With the opening of the free-agent negotiation period on July 1, teams are now free to explore roster moves that can do everything from filling a specific need to getting a go-to guy. With this crucial period in mind, NBA.com will provide a breakdown of five of the top candidates at each position (point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center). Also, for a complete breakdown of all of this offseason's free-agent transactions, visit NBA.com's Player Movement Central.


MIKE BIBBY, Sacramento Kings
2001-02 Stats: 13.7 ppg, 5.0 apg, 80 games started
Analysis: Can't say enough about this 24-year-old guard out of Arizona. At first glance, numbers aren't wildly impressive, but keep in mind that he shares ball with four other scorers. Plus, showed in playoffs that he's nothing less than one of game's top clutch shooters. Virtually unstoppable in Western Conference Finals against Lakers. Any team needing a point guard would covet him, but signs point to him breaking the bank in Sacramento; and rightfully so.

JEFF McINNIS, L.A. Clippers
Key 2001-02 Stats: 14.6 ppg, 6.2 apg, 37.4 mpg, 80 games started
Analysis: Former CBA player has crafted himself into a steady floor general. Only drawback is that he also tends to look for own shot first. Quick and athletic, though, and can score in bunches. Does better job of protecting ball than many think (managed a 3.4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in 2001-02).

CHAUNCEY BILLUPS, Minnesota Timberwolves
Key 2001-02 Stats: 12.5 ppg, 5.5 apg, .394 3FG%
Analysis: Another player who found opportunity through injury. When Terrell Brandon went down, Billups stepped up. Even though Minnesota was swept in first round of playoffs by Dallas, Billups had monster postseason, averaging 22.0 ppg, 5.7 apg and 5.0 rpg over three games. More steady than flashy, Billups' floor leadership and deadeye shooting make him an intriguing option.

TROY HUDSON, Orlando Magic
Key 2001-02 Stats: 11.7 ppg, 3.1 apg, .434 3FG
Analysis: With all the injuries suffered by the Magic, this lightning-quick point guard really came into his own last season. Asked to provide scoring off the bench, and delivered. Sometimes compared to Allen Iverson for quickness with the ball, limitless range, and ability to create his own shot. Provides big scoring punch, but unconventional point guard in that looks for own shot first. Team that hands him offense to run is taking slight risk, but Hudson has big upside.

Key 2001-02 Stats: 10.4 ppg, 6.1 apg, 3.4 rpg, 64 games started
Analysis: After a dismal 2000-01 campaign that saw him shuttled from Washington to Portland, the soon-to-be 36-year-old Strickland played last season with a renewed vigor some thought him incapable of at this point in his career. Any team that signs Strickland will benefit from his ball-handling, penetration and distribution, but his age is a concern. A younger team might be better advised to go after Travis Best.

OTHERS: Travis Best, Eddie House, Damon Jones, Jacque Vaughn