With the plethora of solid free agents available at this time, it's only a matter of when they'll be signed and by who. In this article, I will break down how each of the top free agents can help certain teams in the future.
First up is Kenneth Faried. Despite being 30 years old, the reason Faried is still nicknamed "manimal" is because he still is one. Faried has really never been known well, and has never played big minutes. Honestly, I think Faried would fit in well with the Rockets right now. Their lack of a big man, plus the fact that they just released a fine player in Isaiah Hartenstein, means that the need for a big man like Faried is crucial at this time. Faried is also the perfect big man for them. I say this because Faried is not one to take matters into his own hands, he knows his job. He gets the rebounds, only shoots high quality shots in the paint, and when he's passed the ball, he waits for a ball-handler to come around so he can hand it off to them. Another team that could use Faried is the Celtics. The Celtics currently only have Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter. Due to religious reasons, Kanter cannot eat or drink at all throughout daylight hours. This means he can't be hydrated during a game, which pretty much means it's required for him to play less MPG. That means the heavy lifting is on Theis, and although he's not handling it badly, it's clear he's not a true starter. Faried could help him out with that. During the 2018-19 season with Houston he averaged 12.9 PPG and 8.2 RPG in24.4 MPG. He also shot 58.7% from the field and 35% from three.
Gerald Green. Overhyped as he came into the league after his impressive career before the pros. He was magnificent in his younger days but he's still a solid backup option and even a starter for certain teams who really lack a SF. First up, I think Green would fit in well with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Their lack of a true SF means that Green would fit their positional needs as well. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, at 6'5, is undersized to play the SF position and Luguentz Dort is currently starting at SG. Move Shai to SG and put Green at SF and they have a solid lineup. With Chris Paul in the lineup, Green could get more open looks from three, which he specialized in last year, knocking down an impressive 46.2% from three on 4.3 3PA. He also had a high FG% at 58.8%. In just 14.6 MPG, he managed to score 10 PPG, and 1 BPG off of the shooting numbers above. (2019-20 stats). With the only three point threat on the starting lineup being Danilo Gallinari, I think it's time to add another one in Gerald Green. Another team that could use Green is the Timberwolves. Josh Okogie starts at the SF position, but he's only 6'4. The Wolves could better use him to backup Malik Beasley at the 2 guard position instead of the rookie Jarrett Culver. I think the Timberwolves could use a roster change, but if they play their cards right, Jake Layman or James Johnson would back up Green. Or perhaps, Green would be the backup to one of them. With the addition of Green adds another shooter to space out the floor in addition to good defense. I'll list one more team that Green could do well with and that is the Wizards. Their starting SF is Troy Brown Jr. who is just doing average in his second season with the Wizards averaging 9.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 2.3 APG in 24.9 MPG off of 45.3% shooting and 34.5% from three. Nothing special there, and that's who starts. Isaac Bonga backs him up and only averages 4.6 PPG in 17.7 MPG. The Wizards have been known to have good offense, but bad defense. The Wizards may have a good offense, but they need another solid three point shooter besides Bertans that's willing to take the shot, and that player is Green. They also struggle on the defensive end and Green could help out with that as well. Teaming Green up with Wall could also yield to many threes with Bertans and Green on the floor.
Jordan Bell may not be scoring much, but that's because he really hasn't been given the opportunity to get out there and play. He was only played 10.7 MPG in just 2 games, but he managed to score 5 PPG. Granted the G-League is full of lesser talented players but he was given more minutes on the Santa Cruz Warriors. In 28.2 MPG, he averaged 14 PPG, 6 RPG, and 5 APG along with 1 BPG and 1 SPG. I think if teams that need centers should take a chance with this guy. Maybe do what the Warriors did with him, give him a little time in the g-league, but if he develops and gets the actual game experience, I think he could shape up to be a decent and solid center.
Nikola Mirotic has never really been known well, but it's time to know his name. Mirotic was on the Bucks last year when they had the plethora of PFs including Antetokounmpo, Ilyasova, Mirotic, DJ Wilson, Jason Smith, and Christian Wood. Yes Christian Wood was on the Bucks. Mirotic really helped the team out and was the backup to Giannis. He averaged 15.2 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 27.1 MPG during the 2018-19 season. Being 6'10, Mirotic could technically play both the PF and C position. A team that could definitely use Mirotic is the Miami Heat. Derrick Jones Jr. currently starts at the PF position, he is only 6'6. Jones Jr. should clearly be backing up Jimmy Butler, or even just backup Mirotic instead of Jae Crowder. During the 2019-20 season, Jones Jr. struggled with scoring, only averaging 8.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.1 APG. He shoots a good FG% at 51.4% but he absolutely tanks at shooting threes at 27%. Mirotic's skill would also help the Heat. The only true three point shooter on the starting lineup is Duncan Robinson. It would be good to add another three point threat. One other team that Mirotic would fit in well with is the Utah Jazz. Bojan Bogdonavic was the starting PF but I think if they signed Mirotic they would change up their lineup. Bojan would move to starting SF and Ingles would back him up. If they decided to keep Bojan starting at PF, Mirotic could just back up Gobert and then they would have a much better backup C than Tony Bradley.
DeMarcus Cousins just might be the most popular free agent currently on the market. Everybody is wondering where he will go. Instead of predicting who will sign him by who has shown interest, I'll look at what teams need a center, and a center like him. First up, the Celtics. As I mentioned earlier, the Celtics are desperate for a center. At every other position they have a great player, and then the talent level at the center position is just average. This team is a very fast team and they are always passing the ball around with Brad Stevens offensive play call, and I believe that if conditioned properly, Cousins can keep up with this and would flourish in this type of offense. Another place I could see DaMarcus Cousins is in New Orleans. Derrick Favors is doing well for them right now, but they need a backup center. They could even start Cousins over Favors if he comes back with the same talent he had before. It's obvious that Cousins wants to be a part of a good organization, as he was with the Warriors during the end of their dynasty, and went to the Lakers this year, so I think he would want to come to this team and make them better. Plus, he spent 2016-18 with them so I'm sure he'd like to come back to the city of New Orleans.
The only reason I'm putting Lance Stephenson on here is because he will be one of the most unpredictable free agents on the market. He's a good enough player, but his attitude and mentality might get in the way of him being signed by a team. If a team signs him, I could see it being a lesser ranked team that desperately needs help, and Lance has to be fine with that because he very likely wouldn't be signed by any other team. If he were to go to a team, I feel like it would be a team like the Knicks, Bulls, or Hornets.
Finally, Isaiah Thomas. If any team is in need of a PG that can shoot, this is your man right here. Do not be distracted by his height, as he can finish well in the lane over taller players. Thomas shoots 41.3% from three and managed to score 12.2 PPG and 3.7 APG in 23.1 MPG. Even though he was the starting primary ball handler when he was on the floor, he averaged less than 2 turnovers per game when he played for the Wizards. One team that could put him to good use is the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Cavs signed him, he just might start over Darius Garland unless he makes some improvement over the offseason. If he started, in addition to his three point accuracy, he could also set up players like Osman, Love, and Sexton to shoot from deep as well while having an inside presence in Andre Drummond and Kevin Love. If he came in with the second unit, he could provide shooting that the bench lacks with Dante Exum, Kevin Porter Jr., Larry Nance Jr., and Tristan Thompson.
This is my very first article for The Up Dawg, so please let me know what you think of my analysis. Thank you for reading.