The best NBA free agents still available
NBA training camp begins in about three weeks, and most teams are nearly done filling out their 20-man training camp rosters. There are, however, some surprising names that have yet to sign deals with the NBA, names that have been in the league for a long time.
Things just haven’t been the same for Dennis Schroder since he turned down a four-year, $84 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, only to have the worst possible injury streak, illnesses and poor playoff performances. After turning down the sack, Schroder only ordered the Boston Celtics’ $5.9 million mid-tier exception last season. But he’s far from a mid-level player — in fact, there were times during this season in Los Angeles when Schroder was the toughest, most serious player on the court. He might not secure anything close to max anytime soon, but every team can use a backup of his caliber.
Melo showed he still has something in the tank, averaging 13.3 points on 44% shooting from the field and 37.5% shooting from downtown last season. But has paternal time overtaken him? Teams are forgoing the senescent generation of players who score first, ask questions later – like Melo, Jamal Crawford, Isaiah Thomas and others – for more complete players who can play multiple roles off the ball. Will Carmelo Anthony be on an NBA roster during training camp? Although Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both pushed the Nets to sign him, the front office opted for a more versatile Markieff Morris.
It comes on the fifth anniversary of one of the most infamous public trade demands in NBA history: Bledsoe’s tweet – ‘I don’t wanna be here’ – coupled with a canned excuse that he was talking about being at the clou salon. The Suns didn’t believe that was true and traded him to the Bucks almost immediately. Bledsoe’s numbers have been steadily declining since freshman year at Milwaukee. His Achilles heel has always been suspected of shooting from downtown, but Bledsoe is still a usable playmaker who can handle a heavier load if the starter gets injured.
There were times on the Jazz last season when Rudy Gobert came off the field where Hassan Whiteside didn’t miss a beat. And there were times when Whiteside had extended playing time that Gobert couldn’t register fast enough. Whiteside’s days as a top center may be behind him, but he remains one of the league’s leading rim protectors and should at the very least be on a team’s training camp roster .
Like Whiteside, Boogie Cousins is long gone from his days as a perennial All-Star. An Achilles injury, followed by an ACL injury, is difficult to recover from, even for the best stars. Cousins has, however, reinvented itself as a star in its role as a backup center. Boogie scored 19 points in 15 minutes against the Golden State Warriors in their final playoff game last season and also had 17 double-digit regular season games. It gives you toughness, rebounds, buckets, and underrated defense at five. Cousins should be on a list at training camp.
The Timberwolves selected Culver sixth overall in the 2019 NBA draft, but if you were to rephrase that year’s class, he might not even be a first-round pick. That’s the unfortunate case of Culver — likely picked too high and also hit by a series of ankle injuries that required season-ending surgery. Still, he’s only 23 with a significant defensive edge. Is it worth it, though, for a 25% three-point shooter?
Once known only for his flashy dunks, McLemore led a years-long crusade to turn himself into a usable 3 and D wing. All three are there – both in volume and efficiency – and the defense has come a long way. On a minimum deal, McLemore gets his money’s worth.
Minutes are scarce on a championship contender, but Jordan Nwora always seems to make the most of his opportunities. Which begs the question: why hasn’t another team made him an offer yet? Nwora could accept Milwaukee’s qualifying offer – a one-year deal that allows him unrestricted free agency next summer – as it appears to be the only contract on the table at the moment. .
Not all notable unsigned players are in play, of course. There are names like Jamal Crawford, who might have something to offer if the right team arrives to bring them out of retirement, but who are otherwise out of the league. And there are more extreme cases, like that of Miles Bridges, who faces a domestic violence charge and two child abuse charges stemming from an incident in late June, and looks unlikely to play again. in the league. Rajon Rondo finds himself in a similar situation. The mother-of-two, however, filed an emergency protective order against Rondo and said she was ‘extremely afraid’ for her safety and that of her two children, which she accused him of having physically assaulted. It’s unclear whether or not a team will sign Rondo to a deal this season, even if his skills match a team’s needs.