NBA Free Agent Center Rankings

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Size is always in demand in NBA and based off this list of free agent big men, you can see why.  Here are the top available centers this off-season and where I think they could end up landing.

By: David Kay

1. David Lee, Knicks (UFA)
Lee almost seems to be an afterthought this off-season with all the hype surrounding the LeBron’s, Wade’s, and Bosh’s of free agency.  Teams shouldn’t be sleeping on Lee though.  He averaged 20-plus points and almost 12 boards a game on a crappy Knicks team this past season and is one of the top rebounders in the league.  He probably won’t see a max contract unless one of the major players strikes out on bigger names and panics.  Still, he is a bright young talent who works hard down low and will be well compensated this summer.

Predicted Contract: 5 years, $65 million
Possible Destinations: NY, MIA, CHI, TOR, PHX, NJ

2. Brendan Haywood, Mavs (UFA)
Haywood broke his single season rebounds per game mark by almost two boards this past season.  Maybe he realized he was in a contract year and could cash in if he acted like a real big man, but his size and newfound ability to crash the glass is always attractive for NBA teams.  If he doesn’t re-sign with Dallas, look for him to try and cash in with one of the teams well under the cap.  If neither of those happens, look for a contender to try and land him with their mid-level exception.

Predicted Contract: 4 years, $30 million
Possible Destinations: DAL, MIA, NY, CLE, DET


3. Shaquille O’Neal, Cavs (UFA)

The Diesel is a fossil.  He is 38 years old, 400 pounds, and showed a bizarre hesitancy this past season in Cleveland, seemingly forgetting how to just overpower opponents around the rim.  But because he is Shaq and his name still carries plenty of weight around the league, (pun intended) he will find a home this off-season.  He is not going to play for anyone but a contender and will likely only get a one-year deal at around one-fourth of his 2009-10 salary of $21 million.

Predicted Contract: 1 year, $5 million
Possible Destinations: DAL, MIA, CLE, NY

Check out David’s complete free agent center rankings and other position rankings.

Click here for David’s NBA off-season team pages.

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