July 5 -- Free agency can reverse a team's fortunes in the blink of an eye. Consider the Phoenix Suns in the summer of 2004. Fresh off a 29-win campaign, general manager Bryan Colangelo went out and acquired Steve Nash and swingman Quentin Richardson.

What happened next? Nash became the 2004-05 MVP and both players helped the Suns compile an NBA-best 62-20 record and complete the third-best turnaround in league history (33 games).

This summer, there are plenty of free agents capable of helping to breathe life into some franchises. In many cases, the teams they last played for will do everything in their power to fight off the Colangelos of the world. The drama of it all makes for an interesting soap opera to watch.

NBA.com takes a look at which 10 unrestricted free agents will be the most hotly pursued:

TOP 10 UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

Ray Allen 6-5, 205, 29 (years old), Seattle SuperSonics


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
78
78
39.3
.428
.376
.883
4.4
3.7
1.08
0.06
23.9
Career
657
653
37.1
.446
.397
.834
4.7
3.9
1.25
0.10
20.6


Ray Allen
D. Clarke Evans
NBAE/Getty Images
There's no question who tops this list. Allen is a bona fide NBA star, earning All-NBA Second-Team honors last season while leading the SuperSonics to their first 50-win season in seven campaigns.

The high-scoring Allen can shore up a team's perimeter game single-handedly. Owner of the NBA's sweetest shooting stroke, the 6-5 off guard finished fourth in the NBA in three-point field goals made (209) and is a career .397 shooter from downtown.

Reports have surfaced that Allen has agreed to a five-year deal to stay in Seattle. Still, players change their minds, and nothing is done until the paperwork is signed, sealed and delivered.



Michael Redd 6-6, 214, 25, Milwaukee Bucks


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
75
75
38.0
.441
.355
.854
4.2
2.3
0.84
0.11
23.0
Career
312
179
30.9
.452
.394
.844
4.2
1.8
0.92
0.10
17.7


Michael Redd
Gary Dineen
NBAE/Getty Images
Not far behind Allen in the scoring and shooting departments is his former Bucks teammate Redd, a 2000 second-round draft pick who played just six games as a rookie.

Look where Redd is now. He's an All-Star guard and one of the top perimeter scorers in the NBA. Redd reportedly has agreed to a six-year deal to remain with the Bucks.

The Cavaliers strongly pursued Redd, according to media reports, but were not able to offer him more than a five-year contract because of the rules under the new CBA.



Larry Hughes 6-5, 184, 26, Washington Wizards


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
61
61
38.7
.430
.282
.777
6.3
4.7
2.89
0.30
22.0
Career
444
317
31.0
.415
.273
.758
4.7
3.3
1.63
0.30
15.2


Larry Hughes
Thearon Henderson
NBAE/Getty Images
Although he only played in 61 games last season, Hughes was a fantasy stat-stuffer, averaging 22.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and a league-leading 2.9 steals per game. Yeesh!

For his efforts, Hughes was named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team. After the Wizards won their first playoff series since 1982, surely Washington general manager Ernie Grunfeld was hoping to do everything in his power to keep Hughes in D.C.

But on July 8, it was reported that Hughes had agreed to a five-year deal with Cleveland, teaming him with LeBron James.



Zydrunas Ilgauskas 7-3, 260, 30, Cleveland Cavaliers


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
78
78
33.5
.468
.286
.799
8.6
1.3
0.68
2.12
16.9
Career
413
373
29.3
.470
.167
.766
7.7
1.2
0.57
1.80
14.8


Zydrunas Ilgauskas
David Liam Kyle
NBAE/Getty Images
Statisically, Ilgauskas is coming off a career season. He averaged 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks -- each of which were among the highest figures of his NBA tenure -- while earning a reserve spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team. The fact that the formerly oft-injured Ilgauskas has missed just five regular season contests in the last three campaigns moves his market value up even more.

LeBron James wants Ilgauskas back and so does new Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry. Does Big Z want to be back in Cleveland? It appears he does. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on July 12 that Ilgauskas has agreed to a five-year contract in principle with the Cavaliers.



Shareef Abdur-Rahim 6-9, 245, 28, Portland Trail Blazers


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
54
49
34.6
.503
.385
.866
7.3
2.1
0.91
0.48
16.8
Career
672
629
37.0
.469
.306
.816
8.1
2.7
1.07
0.80
19.8


Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Noah Graham
NBAE/Getty Images
With the log-jam Portland has had at forward the last two seasons, it's been a rocky couple of years for Abdur-Rahim since being traded there from the Atlanta Hawks in 2004. The former Olympian's minutes and shot opportunities were greatly reduced during that tenure.

Even so, he put up respectable numbers in 2004-05 (16.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and will be a prime target of team's looking for a scorer in the post.

According to the New York Times, Abdur-Rahim has reportedly agreed to join Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson in New Jersey whether the Nets have to acquire him in a sign-and-trade deal or as a free agent.



Antoine Walker 6-9, 245, 28, Boston Celtics


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
77
77
38.4
.422
.323
.539
9.0
3.4
1.16
0.75
19.1
Career
687
672
38.8
.415
.326
.642
8.7
4.1
1.39
0.60
19.8


Antoine Walker
Gregory Shamus
NBAE/Getty Images
Love him or hate him, 'Toine's talent is undeniable. The 6-9 forward averaged 19.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last season. And, when he was traded to the Celtics mid-season from the Hawks, Boston proceeded to win 11 of 12 contests.

"This is where I really feel at home," Walker would tell fans in an open letter after learning he would be brought back for another go-around in Beantown.

According to media reports, however, a number of teams are chasing Walker this summer, and there's no telling whether or not he will be back with Celtics.



Bobby Simmons 6-6, 228, 25, Los Angeles Clippers


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
75
74
37.3
.466
.335
.846
5.9
2.7
1.41
0.21
16.4
Career
197
87
24.9
.443
.384
.840
4.2
1.7
0.91
0.20
9.6


Bobby Simmons
Robert Laberge
Getty Images/NBAE
Just two seasons removed from competing in the NBDL for the Mobile Revelers, Simmons earned the NBA's Most Improved Player award last season, averaging 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Almost as impressive as his stats was his efficiency when it came to shooting and protecting the ball -- .466 field goal shooting, .435 three-point percentage, .846 free throw shooting and just 1.8 turnovers per game.

You can bet plenty of NBA coaches will be lobbying their general managers to sign Simmons this summer. And reports indicate that Bucks GM Larry Harris was the most persuasive.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on July 9 that Simmons agreed to a 5-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. Simmons, who was born 90 miles south of Milwaukee in Chicago, would join a potent backcourt featuring the re-signed Michael Redd (also reported), Desmond Mason, T.J. Ford and Maurice Williams.



Cuttino Mobley 6-4, 215, 29, Sacramento Kings


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
66
64
36.2
.438
.439
.820
3.5
2.8
1.12
0.45
17.2
Career
502
385
37.3
.433
.383
.837
4.0
2.7
1.20
0.40
17.1


Cuttino Mobley
Noah Graham
NBAE/Getty Images
Mobley's been a member of three teams in the span of approximately a year. He was traded from Houston to Orlando last summer and then dealt to Sacramento during the season. After opting out of the final year of his contract with the Kings last month, he could soon join yet another franchise.

Mobley enjoyed considerable success in Sacramento's up-tempo, perimeter-oriented offense, averaging 17.8 points in 38.7 minutes per game. He ranked third in the league in three-point shooting percentage last season (.439).

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the L.A. Clippers have agreed to a five-year contract in principle with Mobley.



Stromile Swift 6-9, 230, 25, Memphis Grizzlies


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
60
14
21.3
.449
.000
.758
4.6
0.7
0.68
1.53
10.1
Career
352
70
21.0
.468
.059
.712
5.0
0.6
0.76
1.4
9.0


Stromile Swift
Joe Murphy
NBAE/Getty Images
Swift's never received the opportunity to "be the man" since coming to the Grizzlies as the No. 2 overall selection in the 2000 Draft. He's had to split time at forward and center with starters Lorenzen Wright and Pau Gasol. Last season, Swift averaged 10.1 points, 4.6 points and 1.5 blocks, numbers that aren't anything to write home about but nonetheless are impressive when you consider he did it in just 21.0 minutes per game.

Certainly Swift would like an opportunity to play more, and other organizations could provide that. Swift flirted with leaving as a free agent in 2004, but couldn't get a long term offer he felt was worth taking, so instead he signed a one-year deal with the Grizzlies. Team president Jerry West knows the Grizzlies might not be so lucky this time around, so he drafted 6-9 high-riser Hakim Warrick out of Syracuse in the 2005 Draft.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Swift is reportedly set to join the Rockets.



Donyell Marshall 6-9, 230, 32, Toronto Raptors


YEAR
G
GS
MPG
FG%
3P%
FT%
RPG
APG
SPG
BPG
PPG
2004-05
65
2
25.3
.443
.416
.791
6.6
1.2
0.88
0.71
11.5
Career
741
421
28.3
.440
.354
.732
7.3
1.6
0.92
1.00
12.4


Donyell Marshall
Ron Turenne
NBAE/Getty Images
Marshall's minutes were reduced to just 25.3 per game last season but his performance two campaigns ago -- 14.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks -- still will have an impact on general managers this offseason.

Marshall can do it all -- play either forward position, be a starter or a super-sub. He even converted an NBA record-tying 12 three-pointers vs. Philadelphia off the bench last season. What's not to love about his game?

Since Toronto is in rebuilding mode, and Marshall is nearing the end of his career, it's likely the NBA veteran will look to join a contender next season. The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting Marshall will sign with Cleveland.