Under the Radar NBA Free Agents

LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe — everyone is aware of the big name free agents looking to potentially switch teams as the NBA’s crazy season is upon us.  What we’re going to look at here are some of the lower tier players available that can help a team at a reasonable price. They’re listed in no particular order by position.

Point Guards

C.J. Watson 

Watson is going to be entering his ninth season in the league and the most he has ever been paid for a single season is a little over $3,000,000. He’s spent time with the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Indians Pacers. Watson is a nice off the bench guard for any team that needs some scoring pop and has other facilitators to initiate the offense. He’s a career 38% three-point shooter and has crossed 40% or higher in two of the last three seasons. The last three seasons he has a TS% of .560, which is pretty damn solid. At the price he can be had for Watson is an excellent addition to almost any team looking for guard depth.

Cory Joseph

The San Antonio Spurs currently still have Joseph’s rights as a restricted free agent, but he could end up being renounced depending what happens with the other avenues they’re chasing. Joseph is still only 23, soon to be 24, and was a first round pick out of Texas by San Antonio during the 2011 draft. During 2014-2015 he played over 1,000 minutes for the first time in his career and was solid. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals per 36 minutes. Joseph is a career .314 three-point shooter, who improved that to .364 on 44 attempts. Not nearly enough of a sample size yet still good to see. Joseph is someone I’d like to see get a chance handling an expanded role.


Al-Farouq Aminu

Aminu is on the borderline of being able to be included on this list. It’s not out the realm of possibility he ends up getting between $6-million to $8-million by a shrewd team looking for a versatile defender. The former lottery pick and Wake Forest product can guard multiple positions and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to have an impact. Aminu shot 30% on 63 corner three attempts last season with the Dallas Mavericks and if he could keep improving on that aspect of his game he can become even more valuable.

Justin Holiday

The Warriors decided not to give him a qualifying offer making the lanky forward an unrestricted free agent. There’s some long shot potential here (REPEAT LONG SHOT) for a DeMarree Carroll late bloomer. He averaged 2.2 steals per 36 minutes and shot 82% from the free throw line, both good signs. The problem is he struggles shooting from the floor connecting on only .387 overall, .321 from behind the arc and doesn’t have great handle. If Holiday, who is 26, can ever figure out the shooting aspect he can grow into a rotation level player. That’s a very big if though.


Darrell Arthur

Arthur might be my favorite player on the list. He is just an extremely solid basketball player, especially on the defensive end. The Denver Nuggets were nine points better per 100 possessions on defense the last two seasons with him on the court. Some of that is a product of the porous defenders he was replacing, but Arthur is also sound on that end. I don’t think it’s out of the question he could be an above average starter in the league and if you can get him on the cheap to be the first big off the bench you’re stealing quality minutes.

Jonas Jerebko

Jerebko isn’t anything special, but he can provide some scoring punch off the bench. He’s shot just under 40% behind the arc on 214 attempts the last two seasons and has steadily been around 13 points per 36 minutes across his six-year career. Jerebko is also decent on the boards. He fits in nicely as a stretch four and even played 27% of his minutes at center for the Boston Celtics in 14-15. He was crazy impactful for Boston last season with a +12.7 net rating in the 526 minutes he played. Put Jerebko in the right situation and he can definitely help.

All stats fro basketball-reference.com and NBA.com. 

About Bryan Gibberman

Grew up in New York and transplanted to Arizona. Fan of the Knicks, Jets and Michigan Wolverines. I like writing about basketball because basketball is fun.