The 2019 NBA free agent class is loaded. Starting Sunday, teams will look to add new players to their roster, as well as re-sign their most valued assets in hopes of putting together a contender.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker and others highlight free agency. Even outside of these superstar names, there is still plenty of talent that will be on the market.
Here are five underrated free agents, who could quietly take their next team to another level.
Bojan Bogdanovic was a huge part of the Indiana Pacers’ success this season. At the small forward position, he averaged a career-high 18 points and during the regular season, he helped lead his team to the fifth seed after Victor Oladipo’s injury.
Bogdanovic, 30, is a particularly efficient player, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field last season.
He is entering unrestricted free agency, and will likely earn more than the $10.5 million he made last season. The Pacers should try and bring him back in anticipation of a second option when Oladipo returns. If not, a team in need of a wing scorer will look to sign him.
In Boston, Marcus Morris excelled in his sixth man role. The eight-year-veteran power forward was productive on both ends of the court. Morris averaged 14 points and six rebounds in his two seasons with the Celtics, and shot a career-best 45 percent from the field.
With Boston in a state of re-tooling, it is highly unlikely he will be back next season. Morris will likely look for a contender to join, as well as a team that will pay him. He outperformed his expiring contract which earned him over $5 million per season.
A Klutch Sports client, Morris could end up with the Lakers next season if the team decides to fill out their roster with remaining cap space, instead of going after another big name.
Nikola Mirotic is another underrated name on the free agent market. Acquired by Milwaukee at the deadline with hopes of adding another shooter around the Greek Freak, Mirotic did not play much due to injury. He is now an unrestricted free agent.
Mirotic averaged 15 points and over seven rebounds last year in 46 games played. In his last two seasons, he shot 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from three.
While his health may be a concern, Mirotic is a great stretch-four when healthy. The Bucks likely won’t be able to keep him, as they will be focused on re-signing Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon. Mirotic will add spacing and shooting to his next team.
The Orlando Magic have an interesting offseason ahead of them. After earning the seventh seed, All-Star center Nikola Vucevic and sixth man Terrence Ross are unrestricted free agents.
Ross is an underrated player that could receive plenty of attention on the market. The eight-year shooting guard is coming off of his best season, averaging 15 points per game.
Ross’ instant scoring off the bench would be useful to a team that needs to add depth. The Sixers and Rockets could be interested depending on where Jimmy Butler winds up, as well as the Lakers.
While not entirely in his prime anymore, Ricky Rubio can still be a major asset for a team in need of a point guard. With the Jazz acquiring Mike Conley, Rubio will find himself in a new uniform next season.
Rubio averaged nearly 13 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals last season. In a down year for assists, Rubio averaged six as Utah’s starting point guard.
The Jazz were a middle of the road team offensively last season, ranking 14th in offense rating. On a new team with better offensive weapons, the veteran point guard could get close to his best facilitating seasons. Indiana, San Antonio and even Boston could look to sign Rubio to a moderate contract.
Featured image credited to USA Today.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.