Unsigned NBA Veterans with Plenty Left in the Tank
It's not easy being a professional athlete on the other side of 30.
You start to ache everywhere, your metabolism slows down and you have to work twice as hard to keep up with some of the game's younger athletes.
The following NBA veterans are all dealing with that right now, and they're all looking for new homes in free agency.
Here's why it would be wise to snatch up these unsigned players who have plenty left in the tank.
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The point guard market has plenty of supply but very little demand. With so many good starting point guards holding down jobs, veteran point guard Mo Williams is on the outside looking in.
Maybe that's for the best, though. Williams is a below-average point guard because of his defensive deficiencies and subpar court vision, but that doesn't mean he's not a very productive player.
Williams can really shoot the ball and score on his own, and he could provide some insurance off the bench as a point guard in case of injury.
Most teams are out of money and roster spots, so Williams might not like the amount of money and the role he'll have this year. But outside of those hurdles, there's no reason why Williams can't be a sixth man for a good team, so long as he's willing to accept that role.
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Like Mo Williams, Beno Udrih is a very capable backup point guard who can shoot the ball and find points for himself.
He is the master of the pull-up jumper in transition, and for a second unit that lacks scoring punch, he could definitely fill a need.
Udrih is one of those weird players you'd describe as quick but not fast, as he possesses a pretty sneaky first step that allows him to be a competent scorer while creating for others.
It's hard to imagine that Udrih isn't at least worth the veteran's minimum for a team looking to solidify the point guard spot.
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Keyon Dooling was done. He was wearing a suit everyday, working with the Boston Celtics front office, retired from basketball.
But when the Memphis Grizzlies came calling, Dooling was ready to play. The 33-year-old point guard came in right away and played his usual brand of pesky on-ball defense while shooting pretty well from the perimeter.
Dooling is undoubtedly in the twilight of his career, but if a team comes calling now or at midseason, he showed last year that he still has enough left in the tank to be a solid, dependable backup point guard.
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Is he in shape? That's the big question with Lamar Odom, a guy who took half the season last year just to look like he belonged on a basketball court.
While Odom never did get his legs underneath him enough to be a good shooter from anywhere on the court, his basketball IQ still shined. Odom is still a very capable passer from the high post, an upper-level defensive rebounder and a really active defender on pick-and-rolls.
He'll leave something to be desired just about everywhere else, and his commitment level is always a concern, but Odom can still play—granted, if he wants to.
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Jason Collins isn't the most talented big man, but he does provide elite post defense, hard screens and six fouls a game. That might not sound like much, but the bar is low when you're looking for end-of-the-rotation centers.
Collins may be particularly useful for a team in the Western Conference that will have to potentially go up against the likes of Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol in the playoffs.
Individual post defenders as a whole are overrated (see: Perkins, Kendrick), but signed for a minimum contract solely as a situational player, Collins can provide value.
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Marcus Camby probably has the least in the tank out of the players on this list, but his style of play is fuel efficient.
Basically, he can run on fumes.
Camby is a classic rim-protector who eschews pick-and-roll defense to stay glued to the paint. His long arms and reach allow him to contest a ton of shots and gobble up rebounds, attributes that can fit in a defensive system that doesn't ask its bigs to hedge or show on pick-and-rolls.
Offensively, Camby is a high-post operator who, we should remember, is one of the better passing bigs of his era. Camby can really work well with a bruising power forward, and, although you don't want to depend on it, that catapult shot can fall every now and then.
You might not want to rely on him for substantial minutes, but in the right fit, Camby can still make a difference on both ends of the floor.