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A look at top NBA free agents

By J. Michael Falgoust

USA Today

Published: Sunday, Nov. 27 2011 11:58 p.m. MST

Assuming owners and players ratify the tentative agreement reached early Saturday to end the NBA lockout, compressed training camps and free-agent signings will begin Dec. 9, with the season opening Christmas.

A look at some of the free agents who will be on the market:

Tyson Chandler (10.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 65.4 FG percent

The 7-foot-1 center's stock has never been higher. He'll be going into his 11th season but is just 28. Plays aren't called for Chandler, who is limited offensively, but he quarterbacks the defense, runs the floor better than any 7-footer in the league and can dominate a game without scoring.

Marc Gasol (11.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.7 pg, 52.7 FG percent

A traditional, back-to-the-basket center. He also can knock down the mid-range jump shot and is an underrated passer. Gasol, 26, is going into his fourth season and has yet to reach his full potential.

Nene (14.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 61.5 FG percent

The 6-11 center has transformed himself with better conditioning and work ethic. Coupled with the dearth of big men available, his value has skyrocketed.

David West (18.9 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 50.8 FG percent

A torn right knee ligament derailed the 6-9 power forward's season with the New Orleans Hornets. But the two-time All-Star is an excellent mid-range shooter who is most effective in pick-and-rolls. West has been cleared by his doctor for contact.

Wilson Chandler (15.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 45.0 FG percent

His numbers dipped after he was traded to the Denver Nuggets from the New York Knicks in February, but the 6-8 forward still had a breakout season. Chandler can affect the outcome of a game without scoring. He is playing in China and might not be able to return this season.

Thaddeus Young (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 54.1 FG percent

A 6-8 forward, he was used as a reserve for the Philadelphia 76ers last season but was one of their best players by the end. Going into his fifth season, the restricted free agent looks like a full-time starter for the right team.

Chuck Hayes (7.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 52.7 FG percent

He's the protypical "glue" player every team needs to seriously compete in the postseason. At 6-6, he's a forward who has played mostly center, and held his own, for the injury-depleted Houston Rockets, now entering his eighth season. He's not a scorer but does all the dirty work in the post.

Tayshaun Prince (14.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 47.3 FG percent

A 6-9 small forward from the Detroit Pistons going into his 10th season, he's most valuable guarding the swing position, where opponents tend to have their best offensive weapon. His length helps, and his ability to score some adds to his appeal.

Jason Richardson (15.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 39.5 3FG percent

Although his numbers suffered after a midseason trade to the Orlando Magic, the 6-6 shooting guard still can score after 10 seasons and flourishes in the open court.

Jamal Crawford (14.2 ppg, 3.2 apg, 42.1 FG percent

A sixth man in his last two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, he's entering his 13th season but can still fill up the stat sheet. He's an excellent long-range shooter who can stretch the floor.

NBA free agents

G J.J. Barea*(Mavericks)

F Caron Butler* (Mavericks)

G DeShawn Stevenson* (Mavericks)

G Aaron Brooks**(Suns)

F/G Josh Howard* (Wizards)

G Tracy McGrady* (Pistons)

G Rodney Stuckey** (Pistons)

G Michael Redd* (Bucks)

F Shane Battier*(Grizzlies)

F/G J.R.Smith**

F Kenyon Martin**

F Kris Humphries (Nets)

F Josh McRoberts* (Pacers)

C Samuel Dalembert* (Kings)

* — Restricted

** —-- Signed "no-opt out" deal in China

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