All the excitement nowadays is focused on the NFL, College Football, and MLB playoff races. With just under 2 months away from the beginning of the NBA season there isn’t much talk these days about the upcoming season.
With news yesterday of the Timberwolves agreeing to a contract with Luol Deng, Udonis Haslem returning to the Heat, and Rodney Hood signing with the Cavs, It’s easy to pass over the information as most of the attention is elsewhere.
Up until the season starts, there will be smaller moves made as teams look to round out their rosters with quality bench/role players. Here are a few of my favorite remaining free agents and where I would like to see them go.
Jamal Crawford – Crawford opted out of his 4.5 million dollar deal with the Timberwolves to become a free agent and has yet to sign with a team. The move looks to be a financial one or a “chasing a ring” move so it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up. He’s always been best served coming off the bench and if the Timberwolves can’t sign him to a new deal to come back they will greatly miss one of the better veteran bench options in the NBA. According to RotoWorld.com, He has expressed interest in playing for the 76ers, a team that desperately needs bench scoring. Wherever he goes he’ll serve as a lightning rod of points coming off the bench. Teams: 76ers, Lakers, Pelicans
Nick Young – Young still doesn’t have a deal and after winning a ring last year with the Warriors, although not a huge contributor down the stretch. There’s also the caveat of his arrest a few weeks ago that may give teams some pause. Recently, he worked out wiht the Timberwolves and after the loss of Crawford could really help a Wolves bench that is in dire need of some perimeter shooting. Teams: Lakers, Wolves, Rockets (if they can make it happen cap-wise)
Dwayne Wade – Wade is 36 and had a hall of fame career to this point. If he retires, no one will blame him. He may just be too old and injury prone these days to find a rotation with the Miami Heat, though I always loved watching him play. If he comes back he’ll probably play with the Heat if he retires, I think we all understand. Teams: Heat
Corey Brewer – Brewer has had a decent career in the NBA after winning back to back National Championships with the University of Florida. As a cheap veteran who isn’t an elite defender nor elite shooter it’ll be hard for him to find a home. However, his small cap hit could make him a cheap attractive option to eat minutes and provide quality play off the bench. Teams: Thunder, Pacers, Magic
Luke Babbitt – Babbitt averaged 38.5% on 156 attempts from 3 last season in 50 games. He’s not flashy or going to put you over the top but he can help stretch the floor by positioning him behind the arch and making opposing 3’s and 4’s guard him. To me he’s a perfect fit for team that just need the threat of shooting 3. His salary was just under 2 million last season and for a team that may need some offense from a 6’9” forward, he’s a cheap option. Teams: Bucks, 76ers, Pistons, Bulls
Jason Terry – It’s hard to believe Terry would be entering his 20th season but on the same note, it’s completely believable. Terry feels like he’s been in the league forever and 1998 kind of seems like forever ago. Obviously, he would only play a limited role. According to Rotoworld.com, he wants to return to the Bucks and for a very cap friendly deal, adding him to the young group of guys would be a good move for a Bucks team that is highly underrated. Teams: Bucks
Marcus Georges-Hunt – Though not a solid scorer by any means, the former Yellow Jacket is a good value for any team looking to add defensive efficiency. According to rotoworld.com, he’s meeting with Boston this week and has already met with the Timberwolves. His cap hit was 1.3 million last year and unfortunately for him coming in at 6’5” and not being a quality shooter doesn’t bode well for him as a shooting guard. His role is strictly defensive so he’ll have to be surrounded by bench scorers to be able to crack a lineup. Teams: Boston, Magic, Nuggets, Hornets
Like I mentioned earlier, none of these guys will make or break your team. Some can offer strategical options throughout an 82-game season and others can offer depth to a team that may get struck with injuries throughout the season. These are a few options that are still available and interesting additions to whichever team they end up on. The season is around the corner and some teams need to fill out their rosters to bolster themselves moving forward. Stay tuned.
*Rotoworld.com was used for multiple updates on players and http://www.rotoworld.com/teams/depth-charts/nba.aspx was used to analyze team depth charts.
**picture from https://www.nba.com/timberwolves/jamal-crawford-king-4-point-play and https://www.nba.com/warriors/gameday/20180106/recap and https://www.brewhoop.com/2018/5/3/17181484/three-bs-player-evaluation-jason-terry-milwaukee-bucks-season-review