With the trade deadline having come and gone last Thursday, you may be wondering why there has been a flood of NBA activity going on the past few days. Today is the deadline for players to be released from their contracts (whether that is bought out or waived) and still be able to appear in the playoffs for another team. The first domino to fall was Troy Murphy, who according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein chose the Celtics over the Heat. But who’s next? With that, here are the Top 5 available NBA free agents on the market right now.
1. Corey Brewer
I’m still surprised that the Knicks didn’t even give Brewer a chance. After winning back-to-back championships with the Florida Gators, his career hasn’t necessarily been that of a No. 7 pick, but he’s a glue guy. Just last season, he averaged 13.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game while starting all 82. And a 6-9, he has the length to bother guys on defense and play multiple positions. The Celtics were trying to make a move for him before the trade deadline, and are in the mix right now as well.
2. Mike Bibby
Although it’s almost certain that Bibby will sign with the Heat, he’s definitely generated interest around the League. Despite his drop-off in production, he’s still a 13-year NBA vet and know how to run a team. For any squad in need of some backcourt depth, Bibby is the No. 1 option on the market.
3. Leon Powe
All GMs have to do is think back to the 2008 NBA Finals to remember what Powe is capable of. After battling through injuries to begin his stint in Cleveland, it was best for everyone to give him a chance to succeed elsewhere. He’s been drawing interest from Boston and Memphis.
4. Rasual Butler
Ever since getting bought out by the Clippers, it’s been reported that Butler would sign with the Bulls. As of right now, nothing has happened. Last season, Butler averaged a career high 11.9 points while starting 64 games in L.A., after averaging 11.2 points in 74 starts in New Orleans the year before. He could fit in well to the rotation in Chicago, or any other team in need of a defensive-minded shooter off the bench.
5. Jerry Stackhouse
In February, Stackhouse made sure people knew that he still hadn’t signed his retirement papers with the League. And for good reason. Last year, he signed with the Bucks for the second half of the season and played pretty well. This year, his plan was to compete for a ring in Miami, but that only lasted seven games. “Chicago is one of those teams I keep under the hat,” Stackhouse told The Detroit News. “I don’t think they have that veteran experience on their wings.” If plans with Butler fall through, Stack could be an option. Otherwise, like the Celtics signing Michael Finley last season, he could find his way to a contender.
Other available free agents: Kelenna Azubuike, Sherron Collins, Michael Finley, Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, Morris Peterson, Antoine Walker
What do you think? Who would you sign to your team? Where do you think these guys will land?
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