Obviously everyone knows about the big name free agents like Lebron James, Paul George, and Chris Paul. Many teams in the league wanted to make a pitch to them, and those teams that signed certainly obtained or kept a great player. However, there were many great moves that were made, but not talked about much. Note that throughout this article, I’ll only look at free agents that switched teams, not those who resigned.
Isaiah Thomas might not be considered an under the radar free agent, but last year certainly was a nightmare from a top 5 MVP candidate the year before. The Nuggets signed him for only $2.2M. He has many issues. He might have a lingering injury, he has been a detriment to multiple locker rooms, and is a major liability on the defensive end. However, he was an offensive star not long ago. Him being a shadow of himself off the bench makes this a good deal.
Ed Davis signed with the Nets for 1 year, $4.4M, and the Blazers were foolish to not keep him. He led the league in rebounds off the bench last season, was very efficient from the field, and hustled a lot. His talents won’t be noticed, as the Nets will be fortunate to compete for a playoff spot this year, but this was a great signing, as he provides a lot of value for a low price.
Nerlens Noel signed with the Thunder for 2 years, $3.5M. Noel was a victim of unfortunate circumstances in Philly. He started off his career on a high note, but then the 76ers drafted Okafor. With Embiid in the 76ers’ plans as well, Noel didn’t have a real shot in Philly. The Mavs were not a good fit for him either. Ultimately, his rebounding and ability to score around the rim should make him a good complement to Westbrook and PG13, and a good backup to Adams.
There were many players who switched teams. A few of them were big names like Lebron James and Demarcus Cousins, but most of them were lower profile players who might contribute to their teams. Isaiah Thomas, Ed Davis, and Nerlens Noel were the best signings at the lowest price.
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