Title contenders and playoff teams always have spots open for scorers. Whether it is for depth purposes or extra energy needed off the bench, the best teams need every player to contribute. Especially for big names like the Los Angeles Lakers who have an open roster spot, making the right move could pay dividends if there are injuries during the season.
Three names are currently available for NBA teams to try out: Monta Ellis, Isaiah Thomas, and Jamal Crawford. Ellis is 35, Thomas is 32, and Crawford is 42 years of age. But each of these veterans can score the ball in their sleep and have all been excellent scorers in the NBA throughout their careers. Here are the best destinations for these three veteran scorers.
Career Statistics: 17.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Monta Ellis was a critical part of the "We Believe" Warriors that upset the #1 seeded Dallas Mavericks in 2007. Ellis won the 2007 Most Improved Player Award in his second season when he averaged 16.5 PPG. An explosive 6'3" guard, Ellis had a successful career playing for 4 different teams.
Rumor has it that Ellis wants to try out for NBA teams because he still has that natural scoring ability. The shooting guard probably won't be able to defend younger and quicker players right now, but he can come in and score the ball in the uptempo Warriors or Nets offense or even play a decent role for the Clippers.
Best Destinations: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets
Career Statistics: 18.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG
One of the saddest stories over the past decade was the exile of Isaiah Thomas. While he didn't do a thing wrong on or off the court to deserve not having a job, that is the competitive nature of the NBA. Thomas went from an MVP candidate in 2017 to a lack of playing time across 5 different teams.
Thomas put his heart and soul into the game for the Celtics, but Boston made a cold-hearted move to swap Thomas for the larger and more athletic Kyrie Irving before the 2018 season. Thomas is only 32 years old and his recent 81-point game shows he still has it as a scintillating offensive point guard. The Lakers need shooting and scoring to surround their Big Three which makes him a perfect fit in Los Angeles. Otherwise, the Celtics could reunite in a swan song story or the Nets might consider signing Thomas to continue building their depth.
Best Destinations: Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets
Career Statistics: 14.6 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Jamal Crawford is one of the greatest 6th Men in the history of the NBA. In terms of raw ball-handling and shot creation, it is hard to argue against Crawford being one of the best of all time. The 3-time 6th Man of the Year winner is 42 years old which means he probably won't be a regular contributor every night.
But there is no denying he can score the ball and can perform at a solid level no matter what the coach asks of him. Crawford is a veteran who has played for bad teams and good teams throughout his career, so he knows what it takes to win. Expect the Nets and Lakers to consider Crawford for extra shooting and coverage in the guard positions, while the Knicks could use some more veteran presence as they continue to build their squad.
Best Destinations: Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets