0 out of 5
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After a busy few days, the NBA’s 2022 free agency period has gradually settled down, although there are still plenty of good veterans available.
The majority of these players will try to cling to competitors, especially those who have recently lost free agents in key positions.
Now that you’ve already guessed where the likes of Deandre Ayton, Collin Sexton, Dennis Schroder, and more will end up, more of the best free agents should sign here.
1 out of 5
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A former leader in rebounds and blocked shots, Whiteside has now become one of the better backup centers in the NBA.
As a reserve behind Rudy Gobert with the Utah Jazz last season, Whiteside still averaged 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and averaged 65.2 percent in just 17.9 minutes per game.
Among all players who challenged four or more shots per game on the rim, Whiteside ranked eighth overall by keeping opponents at 53.1 percent shots. That was a stingy rate than those recorded by the likes of Myles Turner, Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis.
The Clippers should be in the market for a backup center for Ivica Zubac after Isaiah Hartenstein left to sign a two-year deal with the New York Knicks.
Whiteside would only need to fill minutes as a rebounder and rim guard and would not need to play a major offensive role with a stacked roster that includes Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Norman Powell, John Wall, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr.
After signing minimum contracts over the past two years, it’s important for the Clippers to bring Whiteside on to another veteran contract, who already expect to have the highest payroll in NBA history at $191.8 million to date.
2 out of 5
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The Rudy Gobert trade arguably gave the Wolves the best frontcourt in the NBA but destroyed the backcourt in the process.
Both Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley traded to the Utah Jazz, while free agent Josh left Okogie to sign with the Phoenix Suns. The Wolves have since signed sniper Bryn Forbes but could use another ball handler and defender to offset Beverley and Okogie losses.
Rivers is still only 29 years old despite entering his 11th NBA season. He has played in a total of 60 playoff games across seven postseason appearances and would help bolster the somewhat depleted bench following the trade for Gobert.
The value of Rivers lies in its versatility. He can play both guard positions, act as a playmaker or goalscorer depending on the situation and plays a solid defense. As a member of the Denver Nuggets last season, he also hit 37.0 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-pointers.
If D’Angelo Russell has to miss time, Rivers can step in as a starter, which he did 18 times for the Nuggets last year. After spending time alongside Nikola Jokic, James Harden, Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Anthony Davis, he’s used to sharing the stage with stars. He would be an excellent addition to a Wolves dressing room team looking to be chasing titles for the foreseeable future.
The Gobert trade was huge for Minnesota, but it also means they’ll likely need another guard like Rivers in the rotation now.
3 out of 5
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Even now at 38, Anthony has proven that for a contender he can still be a reliable ground defender and an offensive threat off the bench.
He averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists and a career-high 0.8 blocks for the Lakers last season while also hitting 37.5 percent of his three-pointers. Los Angeles needed its location shots, and Anthony made his mark overall in his 19th season by registering a plus 2.0 swing rating (64th percentile) per Cleaning the Glass.
With each year potentially being his last, Anthony’s only considerations should be staying with the Lakers or celebrating a reunion with the New York Knicks.
“If Carmelo wanted to come back and… spend his senior year in the NBA here [with the Knicks]that was on the table and I didn’t hear it was off the table,” SNY’s Ian Begley reported.
As tempting as it may be to return to New York for nostalgic reasons, the Lakers are a better match for basketball. They can offer Anthony a bigger role as the Knicks already have Julius Randle and Obi Toppin filling the power forward spot.
There’s also the all-time scorer list to keep in mind, as Anthony is just 307 points behind Shaquille O’Neal for eighth place and 1,711 points from 30,000 career points. If he’s going to have a chance to climb higher (Wilt Chamberlain is still 3,130 points up in seventh place), he needs a few more years in a role like the one he played last season.
Anthony can have at least another year with LeBron James by staying in Los Angeles, and the Lakers could actually be a contender again if they can somehow bring in Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris or Seth Curry from the Brooklyn Nets.
4 out of 5
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After losing JaVale McGee to the Dallas Mavericks in free agency and Deandre Ayton’s future in Phoenix looks in doubt, the Suns should jump at the chance to sign Cousins while they still can.
The 31-year-old proved he can still play with the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets last season and continues to be a force on the glass and as an offensive center.
Cousins averaged 21.6 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes in 48 games last season. He also made 55.4 percent of his shots from inside the arc while showing a decent three-point shot (30.3 percent).
The Suns have already re-signed center Bismack Biyombo to be their defensive power in the center and Cousins could also give them an offensive option. Injuries over the past four years could prevent him from playing much more than 20 minutes a night, but the Suns have enough talent on the list that Cousins wouldn’t have to play a huge role.
The four-time All-Star would give Phoenix the depth they may soon need at center position.
5 out of 5
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Bubble TJ Warren is still the vision NBA teams should be hoping for, even though the veteran forward missed almost two full seasons while dealing with a stress fracture in his foot.
A team that can be patient with their return to the pitch and could use a rotation wing? The Grizzlies.
Memphis has enough talent across the lineup for Warren to take his time getting back into NBA game form, and the departure of Kyle Anderson in free agency means the 28-year-old is a valuable addition at both forward positions could be.
In his last healthy season, Warren averaged 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and shot 53.6 percent overall and 40.3 percent from three. With starting power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. recently undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in his foot, Warren would give the Grizzlies a potential starter to replace should Jackson have to miss the start of the 2022-23 season.
The Grizzlies also have their entire $10.5 million mid-level exception available and could offer Warren much or all of it to convince him to sign. With cap space disappearing across the league, Memphis would represent Warren’s best combination of win, role and money.