Around this time last year, the nation was captivated by one of the greatest free agent offseasons the NBA will ever see. Lebron James, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh headlined the list of free agents set to earn big contracts with their new respective teams.
On July 8, 2010, James made his decision to “take his talents to South Beach,” and the all hell broke loose.
A year later, with an NBA Lockout looming, basketball has given us a list of free agents that cannot even hold a candle to the cast highlighted last year.
Many will agree that Tyson Chandler will be the most sought after free agent this offseason, given the way he played in the NBA Finals.
But Tyson Chandler?
10 PPG and nine RPG?
It is safe to say, NBA Free Agency 2011 will be shallow at best.
There are players on this list that can make a difference to teams, though, but maybe we are still just stuck in 2010, where superstar free agents were up for grabs.
Now in 2011, we are looking at young available players seeking paydays from a weak free agent class.
Good for them, and probably bad for your team if they are in need of premiere talent, or wish to overpay for any part of this lackluster Free Agency 2011.
Here are 10 young players that are set to get paid this offseason.
(For the sake of this list, I set of the cut-off of “young” at 30-years old)
10. Glen Davis
The “Big Baby” himself will be on the market this offseason, and looking to obtain a mighty big paycheck for all the work he did in Boston these last four seasons.
Mostly off the bench, Davis played a large role for the Celtics as someone that could produce in limited minutes.
He averaged 11 PPG and seven RPG while in Boston, and is considered somewhere around the 14th or 15th best available player in free agency this offseason.
For that reason, Davis’ $3.3 million he made last season will most likely increase in free agency.
Is he worth it, though?
Look for Davis to make somewhere around $5 million next season.
9. Kris Humphries
Mr. Kim Kardashian will not have any money problems in the near future, now that he is engaged to the cash cow reality star, but he may want to hold some type of dignity by raking in a paycheck or two next season.
Humphries made $3.2 million last season. Pay no mind that the ring he bought Kardashian was $2.5 million, though.
Fortunately for Humphries, he had a breakout season for the New Jersey Nets last season, averaging 10PPG and 10 RPG. With those numbers, he should claim a pay raise this next season, whether he will need it or not.
Expect around $5 million next season Mr. Kardashian-Humphries.
8. Nick Young
Next to Young’s highlight reel plays last season, his 17 PPG for the Washington Wizards should do the trick.
He has improved every year since being in the league, and it culminated with a nice 2010-11.
Young is a restricted free agent, meaning all Washington would have to do is throw a qualifying offer at him to retain his services for another season.
The 26-year-old will not be getting much in free agency, so look for him to receive between $3 and $4 million next season.
7. Carl Landry
Many teams are starting to take notice of the good brand of basketball Landry is playing in the NBA.
The 6’9″ forward put up 11 PPG last season, while making his living cleaning up the boards and doing the things that go unnoticed on the basketball court.
Landry was paid $3 million last season, but the free agent market is not sure what to make of hm quite yet.
Expect around $5 million next season for the 27-year-old.
6. Aaron Brooks
The speedy restricted free agent will be receiving several offers from teams this offseason. Many teams would love a quick and secure ball-handler at the point guard position.
He is already being pursued by the Sacramento Kings, who could use his services to deliver the ball to the duo of Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette.
That would not be a bad gig for Brooks.
Last season, Brooks made $2.02 million. But expect near $4 million next season.
5. Greg Oden
Has the public forgotten about this guy?
The No. 1 pick out of Ohio State in 2007 is a free agent this season, putting teams at a crossroads as to whether or not he can be a great center in this league.
Injuries have plagued him his entire career so far, but he will be getting paid this offseason because of the “what if” factor.
What if Oden gets healthy and lives up to his No. 1 overall draft pick status?
If healthy, Oden is one of the best centers in the game, so why not take a chance on him?
Expect him to land a contract for next season around $7 million, despite playing in just 82 total NBA games.
4. Rodney Stuckey
Stuckey will not be receiving very high offers this offseason, but he can still be a fantastic acquisition at the point guard position for many NBA teams.
He put up 15 PPG and 5 APG last season for the terrible Detroit Pistons, but they may be the team paying him the highest this offseason.
Does Stuckey want to stay in Detroit or try something new elsewhere?
We will find out.
The most he is getting in Detroit would be around $4 million, but expect Stuckey to land somewhere between $3 and $4 million for next season.
3. Jeff Green
Green was involved in the trade that allegedly destroyed the culture of basketball in Boston.
The Celtics gave up Kendrick Perkins in exchange for Green in order to get younger and more athletic, when in fact they ruined the team chemistry, and most of all, the team’s rebounding ability.
Because of that move, Green is in this for the long haul with the Celtics. Boston has no other choice.
Expect him to land a good pay raise this offseason, somewhere around $7 million for several years.
2. Marc Gasol
Gasol’s 11 PPG and 7 RPG has teams drooling for the 7’1″ center this offseason.
Is he someone a young team can build around?
At times, it seems that way, but he still has a lot to prove to NBA teams.
Because of his size and abilities on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, look for Gasol to be one of the higher paid players this offseason.
A team with deep pockets could throw as much as $9 million at the 26-year-old next season.
1. Tyson Chandler
Chandler, for better or for worse, is the best player on the free agency market this offseason.
He is a player that can change the complexion of a team by contributing with his uptempo and fearless style of play.
At 7’1″, Chandler is not someone that a team can build around, but we all saw what happened this last season to the Dallas Mavericks and how their team changed with him in the line-up.
With his ability to bring energy to a team from the center position, expect Chandler to land a healthy deal this offseason worth somewhere around $10 million.