Nene is one of the few big-name players available in free agency. (Matt Strasen/AP)

With an expected $58 million salary cap forthcoming in the new collective bargaining agreement and a relatively unspectacular class of free agents from which to choose, NBA teams will spend the next week trying to land an impact player to improve their season prospects.

Despite a dearth of talent at other positions, three centers are among the best available players: Denver’s Nene, Memphis 26-year-old Marc Gasol and Mavericks middle man Tyson Chandler.

Here’s Michael Lee’s take on the top centers on the market:

Nene, Nuggets - 14.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.3 apg

ML: Unlikely to return to Denver, Brazilian center will be able to pick his spot after being consistent, productive and healthy the past three years.  He’s interested in Miami, Houston, Golden State, New Jersey, Indiana and Dallas.

Denver GM Masai Ujiri: “I think he wants to test (free agency) a little bit. We respect that. We respect what he’s doing. We respect Nene as a player. We want Nene back here and we are going to do our best to get him back here playing for the Nuggets.”

Everyone wants the other Gasol for a change. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

ML: His brother Pau is more famous and decorated, but the 6-foot-10 center from Spain will be in high demand this summer after an impressive season in Memphis. Grizzlies plan to match any offers to retain him but have already spent big on Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley.

Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said Thursday that signing Gasol is “priority number one.”

Tyson Chandler, Mavericks - 10.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg

ML: In one year, Chandler’s aggressive play on the boards and shot-blocking helped transform Mavericks into an imposing defensive team and helped Dirk Nowitzki get his first ring. He’ll probably re-sign but Miami could be an interesting destination.

On Thursday, Chandler told that he does not expect to return to the Mavs: “I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp. I’m really taking a hard look at all of my options, trying to see what best suits me.”

Others: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers; Samuel Dalembert, Kings; Greg Oden, Trail Blazers; Kwame Brown, Bobcats; Jeff Foster, Pacers; Kyrylo Fesenko, Jazz.

*On Wednesday Portland tendered a qualifying offer to Oden, who has had microfracture on both of his knees. The former No. 1 overall pick missed all of the 2010-11 season.


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