With all the top free agents finding homes, and the NBA all but shutting down in August (it’s vacation time for most general managers), teams are likely to wait a while before filling in the gaps.
Here’s a look at some of the more-coveted names that remain:
Nikola Pekovic, C, Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Wolves patiently waited for another offer to match, as Pekovic is a free agent of the restricted variety. Surprisingly, that offer never came. Probably because everyone knows the Wolves will match. Regardless, just know that Pekovic will be back in Minnesota.
Brandon Jennings, PG, Milwaukee Bucks.
Among the most talented guys to ever last this long in free agency. But Jennings’ circumstance isn’t much different than Pekovic’s. Jennings is also restricted, and opposing teams likely just assume the Bucks will match (unless, of course, those opposing teams were to overpay). In the end, the Bucks will save money by Jennings’ lack of success in the market.
Gerald Henderson, SG, Charlotte Bobcats.
Another surprising situation involving another restricted free agent. Henderson flew under the radar, so a lot of folks don’t realize how much he improved last season. The answer was quite a bit. But see the above two scenarios as to why Henderson likely has not signed — and why the Bobcats can potentially bring him back at a cheaper rate than they figured.
Greg Oden, C, no team.
He’s a 7-footer and the No. 1
overall pick in the 2007 draft. Those two things have teams fairly high
on Oden, despite the fact he hasn’t played in the league since ’09 and
has undergone three knee operations. Someone will sign him to a small
deal and cross their fingers. Don’t rule out the Hawks as major players
here. They were among those who watched him work out, they still have some
cash and they can afford to be patient with him.
Mo Williams, PG, Utah Jazz.
Williams is what he is — a guy who can catch fire for a night or two, then disappear (or worse) a night or two later. A lot of GMs seem surprised he hasn’t been signed. Then again, they’re the guys who do the signing. And most are willing to take a pass until the very last minute.
Devin Harris, PG, Atlanta Hawks.
A failed physical derailed a deal in Dallas, and Harris has been back on the market ever since. He still has plenty to offer, but teams no longer view him as a starter. Like we’re seeing with Williams, you can afford to wait on guards who will come off the bench.
Gary Neal, G, San Antonio Spurs.
Played extremely well for about six quarters in the Finals, but unless Neal catches fire shooting, he doesn’t really do much. Truth is, he’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. While he’d make a nice addition, his services are hardly a must.
Others to watch:
Ivan Johnson, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks Beno Udrih, PG, Orlando Magic Lamar Odom, PF, Los Angeles Clippers DeJaun Blair, PF, San Antonio Spurs Austin Daye, F, Memphis Grizzlies Ronnie Brewer, SG/SF, New York Knicks Sebastian Telfair, PG, Toronto Raptors Cartier Martin, PF, Washington Wizards Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers Andrew Goudelock, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers Tyrus Thomas, PF/C, Charlotte Bobcats Sam Young, SF, Indiana Pacers Marquis Daniels, SF, Milwaukee Bucks James Johnson, SF, Sacramento Kings DeSagana Diop, C, Charlotte Bobcats Lester Hudson, PG/SG, N/A