NBA Free Agency: The Best Players Still Available
In a crazy 2018 free agency, we’ve seen moves as big as Lebron James, signing with the L.A. Lakers, to the addition of Demarcus Cousins joining forces with the powerhouse Golden State Warriors. Here are a few players who remain and could make impacts on NBA teams for the upcoming 2019 season.
Shabazz Muhammad – Small Forward
The still young, 25-year-old Muhammad is a proven scorer and tough role player. Although he couldn’t get things going for the Bucks or Timberwolves, I have a feeling if the scenario is right, he could provide solid minutes for some NBA teams and do what he does best – scoring the basketball.
A team like the San Antonio Spurs could really utilize his scoring potential, especially with the departure of Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors.
Jahlil Okafor – Center
The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft is beginning to lose stock more and more as time goes by. The crazy thing is, he is still only 22 years old. He has a great knack to score the ball and embodies the old-style of center play. He tends to lack tenacity on the Defensive end but in the right hands, he could really provide a huge boost offensively. Could see Jahlil fitting in nicely with a young core team like the Atlanta Hawks.
Jamal Crawford – Shooting Guard
Crawford is in the tail-end of his career but has still shown that he can score the basketball. Even at 40 years of age, Crawford can still contribute and give an NBA team a real boost. I’m not sure too many teams are looking for the one-on-one ball play that Crawford provides, but I could see him playing a positive role on a team like the Utah Jazz, who could use some more scoring off of the bench.
Greg Monroe – Center
Monroe is a physical center who has great post moves under the basket and has shown to be a solid scorer and rebounder over the course of his NBA career. I like Monroe a lot and feel that he would provide great 19-22 minute stretches off the bench for a multitude of teams. He would fit in nicely with the San Antonio Spurs and the team who has been showing a lot of interest in him as of late, the Toronto Raptors.
Rodney Hood – Shooting Guard
Hood is a very intriguing player who averaged more than 16 points a game with the Utah Jazz. Although his transition to Cleveland wasn’t so smooth, I wouldn’t lose faith in Hood. He is a solid off-the-ball defender and when in rhythm, he can really score the basketball. I could see the Cavs resigning Hood after the departure of Lebron James. If Hood does sign back with Cleveland, look for him to rebound and get back into his normal form, picking up where he left off in Utah.
Dwayne Wade – Shooting Guard
Wade, approaching the end of his career, still shows that he’s got what it takes to be a real force in this league. The 36-year-old absolutely thrives in the biggest moments and is a different animal come playoff time. Although I’m not sure I see Wade leaving the Heat again, he did just sign a lifetime shoe deal in China and has tons of offers coming that way.
Corey Brewer – Shooting Guard
Brewer is a very tenacious player with a long 6’9’’ frame who fits nicely as a role player in almost any scheme. He can attack the basket and score the ball, all while providing very solid minutes on the defensive end. I see him returning back to the Oklahoma City Thunder under Billy Donavon, whom he won back-to-back National Championship with in ’06 and ’07.
Shane Larkin – Point Guard
Larkin, a relatively undersized guard in the NBA, has shown flashes of why he was a first round pick back 2013. What Larkin lacks in size he makes up with in athleticism and tough defense. Larkin has a very efficient deep ball and could definitely fill the need for some depth at the guard position for a few teams in the league. Larkin can provide some solid minutes off the bench for teams like the New York Knicks or New Orleans Pelicans.
Nick Young – Shooting Guard
Young is one of my favorite free agents available. He is a great shooter who spaces the floor well and has shown he can maximize his role off the bench. Winning a NBA Championship last year with the Warriors, has to have his confidence at an all-time high, and teams having an interest in his deep ball efficiency (37.6% Career). He would be a great fit for the L.A. Lakers, giving Lebron James a shooter who isn’t reluctant to let it fly.
Trevor Booker – Power Forward
Booker is a versatile big man who can give you scoring and rebounding off the bench. He doesn’t lack any physicality and at the age of only 30 years old, it’s surprising Booker hasn’t landed on a team yet. A move to the Indiana Pacers or Orlando Magic could give Booker the opportunity he’s looking for to lock up a long-term deal.
When it’s all said and done, there are definitely holes that need to be filled on NBA rosters. Some of these players could give teams around the league the edge they need to make an impact this upcoming 2019 season.