Who Are The Best NBA Free Agents On The Market?
With LeBron James off to Los Angeles, Demarcus Cousins joining the Warriors and even restricted free agents like Marcus Smart and Clint Capela agreeing to new deals with their teams (the Celtics and Rockets respectively), the biggest names in the NBA’s free agent market are off the board. However, there are still some unsigned players who could immediately contribute to a team’s success next season. Here’s a look at some of the best remaining free agents.
Besides Isiah Thomas, Rodney Hood probably lost himself the most money this summer as he was buried on the bench during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA Finals run. At one point he even refused to come off the bench. Despite his struggles, Hood still has some intriguing upside as a 6’8″ wing with a 37 percent career 3-point percentage and the tools to improve and make an impact on the defensive end. Every team could use a lengthy 3-and-D wing in the modern NBA, so expect at least a couple teams to throw decent offers at Hood over the next few weeks. The Cavaliers might even be able to lock him up at a discount.
After he got traded back to Miami from Cleveland last season, many expected that Wade would end his career with the Heat. That’s still likely to happen but that choice is up to Wade, who might even call it a career before this coming season. Even at 36, Wade provided a spark for Miami off the bench last season and came up clutch throughout the playoffs.
Wade has a couple of options other than retiring and returning to Miami. The Zhejiang Golden Bulls offered Wade a three-year, $25 million deal to play in China. Or, Wade could team up with his best friend, LeBron, in Los Angeles with the Lakers.
Efficiency be damned. Teams can still count on Jamal Crawford to put up double-digit scoring numbers off the bench. While the 38-year-old is no longer a threat for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, he can still be a spark plug for a contender while providing some veteran leadership. The Warriors and Sixers showed interest in Crawford earlier this summer and at this point in free agency, Crawford would likely be willing to accept a minimum deal for the chance to play for a contender.
About 10 years ago, Monroe likely would have been one of the top priorities for teams on the free agent market. However, the positional value in the NBA has changed greatly since then. Monroe excels in the low post and can get double-doubles consistently when given the minutes. The problem for him is that he can’t shoot the 3 (he has yet to even attempt a shot behind the arc in his career) and is a liability on defense in an era where teams are looking for centers who can do those two things well. After trading away Jakob Poeltl in the Kawhi Leonard trade, the Raptors have shown interest in Monroe. He could shine in a diminished role off the bench and the Raptors might be a perfect fit for him.
After struggling with the Lakers, Corey Brewer came back on track when he joined the Thunder last season, averaging 10.1 points in 18 games, including 16 starts. A number of teams could use Brewer’s hustle and defense and if he can maintain or improve upon his 3-point shooting (34.3% from 3 with the Thunder), he should be worthy of a mid-level deal in free agency. The Rockets might be a good fit, as they’re lacking wing depth after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah A Moute in free agency.