Last week, in the wake of the NBA Trade deadline, I put together a list of five free agents who can help your team right now. But let’s be honest: The pickings were slim. And as I said, any player who has spent time on an NBA roster this season had to be waived by March 1 in order to be eligible for the playoffs with another team. So in light of a bunch of need commodities that surfaced on the market, here’s an updated and expanded list of free agents available to the highest bidder.
1. Michael Finley – After being waived by the Spurs following frustration about his limited role with the team, Finley should land with a contender any day. And with two remaining roster spots, the Celtics are considering bringing in veteran to fill one. Sure he’s only scored 93 total points this season in a very limited 395 minutes, but Finley is a pro. Especially with worries about the health of Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels, it’s worth bringing him in for one last championship run. Plus, I’d love see the Jordan PE battle between him and Ray Allen.
2. Wally Szczerbiak – Of all the free agents that went unsigned this past summer, none surprised me more than Szczerbiak. Here’s a guy who has career averages of 14.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting 49% from the field, 41% from three and 86% from the line. Tell me that the Cavs wouldn’t want to add him back to the roster, or a team like Denver or Dallas couldn’t use another guy off the bench. Expect Wally to be in some team’s uniform before April.
3. Travis Diener – Plagued by a left-toe injury this season that limited Diener to just four games for the Pacers, it appears he won’t rest on waivers for long. According to GM Kevin Pritchard, the Blazers are expected to fill the team’s 15th and final roster spot with the the 6-1 point guard. “Unfortunately, he struggled with injuries while with us and that held him back,” said Pacers president Larry Bird in a press release. “He’s a tough player who I’m sure will contribute somewhere in the NBA.” Indy’s loss will be Portland’s gain.
4. Jason Hart – On Feb. 5, Hart signed a 10-Day contract with the Hornets, logging only 17 minutes over four games. While his production was next to nothing, the fact that he cracked a roster means that he’s on GMs’ radar. There’s something to be said for veteran point guards, especially heading into the playoffs. If someone goes down with an injury, expect Hart to be back.
5. Mike James – After the Wizards bought out the contract of James and waived him, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t land back on a team. Just like Hart, you can’t fake experience. Last season, James not only played 53 games for the Wizards, but also started 50 of them. Any team in need of a scoring point off the bench should take a chance.
6. Mark Blount – Waived by the Timberwolves, Blount has yet to play an NBA game this season. But that doesn’t change that fact that he is 7-feet tall and has six fouls to give before he fouls out. Teams that are looking to battle the bigs of the Lakers – mainly Dallas and Denver – should take a look at Blount. For the veteran’s minimum, he just might be worth it.
7. Jacque Vaughn – After spending his last three seasons in San Antonio, I’m kind of surprised that he was not back with the Spurs this year. But then again, they must have known just how good George Hill is. With Tony Parker currently banged up and Finley waived, I could see Pop give Vaughn a call. They do only have 12 guys on the roster.
8. Ricky Davis – After being waived by the Clippers to make room, it appeared that it could have been the end of the road for Ricky Davis. But then again, with 11 years in the League under his belt, why not add him to the roster? If your squad is looking for a cheap weapon to come off the bench, he just might be your guy.
9. Greg Buckner – His numbers won’t amaze you, but then again, Buckner’s intangibles don’t show up in the box score. And in the playoffs, teams are always in need of a defensive stopper. Having spent his most productive seasons in Dallas and Denver, those are two teams that could definitely use the 10-year veteran.
10. Larry Hughes – Word broke this week that the Bobcats might be interested in Hughes, but GM Rod Higgins said the team doesn’t plan to sign because his the fracture in his finger is going to keep Hughes out several weeks. Depending on when he can get back in the gym, will depend on when a team signs him. But for a squad hoping to make it deep into the playoffs, they might be able to stash at the end of the bench until he heals.
What do you think? Do you see any contenders adding these guys to their roster? Would you want them on your team?
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