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NBA Free Agents 2013: Available Young Players with Developmental Upside

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NBA Free Agents 2013: Available Young Players with Developmental Upside
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The NBA free-agent market is still ripe with talent, with a few young players in particular standing out as ideal fits for any squad to bring in for developmental purposes.

Being drafted to the right franchise, establishing rapport with new teammates, fitting within the organization's vision of the roster and its personnel and adjusting to life as a pro makes sticking on an NBA roster tough for those who aren't surefire stars.

Some circumstances have led these players to the D-League, overseas and out of the Association, but here is a look at why some of them deserve another shot.

Note: Free agents are courtesy of HOOPSWORLD.com.

 

Reggie Williams, F-G

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The former Virginia Military Institute star put up 28.1 points in his final collegiate season, and after spending some time overseas and lighting it up in the D-League, he was picked up by the Golden State Warriors.

Williams has the versatility to play both the 2 and the 3 and has legitimate three-point range, which makes him a tough matchup.

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After closing out his rookie season in impressive fashion, he stuck with the Warriors.

In his most extended NBA action, Williams appeared in 80 games with the Warriors in 2010-11, averaging 9.2 points per game and shooting 46.9 percent from the floor. That included a 42.3 percent clip from downtown on an average of three attempts.

Then, Golden State drafted Klay Thompson in 2011 and already had a developing star in Stephen Curry coming along. That made Williams somewhat expendable.

What followed was a two-year stint with the Charlotte Bobcats. Absent of any complementary talent or any organizational infrastructure, Williams' numbers declined across the board.

Williams is a member of the D-League's Tulsa 66ers and thrived in his recent debut with the team:

Now, he's become sort of an afterthought, but the 27-year-old would be a huge bargain and could be a solid bench contributor to start out if he gets another shot in the Association.

 

Darius Morris, PG

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It says something that the Los Angeles Lakers haven't invited Morris back amid the myriad of injuries to their backcourt, particularly at point guard with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all out of the lineup.

Morris was also waived by the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 20, so he hasn't done quite enough to stick on two sub-.500 teams this season.

Nevertheless, among the options on the open market at the moment—and yes, it's rather slim pickings—the 22-year-old former second-round pick of the Lakers has the most potential to develop into a viable pro.

Shahan Ahmed of NBCLosAngeles.com lobbied for Morris to rejoin the Lakers on Dec. 19 after Kobe Bryant went down with a fractured left knee.

ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne reported that day that the team was mulling over Morris but went with the other rumored option in Kendall Marshall instead:

The heavy consideration makes sense since Morris is familiar with the fast-paced offense of head coach Mike D'Antoni and is a stellar defender, which LA needs in yielding 102.9 points per game—28th in the NBA.

Although he isn't the greatest free-throw shooter, Morris can beat opponents off the dribble, has good size at 6'4" for his position and can stretch defenses out to the three-point arc, with a career shooting percentage of 38.4 from out there.

There is plenty of reason to believe that Morris could make more of an impact if given the opportunity. Whether or not the Lakers reach out remains to be seen, but it would certainly be a logical move.

 

Tim Ohlbrecht, C

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The 6'11" center has a solid frame at 255 pounds and is solid on both ends of the court. Ohlbrecht rejoined the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Nov. 30.

In 32 games (29 starts) with the Vipers last season, the 25-year-old big man was an All-Star in shooting 60.5 percent from the field. He averaged 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks per contest in 26.6 minutes.

Dennis Silva II of the Monitor points out one noticeable flaw that Ohlbrecht has to correct defensively to make it back to the highest level of basketball:

Ohlbrecht declined a six-figure offer last year to enter the NBADL draft and accept a far less lucrative salary rather than remain in his native Germany, where he had won multiple championships, per DraftExpress.com.

That gives him a unique background and the sort of intangibles that would be desirable for a developmental project sort of player.

He appeared in three games for the Houston Rockets last season, but between Omer Asik and Dwight Howard at center and Terrence Jones and Greg Smith at power forward, there hasn't been much room for Ohlbrecht to climb.

If he continues to thrive in the D-League, it would not be surprising to see Ohlbrecht get a call-up to the pros at some point in 2013-14.

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