Best Under-the-Radar 2013 NBA Free Agents Still Available
None of the remaining 2013 free agents are without substantial flaws. Those players are long gone by now and were few and far between as is anyway.
The following available free agents have managed to fly under the radar for one reason or another, but they all, at the very least, can be useful. Team fit matters a great deal when considering these players, but they can certainly still make an impact on the right roster.
How many 30-year-old former All-Star point guards that shoot over 38 percent from behind the arc on their career are still available in free agency? Just one.
Mo Williams has serious limitations as a defender and a natural point guard, but he can shoot from deep and score. Those skills would seem to make him a perfect sixth man candidate if he could let go of the past and accept his role as a bench player.
Williams no longer demands the minutes, role or salary he once did in a league inflated with good point guards, but he could still be an incredibly useful shooter and scorer for the right team. Protect and hide him defensively, and he's well worth the playing time.
The Charlotte Bobcats are naturally under the radar, and so too are the players unlucky enough to have toiled away in obscurity over the last few years.
That applies to Gerald Henderson as much as anyone. Henderson has made gradual improvements in nearly every statistical category during his four years, and he's become a more complete player as a passer, team defender and generally good role player.
On losing teams, it's tough to identify the culprits, and Charlotte was such a mess that it's hard to pick up on what Henderson does well. His inability to provide three-point shooting is certainly a concern, but he is a terrific athlete with a solid enough understanding of the game to account for his shortcomings on the perimeter. He's a luxury a team with shooting should be able to afford.
Ivan Johnson is a scrapper, and as an energy guy off the bench, you could do much worse. Johnson loves to tangle for offensive rebounds, and on the defensive end, he won't get overwhelmed physically. He's a tough, hard-nosed player that gives effort you can depend upon.
Johnson's late start in the league, sub-par athleticism and size have him flying under the radar, but there are more talented, bigger players who won't produce like he does. Johnson can step out a bit and knock down jumpers, but his real value comes in the paint, where he can push bodies around and muck things up.
Johnson's game isn't pretty, but that's what him makes him attractive as a bench guy who can act as an enforcer for your scorers.
Remember him? Tyrus Thomas fell off the face of the earth in Charlotte due to injuries and lackluster play, but the 26-year-old athletic forward probably still has something left in the tank.
Thomas is a classic case of a player's value being attached to his contract. He was overpaid for a very long time, but it doesn't mean he's not worth a paycheck at all anymore. On a minimum deal with no risk, Thomas could provide a spark at the 4 with a new team in a new environment.
After all, just two seasons ago Thomas registered an 18.2 PER. That number isn't everything, but it would lead you to believe that the young, athletic forward might be able to regain his form.
Wing players that can't shoot are having an increasingly difficult time finding work, and that's where Ronnie Brewer is right now.
Brewer was an incredibly useful player for the Utah Jazz a few years back, where he thrived in the flex system by making smart cuts at the perfect time. He was a great baseline player who understood how to move away from the ball and make good passes, but with the New York Knicks, he showed that he's not a fit in a spread 1-in, 4-out type offense.
Very few teams will line up for a 25.6 percent career three-point shooter, but Brewer could be useful for a team similar to Memphis or Chicago that creates unconventional stretch and has a high post operator. His lack of range is tough to swallow, but his perimeter defense is probably worth the offensive drop in small enough doses.
Lamar Odom might be the biggest name outside of Brandon Jennings still available, but don't be fooled by old highlights. This is not the stretch 4 with the sweet handle and offensive skills we once knew.
In fact, Odom probably hurts your team offensively now, as evidenced by his woefully bad true shooting percentage of 42.9 percent last season with the Los Angeles Clippers.
But as was always the case with Odom, he is still a very underrated defender. His versatility to guard different types of forwards is great, but Odom's pick-and-roll defense is what makes him a valuable bench piece.
Not many big guys hedge as aggressively as Odom does, and when you combine that with some really good defensive rebounding, Odom could be a solid addition if he's in the right physical and mental shape going into the season.