Best Remaining NBA Free Agents

Jamal Crawford

2017-18 Season Stats: 10.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 41 FG%, 33.1 3PT%, 90.3 FT%, 13.0 PER

Coming into his 19th season in the league, the 38 year old journey one comes instant offense. That’s his signature trait though it does not mask a lot of downsides that come with his one dimensional game. Since his second season in the league, Crawford has at least 10 points or more for all the teams he played for. Though in recent years, his efficiency is at an all-time law – not cracking the 42% mark in five seasons. Economical scoring has never been part of his game and this has not deterred teams from having him as their sixth man.

The Warriors shown interest in his services. He’s the kind of veteran player that the defending champions have signed time and again during free agency. An impact player who is yet to win a championship. An old-timer who has been on some terrible teams; who knows that it’s like when times are dire. Golden State have come together and used such players as motivating factor for whom they strive to play excellent basketball and win a title for. And they signed DeMarcus Cousins. Not that Cousins is hated by the players in the Golden State locker-room, although reports suggest that Kevin Durant and Draymond Green appealed to their front office so sign Crawford. Cousins was only signed to the taxpayer mid-level exception and the Warriors still have the room to nab his services. He would not be a player for the regular season. His job will be to break the funk that Golden State might get in during the playoffs. When they were down 3-2 against Houston with a lack any competent bench players Crawford would have been perfect. A few pull up jumpers and the tide of any game could be shifted. He can be streaky but you’d rather have him on your side that see him drain deep threes against you.

 

Rodney Hood

2017-18 Season Stats: 14.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.9 FG%, 38.1 3PT%, 14.3 PER

Oh boy, who could have predicted that his financial graces would have fallen off a cliff. When Gordon Hayward departed from Utah, Rodney Hood probably envisioned himself as the face of the franchise and a truckload of money. Instead, his place in the starting lineup was usurped by Donovan Mitchell and was subsequently traded in a last ditch event to build a half-decent roster around LeBron. He was a disaster. He was benched. He refused to play garbage time in a playoff game. And then he scored 25 points with 14 rebounds in what was LeBron’s last two finals games in Northeastern Ohio.

He’s now a restricted free agent who is struggling to get an offer sheet. Theoretically, Hood is the perfect wing player for today’s NBA. A 6-foot-8 athletic swingman who has the ability to play on both ends of the floor, has shot 37% from beyond the arc, and can create his own shot. After his first three seasons with the Jazz, he was a going to be a sought after RFA. But a disappointing half a season with the Cavaliers combined with a lack of cap space across the NBA, his ego has been shot down. It’s left a talented Hood without a market. In an organization that has structure and a system in place, like the Jazz, he’s shown that he can thrive. The Cavaliers were I damage control mode post the Kyrie Irving trade. And Hood became a victim of the resulting chaos. After signing Kevin Love to a 4 year extension, Koby Altman is now seemingly interested in signing Hood to a contract where he’ll earn a let less than he would have expected for himself though negations are said to have been stalled.  

He can still take his qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, when the cap is expected to spike. With LeBron James out of the picture and Kyle Korver in trade rumors, Hood will get an increased role with the Cavaliers in the doldrums. And who knows, maybe he can return to the Rodney Hood of six months ago.

 

Dwyane Wade

2017-18 Season Stats: 11.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 43.8 FG%, 28.8 3PT%, 15.0 PER

When he returned to South Beach after a forgettable 18 months in the Midwest, I assumed he’d be here for the rest of his career. Fifteen seasons into his career, he was designated a bench role. In all my years of watching Wade, I never thought that he be a sixth man. But Father Prime aged gracefully into his new role – something that many superstar players struggle with. At 36, he’s more than just a mentor. Wade is now a failsafe that Spoelstra has used to give them a chance to A. Make the playoffs and B. giving them a competitive chance once they made the postseason.     

Miami’s postseason was a throwback to Wade’s tremendous performances during their last playoff run in 2016. In their five competitive games against the 76ers, he came off the bench to lead the team in scoring. Twice. It is a reminder to the league that he is still a player that has big performances in him. He stated that when he came back to Wade County that this would only be the franchise he would play for. With a new contract yet to be signed, there is speculation that he is ready to hang up the jersey. But surely the playoff atmosphere and high leverage moments can entice the Future Hall-Of-Famer to return for a year or two. Pat Riley is bringing back virtually the same roster for a second year. Bringing Wade back is more important than ever. Not because they need him to get them to the postseason. Spoelstra is one heck of a coach and can whip the rest of the team into shape. It’s because once they get there, Wade is the only player who gives them a fighting chance.

 

Greg Monroe

2017-18 Season Stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, 56.5 FG%, 73.9 FT%, 21.2 PER

He got screwed over when Stan Van Gundy attempted to squeeze Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond as his starting frontcourt. If anybody is actually reading this (I am talking to the Sacramento Kings for this one) it is impossible to fit 3 non-shooting 6-10 or taller guys on a front court. It simply will not work. Monroe has since been a must-dump contract after signing with the Bucks He watched as the league changed under his feet, with big men who can’t play any defense becoming extinct. Monroe was relegated to the bench, traded to the Suns for Eric Bledsoe (but they regret this deal now) and was subsequently waived after 20 games in Phoenix. He signed with the Celtics in February. In a team that was desperate for scoring off their bench and played three grueling playoff series, Monroe featured for less than 10 minutes.

The Raptors have since shown interests in Monroe as they search for a replacement for Jakob Poeltl. He is a very limited player. The former lottery pick has never shown signs of rim-running capabilities or semblance of protecting the basket. When given a decent amount of minutes, he can be a double-double machine who can score valuable points as a sixth man. But he’s a liability on defense, something he is struggled to cover up ever since he turned pro. Monroe is a talented player that was simply born in the wrong era. Though, it would not be surprising if a team took a chance on him.

 

David West

West has been an integral part of the Warriors since adding Kevin Durant. His role has varied; from scoring off the bench, trying to nullify Golden State’s inability to rebound, and act as an enforcer. He was always a veteran presence for them. He was one of the many older players that the Bay Area rallied around and win a title for. Against Houston, he was one of the many unplayable big men that sat on the bench and collected cobwebs. He was never really needed on the court though. Averaging under 7 points on 14 minutes last season, West’s greatest impact came under closed doors. Every locker-room is full of egos, but none can compare to personalities in the Oracle Arena. There are always rumors floating around the Steve Kerr is doing everything he can to prevent his players from imploding. David West has been in his fair share of bad locker-rooms and must have done his best to appease some of the characters in Golden State. He even joked about this after the Warriors swept the Cavaliers, “We dealt with some things internally. When you guys find out about that shit, y’all are going to trip. I’m serious.” He has always had an interesting relationship with the media, and this was certainly one of his most memorable quotes.

I cannot wait for a book to come out where West finally unveils the details of the Golden State locker-room. He might take the veterans minimum to once again compete or take deal for his last NBA payday. Regardless, his impact on any team can’t be measured as it is genuinely invaluable.

The Lakers are still missing a fundamental piece on their roster

Who doesn't like lists? Ranking the best players 25 and under.