NBA free agency isn’t just about the big names and max contracts. When the market opens up on August 2nd the focus will be put on guys like Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul but let’s not forget about the role players who can be a lot cheaper (comparatively speaking) and still provide some great production on the court.
For teams in need of a third scoring option and reliable defence forwards like Evan Fournier or Otto Porter Jr. could be a pretty attractive options. Both Porter and Fournier have been hit by the injury bug lately, as the two combined for just 70 games played last season. With both players making close to 18 million dollars last year, it is hard to believe that their market value will rise with the question marks surrounding their health.
Spencer Dinwiddie is another guy coming off of an injury heading into free agency, although I’m not sure if that will effect his value all that much considering the hype surrounding him…. created by him.
Do I think Dinwiddie will be given a max contract? Probably not, but it’s not crazy to think he will get a few offers in the mid-20 range and with the big contracts in Brooklyn already, I’m willing to bet that Dinwiddie will be wearing different colours next year.
For teams looking to add a piece for a deep playoff run, JJ Redick should be at the top of the list.
The three-point specialist has been bouncing from team to team lately yet provides a consistent three ball and 15 years of experience to the locker room. He may be 36, but he can still hoop. Given the fact that he’s so old, teams won’t have to commit to him long term as I expect any contract the guard gets offered won’t exceed two years.
But if a team is looking for a young player to commit to, Kelly Oubre should not be forgotten.
Oubre, at 25, has already spent six years in the league and has shown spurts of star potential.
His stats when he played in Phoenix were impressive, averaging 18 points per game in 2020 with many thinking he deserves a max contract. An underwhelming season last year in Golden State somewhat his value, which could be a perfect opportunity for a GM to scoop up a young player with the potential to be a number one or two scoring threat.
All-in-all, its tough to ignore the big names when it comes to free agency, but don’t be disappointed if your favourite team doesn’t land the big fish, sometimes the smaller ones taste better.