How many times do you watch an NBA game and see a productive player who is on the wrong team? I know it’s rhetorical, we see it all the time. These players are productive, but stuck in no man’s land. They are proven competitors who have NBA talent, but don’t fit in to flash their full potential. What would be best for them would be a change in scenery. These players could surely use it.
PG- Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings
Darren Collison is currently the Kings backup point guard to Rajon Rondo. The Kings know if they don’t start Rondo, they will get Mavericks Rondo, not early Celtics Rondo. He was signed to please DeMarcus Cousins. Collison is worthy of starting for the Kings, but isn’t going to. Last season, Collison averaged 16.4 points and 5.6 assists per game, per Rondo’s 8.9 points and 7.9 assists per game. Even if Collison plays better than Rondo this season, Rondo will have to start to keep a good relationship with George Karl. All of it goes back to DeMarcus Cousins. Collison is getting screwed because all the Kings care about is keeping DeMarcus Cousins happy. There is no reason for Collison to come off the bench. Unless Collison becomes the starting 2-guard, he deserves to start for another team.
SG- Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
One of the best NBA 6th-men for a decade is now fighting for minutes. The Clippers deepened their bench this summer with Lance Stephenson, Wesley Johnson, and Josh Smith, so head coach Doc Rivers will have a tough task with distributing minutes. Crawford will get minutes, but in a timeshare. He is the definition of consistency, averaging 10+ points per game since 2003. The NBA world knows exactly what to expect from him coming off the bench. The Clippers gave his role to a younger, faster Lance Stephenson with Wesley Johnson and J.J. Redick starting. Mr. Reliable is more valuable on 20 other NBA teams. Extra draft picks never hurt.
SF- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
It has been disastrous for the Knicks since Carmelo Anthony signed a five-year extension last offseason. He dealt with a knee injury, and the Knicks season went downhill. With the second-worst record in the NBA, the Knicks lost in the lottery and received the 4th overall draft pick resulting in Kristaps Porzingis. Phil Jackson had plans to re-vamp the Knicks in one offseason, but not receiving a top three pick has slowed down the process. The Knicks will use Anthony to attract stars to New York, but to do that, the Knicks need to start winning. If the Knicks start losing, there will be issues. A trade could be best. We all know Anthony is going to score points, so he will have a high trade value. The Knicks will then tank, and potentially draft Ben Simmons. Simmons and Porzingis guarantee a successful future, along with the massive return for Carmelo Anthony. Jackson will explore his options.
PF- Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried played last season with three different head coaches. All coached different systems, and his game didn’t improve. Mike Malone is a great fit for Faried’s game, but there isn’t much talent behind Faried on the roster. To start the season, Faried will be playing without Jusuf Nurkic, who is out with a left patellar tendon injury. Denver isn’t going to compete in the loaded Western Conference, and Faried is wasting his best years on a terrible team. He is a freakish athlete who is great on the glass. With the game getting faster, Faried has the skill to thrive on a better team. Faried’s trade value will never be higher.
C- Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics
Kelly Olynyk is in one of the worst positions in the NBA, a reserve center on a very deep roster. Brad Stevens wants to start David Lee and Tyler Zeller, but likes Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger off the bench. With that, Stevens wants to develop rookie Jordan Mickey, and get the three-point shooting out of Jonas Jerebko. Olynyk needs to get out of Boston. This summer, Olynyk excelled for team Canada during FIBA Americas. He averaged 11.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. The skill level was significantly less, but Olynyk showed he can play. Anyone looking for a backup center should call Danny Ainge.
PG- Brandon Jennings, Detroit Pistons
Brandon Jennings ruptured his ACL last season and is currently injured. When he comes back, he will be the Pistons backup point guard. The Pistons extended Reggie Jackson this offseason, so it is clear Jennings isn’t the Pistons future point guard. Jennings and Jackson need to have the ball in their hands, so neither will find success playing the two guard. His contract expires at the end of the season, so he needs to produce when healthy to make starters money with the salary cap rising. He won’t do that in Detroit. His $8,344,497 cap hit will be appealing around the trade market, especially with his skillset. Jennings needs to find a new home.
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