This past offseason was arguably the greatest and most unpredictable in NBA history. This article we will go through the more underrated off-season signings. All respect to names like Chris Paul, Gordon Hayward, and Paul Millsap. Along with the plethora of big names that changed their place on the NBA map.
A certain team received the complete package in a point guard for a fair price. One team received the veteran leader they needed in the form of a sharpshooter and plus defender. One team figured out that putting a high IQ playmaker around guys that can ball, pays its dividends. The last two team’s signings were underrated because they were cheap deals and essentially the second chance these players needed to prove themselves. Here are the 5 most under the radar signings according to their production in the 2017-18 season.
People were originally split on Minnesota’s signing of Jeff Teague instead of sticking with their long-tenured playmaker in Ricky Rubio. Refusing to understand that Jeff Teague was actually a better playmaker. Rubio proved to be ineffective at generating offense for himself. Jeff Teague was capable of creating his own offense as well as making plays for others. A true playmaker is capable of doing both. Due to Ricky’s inconsistency in his shooting, it was like the Timberwolves were playing 4 on 5 on the offensive end some nights.
Going with Jeff Teague to make them a more lethal line up in the clutch. Rubio is a better team defender, but it’s not like Jeff Teague is a bad defender. A coach like Tom Thibodeau can bring the best out of him on that end. That’s Thibodeau’s calling card.
Jeff Teague is having a solid and efficient season averaging 13.4 ppg and 7.3 apg on 45% shooting, 38% from 3, and 83 % from the stripe. That assist average is good for 7th in the league this season! On a three year deal worth $57 Million, he seems to be worth every penny. Jeff Teague gets little recognition for the Wolves hot start. Two reasons to love this signing are efficiency and consistency. Attributes that turn the potential of a young wolf pack into reality. The Timberwolves are currently 4th in the west and the play of Teague has been essential to their success.
This off-season a young Philadelphia team found their new leader in the form of the 33-year-old sharpshooter, J.J. Redick. They signed Redick onto a one year deal worth $23 million. Truth is this was a great deal and low risk because they needed to spend the money or lose it and it is a short-term deal. The Sixers knew they were getting the veteran leader that their young team needed. Did not hurt that Redick was also a plus defender.
Redick took the opportunity bestowed upon him and has been a consistent scorer for the Sixers, averaging a career-high 17.3 ppg on 44% shooting, 38% from 3, and 95% from the stripe. The Philadelphia 76ers are a much more competitive unit and having a composed veteran shooter allows for them to keep up with the direction the league is headed in. Pace and space is the game. J.J. Redick is his name.
Rondo joined the Pelicans and sparked their offense with his high IQ playmaking. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Rondo’s playmaking has been Jrue Holiday’s jump in play this season. Over the last 10 games, Holiday is averaging 22.1 ppg on 54% shooting, 35% from 3.
Anthony Davis praises Rondo for his defensive impact, "He's been getting on me about not blocking shots, so for the last couple games I've been trying to just go after everything”.
DeMarcus cites how the ball moves well Rondo is on the floor during the Pelicans-Nets game, “We looked like the Harlem Globetrotters at one point," Cousins added. "It's fun to play that way”.
Rondo only signed on for a 1 year deal at $3 mil. That price for a 180-degree change in culture. The Pelicans are taking flight, but together as a team.
The Wizards were about as deep as the hollowest trash can last year. They aimed to change that with their off-season moves and one of them was a risky signing in Mike Scott. Scott had not played significant minutes in the NBA since getting suspended for drug possession by the Atlanta Hawks during 2015-16. Was eventually traded the next year to the Phoenix Suns and promptly waived a day later.
The deal was only a one year deal worth 1.4 mil. Scott has been more than dependable at running the Wizards 2nd unit this season. The 29-year-old forward is averaging 9.8 ppg and 3.6 rpg on the season. During the last 10 games, Scott is averaging 14ppg on 62% shooting. Talk about a rising dark horse in the sixth man of the year race.
The Wizards head coach, Scott Brooks praised Scott for his consistent play, “He’s played as well as anybody on our team”. Some players deserve second chances, Scott was given one and has been thriving with it.
Tyreke Evans is back to the place where he played his college ball. Evans played at the University of Memphis (2008-09). Evans is a former 4th overall pick and has been on a consistent decline since his rookie season with the Sacramento Kings, where Evans averaging 20.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.8 apg and 1.5 spg on 46% shooting on route to winning the NBA rookie of the year award. That was in the 2009-10 season.
This past offseason, the Grizzlies took a gamble on Evans and signed him to a one year deal worth $3.3 Million. A nice bargain deal, but no one expected Evans to reignite his NBA career. Evans is currently averaging 19.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 4.6 apg on 48% shooting, 43% from 3, and 81% from the stripe. Most recently, he was moved to the point guard position to play in place of an injured Mike Conley Jr. Over the last 5 games, Evans has been dominant. Averaging 27 ppg, 7.4 apg, and 5.8 rpg on 52% shooting, 53% from 3, and 85% from the FT line. No doubt Tyreke Evans is back. Likely going to cash in for a big payday, after this season concludes.
To put into a better perspective. Jeff Teague is helping the Wolves closeout games. JJ Redick’s presence is changing the way the Sixers play with his superb spacing. Rajon Rondo is proving he still has it and found a home in New Orleans. Mike Scott is having a comeback year with Washington. Tyreke Evans is having a career year with the Memphis Grizzlies, really finding his shooting stroke.
Have an awesome 2018 and God Bless!