While looking at the list of available unrestricted free agents is underwhelming, the group of restricted free agents is great. For a team in search of talent to add to their roster, making a stab at one of these guys could pay dividends. While Paul Millsap, Marcin Gortat and Jarret Jack have already signed offer sheets, here are the ten best available restricted free agents left:
1. David Lee – You already know that I’m huge fan of Lee’s and that I think he deserves to be paid this summer. Teams are crazy not to go after him at this point, even just to try and sign him for a year or two. Depending on whether or not the Jazz match for Millsap, the Blazers should definitely go after Lee.
2. Ramon Sessions – If there’s any guy on this list that just needs minutes to become a solid NBA player it’s Sessions. When given the chance, Sessions drops dimes like it’s going out of style. If a team is willing to take a chance, and the Bucks are ready to hand over the reins to Brandon Jennings, then Sessions should be starting elsewhere next season.
3. Raymond Felton – Another proven starting point guard who just hasn’t been amazing. While some people thought that DJ Augustin would steal his job, the Bobcats like playing the two alongside one another. I doubt the Bobcats let him go.
4. Linas Kleiza – This guys is unique. Unlike most foreign players, Kleiza played high school and college ball in the US, and has been a consistent role player for the Nuggets. For as many trades as Denver has made, whenever a team tries to pry away Kleiza they refuse to let it happen. You might have to overpay him a little bit to get him to leave the Rocky Mountains, but it could pay dividends in the end.
5. Glen Davis – Who doesn’t like Big Baby? After filling in for Kevin Garnett during the playoffs, all 29 GMs had to be thinking, “Did he just do that?” While at first the Celtics didn’t think they were going to be able to keep him, it seems as if the fervor had slowed down, allowing Danny Ainge to keep his guy in town.
6. Marvin Williams – For some reason no one is talking about Williams! Here’s a guy that has been averaging 14 and 6 for the past three years and perhaps everyone just assumes he’s content to stay with the Hawks. But if I was a GM in need of an athletic forward, the former No. 2 pick would be at the top of my list.
7. Nate Robinson – While the reports say the Greeks are offering him $5 million to play overseas, it appears no one is willing to pay that type of money to the two-time dunk champ this summer. In the office it’s split between people who think he’s a legit NBA player and one that is average at best. It seems GMs are the same way.
8. Jamario Moon – While his numbers aren’t crazy, Moon is another intangibles guy. He’s capable of having a big game, and can also be the guy to just do all the dirty work. Although he’s listed at 6-8, he plays much bigger, and can guard multiple positions. I’m surprised more contenders aren’t trying to take him away from the Heat.
9. Hakim Warrick – Although Warrick hasn’t been a beast like he was at Syracuse, averaging 12 and 5 the last three seasons isn’t bad. The Grizzlies have a lot of money tied up in salary so if you’re in need of a potential high flyer, you might be able to make it so Memphis doesn’t match.
10. Josh Childress – Although he decided to stay in Greece for the year, Childress is still a restricted free agent and garnered interest from both the Bucks and the Bobcats. If he has a huge year over there (potentially playing alongside Nate the Great), he could cash in next year.
Others available: Joel Anthony, Aaron Gray, Ryan Hollins, Ersan Ilyasova, Solomon Jones, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Steve Novak, James Singleton, C.J. Watson, Mario West