With COVID-19 cases rising rampantly and a few players deciding to opt-out of playing in the NBA restart in Orlando, teams made roster additions to fill those voids. I ranked every one of those roster additions. Let’s dive in:
J.R. Smith: Los Angeles Lakers
A lot of people remember J.R. Smith for his huge blunder in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, but Smith is actually a fine player. Though his career is coming to an end (he’ll be 35 soon), he brings some much needed three-point shooting and experience to the Lakers.
J.R. is shooting 37.5 percent on clutch threes since the 2014-15 playoffs and can create off the dribble as well. In 2017-18, only 52 percent of his regular shots were assisted.
Out of all the options, Smith is possibly the best fit for the Lakers.
Joakim Noah- Los Angeles Clippers
Signing Joakim Noah is a no-risk proposition for the Clippers. At the age of 36, he will be cleaning up the minutes left behind by Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac.
Noah will help the Clippers with his energy and good basketball IQ. Coach Doc Rivers expects him to be a good influence on Zubac. His long standing beef with Lebron will have another chapter after all (which is dating back to his Bulls days).
The veteran averaged seven points, 5.7 boards, and 1.7 assists in 16.5 minutes with the Memphis Grizzlies last season, but the key question will be health. Noah is coming off an Achilles injury.
Luc Mbah A Moute: Houston Rockets
Though the beginning of his Rockets tenure in 2017-18 was wonderful, Luc Mbah a Moute suffered an injury that kept him out of most of their playoff games. He has a chance at redemption with the Rockets again, and I believe Mbah a Moute is one of the best roster additions.
With the Rockets in 2017-18, the 6’8″ forward averaged 7.5 points, three boards, 1.2 steals, and 0.9 assists per game and shot 36 percent from three. Houston added another floor spacer who is perfect for their style of play and switchable on defense.
Ryan Broekhoff- Philadelphia 76ers
The glaring weakness in the Sixers’ roster is their lack of floor spacing. Nevertheless, Philly made a move to address that by adding Ryan Broekhoff, though it remains to be seen if he can crack the rotation. Coach Brett Brown has a lot more options to tinker with this time around.
One thing to note though: in his two-year NBA career, Broekhoff has attempted 144 three-pointers and made 40.3 percent of them.
Corey Brewer- Sacramento Kings
After playing 24 games for the Kings last season, Corey Brewer will rejoin them in Orlando for the season restart. Because Sacramento has a deep roster, he will not be in the rotation. However, coach Luke Walton can plug Brewer into multiple lineups which need some energy and defense. Being just a 31 percent three-point shooter doesn’t help his cause though, unfortunately.
Trey Burke- Dallas Mavericks
Trey Burke signed with the Mavs to replace injured guard Jalen Brunson, who will miss the season after shoulder surgery.
Meanwhile, Burke has averaged 9.4 points and 2.6 assists over the last two seasons and shot 37 percent from deep.
David Nwaba: Houston Rockets
David Nwaba is known as Mr. Dunk or Mr. Demolition Man on the basketball court. Those names speak volumes about his hustle and athletic abilities. Though he will not be available this year (injury), he’s got some upside at just 28-years-old.
Being just a 34 percent three-point shooter doesn’t bode well for the Rockets but shooting 42 percent on 1.4 attempts per game is encouraging. Nevertheless, Nwaba can improve and there is no better place than Houston to hone his skills.
Tyler Zeller- San Antonio Spurs
Tyler Zeller has been a journeyman throughout his six-year NBA career. He was averaging 7.7 points and four boards in the 2018-19 season. With LaMarcus Aldridge out after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder, Zeller will share minutes at the five with center Jakob Poeltl.
PJ Dozier- Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets might have found another diamond in the rough in 6’6″ guard PJ Dozier, who also possesses a 6’11” wingspan. He is averaging 21.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists while playing some great defense in the G-League. It’s safe to say he deserves this full NBA contract. At just 23 years of age, Dozier can hopefully turn out to be a great piece for the Nuggets in the future.
Tyler Johnson- Brooklyn Nets
Tyler Johnson was underwhelming with the Phoenix Suns this season before being waived. He was averaging 5.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while just shooting 29 percent from deep.
He should see an uptick in minutes with Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyrie opting out of the bubble.
Jordan Bell- Cleveland Cavaliers
Adding Jordan Bell to the list of non-shooting centers the Cavaliers have is not the right way forward. In short stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bell averaged 3.2 points and 2.8 boards. The Oregon product’s career has not turned out the way many fans expected, but Bell will look to carve out a long term role in Cleveland.