HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The moratorium period is over. Deron Williams has re-signed with the Nets, Steve Nash is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Miami Heat have welcomed Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis as their newest role players on Wednesday morning.
Other moves that have been unofficially reported over the last 10 days will officially announced in the coming hours and days. We might also find out where Dwight Howard is going to play next season!
Almost all of the top talent is off the board, but there are still some good players available. Here’s a list of the top 10 free agents who have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract…
1. Brook Lopez, C (Signed extension with Nets)
Lopez is at the center of the Howard trade talks. And if the Orlando Magic aren’t buying what the Nets are selling, Lopez is almost certainly heading to Brooklyn with Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace. But according to a Yahoo! report late Tuesday, the details on Lopez’s contract haven’t been finalized, and another team (Charlotte, perhaps?) could step in and give him an offer sheet. So technically, he’s still on the board.
2. Elton Brand, PF (Signed with Mavericks)
Brand is still on the Sixers roster, but reports say that Philly will waive him via the amnesty clause in order to sign Nick Young and trade for Dorell Wright. Even then, he probably won’t be a free agent, because teams with cap space will bid on the final year of his contract. But he’s a better get than everyone below, and he will have a new team in the next week or so.
3. JaVale McGee, C (Re-signed with Nuggets)
McGee still hasn’t harnessed his freakish athleticism to become the elite defender that he really should be. If it ever clicks for McGee, it will probably happen in Denver. SI.com’s Sam Amick reported late Tuesday that the Nuggets and McGee were progressing on a new contract.
4. Chris Kaman, C (Agrees to deal with Mavs)
If Kaman is looking for a paycheck that’s anything close to what he made last season, he may have to take a short-term deal. His shooting percentage has dropped each of the last three years, down to 45 percent last year with the Hornets. He’s more skilled in the post than anybody on this list, but he’s got to be more efficient.
5. Kris Humphries, PF (Re-signed with Nets)
Like Lopez, Humphries is linked to Howard. If they don’t get the three-time DPOY, the Nets aren’t as anxious to bring Humphries back as they are Lopez. But Humphries is likely their best option at power forward. Lopez needs a rebounder next to him, and Mirza Teletovic (who the Nets are signing from Europe) isn’t that.
6. Courtney Lee, SG (Dealt to Celtics in sign-and-trade)
In order to make room for two restricted free agents they’ll probably not get, the Rockets withdrew their qualifying offer to Lee, making him unrestricted. Lee, who has shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in three of his four seasons, likes the Celtics, but Boston doesn’t have the cap space to sign him outright. They might look to work out a sign-and-trade with Houston.
7. Carl Landry, PF
We haven’t heard much of anything about Landry of late. He’s not the rebounder that Humphries is, but he’s a better shooter and scorer.
8. Robin Lopez, C
If you need a big body to defend and rebound, the lesser Lopez brother could be your guy.
9. Gerald Green, SF (Signed with Pacers)
Signed out of the D-League after the All-Star break, Green was a revelation for the Nets last season, averaging 12.9 points on 48 percent shooting. The Nets would love to have him back, but can only offer him $1.2 million for next season.
10. O.J. Mayo, SG (Signed with Mavericks)
The Grizzlies never presented Mayo with a qualifying offer, so he’s been unrestricted from the get-go. Yet, while Memphis has replaced him with Jerryd Bayless, Mayo is still out there. He’s more explosive than Lee, but not as efficient. Phoenix (once the Hornets match on Eric Gordon) and Dallas could be appropriate landing spots.