NBA free agency moves quickly. Players could officially sign contracts from July 7th onwards, and there has been some significant movement around the league.
The aforementioned star players were the top prizes this summer, with the remaining free agents not considered to be capable of leading a franchise in the same way as Durant and Horford. However, with an increase in the salary cap, many teams have room to improve their rosters and some talent remains available.
Below are the top three free agents that remain on the market, according to Tom Ziller of SB Nation.
(Technically, LeBron James is a free agent at the moment, but he's going to re-sign with Cleveland.)
Dion Waiters is an incredibly polarizing player. Many fans enjoy watching him play due to his strong, albeit inconsistent, ability to make shots. Others find it hard to trust Waiters due to his erratic behaviour and questionable decision making.
There will be questions surrounding Waiters, due to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s decision not to quickly offer the restricted free agent a new contract. There is a chance that OKC could still secure Waiters’ services once more, but their staff is currently in the process of assessing the future of their roster and whether or not Waiters is part of it.
Waiters averaged 10 points, two rebounds, and two assists per game last year and found a way to contribute off the bench in the playoffs. Teams rumored to be interested in the former Syracuse product are the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets.
Since the beginning of the NBA playoffs, 30-year old sharp shooter JR Smith has found a way to do everything but keep his shirt on consistently. He was a key part of the Cleveland Cavaliers team that won the NBA championship, starting 72 of their 82 regular season games while knocking down a number of big shots.
Despite all of this, Smith finds himself without a new deal so far in free agency. This may not last for long, as Cleveland is likely to re-sign him once they finish celebrating the city’s long awaited championship, and re-sign their franchise player, LeBron James. Once LeBron has inevitably committed his short-term future to Cleveland, negotiations between the Cavaliers and Smith will surely amp up.
Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill spent last season with the Indiana Pacers. He is a tough, energetic player that can rebound sufficiently and defend inside players. The modern game may not suit his skillset that well though, as he is not an effective shooter or rim protector.
All three of these players have enough ability to contribute to a team over the long haul, it’s just a case of the right team deciding that they would be a good fit for these guys.
[button width=”full” button size=”bigger” color=”custom” align=”center” textcolor=”#ffffff” texthcolor=”#ffffff” bgcolor=”#8b0000″ link=”https://clutchpoints.com/the-real-winner-of-nba-free-agency-california/”]NEXT: The real winner of NBA free agency: California[/button]