Most NBA storylines revolve around the star free agents ready to make over $100 million. They talk about how franchises will be changed and power shifts throughout conferences. But not every free agent will make over $100 million. Many free agents can help change a franchise, but get no love since they aren’t star players. Here’s a look at five under the radar free agents who can make an impact.
5.) Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons has been a decent bench player these last two seasons for the San Antonio Spurs. He’s shows spurts of greatness, but got stuck behind an eight-man rotation and never got consistent minutes. Only 15 of his 78 games resulted in 10 or more points. His best games were in the playoffs when he averaged 10.5 points per game over 15 games. Greg Popovich could always rely on Simmons when he needed him. Now another franchise can rely on him, but give him more minutes.
Potential suiters: Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
4.) James Johnson
Journeyman James Johnson turned into a consistent force off the bench last season for the Miami Heat. Johnson posted career high totals in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, field goals made, three pointers made, three point percentage, double double’s and NBA rating. His versatile game allows him to play and cover multiple positions. He thrived playing position-less basketball on the wing. In a position-less NBA, he brings value to any bench.
Potential Suiters: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat
3.) Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had the best season of his career last season. He averaged career high’s in points, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal percentage, field goals made and three point field goals made. His best games were at the end of the season when he averaged 17.2 points per game over the final 33. In a league dependent on scoring, Hardaway Jr. proved he can be a second scoring option. With all the uncertainty in Atlanta, they’re lucky he’s restricted.
Potential Suiters: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks
2.) JaMychal Green
Former undrafted free agent JaMychal Green is ready for a big pay day. He took over for Zach Randolph in the Memphis Grizzlies starting lineup and changed their entire offense. Green allowed the Grizzlies to continue to play physical but space the floor and pick up the pace. Even though he only averaged 8.9 points per game, he shot 50 percent from the field and 38 percent from three. His biggest impact is on second chance and fast break dunks. Green is the best free agent you’ve never seen play.
Potential Suiters: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets
1.) George Hill
George Hill on this list shouldn’t be a surprise. He isn’t only under the radar in free agency, he’s been under the radar throughout most of his nine-year career. Hill averaged a career high 16.9 points per game last season and a second best 4.2 assists per game. Before injuring his toe in the playoffs, Hill was averaging his highest point total in his playoff career. With 83 games of playoff experience, Hill can help facilitate any playoff contending team. That team isn’t the Utah Jazz.
Potential Suiters: Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs