Sharpshooters, rebounders, defenders—the NBA is becoming increasingly compartmentalized.
Certain players fit certain niches, certain teams need those players to fill those niches.
Unfortunately for a lot of these players, teams would rather have well-rounded talents who can contribute in more than one area when they’re on the floor.
Here are the five most specialized, one-dimensional players still available in free agency.
Kwame Brown still has one skill—being big.
To his credit, he’s parlayed his size and relative lack of talent into an 11-year NBA career.
The downside is that at 30, he doesn’t seem willing or able to improve on anything other than being able to grab a few rebounds each game.
Rudy Fernandez established himself as a three-point specialist while playing with the Portland Trail Blazers. In Denver last season, his three-point percentage dipped to .328.
That leaves him as a specialist whose specialty isn’t very special any more.
The veteran Michael Redd can still score efficiently at age 32, but he can’t do much else.
His shooting percentages dipped last year, during his 12th NBA season. But a team who needs offensive production deep off the bench can still get some buckets out of Redd in limited minutes.
Derek Fisher’s on-court performance has slipped with his advancing age. The 37-year-old still possesses an invaluable trait—leadership.
Any team who signs Fisher picks up a locker room leader. Fisher has evolved into the late-career, player-coach type of guy.
He won’t help much when he’s on the floor, but he is a big boost off the court.
Gerald Green has the one dimension nobody can teach—raw athleticism.
The 6’8”, 200-pound swingman can do things on a basketball court most people can’t. Like this.
If the 26-year-old can learn to harness that freakishness and learn the game of basketball, he could blossom into a star. But at 26, it’s not easy to learn new tricks.