This Sunday will officially begin the madness that is known as free agency. Teams will vie will look to rebuild, upgrade and retool their rosters in an effort to contend for an NBA championship. This year’s free agent class has to be one of the most stacked we have seen an in years. From Kevin Durant to Kawhi Leonard to Kyrie Irving the quality of names in this year’s class is the best the NBA has had in a while. While there will be no shortage of max contracts being given out this offseason, there will certainly be some names that will fly under the radar. Players that may not be seen as worthy of max contracts but definitely good enough to be difference makers for teams next season and beyond. Here are five of the most underappreciated free agents this offseason.
Jamychal Green- Unrestricted Free Agent
Jamychal Green was acquired by the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies presumably as a way to clear cap space so the Clippers could acquire big name free agents this offseason. Jamychal Green played well in the Clippers first round playoff series against the Warriors averaging 11 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in 23.5 minutes. Green is a solid, athletic power forward who is a good size for his position and could be a difference maker on any team. I can see the Boston Celtics going after Jamychal Green as he would fill a much needed hole for the team. The biggest area where the Celtics struggled last season was rebounding ranking 22nd in the league in total rebounds. With Al Horford and Kyrie Irving having one foot out the door, it will take more than just Jamychal Green for the Celtics to recover from what was an underwhelming season last season but Green would be a great start.
Kelly Oubre Jr. : Restricted Free Agent
Another midseason trade acquisition, Kelly Oubre was acquired by the Phoenix Suns in a trade from the Washington Wizards. In 40 games with the Suns, Kelly Oubre averaged 16.9 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game and 1.4 steals per game in 29.5 minutes. It would be smart for the Phoenix Suns to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns as he is a solid scorer with room for improvement and he fits well with the Suns lineup. If he is not re-signed by the Suns, a team I can see him fitting well with is the Memphis Grizzlies who were at the bottom of the league in scoring. Oubre could possibly garner max contract attention but it would be worth it good pickup for any team looking for a scorer at the wing position.
Terry Rozier: Restricted Free Agent
As I mentioned before in my Jamychal Green entry, the Celtics will be looking to replace Kyrie Irving who seemingly already have one foot out the door. Re-signing Terry Rozier is an important move the Celtics need to make regardless of whether they would considering starting him. According to reports, the Celtics are the favorites to acquire Kemba Walker in free agency. Depending on what Terry Rozier’s motivation is, signing Kemba could either help or hurt their chances of re-signing Rozier but that does not mean the Celtics should not make an attempt to re-sign him. When it comes to teams that should make an offer for Rozier, the Indiana Pacers immediately jump out as a good fit. The Pacers only have one point guard (Aaron Holiday) on contract going into next season meaning there is a whole that needs to be filled at the point guard position which would be a good fit for Terry Rozier.
Rodney Hood: Unrestricted Free Agent
We complete the hat trick of players that were traded midseason last season with Rodney Hood who was acquired in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Portland Trail Blazers. Hood played a key role in the Blazers making it to the Western Conference Finals as he provided instant offense for the Blazers off the bench. It makes the most sense for the Blazers to re-sign Rodney Hood as he will be affordable for a team that does not have cap space to sign a big name free agent. A team that should also go after Rodney Hood is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are also a team without much cap space that need instant offense off the bench. Rodney Hood would be a great fit for the Thunder in an effort to help them get over the playoff slump they have been on since losing Kevin Durant to free agency.
Thaddeus Young: Unrestricted Free Agent
Thaddeus Young is one of the most versatile free agents in this year’s class. He has the size and athleticism to guard some of the best players in the NBA today while also being a solid scoring option. Thaddeus Young has played a big role in the Indiana Pacers being a playoff team in the three seasons he has been there. I would not be surprised to see Young receive a big contract this offseason from the Indiana Pacers or any other team. Much like Jamychal Green, Thaddeus Young would also be a great fit for the Boston Celtics as he would also be able to provide rebounding and size the Celtics need. I’m not sure how likely it is that Thaddeus Young ends up leaving the Pacers, but what I am sure of is where ever he ends up he will have a major impact on the team and will continue to play well.