2011 NBA Free Agent Center Rankings

marc gasol free agent

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.

There are some changes to free agency in the new labor agreement.  A player can only receive a four-year maximum deal (five-year deal 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.

With the salary cap expected to be around $58 million, half of the teams will under that number and have room to sign free agents.  Check out the bottom of the page to see which teams have space and how much.

Here is a look at the top free agent centers, where they might sign, and what kind of payday they will receive.

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Clippers Look to Build Around Blake Griffin this Off-Season

blake griffin clippers

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank continues to break down all thirty NBA teams to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

One player can completely transform a franchise.  The Los Angeles Clippers are not yet a NBA playoff team but received an enormous boost this past season as Blake Griffin has superstar written all over him.  Now the Clippers must surround the face of their franchise with improved talent this off-season.

By: David Kay

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How Clippers Could Get Chris Paul AND Dwight Howard

chris paul dwight howard

The following is a result of me being bored at 2:30 a.m. and playing around on ESPN’s Trade MachineBill Simmons may be the Picasso of the Trade Machine, but I am the Michaelangelo.  Before you light me up in the comment box below, let me just clarify: I am not saying this trade idea will happen, should happen, or ever could happen, but it at least got me thinking, “Hmmmm…”

In the new-found era of super-teams in the NBA, I cannot help but think that the next duo of players to follow the Miami Heat, LeBron/Wade/Bosh blueprint and join forces for one franchise will be Chris Paul and Dwight Howard who both could become free agents in the summer of 2012.  Here is a crazy, wild, insane, probably never going to happen brainstorm; what if the Los Angeles Clippers made a push to acquire CP3 and Howard, and team them up with Blake Griffin to form a megapower?

By: David Kay

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Top 2011 NBA Free Agents

chauncey billups knicks

The 2010 NBA free agent class was unlike anything we have seen in the history of the league; loaded with superstar talent switching homes and of course, “The Decision.”  The 2011 free agent class is going to be the exact opposite.  It is going to be weaker than a Survivor contestant on the 37th day of eating nothing more than mangoes and rice.

Since I first posted this article at the end of last July, a lot of the possible big names in the 2011 class have signed extensions that will prevent them from hitting the market.  That list includes Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Tony Parker.  Here is an updated look at the very underwhelming crop of free agents that will be available this off-season.

UPDATED: 3/4/11

By: David Kay
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