Kwame's stock may actually be rising

Updated: May 17, 2005, 4:40 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
While every player in the postseason is battling hard for the ultimate prize – an NBA championship – it's no secret that many have multiple agendas this time of year.

For the handful of players heading into free agency, the playoffs are the ultimate showcase for leadership, heart and the ability to make clutch shots.

Remember Austin Croshere's inspired performance against the Lakers in the 2000 Finals? He got a $60 million contract off that, even though he averaged just 10.3 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game that season for Indiana. He hasn't come close to those numbers since.

Also, poor performance can hurt you. No one wants to be labeled as a guy who can't put up numbers when it really matters.

With that in mind, which players have helped or hurt their free-agent stock this year? Here is Insider's first free-agent stock watch:

Stock Up

Kwame Brown, F, Wizards
Playoff averages: 3 games, 5 ppg, 5 rpg
The skinny: Getting kicked off the Wizards' roster was the best thing that could have happened to Brown – short of his averaging 20 and 10 in the playoffs. The chances of that happening were slim, which means he would have stumbled into free agency in the absolute worst position possible.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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