NBA’s top five remaining free agents
After the initial rush on July 1, free agency has slowed to a crawl. Most teams are in Summer League mode, where general managers are evaluating young players to flesh out their rosters.
The free agent market still has some difference-makers, though. Contenders will be shopping in a different market than teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and Philadelphia 76ers, who have a significant amount of salary cap space left.
The following are the five best remaining on the market:
1. JaMychal Green, Memphis Grizzlies
Green is the lone restricted free agent on this list, but any team willing to pony up a sizeable offer will most likely be able to snatch him away from the Grizzlies. While Memphis might like to retain his services, the team is up against the cap and not in a position to match a $15 million annual salary. Green is the prototypical stretch four, and his ability to shoot three-pointers makes him that much more of a commodity in today’s NBA.
2. Derrick Rose, New York Knicks
In order to afford Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks had to renounce Rose’s rights. For the right price, he can still make a difference. He’s not the best shooter nor athletic as he once was, but the shifty point guard still has more quicks than most. He can still finish at the rim and is a capable floor general. He would fit well in systems like San Antonio or Milwaukee, places with star players in place and shooters around him.
3. Ian Clark, Golden State Warriors
Clark was never much of an impact player in his previous two stops–Denver and Utah–but he proved more than capable in Golden State. The question for inquiring teams: how much did the talent around him buoy his success? Clark is still just 26 years old, meaning he’s in his prime years, and he shot 37.4 percent from three during the regular season.
4. Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls
Rondo is perpetually stuck in the “one-year prove it deal” market, but his absence was distinct in the playoffs. The Bulls jumped out to a 2-0 lead with Rondo playing like he was still in Boston, and the team crumbled once he exited with an injured thumb. His suitors have included the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, with dark horses like Detroit and New Orleans throwing their hats into the ring.
5. Pau Gasol, San Antonio Spurs
Gasol only makes sense on a contender, but the addition of a three-point shot to his arsenal makes him that much more valuable at this stage of his career. He can still score inside, shoot free-throws, and serve as a positive role model to younger teammates. A return to San Antonio on a bargain contract would make sense for the aging Gasol.
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