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John Schuhmann

harrington608.jpg
Al Harrington has averaged more than 14 points a game in his career.
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Free agents by the numbers: Perimeter shooters, defenders


Posted Jun 30 2010 2:48PM

When it comes to this summer's illustrious free-agent class, it's clear who's at the top of the list. After the stars, though, a deeper look at the numbers uncovers the real bargains in the list.

Over the past few days, we've broken down the free agents, not by position, but by role:

Alpha males, floor generals

Two types of big men

Go-to guys and sharpshooters

Today, we finish up with perimeter role players. The first group is the guys who can give an offense a boost in the second quarter. And the second is the group that can stop them.

Notes: Players are ranked by efficiency per 40 minutes (EP40), with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played in the 2009-10 season. (Efficiency = Pts. + Reb. + Ast. + Stl. + Blk. -- TO -- missed FG -- missed FT).

All ages are as of July 1.

Instant offense

Over the course of the season, these guys are not efficient scorers, but they can all heat up pretty quickly and will have their moments to shine. None of them has much of a defense reputation. They're not starters, but there's always a spot on the bench for someone who can put points on the board.

1. Al Harrington, 30, New York Knicks
17.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.5 APG, .435 FG%, .342 3P%, 19.9 EP40

After three seasons with the Warriors and Knicks, it's easy to forget that Harrington was a key role player on some very good teams in Indiana. Of this group, he's the most efficient scorer, because of his size and ability to get to the free-throw line.

2. Nate Robinson, 26, Boston Celtics
10.1 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, .436 FG%, .390 3P%, 18.8 EP40

Robinson had his ups and downs in Boston, but he proved that he can make a contribution to a winning team without being much of a distraction. You just have to take the bad decisions with the good. He's easily the best shooter of this group.

3. Travis Outlaw, 25, Los Angeles Clippers
9.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, .391 FG%, .381 3P%, 15.6 EP40

Outlaw missed a big chunk of last season with a foot injury, but as an isolation scorer off the bench, he averaged 13 points a game in his previous two seasons with the Blazers.

4. Will Bynum, 27, Detroit Pistons (restricted)
10.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, .444 FG%, .218 3P%, 15.1 EP40

Bynum is the worst shooter and the best penetrator of this group. He also dishes out the most assists (6.8) per 40 minutes of anyone here.

5. Randy Foye, 26, Washington Wizards (restricted)
10.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.3 APG, .414 FG%, .346 3P%, 15.1 EP40

With Gilbert Arenas, John Wall and Kirk Hinrich (as of July 8) in Washington, there's no room for Foye, who should find a job as the first guard off the bench somewhere else.

6. Earl Boykins, 34, Washington Wizards
6.6 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, .427 FG%, .317 3P%, 14.3 EP40

After a season in Europe, Boykins was one of 24 people to play for the Wizards last season. He's more of a scorer than a true point guard, but he had the best assist-turnover ratio (2.48) of this group.

7. Flip Murray, 30, Chicago Bulls
9.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.8 APG, .392 FG%, .312 3P%, 13.6 EP40

Of the guards on this list, Murray had the fewest assists per field-goal attempt. He took more than five times as many shots as he had assists.

Wildcard

Allen Iverson, 35, Philadelphia 76ers
13.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, .430 FG%, .360 3P%, 15.1 EP40

Iverson probably should keep this season's stops in Memphis and Philadelphia off his resume. But if he can get back in shape and is willing to be a role player, he can be better than all of the above when it comes to providing a scoring punch off the bench.

Athletic wings

There are a few starting-quality players in this list, but they're here because they don't fit the "shooters" or "go-to guys" categories. None of them shoot particularly well from the outside, but most can be somewhat effective if they have a good point guard to get them the ball in the right place. It's the defensive end where most of these guys earn their money. And every team needs guys who are willing to work defensively.

1. Matt Barnes, 30, Orlando Magic
8.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, .487 FG%, .319 3P%, 18.1 EP40

The Magic took off when Barnes became a starter in late December. In fact, he was part of the best starting lineup in the league, statistically, this season. Barnes has improved as a shooter, but his best asset is his versatility, and he's the best rebounder of this group. His reputation as a defender may have taken a hit with Paul Pierce's big numbers in the conference finals, but Barnes was battling a back injury at the time.

2. Rudy Gay, 23, Memphis Grizzlies (restricted)
19.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, .466 FG%, .327 3P%, 17.9 EP40

With so many teams that have a ton of cap space and so few players worthy of a max contract, a third-tier player like Gay is sure to benefit. Statistically, Gay's best season was his second one, and he hasn't shown improvement in the two years since. He's the best scorer of this group, but isn't a reliable go-to guy at this point in his career. Gay also has all the tools to be a great defender, but the Grizzlies have been an awful defensive team in his four seasons.

Gay isn't the youngest free agent on the market, but his combination of youth and talent is unmatched. The potential is still there for him to improve on both ends of the floor, but the lack of development over the last few years is a concern.

3. Tony Allen, 28, Boston Celtics
6.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, .510 FG%, .000 3P%, 17.4 EP40

Allen is the picture of inconsistency, but this postseason may have been the best stretch of his career. He had some big moments in the Celtics' run to Game 7 of the Finals and deserves a good deal of credit for Kobe Bryant shooting just 40 percent in that series. He's a very good defender, a superior athlete ... and a big liability in a half-court offense.

4. Dorell Wright, 24, Miami Heat
7.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, .463 FG%, .389 3P%, 16.9 EP40

Having played just 211 games over his six-year career and not turning 25 until December, Wright may be the hidden gem of this group. He's the best 3-point shooter on the list and has the length and athleticism to be a great defender.

5. Richard Jefferson, 30, San Antonio Spurs
12.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, .467 FG%, .316 3P%, 15.8 EP40

Without a real point guard to get him the ball, Jefferson has not been a good fit in San Antonio. But he's set to make $15 million this season, so it's doubtful that he opts out before Thursday.

6. Rodney Carney, 26, Philadelphia 76ers
4.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, .401 FG%, .304 3P%, 15.7 EP40

Carney is a freakish athlete and a pretty good defender, but he needs a more consistent jumper. He shot 35 percent from 3-point range for the Timberwolves a year ago. In order to be a real contributor, he needs to be even better than that.

7. Damien Wilkins, 30, Minnesota Timberwolves
5.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, .433 FG%, .295 3P%, 15.3 EP40

On a per-40 basis, Wilkins puts up some respectable numbers (11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.7 steals), but he can't shoot and it's probably better to fill a bench with specialists.

8. Josh Howard, 30, Washington Wizards
12.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, .405 FG%, .267 3P%, 15.3 EP40

Howard has played just 87 games over the last two seasons, had awful shooting numbers this year and doesn't have the best attitude. But he's just two years removed from averaging 20 points and seven boards for a 50-win team.

9. Larry Hughes, 31, Charlotte Bobcats
9.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, .355 FG%, .309 3P%, 14.9 EP40

Hughes actually averaged about 20 minutes a game after the Bobcats signed him late in the season. He's a decent playmaker (4.9 assists per 40 minutes -- most among this group) and can be a tough defender, but he's an awful shooter.

10. Wesley Matthews, 23, Utah Jazz (restricted)
9.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.5 APG, .483 FG%, .382 3P%, 14.7 EP40

An undrafted rookie who started 58 games (including the postseason), Matthews was a great find for the Jazz. It's hard to imagine them letting him go elsewhere. He's a solid shooter and willing defender.

11. Ronnie Brewer, 25, Memphis Grizzlies (restricted)
8.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, .487 FG%, .258 3P%, 14.6 EP40

Brewer is a good defender and a solid player who can give a spot start at the wing when needed.

12. Shannon Brown, 24, Los Angeles Lakers
8.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, .427 FG%, .328 3P%, 14.5 EP40

Brown is a freak athlete and a decent defender, but he needs to refine his offensive game. At just 24, he has the time to do that.

13. Ime Udoka, 32, Sacramento Kings
3.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, .378 FG%, .286 3P%, 14.0 EP40

Udoka offers perimeter defense and not much else.

14. Jarvis Hayes, 28, New Jersey Nets
7.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, .421 FG%, .355 3P%, 12.2 EP40

Hayes gives a terrific veteran presence, but he's a shooter (80 percent of his shots came from 16 feet or deeper) who doesn't shoot particularly well.

15. Antoine Wright, 26, Toronto Raptors
6.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, .406 FG%, .335 3P%, 12.0 EP40

Wright is a solid wing defender and runs the floor well.

16. Keith Bogans, 30, San Antonio Spurs
4.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, .403 FG%, .357 3P%, 11.0 EP40

Bogans is the worst scorer (8.9 points per 40 minutes) of this group.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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