- NBA training camp has officially started but there are a few proven players without teams to call home. From Jamal Crawford to Nick Young, here are a few players who should get picked up soon.
NBA free agency has come and go and teams have begun holding training camp. While big names like LeBron James and Boogie Cousins adjust to their new environments, there are still a couple of worthy veterans in search of a new home on the market. Every team needs a vet, whether that team is a contender searching for added depth or an upstart looking for a locker room presence. Here are a few players who should land somewhere soon.
Even after 18 years playing in the NBA, Jamal Crawford might be one of the more sought after players on this list. A natural scorer who can still put together 20-point nights, Crawford averaged 10.3 points and 2.3 assists for the Timberwolves last season at 38 years old.
Crawford can also serve as a mentor on teams with younger rosters, as he's served as a sort of basketball sherpa for Seattle area players. For the moment, Crawford is hoping to land with a contender and fielding interests from several teams. The opportunities are there, though, as Crawford "could just sign a deal to sign a deal" as he told The Undefeated. For now, Crawford is enjoying time with family and playing pickup basketball wherever he can find it.
Nick "Swaggy P" Young is coming off one of the most fruitful seasons of his NBA career. Playing meaningful basketball for one of the first times in his 11-year NBA career, Young knocked down open threes, played solid defense and added levity to a Warriors team in need of a few good laughs.
Young doesn't come without faults, of course, as he spent most of his career as a gunner and could return back to that approach if placed on a less talented team. That said, Young is a career 41.8% three-point shooter in a league that values outside marksmanship more than ever.
Joe Johnson played 17 seasons in the NBA and isn't thinking about retiring, according to ESPN.com. Johnson began his career as a key cog for contending teams, including the Suns, Hawks, Nets and Heat, making seven All-Star Games and countless clutch shots. The isolation in "Iso Joe" doesn't quite fit at this stage of his career, but Johnson can still be useful. Johnson, who played important playoff minutes for the Jazz as recently as the 2016–17 season, did get lost in the shuffle as a member of the Rockets, but he could have something to offer for a lesser team.
McCaw is in somewhat a tricky situation in Golden State. The third-year guard has not accepted Golden State's $1.7 million qualifying offer and was not listed on the teams' training camp roster. He's holding out for a better contract but with a team that is capped and saving money for next year's free agency class, he might be out of luck. The market has not been in his favor with majority of teams' rosters filled at the point.
McCaw averaged 4.0 points per game last season in only 57 appearances after suffering a spinal injury in March against the Kings. I think McCaw will eventually sign his qualifying offer in hopes of earning his third ring in three seasons.
McCaw is only 22 years old and we haven't really seen him unleashed after playing behind names like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala.
At 41 years old, what you are getting with Terry is a proven vet with championship experience who can still knock down threes. A quality veteran is more valuable than a 12th man who will not get many minutes. Terry did a great job last year mentoring the young Bucks and told reporters in April that he wants to play one more season with the team: "I want to play another year. I can honestly stand here before you and tell you all my efforts will be to come back with this organization."
Middle-aged wings (Richard Jefferson, Corey Brewer and Arron Afflalo)
Somehow, someway these three players always find themselves on a squad and I won't be surprised if all three are playing somewhere down the line for a playoff team. Both Brewer and Afflalo are only 32 years old and can add depth to a roster.
Jefferson is 38 years old but is just a couple seasons removed from dunking all over the Golden State Warriors during the Christmas game in 2016. Jefferson has flirted with retirement—he’s on one of the best podcasts in basketball and contributed on the sidelines for Fox Sports Ohio during the playoffs.