NBA Free Agents 2019: Rumors and Predictions for Best Players Still Available
The remaining NBA free agents are vying for supporting roles on rosters that have yet to be filled to capacity.
Since all of the marquee names have been signed, and most starting lineups are figured out on paper, the players left on the open market are intriguing because of the specific skill sets they can provide off the bench.
A few of the top names left unsigned were available from the start of free agency, while others have been traded and then released to move on to the open market.
Kyle Korver, Justin Holiday and Tyson Chandler are among the role players that could interest contenders, but none of them have been able to find a permanent home for the 2019-20 season yet.
Rumors and Predictions for Best Players Available
On July 4, The Athletic's Michael Scotto reported eight franchises had interest in bringing in Holiday.
On Sunday, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies had discussions about a possible sign-and-trade for Holiday, with Kris Dunn available for the right price.
Holiday has already reunited once with the Bulls in his career, and he was traded away from the team last season to Memphis.
In 82 games during the 2018-19 campaign, Holiday averaged 10.5 points per game and shot 34.8 percent from three-point range.
You would think those numbers would have been enough for Holiday to land somewhere, but he is still looking for a home.
Of the teams mentioned in Scotto's report, few still have space to acquire a player of Holiday's caliber.
Both Los Angeles teams filled out their rosters once Kawhi Leonard's decision was announced, Indiana went in a different direction on the backup guard market and Toronto elected to keep Patrick McCaw and sign Stanley Johnson.
The options are limited for Holiday, which is why a return to the Bulls might seem logical at this juncture.
The Bulls entered the offseason with needs in the backcourt, and while they added Tomas Satoransky, they are still stuck with Dunn.
If the Bulls can find a way to offload Dunn by adding more experience through Holiday, it would be viewed as an offseason win for the team.
Memphis has been one of the teams at the forefront of the trade market, with its latest deal being a sign-and-trade with Dallas that involved Delon Wright.
The problem with a sign-and-trade for Holiday is Memphis does not have a need for Dunn with Tyus Jones, De'Anthony Melton and Ja Morant at point guard.
If the Grizzlies do not agree to terms with the Bulls to acquire Holiday, he could just go back to his old team on a free-agent deal in order to provide some veteran experience and three-point shooting off the bench.
Prediction: Holiday lands with Chicago
Korver was one of the many players involved in Memphis' offseason dealings, as he was acquired from Utah in the Mike Conley trade and then sent to Phoenix in the transaction that brought Josh Jackson to the Grizzlies.
Korver was then waived by the Suns to become a free agent, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Philadelphia, Milwaukee and the Lakers as the front-runners for his signature in the first week of free agency.
The shooting guard previously played with the Sixers, and he would be a solid piece to add off the bench to a team with a starting lineup littered with height.
Korver may not be a duplicate of J.J. Redick, but he could fill the role of veteran point producer since he is a 42.9 percent three-point shooter in his career.
Last season with Cleveland and Utah, Korver shot 39.7 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 8.6 points per game.
Milwaukee brought in Wesley Matthews at shooting guard, but it could use one more shooter as it tries to replace Malcolm Brogdon in its rotation.
The Lakers would have been an intriguing option for Korver, but they decided to sign Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Troy Daniels to fill their need at the position.
Since second-year player Zhaire Smith is the only true shooting guard on Philadelphia's current roster, it would be wise of the Sixers to explore the possibility of signing Korver in order to give themselves a veteran backcourt presence.
The combination of Korver's experience, Smith's potential and the possibility that Ben Simmons comes into preseason with any semblance of a jump shot could boost the Sixers into the favorite role in the Eastern Conference with Leonard now in the Western Conference.
Prediction: Korver signs with Philadelphia
Even though the connection with Paul can no longer persuade Chandler to go to the Rockets, they should still be interested in the big man because of his rebounding prowess.
Westbrook ranked eighth in the league in missed field goals, which leads you to believe the Rockets need more of an inside presence to create second-chance opportunities.
That is where Chandler comes into play, as he averaged 5.6 rebounds per game in 55 contests between the Suns and Lakers last season.
Chandler has a career average of 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 offensive rebounds per game, and if he lands with Houston, he could see those totals rise with a high number of missed shots expected from Westbrook and Harden.
If Houston is able to bring in Chandler on a minimum deal, he would provide some needed support down low to Clint Capela and could end up as a key component that allows three-point shooters to fire up even more attempts.
Prediction: Chandler signs with Houston.
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Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference