With the Trade Deadline coming and going, many teams made tweaks to their rosters in hope of improving for the Playoffs, and some made roster moves gearing for the future. However, just over a week later, there are still many teams looking for talent, and lots of talent still out there to be had. In addition, there are many intriguing players around, whether it be a D-League Prospect, former All-Star, or inconsistent contributor that rebuilding teams can try to capitalize on.
Here is my list of the 5 best Unsigned Free Agents as the season reaches its final month.
5. Pierre Jackson, 5’11, PG, NBA D-League, Texas Legends
A former College standout at Baylor, the short and speedy Pierre Jackson was already a call-up earlier this season with the Dallas Mavericks, however was sent down soon after. Although a Point Guard, Jackson is a pure scorer and is 2nd in the D-League in points with 26.2 a game. He would undoubtedly help any team in need of a bench scorer who can electrify the team and put points on the board. In addition, Jackson is the main contributor in other facets of the game, averaging 7.3 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals a game.
Despite his slight build, Pierre Jackson packs a punch off the bench and would be an instant spark plug to any team that signs him this season.
Potential Fits: Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans
4. Ben Gordon, 6’3, SG, NBA D-League, Texas Legends
Many readers may remember Ben Gordon for his hot shooting for the Chicago Bulls back in the mid-2000’s. After fizzling out of the league the past few years, Gordon has caught on in the D-League, scoring at least 20 points in 4 of his 8 starts this season, shooting 41% from 3 and 48% overall. Despite his aging, as long as he can continue to shoot the ball at an efficient rate, there should be some teams that will be interested.
Even if his athleticism has declined, and his defense is subpar, a contending team looking for a spot up shooter in free agency would not be able to find a more experienced one than Ben Gordon.
Potential Fits: San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz
3. Mario Chalmers, 6’2, PG, Unsigned Free Agent
Although he may not have the greatest numbers or greatest skills in the world, Mario Chalmers does one thing at a world-class level. Winning. Hitting a game-tying buzzer-beating in the NCAA Championship for Kansas and going on to win the whole thing, and winning 2 NBA Championships alongside LeBron James is a pretty impressive resume.
A solid complementary player with deep Playoff experience is a great weapon to have off the bench, especially for teams that lack a lot of Playoff experience. With Mario Chalmers, the veteran and Championship mentality are what he could really provide to the team that picks him up.
Potential Fits: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers
2. Lance Stephenson, 6’6, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves (10-Day Contract)
Out of all the players on this list, Lance Stephenson has the most interesting career of the bunch. From barely playing at the beginning of his career, he then became one of the most important players on one of the best teams in the NBA for a 3 year stretch with Indiana. Then, however, once signing a large contract with Charlotte the next offseason, Stephenson began a steep decline of his career to a point where, after injuring his Achilles earlier this season, he was out of an NBA job entirely. For a two week period, he was on the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that did not end up working out either.
Now without a team, Stephenson is running out of time to prove he still belongs in the NBA. Any team that is out of the Playoffs and looking towards next season should be willing to give him one last chance in the league and see if he can bring back the Indiana days.
Update: Lance has since been signed to a 10-Day contract by the Minnesota Timberwolves. It looks like my predictions are more accurate than I thought.
Potential Fits: Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks
1. Chris Bosh, 6’10, PF, Miami Heat (if Chris Bosh ends up getting released by the Heat)
The biggest wild-card of the list, former NBA Champion and 11-time All-Star, Chris Bosh is undoubtedly an extremely talented player, albeit one who may never play another game, due to his reoccurring blood clot issues. The opinions of doctors range from he can play now, to we may die on the court due to complications. With recent rumors swirling that the Heat, who are now in the East Playoff conversation, will release Bosh to sign a big man who can help out now, like Jared Sullinger.
If Bosh is released, it will be interesting to see who is considering signing him and whether they would try to get him to suit up this season, or look forward to the next one. Any team who has the roster space and patience should consider bringing Chris Bosh in to see if he can regain his 11-time All-Star form, and stay healthy.
Potential Fits: Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics