The 2020 NBA free-agent class may not have the biggest and brightest stars hitting the market, but what it brings to the table can be just as valuable. Several proven role players are hitting the market as well as veterans with some pretty valuable experience. They might not be the game-changing players that fans are looking to see hit the market, but this free-agent class has plenty of diamonds hidden in the rough.
A career 41.1% shooter from behind the arc, Bertans is the ideal stretch four. Bertans is hitting the market coming off a year where he saw a career-high in points, rebounds, and minutes per game.
Signing the free agent may be difficult, as the Wizards have made retaining Bertans a priority. Numerous trade rumors circulated around Bertans and Washington at the deadline, yet nothing surfaced. On top of that, Washington possesses Bertans bird rights, so we may see the free agent stay at home in Washington.
For now, NBA fans have to see where the ‘Latvian Laser’ ends up. But the team that ends up signing him, will be getting arguably the best three-point shooter in this year’s free-agent class.
Burke never reached his potential after getting drafted ninth overall out of Michigan. But, the former Wolverine showed he can be a formidable depth option at the guard position. Plus, his contract demands will be minimal. Nothing better than a low-risk high-reward opportunity.
Burke only saw 33 games this year, starting the season in Philadelphia and ending in the bubble with Dallas. While in the bubble, Burke may have earned himself another contract. In the bubble, Burke averaged 12.0 points per game while shooting 43.2 percent from three in the seeding games. In the postseason, he shot 61.4 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from three in an impressive four-game stretch against the Clippers.
So why not take a chance on Burke? The low-risk high-reward guard is something many teams should be looking at. One team that certainly should be taking an extended look is the team that cut him, the Philadelphia 76ers. A depth option that can space the floor off the bench is something the Sixers could desperately use, just as many others could too. Hence why Burke is a good ‘bargain-bin’ level free agent.
Even at 31, Ibaka will make an immediate impact wherever he ends up. The problem is what the veteran big man may demand contract wise. His stock is at an all-time high as Ibaka played above expectations in his final contract year. The three-time All-NBA Defensive First Team member recorded a career-high in points in the regular season. In the postseason, Ibaka became more efficient, shooting 57.1% on ten attempts a game.
Defensively, Ibaka is far from the defensive menace he was in his prime, but his floor spacing ability will make him a hot commodity when he hits the open market.
Contenders with a hole at the center position will be looking to sign the former champion. Teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers are all rumored to be interested, and with good reason. Ibaka is certainly one of the more underrated free agents in this year’s class as he will make an immediate impact wherever he ends up.
Baynes put together one of the best years of his career with the Phoenix Suns. The free-agent center averaged a career-high in points and rebounds in his age 33 season. Baynes, known more as a high-effort defensive-minded center, transformed his offensive game this past season, connecting on 35% of his 4 long-range attempts per game. Much like Ibaka, Baynes will be a hot commodity as a floor-spacing big man that can make an immediate impact.
The former Celtic may see offers from Boston this offseason once again. Lack of size proved to be a minor thorn in the Celtics. Daniel Theis was a formidable option at the center position. But swapping Enes Kanter for Aron Baynes is a huge upgrade that the Celtics should consider. A Boston reunion may be in store for the free agent center.
Yes, Carmelo Anthony is absolutely a diamond in the rough 2020 free-agent class. Portland signed Melo to address the serious issues with their wing depth, and he exceeded expectations during the Blazers’ exciting run to the postseason.
I understand if as a fan you are not sold on Melo, but the stats show you otherwise. Anthony shot 47 percent from the 3-point line in seeding games and 42 percent on about 4 threes per game in the Blazer’s first-round series. Additionally, he averaged 1.286 points per possession on unguarded catch-and-shoot 3-pointers during the series, good for the 66th percentile according to Synergy Sports Technology.
Still not sold? Anthony averaged 1.286 points per possession on post-ups in the postseason, second only to Ibaka for players with at least ten possessions.
At the back end of his prime, Melo will not see any lucrative multi-year deals but should see some offers come his way, and with good reason. Anthony proved he can still play an important offensive role on any team, and that he is willing to adjust his role for any team.
The 2020 Free Agent Class is not Great… But it is Good.
As mentioned previously, there is not the star power we saw in the past free-agent classes. But what the 2020 free-agent class offers is many veterans, proven role players that are ready to make an impact. I would argue that those players can be just as important to stars in a playoff run. Be on the look-out where these ‘diamonds in the rough’ end up.
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