Most would probably agree that Tristan Thompson is the most prominent free agent among those still on the market, but that’s not because of his scoring ability. He averaged only 11.4 points per 36 minutes this past season, putting him well behind many others who haven’t signed yet. Thompson took on a more expansive role in the playoffs, and his per-36-minute scoring shrunk even further, to 9.5.
The former No. 4 overall pick brings plenty to the floor, but teams in need of scoring can find better options much more cheaply. Carlos Boozer leads the way. He won’t command anywhere close to the $16.8MM he saw last season in salary and amnesty payments, but the former All-Star was, by a wide margin, a better per-minute scorer than any other free agent who played in the NBA in 2014/15. He’s fielding interest from multiple teams, as Will Joseph of Hoops Rumors examined Sunday.
Here are the top 10 remaining free agents, ranked by points per 36 minutes. To qualify, the players must have averaged at least 10 minutes per game and have appeared in at least 20 contests this past season. Those who’ve committed to overseas deals aren’t included.
- Carlos Boozer (17.8)
- (tie) Michael Beasley (15.1)
- (tie) Henry Sims (15.1)
- JaVale McGee (14.9)
- A.J. Price (14.8)
- J.R. Smith (14.7)
- Ish Smith (14.6)
- Nate Robinson (14.5)
- (tie) Darrell Arthur (13.9)
- (tie) Rasual Butler (13.9)
- Austin Daye would have been next on the list, with 13.5 points per 36 minutes.
- Jason Richardson, who scored 14.9 points per 36 minutes this past season for the Sixers, would have been in the top five here, but he barely missed the qualification cut, playing only 19 games. Similarly, Sebastian Telfair averaged 14.8 points per 36 minutes but only saw action in 16 games for the Thunder.
- Alexey Shved, who signed a deal with Khimki Moscow that makes him the highest-paid overseas player, is the top scoring free agent who didn’t land an NBA deal, with a per-36-minute average of 20.4 from this past season.
Which of these free agents would you most want to see on your team? Leave a comment to tell us.