People like to define free-agent classes solely by which big names are on the market. And while the decisions of Deron Williams, Steve Nash and Roy Hibbert this offseason are sure to have a great effect on the basketball landscape next season, they don’t tell the whole story.
It’s the next couple tiers of free agents who really change the course of basketball history. Where would the Celtics be without the contributions of Mickael Pietrus? Where would the Miami Heat be without the leadership and defense of Shane Battier?
Every offseason brings a new group of cheaper, less-heralded ballplayers that could potentially push a team over the edge.
Here are the 55 best free agents who will test the marker this summer.