NBA Free Agents Worth Kicking the Tires On

NBA free agency has slowed down quite a bit as rosters have moved closer to capacity and cap room has thinned. NBA teams are allowed to give training camp invites and carry up to 20 players prior to cutting down to 15 to start the season. There are many young players out there still that are worth taking a look at. If they don’t like what they see, they can simply not include them in their final 15. Let’s take a look at some of these players.

Landry Fields – G/F

Landry Fields

Landry Fields

At just age 27, Landry Fields still has some upside to him. Since leaving the New York Knicks, things have not quite gone his way. He has suffered an injury to his shooting arm that may have derailed his NBA career. Last season he averaged just 1.8 points per game in 26 games during his final season in Toronto. Fields is currently learning how to shoot left handed and is worth a look in training camp.

Jordan Hamilton – G/F

Hamilton has bounced around the NBA in his short career in the NBA and that’s a product of leaving college too soon. Hamilton played one great season for the Texas Longhorns and was the 26th pick in the 2011 draft. He has played for three different NBA teams and is still just 24 years old. He possesses great size at 6’7 and at times has shown he can shoot from outside. He definitely still has upside to be tapped into. It’s rumored he has signed a deal to play in Russia. Maybe he’ll prove his abilities overseas and find his way back to the NBA.

Norris Cole – G

You probably remember Cole as that point guard from the Miami Heat with the flat top hair cut. Cole was traded at the deadline last season to the New Orleans Pelicans and averaged just under 10 points per game. At age 26, Cole still looks to be deserving of a backup role on an NBA team. Someone should give him a chance.

Other NBA veterans still available today that can help an NBA team include:

Tristan Thompson – F/C, 24 years old (expected to re-sign with CLE)
Carlos Boozer – F/C, 33 years old
Ben Gordon – G, 32 years old
Willie Green – G, 33 years old
Reggie Evans – F/C, 35 years old
Glen Davis – F/C, 29 years old
Rasual Butler – G/F, 36 years old
Dorell Wright – G/F, 29 years old

Miami Heat Cutting Costs

The Miami Heat have fallen on tougher times since LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland. During a time when they were a sure thing to contend for an NBA Finals title, Heat brass were willing to pay whatever tax bill it took to bring home a championship. The Heat won two titles in that time period but without LeBron, things don’t look as certain anymore.

Will Selva - shabazz napier

Napier was moved to the Magic

In moves to try to get as close to the luxury tax line, the Heat have made some interesting moves. It started with the Heat dealing 2014 1st round pick Shabazz Napier to the Orlando Magic for a heavily protected 2nd round pick in 2016. The Heat were essentially looking to dump Napier and his guaranteed salary. By doing so, the Heat save roughly $4.5 million in salary and tax. It’ll be interesting to see how Orlando Plans to utilize Napier as they look to be pretty happy with 2014 1st round pick Elfrid Payton and have recently signed CJ Watson to backup Payton. The Heat brought back Goran Dragic and still have Mario Chalmers under contract.

The Heat also dumped Goran Dragic’s brother, Zoran, to the Boston Celtics in a similar trade. Boston received Zoran Dragic and a 2020 2nd round pick for a heavily protected 2019 2nd round pick. The move saves the Heat roughly $5.5 million in salary and tax. The Heat have now been able to shave roughly $10 million off of their salary and luxury tax bill in a matter of days. The Heat may not be done. They have been rumored to be trying to move Mario Chalmers as well.

NBA Draft Trade Rumors

The NBA Draft is slated to begin Thursday, June 25th at 7:00 pm but that won’t stop the trade rumor mill from spinning. Not only will we likely see draft picks traded Thursday night, but we will most certainly see a couple of NBA players on the move as well. NBA teams have had a lot of time since the season ended, or for some playoff teams, when they were eliminated, in order to evaluate the draft pool as well as talent currently on NBA rosters in order to be moved. Let’s take a look at some veterans who could be on the move come draft night.

Brendan Haywood – Cleveland Cavaliers

Will Selva - Brendan haywood

Brendan Haywood should be on the move Thursday night.

Brendan Haywood has not been much of a factor since the 2009-2010 season in which he spent time with both the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks. His production has been down in recent years and he managed to play in just 22 games this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and averaged just 5.4 minutes in those games. So why would anyone want Haywood? Haywood is entering the final year of a 6 year $55 million deal that he signed following the 2010 season. The Cavaliers are looking to package Haywood and the remaining $10.5 million on his deal with a 1st round pick and upgrade their roster. The Cavs can bring in a better player closer to worth of $10.5 million and the team that acquires Haywood receives a 1st round pick and if they waive Haywood before August 2nd, that team rids themselves of paying Haywood anything.

Jamal Crawford – Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers just recently shipped small forward Matt Barnes and center Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Bobcats for guard/forward Lance Stephenson. The Clippers are now looking to move guards Jamal Crawford and CJ Wilcox for an upgrade at small forward. There have been rumors of Crawford, Wilcox, and a 1st rounder to the Denver Nuggets for Wilson Chandler but talks are still ongoing.

Anthony Bennett – Minnesota Timberwolves

The 2013 #1 overall pick is involved in trade talk yet again. After disappointing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013-2014 season, Bennett was sent in a packed deal to the Timberwolves which helped the Cavs acquire Kevin Love. Bennett reportedly can now be had for just a 2nd round pick. Still at the young age of 22, Bennett way still be worth the risk of a 2nd round pick if put in the right situation.