NBA Free Agency 2014: Highlighting Top Veterans Still on the Market

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2014

Phoenix Suns' Eric Bledsoe (2) and Goran Dragic, back, of Slovenia, talk with head coach Jeff Hornacek, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Phoenix.  The Cavaliers defeated the Suns 110-101. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The dominoes have in fact fallen, and most of the prized assets on the NBA free-agent market have been claimed.

Most NBA experts talked about how once the best players were off the market, the signings would start coming much faster. Teams then would have a much better idea of where they stand and how much money they had with which to work.

Despite a recent flurry of activity, these four players remain unclaimed at the time of writing.


Ray Allen

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15:  Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Ever since The King returned home, some wondered if Ray Allen would follow LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mike Miller was the first of the former Miami Heat role players to sign with the Cavs, confirming the move on his Instagram, writing, "Thanks to Memphis for a great year!! But I'm so excited to be a part of the Cleveland family and their fans. The only thing you can expect from me is everything I have! Thanks for the opportunity."

Cleveland is also in the process of signing James Jones, per Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal:

According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, the Cavaliers may still be able to sign Allen as well:

Allen, who turns 39 in four days, is still capable of parking out on the three-point line and helping space the floor. He also averaged more than 25 minutes a night in each of his last two seasons with the Heat, missing only 12 regular-season games, so durability isn't a problem, either.

The Cavs need veteran experience like Allen's to supplement the younger stars in order to become a serious title contender.


Eric Bledsoe

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 16: Eric Bledsoe #2 of the Phoenix Suns in a game against the Sacramento Kings on April16, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using t
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns have played this perfectly. They've sat back, waited patiently and watched as the market for Eric Bledsoe has almost evaporated.'s Kevin Pelton ventures that the Philadelphia 76ers are the only franchise with enough cap space to sign him to a max deal:

Does anybody believe he'd sign with Philly?

The beauty of this offseason for Phoenix was that Bledsoe remained a restricted free agent, allowing the team to match whatever offer sheet he signs with another team. The Suns will almost certainly retain the 24-year-old, only now they won't have to pay an arm and a leg.

Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reported that the Isaiah Thomas sign-and-trade didn't change the team's stance:

Imagining a backcourt with Thomas, Bledsoe and Goran Dragic is a scary thought.


Greg Monroe

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The back-to-the-basket big man is becoming a bit outmoded, but is anyone else a little surprised at how little talk has surrounded Greg Monroe?

The former Detroit Pistons center averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds last year, also boasting a PER of 18.1. Monroe isn't the next coming of Dwight Howard, but he's an above-average center. And he's still without a new team.'s David Mayo reported that the Pistons offered around $12 million a year, but no deal had been agreed to. Monroe's a restricted free agent, too, so Detroit is holding the majority—if not all—of the chips right now, especially with no other team throwing an offer sheet the player's way.

You'd have to believe that the 24-year-old will find a new home sooner rather than later.


Jameer Nelson

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

This year's free-agent market was lush with talented point guards, so it makes sense that Jameer Nelson wasn't snapped up immediately after the Orlando Magic waived him on June 30.

The 32-year-old has shown signs of wear and tear over the last few years, missing a combined 40 games between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 regular seasons. His PER has also steadily dropped in each of the last five years, going from 15.5 in 2009-10 to 13.9 in '13-14.

The nice thing about Nelson is that, between his injuries and drop in production, he'll come at a reasonable price for whichever team signs him. Plenty of general managers are working with tight budgets, so the veteran point guard would be a financially shrewd addition.


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