• Jac Manuell

Free Agency: Best New Fits

Source: Chicago Tribune

This year’s free agency period has been a little slower than we all expected. In saying that, plenty of players have found new homes and there are still a few notable names on the market. With that, let’s look at some of the best fits for players who have changed teams.

Tyreke Evans: Indiana Pacers

Source: The Commercial Appeal

My boy Kory Waldron was ecstatic with the Pacers signing of the former Grizzlie and with good reason.

Evans had the best season since his rookie year almost a decade ago finishing with season averages of 19.4 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds. Adding in a player of his quality only increases the depth of talent the Pacers have while also relieving some of the offensive burden on Most Improved Player Winner, Victor Oladipo. Even if Evans can’t replicate the same stats as last season he’s still going to be an invaluable piece in Indiana’s aspirations for a deep playoff run.

If the Pacers win a playoff round next season count on Tyreke Evans being a significant part of their success.

Mario Hezonja: New York Knicks

Source: NY Daily News

I will admit I was quite salty my Nets didn’t pick up the former Magic guard/forward. He has a heap of offensive potential, especially as a scorer and perimeter shooter.

Upon joining the Nets’ crosstown rivals, Hezonja gives the Knicks another young prospect to pair alongside the recently drafted Kevin Knox. The key for Hezonja will be consistency on both ends of the floor.

In the 75 games he played the former number 5 pick scored 10 points or more in nearly half of his performances (37) including 6 games of 20 or more. The 23 year old is heralded for his work ethic more than anything which bodes well for his development.

Nerlens Noel: Oklahoma City Thunder

Source: Mavs Moneyball

Before losing Andre Roberson to injury midway through the season the Thunder were studs on the defensive end. The absence of the defensive stopper meant an increased load for the recently signed Paul George. The elevated responsibility meant George experienced some consistency issues, namely on the offensive end. The addition of Noel as a frontcourt rotation piece will only make OKC even more formidable as a defensive unit.

Noel’s time in Dallas was flat out terrible. It’s not the best sign when your most memorable moment for the season was eating a hot dog at half time. However, in Oklahoma City the former lottery pick will have the perfect chance to redeem himself. He’s shown glimpses of his tantalising talents, just not enough to make a consistent impact in the league.

He’ll have the perfect opportunity to prove himself in a system that should utilise him quite well out in OKC.

Ed Davis: Brooklyn Nets

Source: New York Post

Portland fans were devastated with the departure of Ed Davis. His former teammates were equally distraught.

The Blazers’ loss is the Nets’ gain. Davis was one of the league’s best rebounders and provides the young Brooklyn squad with an element of toughness in his on-court exploits.

The bargain price which the Nets were able to acquire the rebounding machine was an added bonus for a team looking to keep as much cap flexibility as possible going into 2019-20.

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers

Source: ClutchPoints

Magic worked his ‘magic’ (I’ll see myself out) and landed one of the two best players in the history of the game. No further explanation is needed.

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