, and Bowen is unlikely to move along.
Greg Buckner, swingman, Dallas
A pretty good defender who also can score efficiently -- 56% effective shooting -- and is a fabulous rebounder -- 9.4 boards per 48 minutes -- for a shooting guard. Buckner can definitely play at this level and might develop into the starter if somebody gave him a chance to (Michael Finley would seem to be blocking that path in Dallas). But the Mavs don't lose a free agent they want to keep if they can help it, and Buckner seems unlikely to be going anywhere.
Rodney Buford, swingman, Memphis
After playing sparingly in his first two seasons pro, Buford was essentially the Grizzlies fifth starter last season (even though he started just 21 games), just missing double-digit scoring in 28 minutes a night. He's very athletic and can defend, but 47% effective shooting just won't cut it when you're still fighting for your NBA life. Expect Buford to be on the end of somebody's bench next season.
Chris Childs, point guard, Toronto
One of the NBA's least effective shooters all season long, Childs had a fantastic five-game series against Detroit as the Raptors nearly pulled off the upset. It hasn't garnered him the same fame as Bibby or Tony Parker for his play against Seattle, and the Raptors are unlikely to bring him back because of their tax situation. Dealing for Lindsey Hunter basically spelled the certain end of Childs' Toronto career. A good distributor who recorded an excellent 2.9 assist/turnover ratio last season, Childs could be a solid backup for a team shopping a little cheaper.
Keon Clark, center, Toronto
Clark has improved in each of his NBA seasons, culminating in last year's performance -- 11.3 points, 7.4 boards, and a block and a half in 27 minutes a night. Clark has clearly achieved a lot more in his NBA career than the free agent centers who got the median exception last year and the other candidates for it this year. Part of the reason that Clark isn't expected to get more is because the Raptors might not have it to give -- they are awfully close to the projected $55 million luxury tax level -- and few other teams have cap room to give him more money. It's a tough break; Clark is deserving of at least $6 million per season judging by the market for players of less value.
Jarron Collins, center, Utah
Collins, a restricted free agent, was a very pleasant surprise for the Jazz last season. The 53rd pick a year ago, Collins was not expected to play at all during his rookie season but ended up unseating Greg Ostertag and John Amaechi to start by season's end. His play was uneven, as he could use to do more on the defensive glass and is not much of a defensive presence, but he should have a bright career in front of him and could be of interest for part of the median exception.
Dell Curry, shooting guard, Toronto
Dell might still be playing when he's 50 . . . and you still wouldn't want to leave him open even then. Definitely worth a minimum contract with a team that needs shooting off the bench.
Ricky Davis, swingman, Cleveland
Why do people keep giving athletic teases chances? Because sometimes they pay off. Last season, Davis did after a trade sent him from Miami to Cleveland, averaging just under 12 points per game with solid 48% shooting percentage and 53% effective percentage. Nobody's talking about Davis much as a free agent this summer, and I'm not sure whether that's because nobody saw him play in Cleveland or because he's likely to return to the Cavs as a restricted free agent who they are clearing money for. I can't help but wonder . . . how big is the gap between Davis and, say, Bonzi Wells?
Micheal Doleac, center, Cleveland
What does it say that the Cavs wouldn't tender a qualifying offer to Doleac? It says that when your only real skill is shooting and you shoot 41.7% from the field (Doleac has settled on that number, shooting it exactly the last two seasons), your value is dubious. In fairness to Doleac, he did rebound pretty well last season. Nevertheless, we'll declare the verdict: Stiff!
Chris Dudley, center, Portland
Did somebody say stiff? Because Dudley's 6-11 and can rebound and defend, he can probably play as long as he wants to serving as a third-stringer to occasionally be used as six fouls against the Shaqs of the world.
Pat Garrity, forward, Orlando
Despite being forced to play out of position as a tiny power forward much of last season due to the Magic's lack of depth up front, he had his best season pro with 11 points per game. An excellent outside shooter, Garrity posted a fine 55% effective percentage and 169 threes at 43%, numbers that ranked him seventh and 11th in the league overall, respectively. Garrity isn't much defensively or on the boards, but there's always room in the rotation for a guy who can shoot like that.
Chris Gatling, power forward, Miami
Never seemed to get going with the Heat last season and had a down year. He can still score off the bench and would be a nice pickup at the minimum or "million-dollar" exception.
Devean George, swingman, L.A. Lakers
How much of George's popularity is due to the fact that he is a Laker? We're talking about a guy who barely played his first two seasons. George is a strong defender, but nothing special offensively. There are lots of players who fit that description and aren't being discussed for a median exception. What makes George as good as -- let alone better -- than Buckner? Three rings, if I'm to be asked.
Kendall Gill, swingman, Miami
Gill's field goal percentages the last two years: 33.1%, 38.4%. Stick a fork in him . . . he's done.
Zendon Hamilton, center, Denver
Hamilton has some talent and could be a nice cheap pickup for a team that gives him a chance. Grabbed about 14 boards per 48 minutes last season, does a decent job defensively, and can score a little (gets to the free-throw line a ton, but not very effective once there (65%)). Having Hamilton in the rotation won't kill you, and he comes real cheap.
Tim Hardaway, point guard, Denver
Hardaway was pretty bad last season. Even though most of his shots were threes, his 48% effective shooting is poor and he still shot a lot, enough to average 9.6 points per game. His playmaking was adequate at best. Nevertheless, he's still Tim Hardaway, so he's bound to get a cushy backup job again next season. It will be regretted.
Matt Harpring, small forward, Philadelphia
Harpring probably should be getting more attention than he is right now. He's a good outside shooter, a very good rebounder for a small forward -- nearly 11 boards per 48 minutes -- and, according to scouts, a 'hard-nosed' defender, whatever that means (personally, I've never thought much of him defensively). He's at least an adequate starter at the small forward position, and would be a great addition off the bench. As a restricted free agent, probably headed back to Philly.
Eddie House, guard, Miami
House's strong final two months should be enough to get him a pay raise for next season as a restricted free agent. He can shoot and score, and those skills are still in demand in this league, even if he is the classic definition of the 'tweener' guard.
Larry Hughes, guard, Golden State
Ah, the dreaded p-word -- potential. Hughes supposedly has all the talent in the world. Unfortunately, it has yet to translate into any results on the basketball court. The Sixers took just a year and a half to cut bait on Hughes -- though, oddly, they might be back for more now. It took Golden State about two years before they gave up after trying him at both guard positions. Hughes definitely isn't a point guard -- of the 29 highest-playing points last season, he finished 23rd in assists per 48 minutes and 28th in assist/turnover ratio -- but shooting guard isn't a lock either. After all, a certain shooting ability is part of the job description and Hughes doesn't have it. He made just 18 threes all season and his effective shooting percentage of 48% was 24th amongst point guards. Whatever Hughes' next contract is, odds are he'll still have yet to reach the 'potential' which caused Philly to take him ahead of Paul Pierce when it's over.
Troy Hudson, point guard, Orlando
Hudson really came on during the second half of the season and was considered one of the league's top reserves by season's end. Hudson is fairly comparable to another Magic reserve point who left as a free agent, starting Piston point Chucky Atkins. He can score, averaging just under 12 points per game playing less than 24 minutes. He is less skilled at creating offense for others, more of a shooting guard in a 6-1 body. But at 26 years of age, Hudson has time to improve in this regard and could definitely start in this league. Supposedly, the shooting at his house earlier this week has already affected his status as a free agent. If that's true and teams have backed off their pursuit, somebody could have a bargain.
Jim Jackson, swingman, Miami
After sitting and watching for the season's first month, Jackson signed with the Heat and played a significant role as Miami turned around its season. Jackson demonstrated he is still capable of double-digit scoring (10.7 ppg) and demonstrated surprising touch from three-point range, making a career-high 47%. He could be a very valuable rotation player for many teams and the price should be right.
Jerome James, center, Seattle
Sacramento's 36th pick way back in 1998, James spent a year out with a knee injury and one in Europe before returning to the NBA last year with the Sonics. In February, he claimed the starting job for good and displayed flashes of brilliance. He is a good rebounder and very good shot blocker (James led the NCAA in blocked shots during his final college season) who can be effective offensively if he gets good position. In the NBA, that's more than enough to make him a millionaire several times over. James has emerged as one of the top three candidates for teams looking to sign a center with their median exception, along with Clark and Rasho Nesterovic. Depending on the length and salary he's given, that could be a mistake; James has a history of injury and weight problems, which may scare off the Sonics from matching any offer.
Damon Jones, point guard, Detroit
After being cut by Houston in training camp, Jones settled in as part of the Piston's strong bench (aka the 'Alternatorz'). Almost two-thirds of Jones' shots were threes, and he made them at a strong 37% clip, meaning his effective shooting of 56% was very good. Hasn't ever seemed to get any respect throughout his career, but you could do a lot worse than to have Jones as your backup point.
Popeye Jones, power forward, Washington
A fantastic rebounder, Jones averaged 14.5 boards per 48 minutes last season with the Wizards, focusing almost exclusively on this task. That ability alone makes him a potential contributor on an average team. If Jones could be had at the veteran minimum or with the "million-dollar" exception, he would be a very nice find for a team like Seattle which lacks rebounding.
Raef LaFrentz, center, Dallas
In my humble opinion, LaFrentz is the best free agent center on the market. Though he struggled transitioning to Dallas after this February's big trade, LaFrentz is the best offensive option on the market. With a full training camp under him, LaFrentz -- a lock to return -- can give Don Nelson the shot-blocking presence he wants without compromising anything on the offensive end.
Trajan Langdon, shooting guard, Cleveland
Might Langdon's NBA career be over after 1,738 minutes? Probably not; somebody will take a flyer and teams can always use guys who can shoot. Still, Langdon as the 11th pick has to rank as one of the worst draft picks of all time.
Voshon Lenard, shooting guard, Denver
If Lenard's your starting two, Dan Issel must be in charge. At the best of times, Lenard is a shooter and nothing else. When he's shooting an effective 49%, as he did last season, he's definitely not a rotation player on any team. If Lenard is in a rotation at all next season, it will be as the fourth guard.
Rashard Lewis, small forward, Seattle
I've watched at least 85% of Lewis' professional games, and this much is clear to me from that observation. Lewis is not a max player, regardless what he or his agent say. He's improved in the post and off the dribble, and will likely grow those skills as he matures into a well-rounded players. However, I can't see him ever being a go-to player on offense or being anything better than adequate defensively. While his shooting skill and fairly strong rebounding make him a potentially great second option, second options don't deserve the max. Fortunately for the Sonics, he'll likely be back in Seattle next season for less than that amount.
Walter McCarty, small forward, Boston
Like any number of other Celtics, McCarty is a solid defender who can shoot the three, giving him a solid 56% effective percentage. Tax concerns may well force him out of Beantown, and he could contribute for the right team.
Jeff McInnis, point guard, L.A. Clippers
The Clippers' willingness to allow McInnis to walk as a free agent has to something, doesn't it? At first blush, his 14.6 points per game are impressive, but less so when you consider how much he had to shoot to achieve that average with a 48% effective shooting percentage. Might McInnis have had his own scoring average in mind instead of the Clippers' best interests? On the plus side, McInnis is a fairly good ballhandler, leading the league in assist/turnover ratio two years ago. He also has good size for a point guard. In the end, McInnis is a bit stretched as a starter but would be a very good backup.
Donyell Marshall, forward, Utah
Marshall's career has really taken off since he came to the Jazz, as he averaged 15 points and seven boards per game last season on 55% effective shooting. How much of that was playing alongside players like John Stockton and Karl Malone? That's a question for any team pursuing Marshall to ponder. On the other hand, his numbers compare awfully favorably to those of Lewis (though he's not nearly as young). Surprising he hasn't garnered more attention.
Slava Medvedenko, center/forward, L.A. Lakers
Might be an interesting gamble as a reserve big man for somebody. In an untalented group of players, Medvedenko has some skills on offense. He's also a fair rebounder, but very poor defensively.
Sam Mitchell, forward, Minnesota
Mitchell can't even rember his prime anymore, but still found himself starting in the playoffs. He's definitely valuable as a leadership guy in the locker room, but if he's playing, that's trouble.
Lee Nailon, forward, New Orleans
In one word, Nailon is a scorer. At Texas Christian, he led one of the NCAA's most productive offenses. After a year in Europe and one spent largely on the bench, Nailon shifted to small forward last season to replace injured Jamal Mashburn and provided the Hornets a better-than-adequate replacement. Nailon ended up averaging nearly 11 points over the course of the season. He lacks the quickness to defend many threes and any semblance of a perimeter game, but Nailon should be very effective next season as a combo reserve forward, whether it's in N'awlins or elsewhere.
Eduardo Najera, forward, Dallas
Every team can use at least one Eduardo Najera. He hustles, throws his body around with reckless abandon, and is an obvious fan favorite. It helps that he can play too -- 54% effective shooting and 12 boards per 48 minutes would put him on my team any day. It's doubtful that he'll get away from Mark Cuban's wallet, however.
Rasho Nesterovic, center, Minnesota
The good: Nesterovic has started 176 games in a career that is technically four years long but really only three (he signed just prior to the start of the 1999 playoffs) for a playoff team each season. The bad: it's been an up-and-down three years. Last year was up, with Nesterovic posting averages of 8.4 points and 6.5 boards in 27 minutes a night. Despite limited defensive prowess -- a mediocre 1.33 blocks per game -- Nesterovic is an excellent candidate for the median exception. The Timberwolves seem likely to match any such offer and return him next season.
Johnny Newman, swingman, Dallas
When and where did Newman get a reputation as a defensive specialist? I guess his defense is relatively better than the rest of his game nowadays, but if that's the definition, I'm a defensive specialist too. That he started playoff games -- in the semis, no less -- is nothing short of amazing. Tough to see him playing meaningful minutes again.
Charles Oakley, power forward, Chicago
At age 38 when the ball goes up to open next season, Oakley is clearly near the end of the line. Last season, he played like it. While Oakley was still strong on the glass, words cannot describe just how awful he was offensively. His effective shooting percentage was just 39%, better than only Miami's Anthony Carter amongst players who played 500 minutes or more last season. Maybe that was because he lacked motivation playing for the moribund Bulls, but otherwise the contenders looking at Oakley as a role player will be getting another Mitch Richmond. Fortunately, at either the "million-dollar" exception or the veteran minimum, Oakley isn't too costly an investment.
Kevin Ollie, point guard, Indiana
The journeyman (the Pacers were his seventh team in a five-year career, including two stops in Orlando) had his finest season last year, playing in 81 games and starting 17 of them. Having Kevin Ollie as your starting point guard says something distinctly negative about your organization, but you can do a lot worse than the steady-handed veteran who is solid defensively as a backup.
Michael Olowokandi, center, L.A. Clippers
In my book, Olowokandi is easily the most overrated player in this free agent class. ESPN.com has called Olowokandi the top free agent in this class, which is unbelievable. He's good defensively and, with about 13.5 boards per 48 minutes, is excellent on the glass. Seattle's James is not far behind in either category and -- unlike Olowokandi -- did not shoot 43% from the field last season. Yet you don't see anyone calling James the top free agent on the market, do you? Ever since entering the NBA, Olowokandi has been one of the league's most inefficient shooters. For a seven-footer to make only 43% despite rarely shooting outside the lane is simply inexcusable. Beyond that, Olowokandi turned the ball over more than twice a night and had an assist/turnover ratio of just 0.5. It's my opinion that someday the contract he is given this summer will be regarded in the same light as those of Jim McIlvaine, Jon Koncak, and Shawn Kemp.
Scott Padgett, forward, Utah
His brainlock at the end of game one against Sacramento aside, Padgett had a solid year, playing more than twice as many minutes as he had in either of his first two seasons. Thanks to his three-point ability, Padgett recorded a strong 56% effective shooting percentage. More surprising was his impressive rebounding, better than 10 boards per 48 minutes. Padgett could do a good job off the bench for a number of teams.
Terry Porter, point guard, San Antonio
Still going strong as he pushes 40, Porter could be a nice addition to a team seeking veteran leadership and help at the point guard position. Did somebody say Portland?
Michael Redd, shooting guard, Milwaukee
One of the league's most improved players, Redd went from IR fodder during his rookie season to as good a reserve guard as could be found in this league last year. Thanks to 44% from beyond the arc, Redd scored his 11+ points per game on efficient 58% effective shooting. He could be a good starting shooting guard in this league next season, and with Ray Allen blocking that opportunity with the Bucks, it would likely have to come elsewhere. Again, where's the hype machine on this guy?
Mitch Richmond, shooting guard, L.A. Lakers
The classy veteran got to actually be on the court at the end of game four as the Lakers finished off their title, the only thing left for Richmond to accomplish in his stellar career. But now it's off to pasture; he's finished.
Rodney Rogers, power forward, Boston
In terms of short-term results from the median exception, it will be tough to find a better value than Rogers, whose ultimate destination could play a significant role in how the Eastern Conference plays out next season. He turned the Celtics from a team barely holding onto homecourt advantage into one that could legitimately claim to be contenders for the Eastern Conference championship. Removing him could have the opposite effect on Boston and take another team to the next level.
Malik Rose, power forward, San Antonio
The poster boy for Reggie Evans, Aaron McGhee, and Lonny Baxter, Rose has really made something of himself since entering the NBA as a little-known second-round pick. It's tough to say what Rose might do if he got the chance to play regularly on a team which didn't feature David Robinson and Tim Duncan in the post, but he might have given a glimpse of this in game four of the Seattle-San Antonio series. With Duncan and Robinson both out, Rose scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He probably won't be moving on this season, despite rumored interest from several teams.
Bryon Russell, swingman, Utah
Russell had a really disappointing season, probably his worst since becoming a starter during the 1996-97 season. Though he's never been a great shooter, Russell's 38% field goal shooting was well off his typical performance. If he can regain his touch, Russell could be a decent pickup for some team thanks to his defense.
Brian Shaw, point guard, L.A. Lakers
After playing sparingly during the regular season, Shaw came to life in the playoffs and was the Lakers' primary backup to Derek Fisher. With Hunter departed, expect him to play more minutes during the regular season next year.
Felton Spencer, center, New York
Okay, I just threw him in to make sure you were paying attention.
Erick Strickland, guard, Boston
Strickland was a nice find for the Celtics, playing heavily behind Kenny Anderson even after the team traded for Tony Delk. Made 95 threes at a strong 39% clip, leading to a very good 54% effective shooting. Did a very good job defensively, drawing a ton of charges and playing tough defense on perimeter scorers. He can help a lot of teams as a backup guard.
Rod Strickland, point guard, Miami
Strickland breathed life into his career last year with the Heat, taking the starting role from Carter and finishing with 10 and 6 averages. He's not really good enough to start anymore, but could have a couple of more seasons left as a solid reserve.
Gary Trent, forward, Minnesota
A big-name free agent way back in 1999, Trent spent two injury-riddled years on the bench with Dallas completing the contract he signed then. Looking to reclaim his career, Trent headed to Minnesota last summer and did just that. He was extremely efficient off the bench, averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 boards in just 18 minutes. Trent is extremely effective at getting to the line, and somebody will probably give him most of their median exception to back up both forward positions. If everything comes together, Trent could have a season that parallels what Detroit's Corliss Williamson did last year en route to a Sixth Man award.
Jeff Trepagnier, shooting guard, Cleveland
The Cavs' second-round pick last season out of USC, Trepagnier got only 77 minutes last season in which to display his abilities. He is tremendously athletic and can shoot, but not from the bench. Definitely worth a look at the minimum, especially if on a non-guaranteed contract.
Jacque Vaughn, point guard, Atlanta
Hey, remember how Vaughn went his first 20 or so shots of last season without making one? That's the most attention he'll ever get at the NBA level. Vaughn will be very lucky to be a rotation player next season.
Earl Watson, point guard, Seattle
Watson did a good job last season, surprisingly taking the backup point role in his rookie season. One of the league's best thieves on a per-minute basis, Watson could have a very good career in front of himself if he can keep his field-goal percentage up.
Bonzi Wells, shooting guard, Portland
Like most of this year's top free agents, Wells had poor luck with when he came to free agency, considering that only Chicago really has a significant amount to spend, and the Bulls might not look for a big name anyway. Wells will probably still get his payday from Portland, well-deserved as he is one of the league's best young shooting guards.
Scott Williams, center/forward, Denver
There's a large school of thought out there that Williams' departure was a significant cause of the Bucks' decline last season. They definitely missed him to one extent or another, and Williams is one of the few big men in this free agent class that is neither too old to be counted on for more than a couple of years nor too young to be certain about his future. A team that signs Williams knows that they're getting a fairly dependable inside player who can score and rebound.
Walt Williams, small forward, Houston
At this stage of his career, "the Wizard" has become a three-point specialist; nearly half of his attempts and more than half of his makes last season were from beyond the arc. He can still do a solid job defensively and makes for a nice backup small forward.
Kevin Willis, center, Houston
Willis was off to another solid season backing up at center in Houston before the Rockets dropped out of playoff contention and decided to play younger players instead of the venerable 17-year vet. He was one of the league's best per-minute rebounders, averaging 5.8 boards in just 16.6 minutes per night. A contender -- the Lakers spring immediately to mind -- could put him to very good use as a backup, saving most of his energy for the playoffs.
Loren Woods, center, Minnesota
Maybe pick 46 was about right for this guy. Based on his rookie play, I don't think the market will exactly be 'clamoring' for a shot at Woods.
ZhiZhi Wang, center, Dallas
Given the stiffs that receive big contracts every summer and are sure to this year, why no love for Wang? A great three-point shooting big man, he recorded 56% effective shooting last year thanks to 41% from beyond the arc. Okay, his rebounding (8.8 per 48 minutes) is subpar, but that's to be expected from a guy playing away from the hoop. And he's only going to improve. Am I the only one who sees Sam Perkins written all over Wang?