This summer will be one of the most exhilarating free agencies in recent memory. There will be a lot of big names that highlight this class, including guys like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson. With this year’s draft class containing some potential stars in Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Ja Morant, this offseason will be nothing short of exciting to witness.
However, among all of those big names will be some free agents that may fly under the radar. They won’t pull in the money some of the other superstars will, but they will still be big contributors to their teams. Let’s take a look at some of those players.
Brook Lopez has totally changed the way he plays the game. Known as a big man who mostly setup shop around the post, this last season Lopez is doing quite the opposite. Lopez is now making his living from outside the three-point line. In fact, he has more made three-pointers than guys like Khris Middleton, Luka Doncic, and Three-Point Contest champion Joe Harris. His 37% clip from downtown is very respectable, and his ability to stretch opposing bigs is a big reason why Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are having so much success. The Bucks will likely have to choose between re-signing guys like Lopez, Middleton, and Nikola Mirotic, so if they decide to let Lopez walk, look for him to have a strong market. Especially for any team searching for a capable stretch-five.
Yes I know, I get it. Cousins is a bonafide star in this league, so why is he on this list? Well, the big reason is because is he definitely overshadowed by the other star free agents in this class. Cousins decided to sign a one-year deal with the Warriors after suffering a season-ending injury the year before. Since his return, he hasn’t quite returned to his dominant self, but has definitely shown glimpses. The Warriors will focus most of their attention on bringing back Durant and/or Thompson, so Cousins will be an afterthought for the most part. Cousins still has quite a few strong seasons ahead of him, and could be a major contributor to a team looking for help from the center position.
Rose had a career revival in Minnesota this year, and is a legitimate candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. Minnesota will more than likely do whatever they can to keep him in town, but with a lot of money locked up in the duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, they may not have the best opportunity to bring him back if Rose’s asking price is too high. Rose could probably start for a few teams, but he is better suited as a scoring punch off the bench.
Redick may suffer from being the odd man out, with newly acquired Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris in town. The Sixers may try to bring back those two before they look at Redick. They won’t have enough money to return all three, but they may value Redick’s three-point game over the money it would cost to bring back one of the other two stars. Redick would be quite the quality addition to any team, and since he is getting up there in age, he may be a bargain on the market.
Sticking with the aging shooting guards, Green is another guy who is a bit past his prime, but could still be a quality contributor. Green was part of the package for Leonard in last summer’s blockbuster deal with the Spurs, who got DeMar DeRozan in return. Green is the typical three-and-D player that has become quite popular as of late. He can still be a starter for teams, but don’t expect him to carry the scoring load for a team. A team already with a star or two would be a perfect fit. Green is the ideal complimentary piece to an already contending team.
Rozier is quite the interesting case this season, and most of it will revolve around Irving’s decision this summer. If Irving decides to stay, Rozier will more than likely be playing elsewhere. Rozier could force the Celtics’ hand if he decides to sign a deal with another team early, and since he is a restricted free agent. Boston could match that offer, but if Irving is still undecided, will they risk losing Rozier and Irving, or would they play it safe and keep Rozier? Rozier burst onto the scene last season when he played well once Irving went down with an injury, but hasn’t quite lived up to that expectation this season. He will still have quite the market, even though he is a restricted free agent.