Top 6 NBA Free Agents Still Available (Not Named LeBron James)
The crossfire hurricane that was NBA free agency has mostly died down, the national discussion now fully entangled with what will possibly go right with the Rio Olympics and Pokemon Go.
Though the acts of transforming ordinary role players into players worthy of getting paid more than the league's unanimous MVP have been in remission for a bit now, there are still plenty of well-known names that don't have ludicrous contracts to call their own just yet. One of those names, is the man who took his talents to South Beach before coming home, LeBron James. But let's face it, he's returning to Cleveland, unless he too goes to Golden State to form the NBA's first-ever undefeated team. OK, maybe 82-0 is out of the question, but we would still be much better off canceling the season if that were to happen....which it won't.
So, that begs the question, if not LeBron, who can teams desperate for a big free agency splash...or at the very least, a ripple...take a look at? Here are some of the big names still remaining...
6) Gerald Green, SG/SF, Miami
The former slam dunk magician has done a tremendous job of transforming his game beyond the showstopper, turning himself into a solid all-around player. The readjustment has prolonged the career of Green, who has cast off in the D-League as recently as 2012. He would be a welcome veteran, especially if he can teach a younger dunker how to pull off a transformation of his own in the process...like, say, Zach LaVine.
Possible Destinations: LA Lakers, New York, Minnesota, Orlando, Miami
5) Ty Lawson, PG, Indiana
The 2015-16 season was a lost period for Lawson. It began with him being traded by Denver, the city he called home from 2009-15, trading him to Houston. During a brief tenure with the Rockets, Lawson had two separate alcohol related suspensions, leading to the Rockets buying him out in early March, and he spent the remainder of the year as a Pacer. Despite posting careers lows in all major stat categories, Lawson, at 28, can still be a solid contributor off the bench, adding depth wherever he signs. The suspensions may post some character issues, but when he's on his game, Lawson is one of the game's most underrated point guards.
Potential Destinations: Atlanta, Indiana, Sacramento, Utah
4) Moe Harkless, SF, Portland
Harkless is one of the many versatile weapons on the Blazers, part of a group that shockingly managed to secure the 5th place slot in the West last season. The Blazers want to bring the St. John's alum back, perhaps on a team-friendly one year deal, but already have done some spending by bringing in Evan Turner and defeating Brooklyn in a bid war for Allen Crabbe. In the chaos, the 6'9 Harkless has attracted interest from teams in the market for a do-everything big man.
Possible Destinations: Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Dallas
3) Dion Waiters, SG, Oklahoma City
Things didn't pan out for Waiters in Cleveland, but he established himself as a solid contributor in OKC. The Syracuse alum is in a bit of an awkward situation, as the Thunder are about to go from contenders to rebuilding instantaneously. That transformation was begun by Kevin Durant's departure, and only promises to continue with Russell Westbrook declaring he wants out. Waiters could have a bigger role in the revamped OKC lineup, younger, inexperienced teams, particularly from the East, have reached out to him for a discussion.
Potential Destinations: Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Miami, Oklahoma City, Boston
2) Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C, Houston
A 2011 1st round pick, the Lithuanian big man enjoyed a breakout season in 2014-15, taking advantage of injuries to Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones to average career highs in most major stat categories. Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from continuing his progress. Despite the medical setbacks, Motiejunas made the most of his opportunity to impress suitors during the playoffs, picking a double-double during Houston's quarterfinal series with Golden State. With Howard having departed Houston, bringing him back could be a big deal, but he's still listening to sales pitches. The Rockets did extend him a qualifying offer, giving him priority over Jones, who ended up moving to New Orleans.
Possible Destinations: Houston, Indiana, Detroit
1) JR Smith, SG/SF, Cleveland
Much like another certain Clevelander, the shirtless wonder is expected to resign with the Cavs. However, multiple teams have expressed interest in signing the shooter, who came through in the clutch several times during the Cavs' championship run, particularly in the Finals comeback. Smith, of course, has made himself to be a bit of a nutcase in the past, but his performance in the postseason showed that his on-court antics are more than enough to offset his off-court shenanigans. Cleveland, again, expects to resign him, though some close to the deal have called it "tricky".
Possible Destinations: Cleveland, Boston, Brooklyn
What other free agents are you keeping an eye on? Tweet @GeoffMags5490 and continue the conversation!
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