Still shopping season in the Association

So much for the "Allan Houston rule."

Several new names came on the free-agent market Monday as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement's tax-amnesty provision. Surprisingly, Knicks guard Allan Houston wasn't one of them. Maybe we'll call it the Vin Baker rule instead, based on the titillating prospect of Baker's getting waived by two different teams on the same day (ultimately, only the Celtics waived Baker's contract).

The Knicks cut loose forward Jerome Williams instead of Houston, while other notables such as Dallas' Michael Finley and Orlando's Doug Christie also were on the chopping block. Those new free agents join an unusually large pool of players who have persisted on the free-agent market into late summer. As a result, several quality players remain on the market.

Let's break down the five best players left at each position and where they might be headed. For each, I've included last season's per-40-minute stats and PER -- Player Efficiency Rating, my rating of a player's per-minute statistical production (as explained here, the average player has a 15.0 PER):