The NBA offseason is winding down and training camp is just around the corner. Most teams have pretty much finalized their rosters and will head into camp with what they’ve got.
With that said, there are still a few free agents left that could probably help a team this upcoming season. Some might end up not signing a deal before the season begins, and instead opt to wait and join a team mid-season once the playoff picture becomes a bit clearer.
Here’s a quick look at some of the best remaining players on the open market.
1. Rodney Hood
In an offseason that saw teams spending less money, Rodney Hood appears to have become a victim of restricted free agency. At this point in the summer, the money is all dried up and Cleveland has the right to match any offer Hood receives.
It appears that money is the key reason as to why a player of Hood’s caliber remains unsigned this late in the offseason. His talent is clearly there. It wasn’t too long ago that Hood looked like he was going to be a key piece on a rebuilding Utah Jazz team. Just the season prior, he had a career year in Utah where he averaged 16.8 points per game and shot 38.9 percent from the three-point line. He’s only 25 years old and is certainly a rotation player in the NBA.
2. Jamal Crawford
Another surprising name still on the market, Jamal Crawford has been one of the league’s best bench scorers for the past several seasons. This past year in Minnesota, he saw his numbers drop a bit, but he still managed to put up 10.3 points per game.
For a guy close to 40, he still hasn’t shown any signs of a major drop off. He remains a deadly scorer who can provide depth to any playoff contender. He actually decided to opt out of a contract that would have paid him $4.5 million this season and with the market drying up, it’s probably unlikely he gets anything similar. He’s a guy that could opt to sit out the first half of the season and once the playoff race starts taking shape, join a team following the All-Star break.
3. David West
As his career nears the finish line, David West has seen his playing time and production continue to decrease. That doesn’t mean he still can’t help a team. Although at this point, the value he’ll bring to an NBA team is probably more off the court rather than on the court.
He’s always been one of the best locker room guys in the league and as he’s entered the twilight of his career, it’s become more apparent. He’s helped keep the Golden State Warriors together as one of the veteran leaders on a team full of stars. For a team looking for a strong locker room presence, you can’t go wrong with West. As far as what he can still bring on the court, he remains a strong mid-range shooting big man who can still mix it up every now and then in the paint. Don’t expect too much production from him, but for some spot minutes at center every now and then, teams could do far worse.
4. Joe Johnson
Another veteran guy, Joe Johnson has also seen his productivity and playing time decrease in recent years. There was a time when Johnson was one of the best isolation scorers in the league. Those days have since passed him by, but he still can contribute to a playoff team.
His best value these days seems to be as a bench scoring threat just like Crawford. He split time between the Jazz and the Houston Rockets last season and he averaged career-lows in points (6.0) and field goal percentage (38.1). But he was just one year removed from providing the Jazz with a quality option off the bench during a playoff run. There’s no question that given the right fit, he could still do that for a team this season. He’s another possible candidate to sit out for half the year and join a contender at mid-season.
There’s one name that wasn’t included on this list and that’s Dwyane Wade. Also in the very twilight of his career, every now and then Wade can still look like the Flash of old. However, at this point, if he doesn’t choose retirement, it’s difficult to imagine him anywhere other than Miami.
There are a few other guys such as Nick Young and Corey Brewer who are available and can help a team. Some of them may be added to a roster as camp and preseason rolls around. But the guys listed here are definitely the best available and probably should end up on a roster at some point during the season.
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