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NBA free agent market includes some hidden gems

Brandon Jennings

Aaron Gash/AP

Brandon Jennings

The free agent market is headlined by superstars such as Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, but there are plenty of less established players who teams will be in a hurry to sign. Here are five restricted free agents who have played themselves into what should be substantial raises, along with last season’s statistics and contract.

Nikola Pekovic - $4.8 million 16.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg

A bruising big man who is improving as he enters his prime, Pekovic may be the best big man on the market besides Howard.

Tiago Splitter - $3.9 million 10.3 ppg 6.4 rpg

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With only 200 games entering his age 29 season, the Brazilian import has flourished in a limited role in San Antonio.

Brandon Jennings - $3.2 million 17.5 ppg, 6.5 apg

Has scored at least 1,000 points in each of his first four seasons, and has shown some improvement as a playmaker.

Jeff Teague $2.4 million- 14.6 ppg, 7.2 apg

Teague enjoyed a breakout season as one of the East’s top point guards, and he’s always been one of the quickest.

Gary Neal - $850 thousand - 9.5 ppg, 1.9 apg

Likely close to his ceiling, but consistency made him one of the league’s top bargains that past three seasons.

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