Exploring the Big Man Free Agent Market


It’s not a given that the Kings bring back Samuel Dalembert. The center figures to be a hot commodity around the league. And I like Sammy, but to be honest, I have my reservations about giving him a large contract. Dalembert has a history of underachieving.

Looking at other recent deals for centers, Dalembert could command something in the neighborhood (or in excess) of 5 years/$40 million (Brendan Haywood, at the same age, got 6 years/$54 million from Dallas while Marcin Gortat, a player who had a much smaller track record than Dalembert, got 5 years/$34 million). If Sammy plays like he did toward the end of last year, he earns it. If he reverts back to the player that disappointed many Philly fans, we have a problem.

So it came as no surprise that Geoff Petrie said post-draft that the Kings will target a big talent in the frontcourt.

Who could that be? Here is a breakdown of all the big men on the free agent market this summer. (We’re gonna pretend the lockout gets resolved because it’s more fun that way.)

The “No, Thanks” Pile (Interesting names in italics)

Kenyon Martin, Glen Davis, Reggie Evans, Louis Admundson, Chuck Hayes, Yi Jianlian, Josh McRoberts, Jason Smith, Craig Smith, Dante Cunningham, Joey Dorsey, Joe Smith, Malik Allen, Juwan Howard, Brandan Wright, Darius Songaila, Leon Powe, Shelden Williams, Chris Wilcox, DJ Mbenga, Brian Skinner, Hamady Ndiaye, Solomon Jones, Brian Cardinal, Brian Scalabrine, Josh Powell, Melvin Ely, Joel Przybilla, Yao Ming, Greg Oden, Spencer Hawes, Nenad Krstic, Tony Battie, Kyrylo Fesenko, Erick Dampier, Jeff Foster, Nazr Mohammed, Kurt Thomas, Francisco Elson, Hilton Armstrong, Aaron Gray, Jamaal Magloire, Dan Gadzuric, Ryan Hollins, Kwame Brown, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas, Jason Collins, Eddy Curry, Hamed Haddadi, Alexis Ajinca

Getting Warmer…

Jeff Green (Restricted) – It’s doubtful the Celtics let Green walk after dealing Kendrick Perkins for him. And there is a question as to whether Green is better suited at the small forward spot.
Troy Murphy – Coming off a terrible season after years of consistency. Can rebound and shoot, but defense leaves much to be desired.
Carl Landry – Love ya’, Carl, but I think we’ve established that Carl is better as a 6th man and not a full-time starter.
Kris Humphries – I’m afraid to pony up serious money for a guy with one solid season under his belt.
DeAndre Jordan (Restricted) – Someone will give Jordan a lot of money, and the Clippers may not be able to match.
Tyson Chandler – Cuban doesn’t let this valuable piece to his championship squad walk away.

Quality Targets

David West – Perhaps the best option for the Kings. West, recovering from ACL surgery, will reportedly be ready by November, but the injury will affect his market value. West is a competitor who knows how to score and would slide in nicely next to DeMarcus Cousins. He’s 30 years old and a 5-year, $60 million offer may be enticing, although West may look to join a contender or re-sign in New Orleans.

Nene – Hard to see the Nuggets letting Nene walk. The 28-year-old has proven his health with three straight 75+ game seasons. He’d cost a lot, but would immediately improve the Kings on both ends of the court.

Marc Gasol (Restricted) – Another longshot. Baby Gasol played his way into big money during the playoffs, and the Grizzlies claim they will match any offer, which could surpass $60 million.

  • Won

    great and informative post, Scott. I have to agree with you on every player you’ve categorized except for maybe Josh McRoberts being placed in the no no zone. Why is that? is it his defense?

    • Scott Levin

      Thanks, Won. I see Josh McRoberts as a solid rotational big man, but I can’t see him emerging as a legitimate starting option. Very athletic but unpolished offensively — no real moves. His defense is actually not bad, but again, nothing that really stands out. Decent across the board.

      He’s only 24 so there’s room for improvement, but I don’t see him emerging into a supreme talent. And I think that’s what we need up front.

  • Bryan R

    Gasol makes me nervous as hell and I can’t figure out why. Part of me really wants him and the other part of me says this dude has averaged about 12 and 8 the last three years in starter minutes.

  • JordanP13

    I read on espn that West wants to test the market, so that is somewhat exciting. I think he would be a really good addition, I just worry that we might have to commit to a bad contract to get him here. Who knows.

    • Scott Levin

      True, Jordan. I know what you’re saying. But it might be one of those risks we have to take. Apparently, he’s recovering ahead of schedule so that’s a good sign for his long-term health.

      He turned down a 3 year/$26 mill extension from NOH during the season. Just an added bit of news.

  • Bryan R

    I think David is from Jersey, isn’t he? Lopez, West and Deron is a nice little trio.

    • Scott Levin

      Yes, but not as good as Tyreke, West and Cousins!

  • Bryan R

    Haha, touche!