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WHO'S OUT THERE?
Ian Thomsen
December 05, 2011
Thanks to the lockout, teams have a shorter free-agency period to fill their holes—and big names are at a premium
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December 05, 2011

Who's Out There?

Thanks to the lockout, teams have a shorter free-agency period to fill their holes—and big names are at a premium

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Without a single 2011 All-Star, this year's free-agency class will not dazzle—but there will be plenty of action, thanks to the short window that teams have to fill out their rosters. Here are the 10 best options to be had on short notice.

Tyson Chandler, C, Mavs

A more punitive luxury tax in 2013--14 threatens the Mavericks' hopes of making the long-term signings necessary to bring back their full championship team from last season, but expect owner Mark Cuban to make an exception for Chandler. He is the most valuable center in franchise history, and the Mavs could not have triumphed last season—and couldn't hope to repeat this year—without his defensive leadership.

David West, F, Hornets

This 31-year-old two-time All-Star has been viewed as a natural target for the under-the-cap Pacers, but they may choose to extend the minutes for incumbent Tyler Hansbrough instead. West would be a terrific investment for the Kings, who are desperate for veteran leadership, and the Nets, where he could help persuade Deron Williams to re-up.

Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies

The 26-year-old is one of the few traditional, physical centers in the league. He would fill a need for the Pacers, Wizards and Timberwolves, but owner Michael Heisley is likely to retain Gasol (who is a restricted free agent) in order to build upon the Grizzlies' progress to the NBA final eight last season.

Jason Richardson, G, Magic

His scoring dropped to 13.9 ppg in 55 games after being traded to Orlando last season, but the 30-year-old shooting guard remains an explosive scorer in transition and from the three-point line. He would fit the needs of the shooting-depleted 76ers, though they lack the necessary cap space and would need to be inventive in a sign-and-trade.

Tayshaun Prince, F, Pistons

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