Top Free Agents: Small Forwards
Posted Jul 2 2002 2:14PM
A look at offseason's top free agents
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.
RASHARD LEWIS, Seattle Sonics
Key 2001-02 Stats: 16.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.46 spg, .468 FG%
Analysis: Arguably one of the hottest properties on the free-agent market this offseason. A tremendous shooter, is very agile for his size (6-10) and at just 22 still has plenty of time to develop. Less-than-stellar 2002 NBA Playoffs (12.7 ppg on .375 FG%) shows he still has room to grow, but scoring average has increased in each of first four seasons. In right setting he's threat to average 20 ppg next season.
DONYELL MARSHALL, Utah Jazz
Key 2001-02 Stats: 14.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, .519 FG%, 1.16 bpg, 58 games played
Analysis: No question about talent; it's ability to stay on floor that may have teams worried. Has missed 18 or more games in four of eight seasons in league. When healthy, though, is very solid contributor. Can score inside and out, shoots the three, blocks shots and rebounds very well. Also learned art of defense under Jerry Sloan in Utah. Can swing between three and four on both offense and defense, a definite plus.
BONZI WELLS, Portland Trail Blazers
Key 2001-02 Stats: 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.53 spg, .384 3FG%
Analysis: Another coveted player on the rise. Like Lewis, has seen scoring average increase in each of first four seasons in league. Also has great range and is solid defender. Exciting finisher as well. Versatile offensive game allows him to flourish in halfcourt set and up-tempo offense. Age (25) also makes him attractive. A lot to like.
DEVEAN GEORGE, L.A. Lakers
Key 2001-02 Stats: 7.1 ppg, .371 3FG%, 3.7 rpg, 82 games played
Analysis: Numbers certainly aren't overwhelming, but being major contributor on three-time champion Lakers makes him attractive free agent. When given chance, showed decent shooting touch and ability to hit from downtown. Steady defender as well. Biggest selling point could be spending three seasons under Phil Jackson. Coachable youngster who can probably do more with increased playing time.
RICKY DAVIS, Cleveland Cavaliers
Key 2001-02 Stats: 11.7 ppg, 23.8 mpg, 82 games played, .481 FG%
Analysis: Numbers only tell half the story. Davis went on second-half scoring tear that caught many a GM's attention. Averaged 21.6 ppg over final 13 games of season. Wildly athletic swingman gets shot off at will, and finishes like few in league. Has decent range, but has yet to add three-pointer as part of full-time arsenal. Concerns are that he's one-dimensional scorer, but has potential to be major contributor in right setting.
OTHERS: Matt Harpring, Lee Nailon, Bryon Russell, Walt Williams