The Best Fits for the Forgotten Free Agents
The 2017 NBA free agent frenzy has come and gone. Like last year, there was plenty of money tossed around in what was the highest spending summer in NBA history. Unlike last year, the right players got paid. Well, unless you think Tim Hardaway Jr.'s contract was unforgivable. This time around, monster extensions were signed left and right. Steph Curry got the league's first super-max deal. James Harden inked an extension worth $228 million. The rich got richer. Superstars cashed in on the rising cap and renegotiated CBA to earn life-changing money. Many lower tier free agents actually got less than what their counterparts got last summer. Dewayne Dedmon, a rim protecting big man who broke out with the San Antonio Spurs, was only able to garner a two-year deal worth $14 million. Joakim Noah got paid $72 million over four years after having an inferior 2015-16 season to Dedmon's this past season. Maybe Noah's past factored into it or maybe the Knicks just love giving away massive deals. Either way the point is that players seeking new teams didn't quite get the lucrative offers that teams were giving away last season. That has resulted in many players heading overseas. Brandon Jennings and Terrence Jones both took their talents to China after failing to land a deal with an NBA franchise. Several other notable names are still on the market. Whether or not they will join Jennings and Jones overseas remains to be seen, but there are a few guys that can still contribute to an NBA roster. Here are a few of them: Deron Williams
Deron Williams flopped epically in the 2017 NBA Finals. As a member of the Cavaliers, Williams averaged one point per game, amassing just five points during the entire Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Williams was a liability on the court. Unfortunately for him, that cost him a job as the backup point guard on the Cavaliers. With all of the instability surrounding Kyrie Irving, he may have been able to luck into a starting gig alongside LeBron James. Now he is still without a team in August. The former All-Star and Olympic gold medalist has not been able to find a team that could use a veteran hand at the point guard spot. There are certainly teams that could use that. One such team is the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans has two point guards on their roster in Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday but the team plans on playing their floor generals together. That leaves a vacancy on their bench. The team had Quinn Cook as a potential backup but recently released the former Duke guard. The team needs a viable backup and perhaps Williams could be that guy. Williams is a much better 3-point shooter than Rondo. He doesn't quite have the passing ability but he is more than capable of running the pick and roll, which is a must for a point guard playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Williams shooting ability has declined as the years have gone on, but he could still knock shots down at a respectable rate. He shot the 3-ball at a 36 percent clip. In his 24 games with the Cavaliers he shot a scorching 41 percent from downtown. Williams figures to be a cheap signing wherever he goes. With the Pelicans close to the hard cap, the team would be wise to nab a low-risk option for their backup point guard spot. That is what Williams is at this point in his career.
Andrew Bogut was pretty effective last year as a role player for the Dallas Mavericks. While he is no longer the scoring threat he once was, he did contribute in other ways. In 22 minutes per game, Bogut grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out two assists per game. He also blocked one shot per game, showing that his rim protection hasn't fallen off as far as one would think. Unfortunately for Bogut, he was robbed of playing for the defending champion Cavaliers when he broke his leg one minute into his first game with Cleveland. Bogut was later released and replaced by Larry Sanders, who didn't last long in Cleveland either. Bogut, assuming he is able to regain his form after injury, can still play serviceable post defense and figure around the rim. He shot 47 percent from in the post last season. Bogut would best be suited for a bench role on a contender that can play up to his strengths and cover his weaknesses. A team that could use him is actually the team that had him last, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland's big man rotation is shaky at the moment. The team has made it clear it would like to rid itself of Channing Frye's deal. Frye is the only backup big besides Walter Tavares. It is unlikely the team will want to roll with him as their primary backup to Tristan Thompson. Bogut returning to Cleveland would be a feel-good story. It is also practical for both sides. With the Cavs franchise in disarray, it wouldn't be the worst idea to bring a sturdy veteran into the locker room like Bogut. Anthony Morrow
Anthony Morrow hasn't had a pronounced role in the NBA in years. Unfortunately his skill set is limited beyond being able to shoot the 3-pointer at a historically accurate clip. Fortunately for him that is the one skill that can single-handedly get you paid. Just ask Steve Novak. Morrow could still produce on the right team. He is really a spot-up sniper at this point so the best fit would be a team that plays fast and can get him open looks. The Warriors would actually probably be the best fit for Morrow. Unfortunately for him Golden State's roster is already filled. The team also brought in Omri Cassipi and Nick Young to get 3-point buckets and do little else off the bench. In that case, the Houston Rockets are another team that would be an intriguing fit for Morrow. The Rockets hoisted up more 3-pointers than any team in history last season. With Chris Paul now in tow, the team has two of the best assist-men in the game. That should translate to open 3-pointers for Houston. It sure would be nice to have one of the all-time great shooters flanking those two all-point guards. The Rockets bench is filled with defensive aces like PJ Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. While Mbah a Moute shot 39 percent on 3-pointers last year, that may not prove to be sustainable. Morrow is the knockdown shooter the Rockets bench needs. Next to Paul, Harden and Eric Gordon, he would have the space he needs to hoist up the long-ball. That alone makes Houston a great fit for Morrow.