Most Underrated NBA Free Agents

horford-rozier.jpgNBA.com

With the NBA Playoffs heating up and players preparing for free agency, I figured we should take a look at some of the most overlooked.

Al Horford, F/C (Player Option)

Age: 32

2018-19 team: Boston Celtics

2018-19 stats: 13.6 points, 6,7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 53.5% FG, 36% 3FG

Al Horford has been winning for a long time now, going all the way back to his days at Florida as he beat my Buckeyes. Horford had some strong years with Atlanta before he departed for Boston. Nobody is sure if Horford is expected to opt into his contract or test free agency, but it has for sure been overlooked with all of the Kyrie Irving drama. Horford is a good defender, teammate, and consistent producer. Many teams will be looking for a veteran like Horford, too. He is expected to make good money no matter where he ends up.

Brook Lopez, C (Unrestricted)

Age: 31

2018-19 team: Milwaukee Bucks

2018-19 stats: 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 45.2% FG, 36.5% 3FG

Brook Lopez was on the verge of becoming irrelevant in the NBA after his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Lopez has always been a solid big man, but it seemed his game wasn’t evolving with the NBA. Well, he worked on his shot this summer and has become a sniper from downtown, a huge reason for the best team in the NBA’s success this year. Lopez is also a veteran brick wall in the paint, who guards the rim aggressively. Lopez will be a nice addition to any team if the Bucks decide to move on.

Malcolm Brogdon, G (Restricted)

Age: 26

2018-19 team: Milwaukee Bucks

2018-19 stats: 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 50.5% FG, 42.6% 3FG

Another player that has been a huge component of the Bucks’ success is Malcolm Brogdon. The Bucks can match any offer the former Rookie of the Year courts this summer, but it should be interesting to see what Brogdon is worth. He has become an absolute menace from three, netting one of the best catch and shoot percentages in the NBA this year. Everyone wants and needs shooters.

Terry Rozier, G (Restricted)

Age: 25

2018-19 team: Boston Celtics

2018-19 stats: 9.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 38.7% FG, 35.3% 3FG

Assuming Kyrie Irving leaves Boston in the dust, the Celtics may already have their new starting point guard. Terry Rozier went on an absolute terror last year’s playoffs all the way up to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which should not diminish what he accomplished. Brad Stevens seems to bring the best out of these types of players and could be a perfect fit in the new look Celtics if things blow up. He is young and has much potential to be a solid starter in the NBA.

Julius Randle, F/C (Player Option)

Age: 24

2018-19 team: New Orleans Pelicans

2018-19 stats: 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 52.4% FG, 34.4% 3FG

Julius Randle has improved every year he has been in the NBA. Yes, he put up GREAT stats on a bad team, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play on a winning team. I bet the Lakers wish they still had him because he could have been a difference maker this past year. Randle could opt into his current contract for $9 million or test the market for a bigger bag. I like what Randle has done with his game. Hopefully, we can see him play in late April sooner than later. Randle had many games like the highlights above that literally nobody talked about.

Kelly Oubre Jr., G/F (Restricted)

Age: 23

2018-19 team: Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns

2018-19 stats: 15.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 44.5% FG, 32% 3FG

Apparently, Kelly Oubre Jr. is part of the Suns “master plan” that nobody can see the shining result of. It’ll be interesting if they land Zion Williamson because I don’t see a spot for Oubre Jr. if they do. If they get Ja Morant, who is the Sun’s projected pick, this team could begin to look a little more than intriguing than in past years. That being said, Oubre Jr. has a lot of raw potential and is a killer on the court, but I question his basketball IQ at times. If he can get the right coach (I am a big fan of Monty Williams, the Suns’ new coach), he should be able to get that right.

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