Wake up Neil, it's time!!!
I think the NBA realized they couldn't really stop GM's from talking with agents so they said the hell with it, just go ahead and start dealing. I know there's a lot of talk about trying to swing a big deal but landing a really big fish probably isn't going to happen in the next week (or ever). But there are 80+ available free agents and the Clips have money and some rather large needs.
This morning Tom Ziller conveniently published a top free agent list which ranks seventy-nine free agents (restricted and un). I was surprised to find some interesting names and potentially interesting situations. What with the new unrestricted offer sheet rules (teams have to match in three days rather than seven), making offers to UR free agents might actually be a good play this year. The numbers are Ziller's, the comments are mine:
5. Thaddeus Young (R) - Yeah, I know it's weird he's ranked five (behind David West). He swings between the pf and sf and he's not much of a shooter. But his numbers are solid:12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds in 26 minutes with an 18.4 PER and he can defend anyone. You've got shooters in EJ and Mo, can you see this guy in a Clipper line up? Don't forget, he's the big reason the Sixers have flirted with giving up Iggy.
7. Rodney Stuckey (R) - The best point guard on the list and the Pistons just drafted Brandon Knight. 15.2/5.4 18.4 PER. He's big, an okay defender, good handles but can't shoot. But isn't he much better than anyone the Clips have? I think he'd look awesome next to EJ. Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports has him at fourteen his list so not everyone's in love with him.
8. Arron Afflalo (R) - Probably more of a two than a three and I don't think Denver lets him go. Love his contributions though.
10. Kris Humphries (U) - Yeah, he's a pf but he's got good numbers and he's a monster of efficiency (10/10 17.8 PER). Put him next to Blake and DJ or Chris in any way you want and the other team simply never gets another rebound. Who needs a small forward? Spears has him at fifteen.
12. Shane Battier (U) - His numbers are down (7.6/4.5 12.3 PER) He's getting old. But he's still a great defender, still can shoot the three (.382 last year) and the ultimate glue guy. Instantly makes the Clippers a good defensive team even with their mediocre coaching staff.
13. Andrei Kirilenko (U) - 30 years old, 16.6 PER, 11.7/5.1. Not a three point shooter. He's kind of injury prone and he's got a deal with CSKA Moscow with an out clause. Big wing defender. Clippers need a big wing defender.
14. Deandre Jordan - Spears has him at FIVE (!)
15. Grant Hill (U) - (13.2/4.2 14.7 PER). Ancient and I don't think he leaves Phoenix but the best all around sf on the list, great court awareness, don't forget he was originally thought of a "point forward". He and Battier bring the brains.
16. Samuel Dalembert (U) - If you're bent on trading Kaman and you lose DJ you go here.
18. J.J. Barea (U) - Points off the bench. Change of pace quickness. The Clippers bench stinks, remember? I think the Clips would probably rather have Eric Bledsoe play this role and they might be right.
19. Chuck Hayes (U) - (7.9/8.1 16.2 PER) Another guy who kills the Clippers. Can't shoot but plays anywhere in the front court and kills people. Clips can use a guy like this. I'm not kidding.
20. Caron Butler (U) - (15/4.1 14.2 PER) I use to like him and I want to like him now, but he's coming off knee surgery and I'm not sure what he's worth. I'd like Butler a lot better if the Clippers had a great coach.
21. Jeff Green (R) - (13.3/4.8 12.9 PER) Better than Travis Outlaw. Celtics have to sign him after giving up Kendrick Perkins. Right?
22. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (R) 6.7/5.3 11.5 PER) He defends and rebounds and Milwaukee matches any realistic offer.
23. Mario Chalmers (R) is a point guard so he's on the list.
24. Reggie Williams (R) is a small forward. He shoots.
25. Tayshaun Prince (U). How'd he get down here? (Spears has him at #9) (14.1/4.7 15.1 PER). I think Ziller has his numbers wrong. He defends, he shoots the three, rebounds. He's everything the Clips need at a small forward. He's at the Grant Hill level for me, and he seems much more gettable.
27. Spencer Hawes (R) ? He's gotta make your "if you lose DJ list".
33. Craig Smith (U) You want Rhino back?
40. Mike Dunleavy (U) Just to mess with DTS?
x. Ike Diogu (U) is not on the list. Only he's better than half the guys on the list. Did he sign overseas or something?
x. Greg Oden is also missing. See Spencer Hawes.
Did I miss anyone?