In Part one, we focused on five free agents that teams over the cap could pick up cheaply and get value out of next season. Here’s the link to that article if you missed out.
Age – 28
Unrestricted Free Agent
2018/19 season – eight points, one rebound, one assist.
Seth Curry has come off an excellent year for the Portland Trail Blazers. Signed to a one year deal after missing all of last year due to injury, he played in the recently completed Conference Finals. Shooting an impressive 45% from three in the regular season, this ranked him in the 96th percentile for shooting guards. Though he only stands 6’2 he is a pesky defender who plays hard. He struggles against bigger players but his offense is strong enough to keep him on the court. Curry is also a career 50% shooter on corner threes.
While he isn’t a top level passer, he can hold his own in the pick and roll. He can also play some minutes at back up point guard if need be. In the Blazers series loss to the Warriors, Seth was very effective with an overall net rating of only -2. After a strong year at age 28, he looks to be past his injury issues. Three point shooting has good value in the market, so this may mean a deal of around the four – six million range. A three year deal in this range would represent strong value to potential suitors.
Age – 27
Unrestricted Free Agent – Indiana Pacers have his early bid rights
2018/19 Season – six points, two rebounds, two assists
Cory Joseph had an up and down year for the Indiana Pacers. Struggling with his offense, his inconsistent shooting gave him the lowest field goal percentage since his rookie year. On the less glamorous end of the court he played the best defense of his career. Registering career highs in rebounds, assists and steals he helped Indiana to another Playoff appearance. They were a better team with him on the court, as evidenced by his +5.0 on / off rating. He also had a career high in offensive fouls drawn at 24, this was second only to Thaddeus Young on the Pacers team.
Per Cleaning the Glass he ranked in the 87th percentile for Combo Guards when it came to Steals this season. If prospective teams see his bad shooting year as a one off, then he can be a good acquisition as a backup guard. He wont drop 30 or 40 points a game but he matches up well against smaller guards and is a strong help defender. Its likely he will be in the 4 – 7 million range this season, At 27 a three to four year deal may suit both him and potential teams.
Age – 31
Unrestricted Free Agent
2018/19 Season – ten points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal
Wayne Ellington finished the season on the Detroit Pistons, after first being traded by the Miami Heat and then waived by the Phoenix Suns. One of the most consistent three point shooters in the league, Ellington struggled to get playing time for the Heat due to fit and injury issues. He was back to his best when he hit the floor for the Pistons though. His on / off rating showing they were +5.0 points a game when he was on the floor. A career 38% shooter from three point range, he also hoisted at least 6.4 attempts a game the last three seasons.
High volume floor spacing is at a premium in the NBA these days, and as Ellington can hold his own on defense he will continue to get paydays in this league. He can defend without fouling and as a help defender he also jumps passing lanes to get steals. Paid 6.2 million the last two years on the Heat, he can expect a similar pay day this summer. He may get a two or three year deal at less money if he wants a bit more job security. With the wing class being weak this summer, maybe his price goes a little higher if a few teams want him
Age – 34
Unrestricted Free Agent
2018/19 season – seven points, five rebounds and two assists
Joakim Noah is an intriguing entry on the list of Free Agents this summer. After securing a buyout from a nightmare situation in New York, he reappeared the Memphis Grizzlies. He seemed re-energized on a Grizzlies team that made multiple trades throughout his tenure. They were an average +5.7 points better per game in the 42 games he was on the floor. He finished at the rim at a career high of 62%, while throwing down 42 dunks as well. His foul drawing and rebounding were also close to career highs, showing the effort he was putting in on a tanking team.
While it may be a different story on a winning team, Noah is a former defensive player of the year who has strong playoff experience. If his injury and drug issues are behind him, he could be a good addition to a rebuilding or playoff team. Noah will have earned over 140 million when his stretched deal with the Knicks concludes. This will probably mean he would be happy to be on a roster at the veteran minimum.