The NBA is a journey and some players are hoping their next chapter is not the ending frame. These five players are actively seeking a return to the league. Whether it is to get money bags or for the genuine love of the game who knows. When they were in the league, they had their stardom. It’s a mixed bag though when it comes to what team could use them.
5. Andrew Bynum
Bynum’s level of desire for the game has always been questioned, but his talent back in the day was undeniable. An NBA All-Star in 2012 and 2x NBA Champion as a starting Center for Los Angeles Lakers. Bynum’s best season back in 2011-12 where he averaged 18.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, and 1.9 bpg on 56% shooting.
There was an honest point in the timeline of Bynum’s 8-year career, where he was considered one of the best centers in the NBA. The big man got traded to the Sixers and a knee injury forced him to only work on his afro. Bynum never actually suited up for the Sixers. At 31 years old, in what should be the prime of his career.
“Former Lakers All-Star Andrew Bynum has hired representation and is scheduling team workouts to attempt a comeback to the NBA, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.”
The biggest adjustment for Bynum will be adjusting to the modern day NBA. The league is driven by big men who can space the floor or are good rim runners. Bynum operated in the post. Not saying the post is a lost art, but the big man will have to make adjustments and add to his arsenal. Teams that could use more big men include the Celtics, Wizards, Sixers, Pacers, Magic, Jazz, Clippers, and even the Blazers with Nurkic’s injury. This report was from earlier last season, but I’d imagine Bynum is still pursuing a path.
4. Josh Smith
Josh Smith was known as a streaky shooter and a freak athlete during his time in the league. His highlight years for spent in Atlanta, while he was despised in Detroit. J Smoove’s last stints with the Rockets and Clippers left fans with a mixed bag of emotions. A destined stretch four who can body anyone in his path.
Smith found his shooting stroke with the Rockets in their illustrious 17 game playoff run back in 2015 when he shot 38% from 3. The longball has been a yearly growing experience. Presently, Smith plays for Ice Cube’s Big3 League on the Bivouac.
Josh Smith opened up about seeing a potential fit with either the Lakers or the Clippers via Peachtree Hoops.
“ Although Smith didn’t specify a desire to return to the NBA in Saturday’s post-practice sit-down when asked, he did give a couple of teams who he thought he could help this season. “Any other teams who are contenders,” Smith said. “I’d have to say the Lakers or the Clippers.” Smith was then asked the follow-up question on if he was really open to returning to the Clippers. “Yeah, just to give that veteran leadership, something that those guys need. It’s not really for minute purposes because those guys are established. They have many guys that can play high-level basketball. [It would be] just to give those guys an extra body in practice, bumping them and giving them competition to get ready for those games.”
3. Monta Ellis
Ellis was the ultimate bucket getter for the 'We Believe Golden State Warriors' and a part of the classic Milwaukee Bucks. Ellis was the go-to scorer in Dallas and became a top tier perimeter defender with the Pacers. After his last stint with the Pacers, which ended by getting waived.
Ellis has started carving his own path to get back into the association. The Warriors recently attended his latest workout.
Over 12 teams according to Chris B. Haynes, watched Monta Ellis and A’Mare Stoudemire workout in Las Vegas including the Bucks, Warriors, Thunder, Wizards, Pistons, and Lakers. In my opinion, the Warriors are the best fit because Ellis can provide a much-needed scoring punch in Klay’s absence.
2. Amar'e Stoudemire
They call him STAT and the Big 3 league star is out to prove he can still ball at a high level. A level good enough for another NBA contract. Stoudemire just got off of playing professional ball in Israel and is in amazing shape. Just as many teams are out to watch him as they are there for Monta Ellis. These two could very well end up back in the league.
Stoudemire is mostly remembered for his twilight years with the 7 seconds or less Phoenix Suns with Steve Nash. The big man made a total five All-Star games with Phoenix and one with New York. The guy is 36 years old, but his game has aged well. STAT can be an asset to winning again.
1. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is likely the best free agent left on the market. His forgettable stint with the Rockets may have made us fans forget how much of a baller, Carmelo is. The deadly mid-range, the impeccable low post game, the master of the isolation, Carmelo Anthony. The most recent stop for the deadly scoring wing cannot make us forget his best days with the Knicks and Nuggets. I will not even talk about his unmemorable times with OKC.
Carmelo Anthony needs to be willing to drop his pride and accept a bench role. I cannot see him starting on any NBA team presently. There is nothing wrong with being the sixth man. Teams that could use a scoring punch off the bench include the Heat, Wizards, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Knicks, and even the Sixers or the Nets. Depth is everything the NBA. Nothing wrong with being a 4th or even 5th option for an NBA team. The lack of defense and his lack of desire to pass makes it hard to start the 15-year vet.