• Chandel Smith

Best of What's Left


NBA free agency has been nothing short of a jackpot for many NBA players. We have seen record setting contracts and max dollars, given mostly to players who at most will give you a first round appearance or an injury reserve spot. So with about 90 percent of teams’ starters and bench set, what's out there as far as quality players that can help a team?

Let's take a look at the best free agents left in the NBA.

LeBron James

*Photo via GQ

Yes, technically LeBron James is still a free agent. Because so, he makes the list right at number one. As expected, King James will end up re-signing for the most that Cleveland can offer and work to bring a championship back to The Land. The Cavs, first and foremost, have to fill out their roster or risk putting more than bags of cash on LeBron’s shoulders.

JR Smith

*Photo via USA Today

The man who invented “No Shirt Week” and found a role on the Cavs tailor made just for him is rumored to be looking for a $15 million a year deal. As an important part of the team, sometimes as the third scorer, an improved and uncredited wing defender(for proof check out the Game 7 LeBron block and see JR Smith forcing the shot change), JR may in fact deserve it. We have seen Kyrie Irving, LeBron and Kevin Love all sit games due to injury or rest and the Cavs will need some scoring in those situations. We have also seen LeBron lobby for teammate, Tristan Thompson to get a payday last season. Perhaps we get the sequel here, this time with JR.

Mario Chalmers

*Photo via Def Pen

A trade out of Miami seemed to provide a spark in Chalmers that we all thought he should have had coming out of college. In this game it's never too late, and he became a critical piece in the Grizzlies late season run. Too bad he suffered a season ending injury. Perhaps a team with a need at guard can carve a role for him as he has shown that with minutes and freedom, he can be a vital stat stuffer.

Josh Smith

*Photo via Getty Images

I'm over the enigma of Josh Smith. But, many teams are not. Is he small forward or power forward? Is he a shooter or a slasher? Is he a defender or a knucklehead? I still don’t know. But I do feel a team may see him as an asset, who like JR Smith, with the right team can harness his talents into a strong role. Now it’s more about which teams are willing to take the risk.

Ty Lawson

*Photo via Pacer Press

The once star point guard for the Nuggets may be viewed as being in the twilight of his career, which is unfortunate, because at 28 years old he is relatively in the prime age of his NBA career. Off the court issues have been a distraction and affected his play on court. Outside of injuries, it seemed as if teams had no faith to give him the opportunity to play lead point, which evidently shows the trust issues organizations have with him. But in the land of second chances, I think Lawson can be a worthy addition to either a veteran team looking to add a piece or a young team looking to add some experience.

Ray Allen

*Photo via Fox Sports

Yes, Ray Allen.

Jesus Shuttlesworth.

Just as water is wet, so is his jump shot. Ray Allen won’t come back to the NBA to play for anything short of a contender. In today’s NBA, his clutch factor and ability to shoot the the 3 is attractive enough to forget his age. Allen, also knows his job and role on whichever team he plays for, plus has the championship pedigree and attitude. I know LeBron would love to have Ray by his side.

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