August is almost here, but there are still a few useful NBA free agents worth taking a look at. Whether it’s a restricted free agent like Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls) or an unrestricted veteran like Tony Allen, teams can still find a way to get better with what’s left in the market.
It’s hard to imagine Allen playing anywhere else but the Memphis Grizzlies. However, the only team that’s been linked to him in this free agency are the Minnesota Timberwolves. Allen, 35, averaged 9.1 points per game last season in 27 minutes per game. His defense is still solid and sometimes better than that, but his shooting was off (27.1% from three). There’s still room for Allen in this league, especially for a team that needs leadership and defense off the bench.
Every offseason, it’s the same thing: Michael Beasley is available and there aren’t a lot of takers. The 28-year old continues to show every season how efficient of a scorer he is. It’s all about putting him in the right situation without asking things he can’t do. He averaged 20.3 points per 36 minutes last season with the Bucks, playing in 56 games, his most since 2012-2013. He’s shooting over 52% from the field in the last 2 seasons, and would be a terrific scoring addition to any bench.
Don’t sleep on Clark, who is looking for a bigger role than he had with the Warriors last season. Playing 15 minutes a night in 77 games, he showed he can do a lot of damage from the backcourt if he gets the opportunity to. His numbers (6.8 points per game) aren’t telling the whole story. Not a starting point guard, but he can give teams 20-25 minutes per game off the bench easily.
A player I’m surprised hasn’t closed a deal yet. For now he has the qualifying offer from the Grizzlies, which he might have to settle for. Green is a guy who can play all front court positions, is a solid defender, good rebounder and can hit 3’s. He averaged 8.9 points per game last season, and will probably end up in Memphis.
One of those players that were touted as the next Dirk Nowitzki, and haven’t lived up to expectations. The Bulls are giving Mirotic the qualifying offer, and he’ll skip the Eurobasket (plays for Spain) to make a decision on his future. Teams are a bit scared of his inconsistency, but on his good days, he’s everything a team wants in a modern stretch ‘4’. The Bulls had a net rating of +4.7 with him on the floor and were 8.1 points per 100 possessions better when he played.
The NBA seems to be leaning towards two types of centers: One that are true defensive stoppers and those who can stretch the floor efficiently. Noel’s offense is limited, very limited. But the reason why he hasn’t been offered a big contract thus far by the Dallas Mavericks or anyone (RFA, by the way) is that no one is 100% sure if his defense is good enough to warrant a big contract. But even if you intend to play him just 20-25 minutes a night, he’s a good asset to have.
Plumlee, who was traded last season from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets, has the qualifying offer from his current team. However, he’s hoping for a bigger deal, which probably won’t happen. Centers like Plumlee are a dying breed, and being just OK on offense, rebounding and defense (his VORP is 0.6) doesn’t cut it anymore. Plumlee will end up playing, but not for the kind of mega deal he was probably hoping for.