Kenyon Martin isn’t the only one in search of a team. The average NBA season always finds a few old veterans who make their way onto rosters during the stretch run, and this year with the shortened season, we figured it’d be even more hectic. People are out of shape, tired, hurt and some just plain can’t take the schedule. Because of the lockout, there’s even more top-level talent spread across the globe. But that’s not who we’re talking about.
Andrei Kirilenko sounds like he plans to stay in Europe for the whole season and as of now, Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith will need to wait a little longer to get back into the NBA. I’m talking about the guys who aren’t on teams outside of the D-League – or guys that could easily navigate to the NBA – the guys just sitting around by the telephone waiting for someone to call and ask “You want in?”
Our friends at The Basketball Jones recently broke down all of the remaining free agents still out there. I’m taking the top 10.
With that, here are the 10 best unsigned NBA free agents available.
*** *** ***
10. THE FIELD
It’s a semi cheap way of getting out of this 10 spot, but really, who do you want? Dunks? Take Gerald Green. Someone who tries to play defense? Pick up Malik Allen. A cool name? Call Ben Uzoh. Once you get this deep into the D-League/living room couch potato ranks, it really doesn’t matter. All of these guys qualify for the dreaded forum thread “NBA Players You Could Beat One-On-One.” None of y’all actually could beat them, but I think it says enough that their names were even brought up.
9. TERRICO WHITE
Dime‘s favorite son. I don’t even care if he doesn’t really have a position or if there are questions about his work ethic. He’s in the James White category: Someone please just sign him so we can get him into the dunk contest.
8. EDDIE HOUSE
If there’s one thing NBA GMs love to stash at the end of their bench besides seven foot white guys, it’s shooters. House hasn’t lost that gift either. Last year in Miami, he dropped 39 percent of his bombs, and while he scored a total of 11 points in the Heat’s playoff run, the dude can still rile up enough benches by waving towels and talking trash from the sidelines. Once he comes all the way back from his recent knee issues, look to hear his name in discussions.
7. EARL BOYKINS
Last year with Milwaukee (7.2 points a night, 17.6 PER), the tiny spark had his best season since he was closing out fourth quarters in Denver five years ago. With Boykins, you know exactly what you’re getting. But at 35, Boykins is at that unforgiving stage all diminutive guards reach. At some point, the positives can’t outweigh being 5-5 anymore, or can’t cover up how everyone from Andre Miller to freakin’ E’Twaun Moore is going to post you up.
6. ALLEN IVERSON
You can’t tell me Charlotte doesn’t have room for the Answer. Seriously, they are signing the sons of team executives as if this was a surburban high school in central Pennsylvania. You have a future Hall of Famer out there who is willing to come back, an offense that’s so heinous you’re relying on a starting lineup with a rookie, a center averaging a single point per game because he air balls free throws by four feet and two power forwards, and it all plays out in an arena that sells like a 2012 G-Unit concert. Am I missing something here?
5. JAMES POSEY
It feels like Posey has been lost in the wilderness ever since Boston refused to match the years New Orleans’ offered the swingman back in the summer of 2008. Posey’s last real contributions came on that Celtics championship team, and even if his numbers jumped slightly in the Bayou (8.9 points, 4.8 rebounds), they were buried on a team going nowhere.
Now, without a job and with his career likely nearly over, Posey could still be a pest for perhaps five minutes a night in the playoffs for someone that wants him.
4. JOEL PRZYBILLA
Word is that the big man will decide between Miami and Chicago. Not bad choices right there, especially since he might actually have a chance to play. For me, I think it’s obvious: go with Miami. More opportunity for minutes, and South Beach > the Windy City. This shouldn’t be hard.
Last year, he averaged four rebounds and .4 blocks for Portland and Charlotte. Gone are the days when Ghostface Przybilla was a fantasy factor.
3. KYRYLO FESENKO
I think I’ve heard his name mentioned as a possible signing for perhaps 75 percent of the league but yet here he is, still looking to get back into the NBA. What’s funny about this is he’s absolutely massive – reminds everyone of Chewbacca – and young – 25 – and yet all I’ve heard is rumors.
2. GILBERT ARENAS
He never looked right in Orlando, and when even the coach is admitting he didn’t get a fair chance, then you know something was up. Arenas isn’t that far removed from his glory years of 2003-07, but he’s lost the ability to finish at the rim and lost the deep ball threat (He hasn’t shot 35 percent from behind the arc in five years). But the biggest hurdle are his mental issues. Does he really want to be back? Does he still want to deal with the media? Answer those and we’ll see if he’s worthy of our attention.
Look at it like this: There’s no way he can get any worse than eight points on 34 percent shooting.
1. KENYON MARTIN
We broke down his options earlier today as it appears he’s locked in on five teams: New York, the Clippers, San Antonio, Atlanta and Miami. As it stands now, with his two former teammates (J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler) still locked away in China, Martin is the best free agent available. The former All-Star still has a little left in the tank at 34 years old, and as a recently released player, only needs to wait until his team’s CBA season ends.
Anyone out there you wish your team would sign?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.