The offseason in the NBA is a crazy time. Free agency begins and guys start getting signed and usually don’t stop until we’re blue in the face with “So and so signed here…” over and over again. Well, somehow these valuable commodities are still left for the taking, and they all have value given the right situation. The majority are bigs so we’ll start with the lone guard at the top of the free agent totem pole.
Rodrigue Beaubois — Role: Offense/Excitement off bench; Ceiling: Potential Starter
First, Beaubois is still only 25 years old. He has not been given ample opportunity to show us what he’s got, but in the limited minutes we have seen him; we’ve seen enough to know the kid has talent and raw athletic ability. Yes, this is being called The Golden Age of Point Guards and Roddy doesn’t belong with the upper echelon of lead guards. However, he can still provide energy and instant offense off the bench — again given the right situation this kid can still shine. His career per-36 minute numbers are an impressive 16.0 points, 4.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
Best Destination: Orlando Magic
Tyrus Thomas — Role: Shot Blocking; Ceiling: Role Player
Tyrus will unfortunately be remembered mostly for being traded on draft night for LaMarcus Aldridge (Can you imagine a Bulls team right now with LA instead of Boozer?! SCARY) because his career as a No. 4 overall pick in the draft has been less than stellar. However, Thomas should not be completely written off and he can still contribute on a limited basis. No one is going to sign Thomas and think they found a starting power forward by any means, but at age 27 his days of being valuable are not over. Really, any team that needs rim protection should take an honest look at this man as he can be one of the premier shot blockers in the NBA, even with limited minutes. He only averaged 19.8 minutes per game in his career up til now and he still has a career average of 1.3 blocks per game — would have put him 20th in the league last season.
Best Destination: Phoenix Suns
Drew Gooden — Role: Scoring off bench; Ceiling: Backup PF
Gooden is 32 years old, but can still provide quality backup minutes at the power forward position for a playoff team. His last three seasons were played in the abyss that is Milwaukee and in only 23.2 minutes per night Gooden managed an efficient 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds — not too shabby for those minutes. Gooden will not provide a lick of defense so any team that signs him better have some other front court players that protect the rim, but he can provide quality minutes and scoring.
Best Destination: Washington Wizards
Darko Milicic — Role: Backup center; Ceiling: Backup C
I know, I know we all hate Darko and he shouldn’t have been the number two pick in the 2003 draft (Dumars you clown!), however he is only 28 years old and he’s still 7’0″, 250 pounds! He’s not the next Dirk and he’s not going to live up to any expectations that were thrusted upon him at the time of the draft. What he can do is provide great defense and shot blocking, and a huge body in an era where bigs are the rare breed. Not going to provide much in the way of scoring but a rim protector is something he can certainly aspire to be for a playoff team. For his career he has averaged 1.3 blocks in only 18.5 minutes per game!
Best Destination: San Antonio Spurs
Let me know what you think; comment here or hit me up on twitter @Chris_Reichert