The NBA season is at a stand-still and fans are losing their minds. Will it come back or not? With the regular season in heavy doubt, the playoffs are still a possibility. But if nothing happens, then teams and players will head into the offseason with tons of questions. What will happen during the free agency period?
It sounds like a weird question but we’ve never seen anything like this. If there are no playoffs then players with expiring deals will have to test the market on what they’ve accomplished before the season was suspended. While some excelled, there are still those who struggled. Ending the year on a high note has been the norm for struggling pending free agents but what happens if those players never get a chance for redemption?
Here are three free agents hurt most by the sudden shutdown of the 2019-20 NBA season.
Reggie Jackson (Los Angeles Clippers)
Reggie Jackson has always wanted more. While with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he wasn’t satisfied playing behind Russell Westbrook. Jackson wanted to start. Jackson got his chance with the Detroit Pistons but never reached that All-Star level. The Pistons sent him packing to the Los Angeles Clippers this season as they cleaned house and his numbers have drastically dropped. But being on a team many picked as a clear favorite to win the 2020 NBA Championship had its perks.
But with the season suspended and no clear sign of when it will resume, Jackson may have lost a great payday and a chance to be a starter somewhere. While with the Pistons before the trade, Jackson averaged 14.9 points and 5.1 assists while shooting .384 from the floor. In LA, Jackson had averages of 9.4 and 3,2 assists in 19.4 minutes per. His salary for this season is $734K but with a good showing, there was a chance he could have taken over for Patrick Beverley next season.
Carmelo Anthony (Portland Trail Blazers)
There was a time when it seemed that no one would give Carmelo Anthony another shot in the NBA. But then the Portland Trail Blazers reached out and Anthony proved he still had gas in the tank. With the Blazers struggling in the Western Conference, many expected them to make a run, especially with the return of Jusuf Nurkic. But with the suspension, many are wondering if this could be it for Melo?
This season, Anthony has averaged 15.3 points while shooting .426 percent from the floor. What Melo does have working in his favor is that he had averaged 32.5 minutes per. If the seasons does end without any playoffs, does Antony get another shot in the NBA at the age of 35? He has made enough cash over his career and has played this year with a cap hit of $2.1M.
Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz)
In 2016, while with the Los Angeles Lakers, Jordan Clarkson signed a 4yr-$50M deal and was seen as one of the new faces to lead the franchise after the retirement of Kobe Bryant. But then he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then the Utah Jazz and that once-promising career has now become a big what-if question.
In his first season with the Jazz, Clarkson has seen modest minutes (25.3) off the bench. He’s averaging 15.6 points while shooting .446 percent from the floor. The Jazz, before the season was suspended was on their way to the playoffs. And with a great sowing, Clarkson was set to get a nice pay raise this offseason. But if the season does not resume, then what happens to Clarkson? With teams in search of a scoring threat from the perimeter, Clarkson was set to make a nice amount of cash if he could produce in the playoffs.