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2011 NBA Free Agents: Centers

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
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A list of the top 2011 NBA Free Agent centers.


With the NBA Lockout coming to an end, we now know that teams can start signing free agents on December 9th. Like the NFL experienced once their lockout ended, there will be a frenzy period for teams to fill out rosters with the season tipping off on Christmas.

With the new labor agreement, there are some changes to free agency. A player can only receive a four-year maximum deal (a five-year maximum if they re-sign with their current team) and beginning in the 2013-14 season, teams will start receiving a harsher luxury tax penalty if they exceed the salary cap. Teams will now only have three days to match an offer sheet for one of their restricted free agents. Also, some names will be added to free agency after teams decide which players will be released under the one-time amnesty clause option.

  1. Marc Gasol (RFA), Grizzlies.
    Gasol has drawn a ton of buzz and added value to his offseason worth with a strong showing in the postseason. At only 26 years old, he should get a good deal of interest in the next few weeks and will be due a handsome pay raise from the $3.5 million he made last season. Memphis already opened up the checkbook to keep Zach Randolph and will likely do the same for Gasol.

    Predicted Contract: 4 years, $56 million

    Possible Destinations: MEM, DEN, NJ

  2. Nene (UFA), Nuggets.
    Nene turned down the $11.6 million option on the final year of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent. He could still re-sign with the Nuggets, especially since there are not a lot of teams with a ton of salary cap fitting the type of contract Nene will seek.

    Predicted Contract: 4 years, $48 million

    Possible Destinations: DEN, NJ, SAC, LAC, GS

  3. Tyson Chandler (UFA), Mavericks.
    When he is healthy, you know what you are going to get from Chandler; a physical presence inside who will protect the glass. Dallas committed a ton of money to Brendan Haywood last offseason, which means Mark Cuban will have to open up his checkbook to keep Chandler. If Chandler decides to move on, he will either have to sign with a rebuilding team or take the mid-level to go to another title contender.

    Predicted Contract: 4 years, $42 million

    Possible Destinations: DAL, SAC, DEN, NJ, LAC, GS

  4. DeAndre Jordan (RFA), Clippers.
    Chris Kaman's injury opened the door for Jordan who capitalized on his opportunity, and has suddenly become a hot commodity this offseason, especially since he only turns 23 this summer. The Clippers have a lot of money tied up in Kaman but he is in the final year of his contract and could be dealt, so it should be a priority to re-sign Jordan. Several other teams will be knocking on the door to try and steal Jordan away from L.A. since he is a young and likely cheaper option than Nene or Chandler.

    Predicted Contract: 4 years, $32 million

    Possible Destinations: LAC, SAC, NJ, GS, TOR, CHA, HOU

  5. Samuel Dalembert (UFA), Kings.
    Dalembert has found his niche in the NBA as a rebounder and shot blocker. His accountability is through the roof as he has only missed two games in the past five seasons. Some playoff team in need of a true center will assuredly throw their mid-level exception his way.

    Predicted Contract: 3 years, $15 million

    Possible Destinations: NY, BOS, SA, MIA, HOU, GS, DAL, DEN

  6. Greg Oden (RFA), Blazers.
    For someone who has only played in 82 NBA games during his three seasons in the league, a team would be foolish to try and pry him away from Portland with a long-term deal.

    Predicted Contract: Plays out final year of contract

    Possible Destinations: POR, DEN, GS

  7. Spencer Hawes (RFA), 76ers.
    A change of scenery did not do much to help Hawes' productivity this past season. I can't imagine any team banging down the door to steal the big man away from Philadelphia but then again, the Sixers likely won't be enticed to match any offer.

    Predicted Contract: Plays out final year of contract

    Possible Destinations: PHI

  8. Chuck Hayes, Rockets (UFA).
    Despite being 6-foot-6, Hayes has played the center position in the NBA and actually started 145 games the past two seasons. I don't think any team will be interested in signing Hayes to be their starter, but he can be a real asset off the bench as a role player.

    Predicted Contract: 2 years, $6 million

    Possible Destinations: SA, HOU, BOS, CHI, POR, CHA

  9. Joel Przybilla, Bobcats (UFA).
    Injuries have hampered Przybilla throughout his career, but the 32-year old can still provide a big body and rebounding off the bench for some team. He will be a Plan D for any team that strikes out on Nene, Chandler, and Dalembert.

    Predicted Contract: 2 years, $6 million

    Possible Destinations: SA, HOU, GS, DET, BOS, NY, TOR

  10. Kurt Thomas, Bulls (UFA).
    Thomas is a veteran who knows his role; play physical down low, crash the boards, and hit mid-range jumpers when given the opportunity. He also brings invaluable experience to the locker room and would be a great back-up on a team in contention for a title.

    Predicted Contract: 1 year, $2 million

    Possible Destinations: CHI, SA, BOS, NY, MIA, DAL, HOU, GS, POR

Other Free Agent Centers: Hilton Armstrong (UFA), Tony Battie (UFA), Kwame Brown (UFA), Jason Collins (UFA), Eddy Curry (UFA), Erick Dampier (UFA), Francisco Elson (UFA), Melvin Ely (UFA), Kyrylo Fesenko (UFA), Jeff Foster (UFA), Dan Gadzuric (UFA), Aaron Gray (UFA), Hamed Haddadi (RFA), Solomon Jones (UFA), Jamaal Magloire (UFA), D.J. Mbenga (UFA), Hamady Ndiaye (RFA), Josh Powell (UFA), Theo Ratliff (UFA), Joe Smith (UFA)

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Steffen 12-04-2012 07:52 am (total posts: 1)
9     11

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Luan 10-29-2012 08:25 am (total posts: 1)
9     11

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To jd 07-19-2012 06:42 pm (total posts: 1)
16     12

Hey douchebag theres a reason the websites called walterfootball. Dumb@ss
JD 07-07-2012 12:58 pm (total posts: 1)
11     14

do you actually update your basketball information or do you just have it there to look like you follow more then one sport ?
Auth 06-30-2012 05:35 pm (total posts: 1)
15     12

Yo mad bro? So you want brodeny pool ( didn't start for the jets) and Gerald heplnig Brandon Carr. Mabye you want to draft pothead Dre (maybe we can simulate the eagles defense by having two good corners, but wait they got killed because of the safetys)
Laineka 06-30-2012 05:34 pm (total posts: 1)
12     14

Please do another vid. The coyobws are thinking about taking Barron n it's really making me mad. Make a vid that we can send to the coyobws for them to draft in the first round. So we can spam them not to draft Barron please this is crucial a Super Bowl or no Super Bowl situation. Please make vid please.
Mastufah 06-30-2012 02:18 pm (total posts: 1)
11     14

The Mavericks may have found the biggest slpeeer in the draft.I'm a big Jeremy Lin fan, and not just because he's a future pastor/minister. At the 2010 Portsmouth Invitation (similar to the NFL's pre-draft Senior Bowl) against future NBA draft picks, Jeremy Lin averaged 10 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 60% FG percentage. In 2008 in 7 games (some multiple) against Colorado, George Washington, UConn, and BC, he averaged 20 points, 5 rebs, 5 assists, and 3 steals, even though the other team was double or triple teaming him all game as the only good player for Harvard. In 2009 against UConn and BC twice he averaged 27 points, 5 rebs, 5 assists, and 3 steals, again while double or triple teamed. His entire life Jeremy Lin has constantly faced obstacles and discrimination (not to mention racial slurs) in the basketball world, because of his race. He was California's basketball State Player of the Year after taking an unknown HS team to take the championship over powerhouse Mater Dei, yet was offered no Division-I basketball scholarship from any school. Harvard was the only school to give him a spot, and with no scholarship. I don't think it ever happened before that a Player of the Year in a huge state like California, didn't get any college scholarship offers to play. Then, at Harvard, all he did was break all sorts of conference records, put Harvard on the map without any other legit player on the team, and this year finished as a finalist for both the John Wooden and Bob Cousy Award, for best D-I college player and best D-I guard in the country. If his last name were different, he might have gotten a chance to start at a different college and become a 1st round pick. He is taller than Avery Bradley, and just as athletic if you look at his dunks, blocks, and steals playing against players who were picked in the draft.For those not familiar with him, here are some ESPN, Time Magazine, and Washington Post,8599,1951044, the poster Rex': Jeremy Lin plays an extremely unselfish game and makes his team's better, but you can't blame him for those losses. His Harvard team had literally no other decent players, and basketball is a team game. Everyone saw how far Cornell went this year in the March Madness tournament (Sweet 16), with 3 legit NBA prospects. Against Cornell, Jeremy's Harvard team was no match, but Jeremy had 24 points on 7 for 12 shooting. He was hardly shut down' by Cornell, he simply had no help.
kate 05-31-2012 03:16 pm (total posts: 1)
26     17

Looks like GS Warriors will have to draft a SF.
With all their picks maybe they can move up and get Kidd-Gilchrist
Ernest Manigo Jr. 12-19-2011 10:53 am (total posts: 1)
19     32

Notice that Amare Stoudemire literally carried the knicks alone towards the play-offs before Chauncey and Carmelo arrived.

Notice Carmelo almost won a game alone in the play-offs alone without Chauncey and Amare last season

Notice that Amare and Chauncey has help now with Center Tyson Chandler, the single person who is the reason why Mavs did well

So now, Knicks need a small forward like a a Scottie Pippin to help Carmelo and a point guard that can get the ball to Amare and Chauncey

Knick can win it all this season, they do not have to wait til next year!!
dfresh 12-09-2011 05:18 am (total posts: 1)
21     24

the knicks best deal would be Dalembert for his rebounds and block shoots he fits well with that team good trade package for next year Howard
Tallin 08-18-2011 07:39 am (total posts: 1)
32     34

Big help, big help. And superlative news of cuorse.
Alex 07-05-2011 12:39 am (total posts: 1)
33     39

This info is the cat’s pjaaams!
me 07-03-2011 12:53 pm (total posts: 2)
45     31

if somehow the heat can swing NENE...... they would never ever ever lose a game. definitely the #1 FA center, maybe in basketball, for teams that would rather not have d12s horrible shooting
wow.... 07-03-2011 12:51 pm (total posts: 2)
31     35

prince may be the worst player on this entire list, including most of the free agents!
SMCGael 06-29-2011 11:52 pm (total posts: 1)
36     37

I am all for the Kings signing Patty Mills. He has good ball handling skills, extremely quick, good mid range shot, can shoot the three, skilled passer, a true leader. I would love to see this fellow SMC Gael play for the Kings.

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