By the time the NBA season resumes on July 30th, teams will have had the chance to add two more players to their rosters. In Orlando, NBA teams will be able to carry 17 active players on their rosters instead of 15. And whether it be from injuries or other reasons, a lot of teams will be looking for extra help. Luckily for them, there are many free agents on the market with plenty to offer. With that said, here are the most valuable NBA free agents teams should look at.
Most Valuable NBA Free Agents
A career 37.3 percent shooter from three, J.R. Smith would fill any team’s need for perimeter offense. He is after all thirteenth in threes made in NBA regular-season history. Previously with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith was part of the core that went to four straight NBA Finals. That championship experience is an intangible plus he would offer a team. Now 34 years old, Smith may be more of a spot-up shooter than a shot-creator. But he’s stayed in shape, and should still be able to hold his own defensively too. Although the off the court distractions have always been his biggest hurdles over his career.
If a team is willing to put up with the potential distractions Smith could bring, they’d be rewarded with an instant boost on offense. In terms of most valuable NBA free agents, Smith is number one for his on-court skills.
Although DeMarcus Cousins won’t be his old all-star self if he were to play this year, he’d still be worth the gamble for a lot of teams. It should be noted that Cousins is only 29 years old and is ten months removed from his ACL injury. When he was dominant through the 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons, he was arguably one of the smoothest scoring big men ever. In addition, Cousins averaged double-digit rebounds in eight of his 11 seasons. But there are admittedly big risks with the current version of Cousins.
He’s had three major lower-body injuries in the last two years. And when he last played with the Golden State Warriors, his defense was abysmal. But a four-time all-star who could come off the bench could be worth the risk for some NBA team out there.
After two flashy players in Smith and Cousins, we go to a less-known player in Trey Burke. Much like Cousins, on the defensive side of the court, Burke isn’t going to be a contributor. For that matter, Burke has been a liability on defense, especially in his last run with the Philadelphia 76ers. But if you’re an NBA team who needs someone to create their own shot off the bench, Burke is the guy to fill that need. Although he only played 25 games in 2019, Burke still produced with shooting clips of 48.3 from two, and 42.1 from three-point range.
If a sparkplug scoring point guard is a need and you can hide his defensive flaws, you should consider bringing him in as an extra body.
Other Valuable NBA Free Agents
These Free Agents Could Make A Difference
Although all of these players are limited in one way or another, they’re on the list because they offer something to the table. Stephenson and Johnson provide boosts on the defensive end, while Thomas and the other three players are more offensive-minded additions. Admittedly trying to get team chemistry back to where it was before the season was suspended is already going to be a tough job for head coaches. So bringing in new players could complicate that even more. But with that said, signing one of these players could make a difference in how their team performs in Orlando.
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