By now, if your favorite team has not made a splash in the free agent market, your team is probably gearing up for the Tankapalooza that NBA fans will witness this season. The 2014 draft class is no joke, and it is there that some teams have firmly set their sights.
(RELATED CONTENT: Andrew Wiggins wants to end up with the Raptors).
But for the teams like the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers—teams who have gone “all in” on attempting to dethrone the Miami Heat—there are still a number of free agents available on the open market that can not only be had for the right price, but also can make a difference for a contender.
Nobody knows that better than Mike Miller. After being amnestied by the Miami Heat earlier this week, Miller wakes up July 19 as an unrestricted free agent. And though he played just 20 and 16 minutes per game, respectively, for the Heat these past two seasons, his Game 5 performance in the 2012 NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder and his overall performance in the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs were critical to the Heat’s success.
One such guy who, in the past, had the propensity for proficiency under duress was Robert Horry. Even in the latter stages of his career, as a member of the Spurs, Horry would barely play during the regular season. But in the playoffs, and in critical moments, he made an impact.
Miller has branded himself as such a performer over the past two years, and that is why he is in demand.
And while on the subject of demand, allow us to (re)introduce you to Greg Oden. He received an honorable mention in our previous update, but the buzz regarding Oden’s probable NBA return has slowly grown into a bit of a swarm.
Heading into the summer, few (if any) thought that Oden would be a sought-after free agent. Yet, here we are.
Ah, yes, demand. It is something that Oden knows well, but our European big men, Nenad Krstic and Semih Erden, cannot say the same.
We bid them adieu, and we do the same with Roddy Beaubois. The overall lack of any reported interest in their services—as well the the fourth and final tier of free agents who are creating a buzz on the open market—warrants a re-evaluation in that regard.
No worries, though. We have some fresh faces who have turned some summer activity into positive press for themselves and have improved their NBA stock just a bit. Two former explosive guards—Leandro Barbosa and Baron Davis—are trying desperately to return to the floor.
Think they will?
Think a team will give them the opportunity?
Since our last update, only a few of our top 25 remaining free agents have found themselves with a new deals. Samuel Dalembert was being courted by the Dallas Mavericks and finally agreed with the team on a two-year deal worth $7.5 million.
Aaron Brooks has agreed to return to the Houston Rockets on a one-year deal worth just $1 million. Talk about value. That is unbelievable, and it bodes negatively for Nate Robinson. Either way, Brooks is now off the market.
Nikola Pekovic and Brandon Jennings? Not yet.
But aside from them, there are 23 other free agents that are still available on the open market.
Here are the updated rankings…