Andrew Bynum

Former Lakers center Andrew Bynum is among the top NBA players on the free-agent market. (H. Rumph Jr. / Associated Press / March 2, 2013)

Chris Paul and Dwight Howard became free agents at 9:01 p.m. PT on Sunday.

At 9:02 p.m., all but a handful of NBA teams stopped daydreaming and resumed their pursuit of more realistic options.

If Paul and Howard represent the Rodeo Drive of this year's free-agent class, available to a select few, then there is still plenty of quality shopping to be done at nearby mega-malls.

Andrew Bynum, Al Jefferson and Nikola Pekovic are all available. And those are just some of the top centers.

"A lot of teams are going to be able to make some serious improvement," TNT analyst Greg Anthony said recently. "It's not going to be what you saw a couple of years ago when LeBron [James] and Dwyane Wade became free agents, but you're still talking about some significant pieces. There's a lot of guys out there who are going to have an impact and help change the fortune of a franchise."

Here's a look at the top five free agents at each position not named Paul or Howard:


Bynum: This could be a strike or a gutter ball for the team that lands the most intriguing-yet-infuriating player in recent memory. If his knee issues abate and he stays out of local bowling alleys, Bynum could be a franchise player. If not, he could be a huge bust.

Jefferson: As prolific as he has been the last six seasons, Jefferson remains somewhat underappreciated because he spent that time in Minnesota and Utah. A large-market team would be thrilled to make him one of the game's most recognized players.

Pekovic: Only 27, he is coming off a breakthrough season for Minnesota. The fact that he looks like a villain from a James Bond movie is a bonus.

Robin Lopez: The less heralded of the Lopez twins may never match his brother's offensive output, but last season with New Orleans, he more than doubled his scoring average from his final season in Phoenix.

Chris Kaman: His disappointing season with Dallas was more indicative of a bad fit with the Mavericks than of a skill set on the decline. In fact, his averages per 36 minutes were the best since he was an All-Star with the Clippers during the 2009-10 season.

Point guards

Brandon Jennings: The precocious scorer is improving at making the smart play, averaging a career high last season in assists (6.5). Imagine what he could do by the time he turns 25.

Mo Williams: Freed from life as Paul's backup, Williams showed last season he is still fully capable of being one of the league's better starters.

Kyle Lowry: Though he wasn't quite the revelation Toronto had envisioned, the dynamic playmaker retains plenty of upside.

Nate Robinson: His stirring playoff performance landed the super-sub onto the most-wanted list of numerous general managers.

Jose Calderon: Even at 31, one of the smartest players in the league remains a threat to log double digits in assists in every game.

Shooting guards

Monta Ellis: Who wouldn't want to add a player in his prime who has averaged 19.5 points per game in his career?