The NBA trade deadline has already passed, but if teams have open roster slots, they could elect to sign free agents off of the market to fill those slots. There are a lot of free agents who can still contribute to a team. In a season that has had a lot of injuries, depth suddenly becomes extremely important.
There are still players at every position that could potentially still help a roster while playing limited minutes. For contending teams, in particular, every spot on the roster is an important part of winning a championship. If teams are still interested in adding to their roster, here are some potential options.
10. Thon Maker
Thon Maker is an option for teams at the center position. Maker has been a free agent ever since he got released to the Cavaliers, but he has some skills that could be useful to a team looking for a backup center. Maker has gotten limited minutes over his career, but he is a center that can do the basics: set screens, rebound, and space the floor.
Thon Maker would be a center that could provide some decent minutes for a team’s depth. Thon Maker wouldn’t be a game-changer by any means. But if a team is ravaged by injury or just needs someone to play backup minutes, then Maker is an okay pickup.
9. Allen Crabbe
Allen Crabbe in his prime was a terrific shooter. He shoots a respectable 38.7% from beyond the arc over the course of his career and is a solid spot-up shooter. Though his numbers during the 2019-20 season aren’t terrific, perhaps a team could give him a chance if they need a floor spacer.
Allen Crabbe would mostly be on the court for his shooting, perhaps trying to get a few quick threes in the limited minutes he would get. Shooters are always important for a roster, especially when you have talented playmakers. Allen Crabbe would be an okay acquisition for a team that needs a wing player.
8. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Updated: Portland Trail Blazers plan to sign Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a player who is known for his defense and hustle. Hollis-Jefferson is a player that can guard most positions on the court due to his athleticism, while also being able to outwork bigger players for rebounds. While Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is an adept finisher inside, he doesn’t provide a ton of floor spacing while he’s on the court.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would be a perfect addition for a team that needs a lockdown defender on their roster. Hollis-Jefferson can switch well on the defensive end, which is key in the modern NBA. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could potentially play spot minutes on a roster that needs a defensive enforcer from the bench.
Just a few hours after we published this article, the Trail Blazers decide to sign Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
7. Emmanuel Mudiay
Emmanuel Mudiay last played in the NBA with the Utah Jazz, where he was a solid spark plug off the bench. Mudiay is a solid finisher at the rim, who can also set up his teammates. He would be a solid backup who can bring some energy off the bench.
Emmanuel Mudiay would help a team that requires a bench player who can score, but also make the right plays. Emmanuel Mudiay is a player who can run an offense off the bench. Mudiay is also a relatively good defender: while he’s not locking up a superstar, he can hold his own against most bench guards.
6. Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin last played in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors. While he wasn’t in the NBA during the 2019-20 season, he is currently with the Golden State Warriors’ G-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. So far, Lin has done well in the G-League, averaging 19.4 PPG and 6.4 APG.
Jeremy Lin is a veteran who has championship experience, and who can be a solid point guard who can set up his teammates and drive to the rim. Jeremy Lin is also shooting 42.6% from beyond the arc with Santa Cruz, showing that his ability to space the floor is still there. It does seem like Jeremy Lin can contribute to any roster which needs a veteran point guard who doesn’t do too much.
5. J. R. Smith
J. R. Smith is an experienced wing player that has played in many playoff series. J. R. Smith’s last NBA franchise was the championship-winning Los Angeles Lakers. He knows how to handle the pressure of playing next to superstars, and he was obviously good enough to get limited minutes in the playoffs for the Lakers last season.
J. R. Smith at this point in his career will be a player who plays at most 15 minutes a game while helping a team with his experience and his floor spacing. There are some contenders who could use a reliable role player like Smith and could elect to take a shot on the 2-time champion.
4. Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson hasn’t played in the NBA since his stint with the 2018-19 Lakers. If he comes back and plays at a similar level to how he did that season, then he could be a useful role player. Lance Stephenson is a very good perimeter defender, often trying different things to get into his opponent’s head.
Aside from Stephenson’s defense, he is also an okay shooter and a capable facilitator. Lance Stephenson shot 37.1% from beyond the arc during his last season with the Lakers and has been able to handle the ball and play make for others throughout his career. It’s not like his last season with the Lakers was awful: perhaps he deserves another chance in the NBA.
3. Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley is a player who hasn’t played since the 2018-19 season. That season wasn’t great for him, but Michael Beasley could still contribute as a player who can get buckets at either forward position. Michael Beasley is a capable floor spacer: he shoots 34.9% from beyond the arc over the course of his career.
Michael Beasley was a player who can still play in the NBA. His 2018-19 season in the CBA was solid, and he can still be a player who provides some spot scoring off the bench. He would provide a boost to any team’s bench offense and be solid in his role.
2. Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters’ last season with the Los Angeles Lakers isn’t anything spectacular. However, Waiters is an okay shot creator on the perimeter, and can also space the floor off the catch. During the 2018-19 season, Dion Waiters averaged 12.0 PPG while shooting a solid 37.7% from the 3PT range.
Dion Waiters is somebody who is wired to shoot, and that could be useful for a team that needs some help scoring on the perimeter. Dion Waiters could potentially be a floor spacer for a superstar and would provide some supplementary shot creation on a contender.
1. Otto Porter Jr.
Otto Porter Jr. is quite possibly the best veteran on this list. He could potentially get bought out by the Orlando Magic as they are trying to tank, which would mean he’d be free to join a team of his choice. Porter would provide value to any team, as he is a quintessential 3 and D wing, who shoots 37.5% from beyond the arc this season.
Otto Porter Jr. is a player that would be useful on any contender due to his ability to space the floor around a superstar. Porter would be elite in a role where he doesn’t have to create for himself, although he is able to do so if needed. Moving off-ball and hitting shots off the catch are his strengths, and he’d be great on any teams that need those skills.