It's never easy to find a solid contributor this time of the year, as most top-tier free agents should be gone by now. Hence, if you're in desperate need of help, you're going to have to trade for it.
However, there are still a handful of players that could be useful for championship contenders, as they'd be a low-risk / high-reward pickup on a veteran minimum deal.
Still, some teams look reluctant to give those guys a shot and see what's what with them. But honestly, they couldn't hurt their chances. Today, we'll talk about some of them:
5. Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah was reportedly pretty close to joining the Los Angeles Lakers before they signed Dwight Howard, so you know he's in shape and waiting for the opportunity to go back to what he does best: play ball.
Noah's skills could be a great fit for several teams, as he's proven to be capable of running an offense and finding the open guy, while also playing lockdown defense in the post. If he can give you 15 minutes off the bench, he'll definitely help your cause.
4. Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin was reluctant to give up on his NBA dream but he had to face the fact that 'Linsanity' was far behind him. However, he's been balling out in China and everybody knows he'd pack his bags and come back to the U.S in no time if asked to.
Lin is better than a lot of backup point guards in the league right now. Moreover, with that many injuries, it's hard to believe he couldn't make an NBA roster. Give the guy a shot, and he'll get you buckets.
3. Jeff Green
Jeff Green was surprisingly waived by the Utah Jazz and more surprisingly, there were no takers in the waiver wire. So now that he's an unrestricted free agent, he could be a nice addition for teams looking for a scorer.
Green is far from the 3-and-D player everybody thought he'd become, but he's a streaky scorer that couldn't hurt your team off the bench. It's fair to say that he'll never live up to the expectations, but he's a talented wing that could help a contender.
2. JR Smith
It's been a while since we last heard about JR Smith, but c'mon, would it be that crazy to give him a chance? Antics and off-court issues aside, this guy has proven to be a valuable player on a Championship team.
As a matter of fact, the Lakers could use some of his perimeter defense and three-point shooting, and he'd be a major upgrade over Quinn Cook coming off the bench. He's a more mature player now, and he's definitely worthy of the risk that comes with his swag.
1. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford put a 50-piece to end last season, yet he remains unsigned. That's something I just can't fathom. Ok, I get it, he's a defensive liability, but paired with the right personnel, he's a major threat.
Few people in NBA history have been able to score as easily as Jamal Crawford. He's a master of finishing through contact, and I would trust this guy with my life to make a shot in crunch time. He wants to hoop, he knows how to hoop, let the man hoop.