The Brooklyn Nets have just traded for James Harden. Obviously, adding a superstar is good for contention: the Nets now have a big three of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving. But by trading away their young players like Jarrett Allen, the Brooklyn Nets have lost a lot of their depth. A championship is won by a team effort, and the Brooklyn Nets need to replenish their bench.
There are currently some elite free agents who are looking for teams. While none of these players will play a huge role on a contender, they all have some skills that are useful for role players on contending teams. Here are the 5 best free agents for the Brooklyn Nets that can be signed right now.
5. Andre Roberson
Andre Roberson is an elite defender who last played for the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2019-20 season. In his career, Roberson made a name for himself as a lockdown defender, being rewarded with an All-Defensive selection after his 2016-17 season. Roberson could play a role on the Nets as a defender they could throw on the top wing players in the league, like Jaylen Brown.
Andre Roberson's drawback is that he provides virtually no presence beyond the arc. He shoots 25.5% from 3PT range for his career. While Roberson deserves a roster spot based purely on his defense, his lack of an outside presence will hamper the Nets' offense and could be detrimental if he has to play heavy minutes. Andre Roberson could provide value in very specific situations that require a top-tier defender.
4. Dewayne Dedmon
Dewayne Dedmon would be a solid center that could somewhat make up for the loss of Jarrett Allen. While Allen provided more of a defensive presence with his shot-blocking, Dedmon is still a fully capable center. Dedmon can rebound the ball and set screens: on a team with superstars, sometimes that's all you need from your backup center. Dedmon knows his role on a roster.
Dedmon's upside comes from his potential ability to space the floor: During the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, Dedmon shot above 35% from 3PT range. If he can get back to those levels of shooting, he could provide a different look on offense than DeAndre Jordan, and give the Nets a quality backup at the C position.
3. Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson last played for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018-19 season. Stephenson is a capable player who can run the offense and provide some quality defense if he is locked in. On a contender like the Nets, Stephenson could provide minor shot creation off of the bench and the ability to guard one of the opponent's best perimeter players.
Lance Stephenson was one of the best players in the CBA last year, and he deserves another chance in the NBA. The Nets could take a flyer on him: they have open roster spots, and the last time Stephenson was in the NBA, he was pretty solid. Stephenson could be a quality bench piece who would sign for the veteran minimum: a hidden gem. His two-way impact cannot be ignored, and Stephenson deserves to be on an NBA roster.
2. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford is 40, but his game has aged well. It takes a special kind of longevity to last in the league this long. Jamal Crawford is a solid shot creator off of the bench: while his defense is not great, he can get the team quick baskets in limited minutes. As a legendary 6th man, Crawford knows how to work with limited playing time.
Jamal Crawford could be useful as a spark plug off of the bench. While he isn't the elite 6th man he was earlier in his career, he can provide veteran leadership and experience, while playing spot minutes when the team needs another option on offense. Crawford only played one game with the Nets during the 2019-20 season, so they could elect to give him another shot.
1. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is an effective two-way role player who is a switchable defender. Hollis-Jefferson brings hustle on both ends, grabbing rebounds and finishing inside. While he doesn't provide any spacing, he is mobile enough to guard all positions. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is athletic enough to guard big men while also being able to keep up with perimeter players.
Hollis-Jefferson is a former Brooklyn Nets player and has some connection to the city. He is the perfect player to bring on as a good locker room player who gives it his all on the floor every time. Hollis-Jefferson can play some spot minutes at the C to back up DeAndre Jordan as well. On a veteran minimum, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would be an elite depth addition to the Brooklyn Nets.