Greetings, heroes! Once again it’s time for a series of seven things about basketball I’ve probably come up with while in the shower. This month, we’ll talk about the 7 upcoming free agents you aren’t talking about, but should. Wanna read another article about Kyrie or KD’s upcoming free agency? Me neither. Let’s talk about it.
1. Al Horford
Al can still get it. He’s been a major contributor to Boston’s success the last few years. He’s a big man who can do it all. He can score in a lot of different ways, be it off the dribble, a post-up, or hitting the jumper. He also is a remarkable defender and a solid rebounder. At his age, he’s probably not going to get another max contract, but he is still more than capable of being an impactful role player on a playoff team. He could very well come back to Boston, but what if Milwaukee or Toronto makes some room? What if he picked a contender out west, like Oklahoma City?
2. Thaddeus Young
I love me some Thad Young. He has been an impactful locker room presence off the court for the Pacers. On the court, he’s been a special kind of monster this season. Thad is the king of junk buckets and the wrist injury he suffered last year appears to finally be wearing off. His 3-point shooting has risen up from the dismal state it was during his injury to very well on his limited attempts since the beginning of the new year. In addition, Thad is a monster defensively. Thad has had some great games guarding Giannis in the past few seasons, and his incredible defense on Kevin Love in last year’s playoffs needs to be remembered. If, for some reason, the Pacers don’t bring him back, the open market should be scrambling for this guy.
3. Bojan Bogdanovic
Talk about a surprise breakout player. “Bogey” has been an important role player since he signed with the Pacers, adding solid defense to his capable scoring abilities. Since Victor Oladipo’s injury, Bogdanovic has risen into the Pacers’ scoring weapon. As an already lethal 3-point shooter, Bogdanovic has become a well-rounded scorer and defender. Other playoff teams very well be chasing after him with a bigger offer this summer just like they might for Khris Middleton. He has played himself into a bigger deal, whoever might be giving it to him.
4. Patrick Beverly
Patrick Beverly is one of the best defensive point guards in the league. He constantly brings it every night on the defensive end and is an impactful grit and grind presence, both on the Clippers and the Rockets. He is going to be valuable to some team. You can tell he will endear himself to potential suitors by how much Rockets fans still love him. There’s just not much to say about Patrick Beverly other than how great he could be for any team needing a veteran point guard.
5. JaMychal Green
Another Clipper. Nevertheless, Green is a versatile and capable power forward who can shoot, defend, and rebound. The biggest issue I see with him is his less than stellar record of injuries that keep him off the court. But he will probably be the 4th-best power forward on the free-agent market, behind Thaddeus Young and the Morris brothers. He delivered the grit-and-grind attitude in Memphis. Another team should be willing to give the man a shot in some kind of role.
6. Terrence Ross
A scoring wing by nature who has bounced around, Ross – to the surprise of some – wasn’t included in the trade that sent Markelle Fultz to Orlando. He was impactful off the bench for the Raptors in winning their first 7-game playoff series in franchise history. Ross has also been a valuable presence on the wing for the Magic. I could see Orlando making an effort to bringing him back. However, wings aren’t a common commodity on the open market, and he’s certainly got the chops to choose a playoff team East or West should he choose to test the open market.
7. Ricky Rubio
Rubio has been a steady PG presence for the Jazz. He can facilitate an offense with his dribble penetration and scoring as well as some stellar passing ability. Like Beverly, he will be valuable to potential playoff teams in need of a point guard. I myself enjoyed his playoff triple-double performance last season against the Thunder. I would love if Utah kept him. However, what if teams like Indiana, Los Angeles, or Boston want to improve their guard rotations with proven vets at that position? Rubio could have a lot of suitors, and well he should. Guys of his production and skill set are not hard to come by, even if he was drafted before Steph Curry.
Article By: Evan Watkins
Photo: Tiffany Tripp