NBA News: Most Underrated Free-Agent Signings of 2013 Offseason

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIJuly 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 27:  Jose Calderon #8 of the Detroit Pistons reacts a to play during the second half of the Pistons 96-95 win over the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on February 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 2013 NBA offseason is in full swing, as countless free agents have found new homes and numerous trades have been executed. While the acquisition of players such as Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala are well-documented, certain signings have gone under the radar.

The question is, what have been the most underrated free agent signings of the 2013 offseason?

Certain players lack the superstar name value, thus being perceived as signings that will have a less significant impact on title contenders. With that being said, the addition of quality role players is what separates the star-studded rosters from the championship winners.

Fortunately, those players are about to receive their due.


Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs

Position: Shooting Guard

Age: 27

Experience: 6 Seasons

2012-13 Season Averages

10.43 PER, 25.8 MPG, 9.6 PPG, 2.0 APG, 1.9 RPG


The San Antonio Spurs were an offensive rebound away from winning the 2013 NBA championship. Gearing up for the 2013-14 season, the Spurs return virtually the same cast of players, with nothing but room to improve upon their weaknesses.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Spurs have signed Marco Belinelli two a two-year deal worth $6 million—a signing that could push them over the edge.

With Manu Ginobili's decline during the 2013 NBA playoffs, the Spurs were left without an off-guard that can create his own shot. Danny Green set an NBA record for three-point field goals made in one NBA Finals, but his ability to attack off of the bounce is limited, at best.

Belinelli proved with the Chicago Bulls that not only can he shoot the lights out, but he can create space for himself—during the playoffs.

Belinelli scored in double-figures during all five games that he saw at least 30 minutes of play, including a 24-point performance during Chicago's 99-93 Game 7 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. With Ginobili's ability to consistently produce up in the air, Belinelli could see significant minutes in San Antonio.

If he's anything like he was for the Bulls, Belinelli could be the player that helps San Antonio return to the Finals.


Jose Calderon, Dallas Mavericks

Position: Point Guard

Age: 31

Experience: 8 Seasons

2012-13 Season Averages

18.80 PER, 29.6 MPG, 11.3 PPG, 7.1 APG, 2.4 RPG, 46.1% 3PT


The Dallas Mavericks have had a busy offseason, signing former point guard Devin Harris and Wayne Ellington. They've also been actively pursuing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, albeit unsuccessfully.

According to Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, the Mavericks also signed point guard Jose Calderon—the most underrated acquisition of the summer.

In terms of pure offense, Calderon is an undeniably elite player, facilitating as well as any and shooting the three-ball at a top-tier clip. In fact, Calderon may just be the best combination of facilitating and spot-up three-point shooting in the NBA.

During the 2012-13 season, Calderon averaged 7.1 assists per game and shot a league-best 46.1 percent from three-point range.

Furthermore, Calderon ranked seventh amongst point guards in three-point field goals made. Paired with overall rankings of second in assist-to-turnover ratio and fifth in assists per 48 minutes, it's clear that Calderon is both responsible and proficient.

For a team that loves the three-ball and already has Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion on the roster, the addition of an elite offensive point guard could be more powerful than we're acknowledging. All in all, Dallas is now a legitimate postseason team.


Darren Collison, Los Angeles Clippers

Position: Point Guard

Age: 25

Experience: 4 Seasons

2012-13 Season Averages

16.37 PER, 29.3 MPG, 12.0 PPG, 5.1 APG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 SPG


The Los Angeles Clippers made one of the most high-profile trades of the year, essentially dealing Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler for J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley. In turn, L.A. added the sharpshooting it has so desperately needed, but created a void at backup point guard.

Per Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports, the Clippers have signed point guard Darren Collison to a two-year deal worth $1.9 million per season to replace Bledsoe.

Collison had a solid year with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 12.0 points and 5.1 assists on a slash line of .471/.353/.880. The key here isn't what the 25-year-old did in Dallas, however, but instead what happened in 2010.

That was the season that Collison played with Clippers point guard Chris Paul and broke onto the scene as a premier transition threat.

Since then, Collison has experienced success with both Dallas and the Indiana Pacers, averaging 8.9 points in 21.9 minutes during 16 postseason games. With that being said, Paul's leadership was critical to Collison's progression as a rookie.

With Bledsoe gone and Chauncey Billups having signed with the Detroit Pistons, the Clippers continued to value team chemistry by bringing in a dynamic playmaker that CP3 is familiar with. Placating your superstar and improving your roster is what you call a win.