The whirlwind that was NBA free agency in 2013 has settled, and all of the big names are off the market. Nevertheless, there are still some good players out there that could be of service to many teams.
Here are the three best free agents that are still on the market and the team that provides the best fit for them.
Gooden was amnestied by the Milwaukee Bucks over the offseason, but he shouldn't be too upset about that. He had fallen out of the rotation and only played in 16 games last year despite being healthy.
At this point in his career, he’ll only play around 20-25 minutes per game off the bench, but size is always important in the NBA, and he would provide excellent depth.
Gooden is a good rebounder and has a solid offensive game built around some low-post moves and the ability to consistently knock down mid-range jumpers. He’s not a great defender, but he could be a valuable contributor off a playoff team’s bench.
They could certainly use a player of Gooden’s caliber, but they will have no interest in signing him to anything more than a one-year deal. They are looking to rebuild their roster with the cap space they will have next summer, according to the LA Times.
There may not be a ton of minutes available for Gooden given the Heat’s propensity to play LeBron at the 4, but Miami can use all the size it can get for potential playoff matchups against the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls.
Best Fit: Miami Heat
Williams’ career hasn't panned out the way he envisioned when he was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. He’s played for four teams in as many years, but he still has the size, athleticism and all-around game for somebody to take a chance on him.
One impediment to that happening is his arrest in May.
Off-court issues will scare many teams away from a prospect that hasn't lived up to the expectations, but The Courier Journal reports that the assault charges have been dropped.
He played with the Boston Celtics last year but never got significant minutes.
Despite all the negativity, he is still only 26 years old and a very good passer and rebounder for his position.
The best fit for Williams would be a team with a veteran locker room where he could get minutes as a role player off the bench. Most teams will stay away until his legal problems are sorted out, but one team that could be looking his way is the San Antonio Spurs.
While he is listed as a shooting guard, he has the size to play the small forward position, and the Spurs have nobody behind Kawhi Leonard on the depth chart.
Best Fit: San Antonio Spurs
At 30 years old, Leandro Barbosa isn't adding any new dimensions to his game. Teams know what they’re going to get from him: a scorer off the bench. He last played for the Boston Celtics, but his season was cut short by a torn ACL.
He’s nothing more and nothing less than a sixth man at this stage of his career, but he could be a valuable addition for a playoff team in need of help for its second unit.
The team that fits the bill is the Oklahoma City Thunder, although they wouldn't make a move until they've had the time to evaluate whether Jeremy Lamb can play substantial minutes this year.
Barbosa would replace Kevin Martin as the offensive complement to Thabo Sefolosha at the shooting guard position and give them a steady scorer who could lead the second unit by creating shots for himself and others.
Best Fit: Oklahoma City Thunder