The NBA Free Agency golden period is long gone. By August, most of the market’s available players were signed with their teams. All that remains on the market now are old vets, undrafted rookies, and players that just aren’t good enough to make a real NBA roster.
And taking a look at this year’s left-overs, there’s actually a good number of players whose presence in the free agent market may surprise you.
Here are five players you won’t believe are still free agents?
True, Deron Williams sucked for the Cavs last season. There is no disputing that. But there was a point when Williams was one of the best point guards in the NBA.
The guy had handles like nobody’s business, could shoot the rock like a sniper, and was able to find teammates with a laser pass that always met its mark. Back in his Utah/Nets days, this guy had seasons where he averaged over 20 points per game.
Now, things are looking very bleak for the fallen star. He went from point guard icon to complete bust. Nobody is willing to sign him at all anymore. It appears that last year’s playoff performance absolutely destroyed his market value.
Matt Barnes has been known to have his troubles on and off the court. The 6’7 forward often has problems scoring and can be a liability on the offensive end. But he usually makes up for it with defensive toughness.
On the Warriors, he played the vet who gave the team its spark. On a nightly basis, he fought for the Dubs to grab every rebound, block every shot, score every point.
As much as he tried, though, he wasn’t very effective. His minutes dwindled down, and the Warriors chose not to bring him back this year. While that’s no surprise to anyone, it is pretty shocking that no other team has been willing to take a chance on him, especially the younger squads looking for an experienced vet.
Remember the days when Roy Hibbert was one of the Pacers’ most important players? He was in contention for DPOY, and was a pretty decent starter.
But since his departure from Indy, things have never been the same. His game has slid, to the point where it’s more of a liability than a benefit.
Still, why has no team tried to resurrect the monster that was once there? He’s got size, experience, post moves. Surely, we’d think, that someone would take a chance with Hibbert.
Obviously, nobody has, as he remains rotting in the Free Agency market.
In case you didn’t know, Brandon Jennings is a former sixth man of the year candidate. When you talk about pure scoring, Jennings definitely has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. His tenures in Milwaukee and Detroit were evidence of that.
But after a serious season-ending injury limited his playing ability, things have nosedived for Jennings.
He seems to be half the man he was and, as a result, has yet to join an NBA roster this season. If teams are willing to be patient with his game, it could return to its previous form. For now, however, every GM is looking the other way.
Perhaps the most shocking name on this list is Monta Ellis, who most probably forgot about. Why exactly is Monta still a free agent?
He can still play, and would probably be a starter for most NBA teams. Yes, his time in Indiana did not end well. In fact, the Pacers were probably thrilled to let him go.
But his game is still there, and he could thrive in the right situation.
Is this a case of bad legacy, or just a star not feeling the game anymore? Either way, it seems a bit unfair that Ellis has yet to be signed. There must be something more going on here.