It feels like the Toronto Raptors just lifted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, but the summer break is nearly over and we are less than two months away from the tipoff of 2019-20.
There are still some names available in the NBA free agent market. However, at this stage, it looks more likely some of these guys will be making up the 12th or 13th man on a team’s roster. Some of them may even be testing their options overseas. With days until the new NBA season starts, here is a look at the 5 best NBA free agents still available.
Former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut re-joined the Golden State Warriors in 2019 and helped them reach the NBA Finals once more. The Australian center is playing down under in the National Basketball League with the Sydney Kings.
The Aussie team allowed him to join the Warriors last season as long as he came back to play the second year of his Kings’ contract. Bogut maybe 34 but he can still go in the NBA. His size, scoring, and rebounding are attractive to NBA teams hoping to contend for a title. Bogut has a career 8.7 rebounds per game.
Since 2014, Luol Deng’s career has been on a slow decline. After more than a decade with the Chicago Bulls, he moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Deng is at the point in his career that he is just holding on and looking to get a spot on a roster. That doesn’t mean he isn’t worth signing. Deng played fewer than 18 minutes per game in 2018-19 with the Timberwolves but still averaged 7.1 points per game. Deng would be a good player off the bench. However, he made $2.4 million a season ago in Minnesota and was well overpaid.
Kenneth Faried finished the 2018-19 season with the Houston Rockets where he averaged 12.9 ppg and 8.2 rpg. How the power forward/center is still unsigned is a bit of a mystery.
The Los Angeles Lakers could use a big man of Faried’s caliber. With DeMarcus Cousins out with an ACL injury, Faried’s scoring and rebounding would be a big boost. In the era of massive NBA contracts, Faried was underpaid with the Rockets. Just $683,661 went against the salary cap.
NBA veteran Joakim Noah could have one more season left in him, especially in the right place. The 34-year-old played for the Memphis Grizzlies last season averaging 7.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg.
It was Noah’s best season in terms of points per game since 2014-15 with the Chicago Bulls. Noah made $1.7m last season. Could he replace Cousins in Los Angeles?
Guard Lance Stephenson is still an NBA free agent but with a league rich on front court players, it may be difficult to find a team. Stephenson made $4.45m in 2018-19 with the LA Lakers.
It was a lot of money for a player that averaged 7.2 ppg, 2.1 assists, and 16.5 minutes. Stephenson has joined China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards but could return to the NBA in the new year.