We are currently 12 days into the Free Agency period for this year. After hearing about all the signings from superstar players, there are still many valuable free agents that remain in the pool without a contract. Here are my Top 5 Free Agents (and runner-ups) that should receive a contract as soon as possible.
Runner-Ups: Alex Len, David Lee, Ian Clark, Marreese Speights, Luc Mbah a Moute
5. Derrick Rose
After tearing his ACL in the 2012 playoffs, Derrick Rose has not been playing on the same MVP level that he was at before. Even though he is 28 years old, injuries have been stopping him from progressing in his prime. He has never played over 66 games since his MVP season in 2010-11. After being traded to the Knicks, it seemed as if a change of scenery was good for Rose, averaging18.0 ppg with a player efficiency rating of 17.05 last season, which have not been so high since the 2011-12 season. In the corrupt atmosphere in New York, it may not be best to remain in New York even after his best season in the past 4 years. It seems like the Knicks are trying to rebuild, which will not help his production. No one possibly knows whether Derrick Rose can possibly perform at the same level he was at 5-6 years ago, after being slowed down from injuries. According to Ian Begley of ESPN, he has been talking with the Knicks and Bucks, but nothing is yet official.
4. Nikola Mirotic
Mitotic has been in the NBA for 3 years playing on the Bulls. His career stats are 10.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 1.2 apg in 22.8 mpg. Although his shooting is pretty inconsistent, he has shot 40.9% from the field, 35% beyond the arc, and 79.8% from the free throw line in his career. Since Mirotic is a restricted free agent, the Bulls can decide whether or not to keep him. Once he agrees on a contract with another team, the Bulls have a right to match if knowing that they do not have to overpay for the young power forward. Even though he is 26 years old, he still has a few more years to grow and develop as a player before he reaches the prime years of his career. After the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler, they should be looking to rebuild their roster, and Mirotic would be a great stretch four to spread out the court for any team. According to sources, Mirotic has not met with any teams, but he has interest for two teams.
3. Mason Plumlee
After trading for Mason Plumlee in the previous year, it would be obvious to think that they would be trying to keep him in free agency. While signing power forward Paul Milsap to a three year deal, and also already having big men Juancho Hernangomez, Kenneth Faried, and Nikola Jokić, it would not be a surprise if they do not match the offer that the restricted free agent, Plumlee, accepts. He has hopped around quite a bit in his 4 year career, playing for three different times. He averaged in his career 9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, and 2 apg in 23 mpg, but had an increase in the 2016-17 season averaging 10.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, and 1.1 bpg in 26.5 mpg. Plummer possesses great passing skills as a center, but cannot finish well at the rim in traffic. Due to his lack of shooting skills, he cannot space the floor very well without being a threat. Plumlee has yet to receive an offer from any team so far in free agency, which means that his cost is decreasing, so the Nuggets can possibly keep him for an affordable price.
2. JaMychal Green
After having a career high season with 8.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 1.1 apg last season, Green should definitely not be available at this stage of free agency. Although the Grizzlies are limited in cap space after signing Ben McLemore, and Tyreke Evans, the Grizzlies will most likely not be able to match a significant offer sheet from another team for Green. According to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Green’s representative, Michael Hodges, said, “I am looking at two offer sheets, and sign-and-trades. Seems to us Memphis is going in a different direction.” He is a very diverse 6’9” power forward, who can guard many positions, and he was one of the only four players (Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Pau Gasol) in the league last season to make over 50 threes and to shoot over 37% beyond the arc while averaging over 7 rebounds.
1. Nerlens Noel
The young 23 year old has a lot of potential for his NBA career. After being traded to the Mavericks during trade deadline last season, he went on to average 8.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg, and 0.9 apg. So far, he received an offer from the Mavericks for a contract of 18-20 million per season, but there are not a lot of teams that have the cap space to afford Noel. However, Noel has the opportunity be an unrestricted free agent next year if he accepts the qualifying offer from the Mavs, but it can be questionable how well Noel will play in this next season due to his injury history. His defense is very impactful to the outcome of games when he is on the court, and has plenty of room to improve his offense. He also has the skills to potentially be one of the top defenders in the NBA if only he remains healthy.