Monday, July 02, 2012
by: STEPHEN VARNUM
courtesy of: the East Side Perspective
The East Side Perspective, a Clarion Content partner, is an up and coming sports and music website published in Chapel Hill.
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Sleeper Pick: Brandon Roy
Before I count down the top five free agents, I had to put Roy in the mix. Prior to his knees blowing up, along with just about every other part of his body over the past two years, this guy was largely considered to be the one of the best players in the NBA. Heck, even Meta Ron-Ron said he was the hardest player to guard in the NBA, over players like Lebron and Kobe. This guy use to be one of my favorite players, and I expect him to have a GREAT NBA comeback, similar to Grant Hill's comeback.1
1. Deron Williams, G, Brooklyn Nets:
Clearly the best player in the modest free agent class of 2012. Fortunately for any team named the Nets or the Mavericks, Deron Williams is on the market. Williams is a 3-time All-Star looking to put the pieces back together after getting blindsided by a trade in 2011. A BIG point guard capable of scoring and making plays for others, he's the one true star in this class who is in the prime of his career. He's one of the best point guards in the league and will dramatically increase the win total for either the Nets or Mavs.
2. Eric Gordon, G, New Orleans Hornets:
Gordon sat out a vast majority of the 2011-12 season with a knee injury, but his ability to score and shoot will command a maximum salary offer (or close to it). Sources are saying that Gordon wants to stay with the Hornets, but depending on how draft day goes and if there any block buster trades, I wouldn't be surprised to see this guy go elsewhere. As a fan, I would love to see him in a Celtics uniform, especially if Ray Allen decides to move to another team.
3. Steve Nash, G, Phoenix Suns:
Nash is the ultimate professional. He says he doesn't judge his career on rings and says that he would love to end his career with the Suns. Nash, however, will at least test the market as an unrestricted free agent, facing a difficult decision: Do I want to remain loyal like a Kobe or Paul Pierce? Unfortunately, he won't win a championship that way, as Suns owner Robert Sarver is committed to running the team into the ground. Or shall I take my talents elsewhere, and join a team ready to make a run at the finals? He's 38 years old, so the decision needs to be made soon.2
4. KG, F, Boston Celtics:
The 36 year-old power forward is a free agent again. The perennial All-Star, Garnett, was moved to the center position as the Celtics were hit with a slew of injuries in 2011-12. He excelled as a result during the regular season and he posted consistent 20 points and 10 rebounds in the playoffs and had Boston within one win of an appearance in the 2012 NBA Finals. The only teams involved with KG will be the Celtics and Father Time.
5. Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers:
Free agency couldn't come at a better time for Hibbert, who had a big stage to shine on during Indiana's postseason run after posting career-best numbers (12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks). The guy will probably see lots of digits on his next paycheck, and those digits are well deserved. This guy has proved me wrong and I wasn't sure if he had this type of talent; touche Hibbert, touche.
Honorable Mention: Ray Allen, Javale McGee, Jason Terry, OJ Mayo, Tim Duncan
1The editorial staff isn't buying this one. We expect him to have a comeback a lot like Manny Ramirez's comeback for the A's this year. Roy is done.
2Some folks are trying to play the Canadian card, eh? Convinced that in a fit of patriotic fervor Nash will sign with lowly Raptors. The editorial staff thinks there is an equally good chance he signs with the Tottenham Hotspurs.