We’re nearly six weeks into the NBA’s 2019 free agent period, and the market has been just about picked clean. None of our top 50 free agents of 2019 remain on the board, and news of free agent signings within the last week or two has focused primarily on non-guaranteed training camp invitees.
Still, our list of remaining 2019 free agents features some interesting names. Roster spots around the NBA are becoming scarce, but a number of unsigned players could help out contending teams. Some of these players could sign in the coming days or weeks, while others may have to wait for injuries to open up opportunities.
In a series of posts, we’re taking a closer look at some of the most noteworthy free agents still on the board, breaking them down by position. That series started on Thursday when we focused on a handful of the best free agent guards available. It continues today with a list of some of the most intriguing veteran wings on the open market.
Let’s dive in…
- Iman Shumpert: Shumpert is one of the few free agents left who can say he played regular minutes for an NBA title contender last season. He averaged 15.4 minutes per contest in Houston’s six games against Golden State in the Western Conference Semifinals. Using him as a sign-and-trade chip would be the Rockets‘ best chance to land Andre Iguodala via trade and would assure Shumpert of another eight-figure salary, so I suspect he has been willing to wait to see if that’s still a possibility. Otherwise, he’ll likely get a minimum-salary deal somewhere before the season begins.
- Carmelo Anthony: We’ve covered Anthony’s desire to return to the NBA extensively in recent weeks. Now, it’s a matter of seeing whether a team is willing to take a shot on him. Many of the clubs that we’d normally view as logical suitors are considered long shots – the Lakers reportedly don’t have much interest, while the Heat are hard-capped – so it’s certainly not a lock that the 10-time All-Star will be on a roster when training camps open next month.
- Thabo Sefolosha: Although Sefolosha isn’t a volume three-point shooter, he has knocked down 36.7% of his outside attempts over the last four years, and plays solid defense. At age 35, he may have slowed a step, but he could still be a useful piece for a team seeking a role player or insurance policy on the wing.
- Jodie Meeks: His playoff role was the definition of “limited” (he averaged 4.7 minutes per game in 14 postseason contests), but Meeks was still a contributor for the NBA-champion Raptors. He’s also a career 37.3% three-point shooter. The veteran swingman may need to accept a partially guaranteed or non-guaranteed contract, but he should be in camp with an NBA team. The Clippers and Hornets are said to have some interest.
- Jonathon Simmons: It feels like eons ago that Simmons was turning heads in the 2017 postseason for the Spurs after Kawhi Leonard went down with an ankle injury vs. Golden State. He has been okay since then, averaging 10.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 125 games (24.7 MPG) for the Magic and Sixers. Simmons could be a decent flier at the minimum.
- Corey Brewer: Brewer looked so good on a series of 10-day contracts with the Sixers and Kings last season that Sacramento offered him $2MM on a rest-of-season deal at the end of February to secure him for the season’s final six weeks. If he doesn’t find a new NBA home by opening night, Brewer could do what he did last year and try to catch on somewhere midway through the season. He’d be a solid plug-and-play option for a team hit with injuries.
Michael Beasley appears unlikely to return to the NBA anytime soon. He was hit with a five-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy and is reportedly leaning toward a return to China. Another former top-10 pick, Luol Deng, may be nearing the end of the road — the 34-year-old was hampered by Achilles issues last season and has played just 23 games in the last two years.
Luc Mbah a Moute is another player who has been slowed by health problems, but he was a key rotation player for the Rockets in 2017/18. If he can get healthy, he should receive NBA interest. Dante Cunningham is more of a stretch four than a wing, but he continues to post solid shooting numbers as he bounces around from team to team (.462 3PT% in 64 games for the Spurs in 2018/19, albeit on just 65 attempts).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.