2009 NBA Free Agents: Centers

Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
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A list of the top 2009 NBA Free Agent centers.


  1. Mehmet Okur, Jazz (PO) (17.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) Age: 30.
    Exercised option; stayed with Jazz

    Like his Jazz teammate Carlos Boozer, Okur has a player option that could change the face of Utah’s franchise. He is set to make about $9 million next year, which is a very fair amount for both sides, if he chooses to stay with the Jazz. A team like Memphis or Oklahoma City could make him a slightly better offer, as could his former team in Detroit. I think Okur is better off staying with the Jazz and trying to sign an extension or wait to become a free agent next summer.

    Prediction: stays with Jazz

  2. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cavs (PO) (12.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg) Age: 34.
    Big Z is 34 years old and his production is on the decline meaning no way team will throw an expensive, long-term deal at the big man this offseason. I would be shocked he didn’t exercise the remaining year of his contract that will make him about $11.5 million next year.

    Prediction: Stays with Cavs

  3. Chris Andersen, Nuggets (6.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.46 bpg) Age: 30.
    Re-signed with Nuggets (5 years, $26 million)

    The Birdman has finally found his niche in the NBA. The fan favorite provided the type of defense and energy off the bench in Denver that every team covets. I would imagine several title contenders would be more than willing to offer Andersen their full mid-level exception this offseason. The Nuggets know how important the mohawked, tatted high-flyer is to their team and should do what they need to bring him back.

    Prediction: Re-signs 3-year, $15 million with Nuggets

  4. Marcin Gortat, Magic (RFA) (3.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Magic (5 years, $34 million)

    Orlando’s backup center Marcin Gortat made himself a nice payday this offseason with a solid performance in the postseason. Gortat is a restricted free agent meaning the Magic can match any offer sheet he signs with another team this summer. Houston pretty much stalked him after the free agency period began, and will likely offer up their entire mid-level to sign him as a replacement for Yao. Will the Magic match a $5.6 million a year offer? I say, yes.

    Prediction: Re-signs 5-year, $33 million with Magic

  5. Antonio McDyess, Pistons (9.6 ppg, 9.8 rpg) Age: 34.
    Signed with Spurs (3 years)

    McDyess is a veteran big man who has a couple productive years left before he is likely out of the league. At 34, he is probably better suited as a backup, but could still start for a team in need of toughness and rebounding. A playoff team in need of some size will likely land him since the Pistons seem to be moving forward in a younger direction.

    Prediction: Signs 2-year, $8 million with Rockets

  6. Zaza Pachuila, Hawks (6.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg) Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Hawks

    Pachulia is a valuable commodity for a team in need of a backup post player who will do the dirty work and mix it up down low. Atlanta will likely try to re-sign him since they don’t have much depth up-front and have some money to spend. He is likely to be the target of some teams who are willing to throw part, if not all of their mid-level exception at him.

    Prediction: Re-signs 4-year, $20 million with Hawks

  7. Eddy Curry, Knicks (PO) (1.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg) Age: 26.
    Curry is one of the biggest busts in the league which makes the $10.5 million he is owed next season and $11.3 in 2010-2011 seem absolutely ridiculous. Injuries allowed him to play in just three games this past season. When he is healthy, Curry isn’t worth half of the money he is set to make in the up-coming years which means there is no chance in hell he opts out of his deal.

    Prediction: Stays with Knicks

  8. Joe Smith, Cavaliers (6.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg) Age: 33.
    Signed with Hawks (1 year)

    Smith is definitely at the tail end of his career, but with his experience will likely find a home for another year. He has been hailed as a great locker room guy, and will likely sign a 1-year deal with a contender who could use some insurance up front. Prediction: Signs 1-year, league minimum with Lakers

  9. Joel Anthony, Heat (2.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg) Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Heat

    Anthony is a shot-blocking, rebounding reserve who logged some decent minutes in Miami this past season. He can eat up some valuable minutes off the bench while bringing some defense to the floor for whichever team he ends up on. Since he is a restricted free agent and the Heat don’t have a lot of depth up front, another team will have to make an overwhelming offer to acquire Anthony.

    Prediction: Re-signs 2-year, $5.2 million with Heat.

  10. Rasho Nesterovic, Pacers (6.8 ppg, 3.4rpg) Age: 33.
    Signed with Raptors (1 year, $2 million)

    His best years (if he really ever had any) are behind him, but that doesn’t mean Nesterovic can’t find a spot on a team that needs him to give some minutes off the bench and use his six fouls a night. He could likely serve as a backup on a playoff caliber team, but nothing more.

    Prediction: Signs 1-year, league minimum with 76ers

    Other 2009 NBA Free Agent Centers: Jamaal Magloire (Re-signed with Heat), Mikki Moore (Signed with Warriors), Jarron Collins, Johan Petro (Re-signed with Nuggets), Solomon Jones (Signed with Pacers), Theo Ratliff (Signed with Spurs), Aaron Gray (Re-signed with Bulls), Sean Marks (Re-signed with Hornets)

Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

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