NBA Free Agents

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

All focus was on the NBA lockout this past offseason, making everything else look insignificant between players moving to new European leagues or coaching changes. Now since the lockout is over and the season will be under way with a season opener on Christmas day, it is now time to look at the “smaller” things going on. It’s time to start talking about the new 2011 free agents and watch where they could possibly land.  While for the most part there will be no major team changes, there are a couple who are looking to explore and see what deals are left on the table for them.

 

   First the starting center for the Denver Nuggets, Nene the 6’11 monster who as of the last couple years really made a name for himself with his play. Being more of a defensive player, Nene averages about ten rebounds a game and at least two blocks a game. Even though he has averaged 14 points a game throughout his nine year career, his presence in the paint is crucial and teams like what he has to give to the defensive side of the ball. Nene, who is an unrestricted free agent, is looking to leave Denver and join another team. So far the only team that has showed interest in him at the moment is the Houston Rockets. While it seems evident the Rockets will pick him up, there are other teams like the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks who also might be interested.

 

 

    Another player who might make a splash is another center and defending world champion Tyson Chandler of the Mavericks. Chandler, who is as big as they get at 7’1, just played a crucial role for the Mavericks in the 2010-2011 season, helping them win the franchise’s first NBA championship against the Miami Heat.  Chandler, who has career average ten points per game and ten rebounds a game, brings the intensity a championship team needed. With his physical play, he dominated in the playoffs but now that the season is over, he is not expecting to rejoin the Mavericks. He himself even made it clear he will not return and will travel to another team. The only problem is that no teams as of right now show interest in the big guy or even talked to him. With the season coming up in next two weeks, he has some big decisions to make.

 

 

    Chris Paul, who is not a free agent as of right now, is stealing all the spotlight for free agents since there is a good chance he gets traded during the offseason. Paul, a young point guard for the New Orleans Hornets, ranks as one of the best in the NBA at his position. You can make an argument that the Hornets are literally nothing without him and maybe that’s why he wants out. Paul has stated that he wants to get traded and see what teams would do so. Averaging 18.7 points a game and 9.9 assists a game makes him a good fit for any team. As the Miami Heat make it clear they would trade for him, Paul would like to take his talents to the Big Apple, and play for the New York Knicks with Amare Stoudemire.

 

 

    With only two weeks left in the offseason these free agents have a lot of decisions to make before the season kicks back up. Even though this year’s offseason acquisitions might not be as exciting as LeBron James going to Miami, seeing where these players will land will be quite interesting.