NBA GMs still have some options in free agency
The elite players are off the market, but here are the top 5 still available
There is not a lot left on the shelves for NBA general managers entering the free-agent market.
The elite free agents such as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Kyle Lowry are all gone. So are a lot of respected starters and complementary players. But if general managers look hard enough, there is still some talent left in late July.
Here are The Undefeated’s top five remaining free agents:
Nerlens Noel, dallas Mavericks, PF/C, Restricted
2016-17 per game stats: 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks
Comment: Nerlens Noel is limited by his restricted free agent status as he is engaged in a stare-down with the Dallas Mavericks. “We are waiting on a legitimate offer from the Mavs,” said Noel’s agent, Happy Walters. “Until that time, Nerlens is training in L.A. until camp opens.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t appear to be budging and is expected to match any offer sheet that Noel could sign.
JaMychal Green, memphis Grizzlies, PF, Restricted
2016-17 per game stats: 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Comment: JaMychal Green is a talented stretch forward who solidified his position in the NBA by starting 75 games last season. Green’s agent, Michael Hodges, and the Memphis Grizzlies haven’t had much success in their contract talks, and sign-and-trade possibilities have been broached. The Grizzlies have basically challenged Green to land an offer sheet to keep from bidding against themselves. With Zach Randolph gone to the Sacramento Kings, and young and oft-injured forward talent remaining next to star center Marc Gasol, it would be tough for the Grizzlies to lose Green.
Derrick Rose, new york Knicks, PG, Unrestricted
2016-17 per game stats: 18 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds
Comment: The oft-injured veteran guard has been in talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers and met with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, ESPN.com reported. He also has been linked to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers reportedly had interest in him previously but have since found floor generals. The New York Knicks drafted a point guard in Frank Ntilikina.
Mason Plumlee, denver Nuggets, C, Restricted
2016-17 per game stats: 10.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks
Comment: The Denver Nuggets are loaded with talented bigs, with All-Star newcomer Paul Millsap, budding star Nikola Jokic and Juancho Hernangomez. Even so, the Nuggets can’t afford to lose Mason Plumlee for nothing after acquiring him from the Portland Trail Blazers last season for center Jusuf Nurkic. Perhaps the Nuggets need to consider moving this athletic big man in a sign-and-trade deal to fill other needs.
Shabazz Muhammad, minnesota Timberwolves, G/F, Unrestricted
2016-17 per game stats: 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 33.6 3-point percentage
Comment: Considering his young age and talent, an argument could be made that Shabazz Muhammad is the second-best player remaining in free agency. Keep in mind that this former UCLA star averaged nearly 10 points off the bench in nearly 20 minutes per game last season. A source previously told The Undefeated that the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cavaliers, Knicks and Orlando Magic are interested. Check out Muhammad’s Instagram page, as he is in premium shape — worthy of being in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue.