Top NBA Free Agents Available, Part I (& How Many Spots Are Left For Them?) [Updated]


[Last updated: 9/25.   **No teams under the 13 player minimum anymore!!]

Okay, this ended up longer than I intended, so it’s gonna be a 2-parter.  The first part today is gonna go over how many spots remain out there for each and every team.  The second part will show who’s available and their position in the NBA rat race (out of the rats that’re still running for a contract).  And now, Part I…

While there are still a few big names available, there’s also tons of solid NBA talent available.  Thing is, all these guys who played in the league last year, a big chunk of ’em are gonna be standing on the outside looking in when the dust settles.  With owners cutting costs left and right (the Grizz apparently just cut ALL their scouts), most teams will likely carry the league minimum of 13 players rather than go up to the max of 15.  Even teams like the Lakers that are gunnin’ for it all, who have already pushed their chips in, they probably won’t go for the full 15 ‘cuz then they can wait to see during the season if they’re lacking in an area, then pick up a player who specifically addresses that need (like they did two years ago when Bynum went down and the Lakes signed DJ Mbenga — although they then traded for Pau Gasol at that point who was slightly better than Mbenga).

The other thing to realize about why it’s so hard for all these previously employed guys to get a job again is ‘cuz, as with every year, there’s an influx of new talent with the rookies.  That could mean 20-45 spots gone for the vets.  For some of the guys who don’t get picked up, that’ll mean they’re forced into retirement.  For the younger ones, they’ll probably go overseas to play.  Maybe a few will join the development league (you don’t get as much money there as you do playing abroad, but lately there have been a few players who got “called up” from the D-league).

Before we go into who’s left, let’s first see at how much roster space each team has.  The first # next to each team name is the amount of players they currently already have signed for the season.  The # in parentheses includes their unsigned restricted agents (who are officially still counted towards their cap at the moment).  Finally, the third #, the scary-low #, that’s the amount of players each teams need to pick up to get to 13 player minimum roster.

[Update: As new signings come along, I’ll update this post with all new info in nice l’il brackets like these.]

[Note #2: With this having been up for a while, only updates from September on will remain bold-faced.]

Hawks – 13     0  [Signed Marvin Williams. 8/15 – signed Joe Smith. 9/2-signed Jason Collins]

Celts – 14          0    [Signed Shelden Williams. 8/10-Re-signed Big Baby; 9/1-signed Marquis Daniels]

Bobcats – 14     0 [9/23- signed Ray Felton to a 1-yr deal. 9/25 – signed Ronald “Flip” Murray]

Bulls – 15       0  [9/22-re-signed restricted Aaron Gray to 1 yr deal]

Cavs – 14          0 [8/12-finally signed Leon Powe; 8/25 – signed rookie Danny Green]

Mavs – 16          0 [9/14 – re-signed James Singleton & waived Greg Buckner]

Nugs – 13          0 [8/7-traded away Steven Hunter, opening up a spot.  8/27 – resigned Johan Petro.  9/22 – acquired James White from Houston.]

Pistons – 13     0   [Signed 1st round pick Austin Daye, 2nd rounders Jonas Jerebko & DaJuan Summers, plus Ben Wallace]

Warriors – 15          0 [8/31-signed Mikki Moore & CJ Watson]

Rockets – 15     0  [Signed 2nd round pick Jermaine Taylor. 8/12-signed Aussie David Andersen. 8/21-signed Pops Mensah-Bonsu.  9/22 – traded James White to Denver.   9/25 – signed Rashad McCants]

Pacers – 14       0 [9/18 – signed Luther Head]

Clippers – 14  0   [8/12-traded for Rasual Butler. 8/21 – waived Mark Madsen. 9/11-resigned Steve Novak!  9/16 – took Brian Skinner back]

Lakers – 13     0

Griz – 14          0  [Signed Marcus Williams. 8/7-traded for Steven Hunter. 9/9-signed Iverson]

Heat – 13          0

Bucks – 15       0

Wolves – 14      0 [8/10 – signed Ryan Hollins. 9/4 – signed Ramon Sessions to offer sheet. 9/9 – traded Bobby Brown & Darius Songalia for Antonio Daniels. 9/15 – signed Sasha Pavlovic.  9/22 – waived Chucky Atkins]

Nets – 15          0

Hornets – 15     0 [8/12-traded away Rasual Butler to Clips for salary relief.  8/27 – signed Sean Marks.  9/9 – traded Antonio Daniels for Bobby Brown & Darius Songalia.]

Knicks – 15       0  [9/14 – signed Sun Yue. 9/25 – re-signed Nate Robinson & David Lee to 1 yr deals]

Thunder – 14     0  [Signed Kevin Ollie]

Magic – 13    0  [8/19-signed Jason Williams]

Sixers – 13     0   [8/12-resigned Royal. 8/12-signed Primoz Brezec. 9/9 – signed Rodney Carney]

Suns – 13          0 [8/17 sign 2nd rd pick Taylor Griffin, aka Blake’s bro.  9/15 – waived Sasha Pavlovic]

Blazers – 14     0  [8/21 signed rookie Dante Cunningham.  9/8-signed rookie Jeff Pendergraph.   9/17 – signed Juwan Howard]

Kings – 13     0  [9/17 – signed Desmond Mason]

Spurs – 15     0 [9/22 – signed Keith Bogans]

Raps – 15     0 [8/18-traded Roko Ukic & rights to Carlos Delfino for Amir Johnson & Sonny Weems]

Jazz – 13          0

Wiz – 14          0 [8/11-signed Oberto]

How many assured jobs does that leave us with?  23.  [Update: now ZERO.  Hmm, and some teams still haven’t signed their 2nd rookies yet or any undrafted players they might grab, so the # might really be more like 2 or less when all’s said & done. Wow.] Yup, that’s it.  Sure, a few teams will go over the 13-player minimum (& seven [21] already have), so what, maybe there are 15 [3] more jobs available?  That’d leave us with 38 spots[now 3].  After eliminating maybe a dozen or so free agents who most people don’t even know play in the NBA, I was still left with 63 players.  I’ll try to winnow it down by tomorrow.  Oh, and my guess is that there are some players who I forgot to include on the list (if you notice any omissions, please lemme know).