FanPost

Possible Blazer Off-Season Acquisitions from the Top 50 Free Agents of 2010

Courtesy of NBA Fanhouse comes this interesting break-down of the best 50 free-agents of the off-season, ripe with some great acquisitions that could be made by the Trail Blazers. Portland probably will not have a lot of money to offer anyone, but there are some solid contributing players that could be picked up for around the MLE or less, so here's keeping our fingers crossed.

Obviously, the Blazers have a couple needs that have been presented since last season. We are thin in the PG position, having essentially Andre Miller playing brilliantly but an unsure Jerryd coming off the bench. At the (backup) PF position, we have Aldridge starting and behind him a couple rookies that eat up spot minutes, with Juwan taking minutes here and there as well, when he's not playing out of position at the C position. And that brings up the Center position, where we are relying on Camby right now, and may or may not have him back next season. Of course, we'll have Greg back, and possibly Pryz back at some point during the season, but it's always nice to be deep at the C position.

Here are a couple names I pulled out of the list that I think could possibly fit into our system. Agree or disagree in the comments below, and feel free to add names (not fantasies) as well.

11. DAVID LEE, PF
Age: 26 | Height: 6-9
Experience: 5 years | '09-10 Team: Knicks
2009-10 Stats: 20.4 pt | 11.9 reb
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Lee played this game last summer, the most ignored potential 20/10 free agent in recent memory. Skittish teams and New York's restricted free agency handcuffs kept Lee in the Big Apple for another season, with the forward-center eventually signing a fairly fat one-year deal. No such RFA restrictions apply this go-round, and while Lee has seemingly made himself indispensable to the Knicks, the team is trying to swim with bigger fish. Don't count on New York renouncing the rights to Lee until the minute a second big name free agent gets ready to put ink to paper (in other words, the Knicks will maintain its ability to give Lee a six-year deal until the moment they would be forced to renounce him to clear his cap hold, which would be required if the team seeks two max free agents as expected). As such, I could see a lesser free agent suitor targeting Lee from the outset and prying him away from the Knicks before Donnie Walsh and Co. can straighten out their affairs with said bigger fish.

15. LUIS SCOLA, PF
Age: 29 | Height: 6-9
Experience: 3 years | '09-10 Team: Rockets
2009-10 Stats: 16.1 pt | 8.8 reb
Status: Restricted free agent ($4.1 million qualifying offer)
The Skinny: Scola, the world's most robust concoction of craft and mettle (and stubble, as it were), meets the end of his rookie contract at the lovely age of 30, just late enough to prevent a truly outstanding contract but early enough to prevent a dearth of offers. Reason stands that Houston won't allow Scola to get too far away from home -- the team traded capable stand-in Carl Landry for backcourt help at the deadline, and has made public declarations it will thusly keep Scola. But if the Argentine thinks he can get some decent offers in the most wide-open market in ages, you could see him forcing Houston's hand by signing a sheet. Scola could be a sensible option in New Jersey.

16. TYRUS THOMAS, PF
Age: 23 | Height: 6-9
Experience: 4 years | '09-10 Team: Bulls/Bobcats
2009-10 Stats: 9.2 pt | 6.3 reb | 1.6 blk
Status: Restricted free agent ($6.2 million qualifying offer)
The Skinny: Chicago eventually cut ties with Thomas, the feisty forward who never seemed to get along with any coach the Bulls hired. Whether that's the fault of the organization or T.T. remains to be seen. Still just 23, Thomas has long been considered a vastly talented defender. While his offense is worse than inconsistent (it's consistently bad, misshapen), the jaw-dropping righting of the U.S.S. Josh Smith ought to get T.T. plenty of attention this summer, assuming the Bobcats don't lock him up quickly.

17. MARCUS CAMBY, C
Age: 35 | Height: 6-11
Experience: 14 years | '09-10 Team: Clippers/Blazers
2009-10 Stats: 7.3 pt | 11.6 reb | 2 blk
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Camby keeps on ticking. Despite his advanced age, Camby is among the league's best rebounders and shotblockers, and he's a willing and skilled passer on offense. A superstar role player, if you will. Camby is far from a "ring chaser" (he bristled at being traded from the lottery-bound Clips to the playoff-hopeful Blazers), but those teams -- contenders -- will be the ones chasing him. If the Knicks manage to land one of the major perimeter players and lose Lee, Camby could be a serious option. Otherwise, look to the familiar suspects: Miami, Cleveland, even Dallas or Phoenix.

18. BRENDAN HAYWOOD, C
Age: 30 | Height: 7-0
Experience: 9 years | '09-10 Team: Wizards/Mavericks
2009-10 Stats: 9.3 pt | 9.5 reb | 2.1 blk
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Haywood went to Dallas at midseason, considered by many the more important half of the pair of starters Wizards pawned off the Mavericks. It's unclear whether the Mavs agree -- Mark Cuban told reporters after the deadline he would have made the trade without Haywood included. Haywood is a defensive-minded big man, a decent rebounder and good shotblocker who knows his role on offense and sticks to it. At age 30, he can't expect a massive contract, but he should draw plenty of interest among contenders.

20. RAYMOND FELTON, PG
Age: 25 | Height: 6-1
Experience: 5 years | '09-10 Team: Bobcats
2009-10 Stats: 12.1 pt | 5.5 ast
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Felton took a one-year flyer with the Bobcats to get to unrestricted free agency, and it hasn't exactly come out aces. Felton's minutes are down, and while his per-minute performance remains (remarkably) consistent, his stock has suffered. Is Felton a legit starting point guard in most cities? It's hard to decide. He's really consistent, a good passer and a decent defender. The type of point guard you'd want on a team with a ballhog supernova at the two or three. But it's hard for top-5 picks in their mid-20s to accede to such a definition (few dream of being the next Derek Fisher), and I imagine some team will fall in love with the pedigree, ignoring the data just enough to give Felton the keys. As long as the price isn't too outrageous, it could be a decent move.

21. RONNIE BREWER, SG
Age: 24 | Height: 6-7
Experience: 4 years | '09-10 Team: Jazz/Grizzlies
2009-10 Stats: 8.8 pt | 1.6 stl
Status: Restricted free agent ($3.8 million qualifying offer)
The Skinny: Brewer never made a huge splash as a scorer with Utah, but he did make a name for himself as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league. That's the scouting report he'll tout in a free agent market heavy on scorers. Brewer is also near the top of the list in steal rate (percentage of opponent possessions in which Brewer gets a steal), finishing second in 2007-08 and seventh in 2008-09. He's also quite efficient from the floor with his infrequent shots, and a decent rebounder at the two (but bad for a small forward).


23. UDONIS HASLEM, PF
Age: 29 | Height: 6-8
Experience: 7 years | '09-10 Team: Heat
2009-10 Stats: 9.7 pt | 8 reb
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Haslem is a Shane Battier All-Star -- little in the way of stats, but a big impact on games. Udonis is undersized at the power forward position but a plus defender (Dirk remembers '06) and a good rebounder. He plays under control and unselfishly on offense, and he's considered a good leader in the locker room. His minutes have been pinched by the drafting of Michael Beasley, and his effectiveness perhaps limited by the odd big man rotation in Miami. But he's got plenty of basketball left, and he could really help a team on the upswing.

34. IAN MAHINMI, PF
Age: 23 | Height: 6-11
Experience: 2 years | '09-10 Team: Spurs
2009-10 Stats: 3.3 pt | 1.9 reb
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Mahinmi has played sparingly in the pros, having been injured in 2008-09 and usually hanging around on the bench or in the NBA D-League as a Spurs prospect. When he does play, he performs. He ranks as the third best player in D-League history according to PER, one of its most efficient players, a great shotblocker and rebounder. So why does he see only garbage time in San Antonio? Beats me. Someone needs to unleash him, though.

36. AMIR JOHNSON, PF
Age: 22 | Height: 6-9
Experience: 5 years | '09-10 Team: Raptors
2009-10 Stats: 5.5 pt | 4.8 reb
Status: Unrestricted free agent
The Skinny: Amir Johnson, at this stage, is everything right with basketball. He's a defensive role-player with bombastic athleticism and a fantastic motor. He has almost no offensive game. But unlike so many other young bucks looking to make money and a name from themselves, Amir knows he has no moves, and thus rarely shoots. He's like a regular Jarron Collins! Actually, he's not, because he's actually good. Johnson is a great rebounder at the power forward spot, a fine shotblocker (though better in years past with Detroit) and an all-round exciting defender. He could be a future two blocks/two steals player, joining fairly exclusive company. This is a kid who deserves the attention some fellows further up the list will grab.

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