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NBA B-list free agents to keep an eye on

Jamal Crawford: ‘To be a great team, the supporting players have to star in their roles, no matter what the role is’

The attention will be on NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan when free agency begins July 1. But how many teams truly have a shot at them? Durant has said he plans to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors.

For most teams, the second-tier free agents are more realistic and more affordable, and a team could perhaps damage a rival by signing them away.

“What you’re seeing now is that the stars will be the stars regardless,” Minnesota Timberwolves free-agent guard Jamal Crawford said. “But to be a great team, the supporting players have to star in their roles no matter what the role is. It makes everyone’s job easier and the team better. That’s why it is so important to get those second-tier free agents and bring them into the group.”

When 12:01 a.m. on July 1 hits, the elite NBA free agents’ representatives will not be the only ones getting phone calls. Many B-list free agents will receive interest as well. The Utah Jazz plan to do something creative in hopes of keeping big man Derrick Favors. The New Orleans Pelicans, Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets are expected to show interest in Crawford, a source told The Undefeated.

“For any player in free agency, fit and situation is so important,” said Crawford, who declined a player option with Minnesota for next season to become a free agent. “You see players in one situation and they go to another and they look totally different. I’ve been around long enough to know that the player didn’t change. May just be the situation that he’s in. There is nothing wrong with that either. It’s all a part of growing and taking something positive out of that.

“For me, fit and situation may be even more important, because coming off the bench, you have to be able to make something happen for your team in a smaller amount of time. So I truly have to have the right fit, and that was part of the reason I opted out.”

The Undefeated takes a look at some of the second-tier unrestricted free agents.


Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets

Golden State guard Stephen Curry (left) defends the shot of Houston forward Trevor Ariza (right). Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 6 feet 8 inches, 215 pounds

Position: Small forward

Age: 32

2017-18 stats: 11.7 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game, 36.8 3-point field goal percentage

Comment: The Rockets are expected to give Paul a maximum contract, re-sign restricted free-agent center Clint Capela and work to re-sign reserves Luc Mbah a Moute and Gerald Green, sources told The Undefeated. The valuable defensive specialist Trevor Ariza could be an odd man out.

Will Barton, Denver Nuggets

Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets slams home a dunk. Hector Acevedo/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Height/weight: 6 feet 6 inches, 190 pounds

Position: Small forward

Age: 27

2017-18 stats: 15.7 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 4.1 assists per game, 37 3-point percentage

Comment: “Will the Thrill” Barton was one of the surprising scorers of last season after averaging a career high in points per game. Now in his prime, Barton could be a strong scoring addition for a suitor.

Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers guard Avery Bradley (right) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (left). Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 6 feet 2 inches, 180 pounds

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 27

2017-18 stats: 14.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 36.9 3-point percentage

Comment: Avery Bradley, the two-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league. The Clippers have interest in re-signing Bradley, a source said.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope goes for the dunk against Minnesota. Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Height/weight: 6 feet 5 inches, 205 pounds

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 25

2017-18 stats: 13.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, 38.3 3-point percentage

Comment: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had the best 3-point shooting performance of his career last season. With the Lakers in search of stars, this outside threat and talented defender will likely end up elsewhere after one season in Los Angeles.

Jamal Crawford, Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota guard Jamal Crawford (right) gathers control of the ball against Portland guard Evan Turner (left). Jaime Valdez/USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 6 feet 5 inches, 200 pounds

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 38

2017-18 stats: 10.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 33.1 3-point percentage

Comment: Jamal Crawford averaged 10.3 points in 20.7 minutes per game last season for the Wolves. Could you envision the three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year back in a Warriors uniform coming off the bench?

Tyreke Evans, Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis guard Tyreke Evans drives against Oklahoma City center Steven Adams. Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 6 feet 6 inches, 220 pounds

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 28

2017-18 stats: 19.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 5.2 APG, 39.9 3-point percentage

Comment: Tyreke Evans, the 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year, had perhaps the best season of his eight-year career, averaging nearly 20 points in 30.9 minutes per game. While the Grizzlies have interest, sources said he is excepted to be too expensive to retain.

Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz

Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz rebounds the ball. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Height/weight: 6 feet 10 inches, 265 pounds

Position: Power forward

Age: 26

2017-18 stats: 12.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 22.2 3-point percentage

Comment: Derrick Favors loves everything about the Jazz but sacrificed his offensive role and minutes for small ball. Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey has said that re-signing Favors is a high priority for the franchise.

Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio forward Rudy Gay (center) moves the ball against Golden State guard Shaun Livingston (left). Sebum Im/USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 6 feet 8 inches, 230 pounds

Position: Small forward

Age: 31

2017-18 stats: 11.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 31.4 3-point percentage

Comment: Rudy Gay proved that he had shaken off his Achilles tendon injury with solid postseason play, averaging 12.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals in a first-round series against the Warriors. Gay opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Rajon Rondo, New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo (center) passes against the Golden State Warriors. Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Height/weight: 6 feet 1 inch, 186 pounds

Position: Point guard

Age: 32

2017-18 stats: 8.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 8.2 APG, 33.3 3-point percentage

Comment: Rajon Rondo proved last postseason with the Pelicans that he still can be a quality starting point guard and leader in the NBA. The four-time NBA All-Star would like to re-sign with New Orleans regardless of whether his close friend Cousins returns, sources said.

J.J. Redick, Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers guard J.J. Redick makes a shot over Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes. CJ Gunther Shutterstock/EPA

Height/weight: 6 feet 4 inches, 190 pounds

Position: Shooting guard

Age: 34

2017-18 stats: 17.1 PPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 RPG, 42 3-point percentage

Comment: J.J. Redick, the 12-year NBA veteran, is still one of the most feared 3-point shooters in a league where 3-point shooting is major. The rising and young Sixers can ill afford to lose this elite shooter and veteran leader, but what is the price?

Isaiah Thomas, Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas looks to pass the ball. Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

Height/weight: 5 feet 9 inches, 185 pounds

Position: Point guard

Age: 29

2017-18 stats: 15.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, 2.1 RPG, 29.3 3-point percentage

Comment: Where “I.T” lands will be one of the more interesting stories in free agency once the A-listers are gone. Could it be in Isaiah Thomas’ best interest to sign a one-year deal somewhere to prove himself again while healthy with intentions of a more lucrative deal next year?

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.