NBA Free Agents 2013: Talented Players Sure to Blossom on New Clubs

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2013

J.R. Smith won Sixth Man of the Year with the Knicks, but he has a chance to get more playing time with a new team.
J.R. Smith won Sixth Man of the Year with the Knicks, but he has a chance to get more playing time with a new team.Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Now that NBA free agency is underway, it is time to see where J.R. Smith and other talented players will have an impact next season.

Dwight Howard has the entire league's attention, but he's already a proven star. The players on this list are talented but haven't made an All-Star team at this point in their careers.

A few of these players came off the bench last year, and they are looking for more playing time.

Those players have different options to go through. They can accept a reduced role again, chase a championship or look for money.

The players on this list are players who could put a team over the top, so check out who joins J.R. Smith on the list of players who are going to blossom with a new team.


J.R. Smith, G, New York Knicks

One of the most explosive players on the market is Smith. He can be a starter on a lot of teams, but he came off the bench in New York last season.

Smith opted out of his contract with the Knicks, and he is going to test the market.

He's in an interesting situation. He can go get more money and start for another team, or he could come off the bench with the Knicks. It's not clear which way he is leaning, but the chance to start elsewhere will be the deciding factor.

He won the Sixth Man of the Year last season and can offer a team a lot of talent.

Smith averaged a career-high 18.1 points last season and made over 42 percent of his shots from the floor.

He is due for a big raise, and he will take his talents to a team that will allow him to start.


Nate Robinson, G, Chicago Bulls

 Another talented player who came off the bench last year was Nate Robinson. He is not expected to return to the Bulls. 

Robinson is an explosive offensive player. He averaged 13.1 points per game in limited minutes last season, and he shot 43 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three-point range.

He also averaged 4.4 assists per game, so he knows how to get his teammates involved.

The 5'9" guard was a huge part in Chicago's playoff success. He put the offense on his back and led the way. He wasn't able to carry the team past the Miami Heat, but he averaged 16.3 points per game in the postseason.

His explosiveness will have some team looking to add to its offense. He may not be an All-Star, but he can help an offense with his shooting and driving to the basket.

Robinson is a solid scorer, and he can continue to grow as a player.


Monta Ellis, G, Milwaukee Bucks

After a solid career with the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis is looking to turn into a star.

He reportedly turned down an extension with the Bucks, so don't expect Ellis to return to the team.

Ellis has averaged at least 20 points per game five different times in his career, but he has never been part of a legitimate contender. He now has the ability to go to a contending team and go from good player to star.

He has averaged over 19 points and nearly five assists per game in his career, and that's without having great players around him. He has played with Brandon Jennings, but that wasn't enough to get attention in Milwaukee.

Ellis is a talented player who has been overlooked with the Warriors and Bucks. Now he will get a chance to showcase his talents on a contender.


*All stats are courtesy of