The NBA free agency period began only a couple of weeks ago, but already we’ve seen huge names like Deron Williams and Steve Nash find homes. Even B-List free agents like Gerald Wallace and Jamal Crawford have been signed, so you may be asking yourself, “who is even left for my favorite team to pick up?”
The answer is simple: anybody but these guys.
These are the players that are flying under the radar—for a good reason. They’re the safety valve, the guys that you only sign because a) there’s nobody else available, or b) they’re the only guys you can afford. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the list of the least desirable free agents of 2012.
Eduardo Najera – Once one of the most valued “energy guys” in the NBA, the native Mexican is now 35 and has presumably run out of gas. He averaged 2.6 points and 12.3 minutes per game last season for the worst team in the history of the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats, so it would appear that not even six shots of 5 Hour Energy can help him now.
Brian Scalabrine – A full 6’9″ of redheaded glory, Scalabrine has managed to make quite a career for himself despite never averaging more than six points per game. The 34-year-old has played for the Nets, Celtics, and Bulls, but his production has significantly dwindled over the years (unless you count congratulatory ass-smacks as a statistic). Last year Scalabrine averaged 1.1 point(s) per game in 4.4 minutes for the Chicago Bulls. No matter where he signs, he’ll undoubtedly continue to be the subject of more memes than any player in the NBA.
Eddy Curry – When teams talking about bringing in a player with championship experience to help be a leader in the locker room, they’re usually not talking about a guy who has played in 24 games in four years. The good news is you can probably get him for slightly less than the $60 million the New York Knicks paid for him in 2005.
Daniel Orton – The 6’10” 21-year-old made history when he became the fifth Kentucky Wildcat selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft. After splitting time between the D-League and the inactive list for the entire 2010-11 season, Orton underwhelmed in his rookie campaign last season, averaging 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 16 games for the Orlando Magic. While Orton has yet to perform, he’s so big and young that somebody will end up over-paying for him this offseason. Is Isiah Thomas still running a team? (see above)
Xavier Silas – You know nobody wants you when ESPN can’t even find the resources to get a picture of you up on their website.
So get familiar with these names. These are the guys you’ll be seeing crawl across the bottom of the screen when you’re watching NBATV three days before the 2012-13 season begins. And if you get excited when you see one of these players has signed with your team, you’re in for a very long season.