Even with all the players that have already changed teams, there’s plenty of talent that remains available.
Right now not many teams are willing and able to offer more than minimum contracts but most still want to fortify their rotations with affordable but experienced players. Here are three of them:
Carmelo Anthony has had a solid career, averaging 24.0 points in 1064 games (1056 starts) with the Nuggets, Knicks, Thunder and Rockets but he hasn’t played in an NBA game since scoring just two points on 1-for-11 from the field with five rebounds over 20 minutes on November 11, 2018 against the Thunder. That said, the 35-year-old can still contribute in the NBA and as his fan I hope he gets a chance somewhere. Anthony appeared on ESPN’s First Take last Friday and said:
“It strikes me that I’m not on a roster due to my talent, due to my skill. You’re telling me there’s 30 teams in the NBA, and I can’t make a 15-man roster … 1,000 percent [I can accept a lesser role]. I can do that.
I had to do that, I wasn’t willing to do that in Houston because that wasn’t what was relayed to me. It was, you are the piece that we need.”
Kenneth Faried was able to produce at a high level for the Rockets in the regular season, averaging 12.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 24.4 minutes over 25 games (13 starts) but his playing time decreased significantly in the playoffs and he put up just 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 9.3 minutes over six games.
The 29-year-old can still be a valuable frontcourt piece as a backup. While he lacks pure height, he makes up for it with his physical attributes and high-energy on the court. Faried is a strong screen setter and underrated rim roller and last season he started to develop a 3-point shot, making 7 of his 20 attempts with the Rockets.
Jeremy Lin just won an NBA championship with the Raptors, although he did not play often and he recently talked about how free agency has impacted him:
“I’ve given more of myself to God every single year and every year it gets harder. In English, there’s a saying, and it says, ‘once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way is up,'” Lin said at an event in Taiwan while touring Asia. “Rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me. So free agency has been tough, because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kind of given up on me. I always knew that if I gave anyone a reason to doubt, they would.”
Lin averaged 9.6 points in 19.4 minutes over 74 games (four starts) with the Hawks and Raptors last season but his shooting percentages decreased once he was traded to Toronto. He shot 46.6 percent overall and 33.3 percent from 3-point range with the Hawks and just 37.4 percent overall and 20.0 percent from 3-point range with the Raptors.
He averaged 14.5 points per game for the Nets in the 2016-17 season and he scored 18 points in his only appearance for them in the following year before a knee injury forced him to miss the entire campaign.
If the nine-year veteran can put himself back together and prepare physically and mentally during the offseason then he can give scoring off the bench and playmaking skills for teams looking to add depth.
Best Players Still Available (In No Particular Order)
Kenneth Faried (21.62 Player Efficiency Rating)
Thabo Sefolosha (12.09 Player Efficiency Rating)
Nene (11.90 Player Efficiency Rating)
Jamal Crawford (11.75 Player Efficiency Rating)
Shaun Livingston (11.71 Player Efficiency Rating)
Iman Shumpert (9.11 Player Efficiency Rating)
Jeremy Lin (13.58 Player Efficiency Rating)
Luol Deng (14.63 Player Efficiency Rating)
Carmelo Anthony (10.90 Player Efficiency Rating)
Joakim Noah (18.63 Player Efficiency Rating)
Lance Thomas (6.40 Player Efficiency Rating)
Ryan Anderson (4.60 Player Efficiency Rating)
Jerryd Bayless (8.58 Player Efficiency Rating)
Dante Cunningham (10.21 Player Efficiency Rating)
Raymond Felton (11.21 Player Efficiency Rating)
Amir Johnson (13.12 Player Efficiency Rating)
Jodie Meeks (16.04 Player Efficiency Rating)
Zaza Pachulia (13.69 Player Efficiency Rating)
Quincy Pondexter (13.20 Player Efficiency Rating)