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With all the talk of the Pacers selecting a PF or needing to select a big guy in the upcoming draft, I thought I'd run down the list of unrestricted FA PFs that will be available after the season ends.
Like Bird has said multiple times since the season ended, they need a PF that can score in the post and defend the paint but they can probably fill that need through free agency. Here are the options:
Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz (unrestricted if he excercises his player option) - Coming off of a rough season filled with injuries, his production was down but he's still a very good post scorer and a decent rebounder. He excels in the pick and roll. Defense is a little suspect.
Brandon Bass, Dallas Mavericks - An unheralded second round player, he's carved out a reputation as being a tough defender and rebounder despite his short stature for a PF. Freakish long arms and athleticism gives him a the ability to finish and defend well in the paint.
Anderson Verajao, Cleveland Cavaliers (unrestricted if he excercises his player option) - Like Boozer Andy said he would explore his options after the season was over and opt out of his contract. He'd be stupid to do that after his showing against the Magic and in this economy but he may do so if he decides that he wants out of Cleveland.
Shawn Marion, Toronto Raptors - Solid defender, good rebounder, great athelete and finisher at the rim, would be perfect in an uptempo offense... hint, hint.
Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Lakers - Good all around utility player. He can do it all but sometimes lacks the desire to do it. He loves it in LA and will probably re-sign with the Lakers.
Chris "Birdman" Andersen - I think he proved that he can play in this league and bang with the big boys. He'll probably command more money than he's actually worth after his good showing in the playoffs this year. Will probably re-sign with the Nuggets because they gave him a 2nd chance at his career.
Drew Gooden, San Antonio Spurs - I don't understand why Drew keeps getting bounced around the league so much. He's been a pretty consistent player who will rebound and has a good knack for scoring in the lane. If he was a better defender he'd be a good Horace Grant/AC Green type player on a contender.
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons - He said he probably will retire unless he's offered a salary starting with at least $8 million dollars. I could see a team like Dallas or Cleveland being interested in him if they can work out a sign and trade.
Josh Powell, Los Angeles Lakers - He has a good face up jumper, good size, and athleticism. Defensively he just average but it would be interesting to see how well he'd play if given more minutes.
Chris Wilcox, New York Knicks - To me he's been a bust since he was drafted out of Maryland. He has a lot of athleticism but very little basketball skill. However, he could be a decent role player signed from anywhere between the veteran's minimum and $3 million.
Joe Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers - Joe proved he could still come in and do all the dirty work when called upon. In hindsight, he probably should've played more against the Magic considering that he was more effective than big Z and Ben Wallace against Howard. He'll probably want to resign with the Cavs or another contender and if I'm the GM of a contending team, I'd definitely want him on my squad.
Marcin Gortat, Orlando Magic - He has good hands and is a good finisher in the lane. Good shot blocker, not just from the weakside but when guarding his own man also. He's the ideal back up PF/C.
Pops Mensah-Bensu, Toronto Raptors - A D-Leaguer who is a good offensive rebounder and finisher in the lane. Good agressive defender as well.
Mikki Moore, Boston Celtics - It's very unlikely that he'll be re-signed by Boston after his poor performances during the playoffs. He's played progressively worse each season since he signed that big contract raise after playing well for one season with the Nets 3 years ago.
Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers - We know what he can do and he's still a young player with upside and won't command big bucks. Most likely, he'll re-sign with the Pacers.
Sheldon Williams, Sacramento Kings - Big body and can score and rebound a little. His poor conditioning is a concern but he has the tools to be a serviceable player.
There are of course some other possibilities out that are restricted FAs but it's very rare for a restricted FA to change teams so I'm really leaving them off the list. One realistic possibility could be Leon Powe, Boston Celtics, because the "C's" have another RFA in Glen "Big Baby" Davis they hope to re-sign. They might not even make him the tendered offer to keep him a RFA. If they don't, he'll become an UFA.
Then again, Big Baby may seize the opportunity to pick up more playing time elsewhere instead of re-signing and playing in KG's shadows. The difference is that I think the Celtics will match any offer around or below the mid-level exception.
Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.