The 2019 NBA free agency
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - June 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Early morning on Monday, the free agent smorgasbord officially opens. Proven and tested veterans like Robin Lopez, Al Horford, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton join top talents like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant in search of bigger paychecks. Also searching for brightness are stars whose shine had faded like Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul Millsap and Pau Gasol.

Players become free agents when specific contracts binding them to a team had ended and will then be allowed to explore their options with other teams.  Players can either be restricted (RFA) or unrestricted (UFA) free agents. The market selection has about 220 players from all five positions including 42 players either playing overseas or are inactive.

RFAs can sign an offer sheet from another team but his current team can retain him by matching or bettering the offer, having the “right of first refusal”.  UFAs can sign with any team and automatically becomes a member of that team.

There’s a 6-day Free Agency Moratorium where parties can negotiate and have a non-binding agreement but players and teams within this period can withdraw from what was previously discussed.  RFAs can accept qualifying offers from their current teams during this time.  The moratorium period ends on July 6 and FAs get signed officially.

There are some free agents, though not really reaching star status, could become game changers to their new teams.  They are not volume scorers but the presence on the floor of these under-the-radar FAs can be impactful.

RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON – the 6-7 small forward is only 24-years old and with great potential.  He is inefficient as a scorer but an elite defender with an ability to slash towards the basket.   He was the longest tenured Brooklyn Net but needed to be released to free cap space.

WILLIE CAULEY-STEIN – he was Sacramento’s 6th pick in 2015 and became expendable with the arrival of big men Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley.  Although inconsistent, any team can make use an agile 25-year old 7-footer who likes to throw down lobs off pick-and-rolls.

DEWAYNE DEDMON – also standing at 7-feet, he is a rare combination who can shoot, pass and grab rebounds.  The athletic big man can also protect the rim.

PATRICK BEVERLY – his brand of defense will get into the skin of opponents and with a 40% conversion rate from beyond the arc, he will be a reliable offensive asset.

RICKY RUBIO – he is not a very good shooter but his on-court smarts will be a big plus to a team with multiple scorers.  At 28-years old, Rubio has slowed down a bit but his ball distribution is still top notch.

KEVON LOONEY – the 6-9 power forward is only 23 with very good upsides which he showed in the Finals.  He can stretch the floor, plays defense and can score in spurts.

There are two multi-titled players available on the market and for luck, some teams could be interested in their services or just mere presence.

CHRIS BOUCHER – a Canadian native signed by Golden State in 2018, waived two weeks after the Championships and then signed a 2-way contract with Toronto.  He’s now got 2 rings.

PATRICK McCAW – many players would love to be in his shoes.  He had just three-peated.

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