With a little over two months until the NBA season begins, a number of veteran free agents are still on the market looking for work. NBA executives across the league will be determining whether they can trust their young talent to win now, or if they need a veteran presence to solidify the team.
Many teams are looking for that one established veteran to come in and contribute 10-15 minutes a game and provide energy off the bench. Here is the latest buzz on the top veteran free agents.
Tracy McGrady: Small Forward
Coming off his first NBA finals appearance, the 34-year-old McGrady is debating between coming back to the NBA for a 17th season, or to play in China in the CBA. McGrady starred last season in China before being signed by the Spurs on April 16th.
On a Chinese social media site, McGrady said he would be make his decision soon.
T-mac’s days of playing in the NBA may be numbered. However, with the right fit and at the right price, he may find himself on a well-established team, much like last season. But at the end of the day, don’t rule out retirement for McGrady as well.
Lamar Odom: Forward
Odom, 33, currently has a standing offer from the Los Angeles Clippers for the veteran's minimum. Odom believes he deserves more than that and has been in contact with Doc Rivers this offseason about his return. However, after averaging career lows in points, 4.0, rebounds, 5.9 and minutes, 19.7, it’s unclear how much leverage Odom has.
The Clippers enter the season as one the favorites to win the West. Odom can help provide some depth and some third-quarter minutes for Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Richard Hamilton: Shooting Guard
The Chicago Bulls waived Hamilton on July 10th. This was expected considering he was due upwards of $5 million. Hamilton tweeted a couple days later saying that he has “several choices” and is looking forward to the opportunities ahead.
First time I've been a free agent at the beginning of a summer in my entire career. Several choices… http://t.co/zJnyZEnbqJ— Rip Hamilton (@ripcityhamilton) July 20, 2013
Hamilton could be a great fit for a team looking for a slashing SG and a productive scorer. At 35, he still has a couple years left in the tank and it will be interesting to see where he ends up at the start of the season.