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Five free agents still available who can help teams

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The NBA summer is basically over. We are now closer to the start of the new season than we are the end of the NBA Finals and most teams have their rosters set, they are just adding training camp invites. Or, guys who could maybe get the 14th or 15th roster spot.

Still, some name free agents can help teams.

Here are the big five on the market still.

1. Rodney Hood (restricted). At this point, he’s going to remain a Cavalier next season. No team is making an offer the Cavaliers wouldn’t just match (only Sacramento has the cap space to do it, and they are focused on others at the wing), meaning the only question left is if he plays for the $3.4 million qualifying offer or if the two sides work out a different deal.

How his stock has fallen. One year ago he was preparing for a season where he expected to be the go-to scorer of the Utah Jazz. By the end of the season he barely got off the bench in Cleveland (and in one case would not get off the bench).

That said, he can help a Cavaliers team that doesn’t want to just tear it down despite LeBron James leaving (see the Kevin Love contract). Hood is a 6’8” wing who can get buckets, and the Cavaliers could use that. Play well, rehab his image, and he will not be in this situation a year from now.

2. Jamal Crawford. He’s 38 years old (which scares some teams), and his efficiency has slipped, but the man can still get buckets off the bench (10.3 points per game last season) and more than a few teams could use that. Plus he’s seen as good in the locker room. He turned down a $4.5 million player option with the Timberwolves because he wanted a bigger role (he was getting 20 minutes a game last season) but at this point that is apparently off the table. Still, some team is going to pick him up.

3. Dwyane Wade. He’s made it clear, if he comes back it will be with the Miami Heat for one year. While a rumor got going on Twitter Tuesday that he was close to signing a contract with the Heat, I was told by sources that is not the case. Then Wade Tweeted this:

Nobody knows for sure, but I would lean retirement over return at this point. That said, the decision will come when Wade is ready, not before. He’s earned that right.

4. Nick Young. No team could use some Swaggy P? He’s a character, often doesn’t play within the flow in the offense, he doesn’t play great defense, but he just played 17 minutes a game for the NBA champions, hr hit some threes and shot 41 percent from deep, and made some plays. Another guy who is not young (11 years in the league) but some team will likely give a chance (if not at the start of the season, as a mid-season replacement).

5. David West. His role shrank with the Warriors last season — he averaged 6.8 points last season on 13.7 minutes a game — but he was still efficient when he was on the court (a 20.9 PER). Plus, he is excellent in the locker room. A lot of younger teams could use his presence in the locker room, but he may be a mid-season replacement for a team looking for front-line depth.

Honorable Mention: Joe Johnson. He’s 37-years-old and has 17 seasons of miles on his legs, but he still knows how to play the game. He struggled to help Houston or Utah last season, but don’t be shocked if he is a mid-season pickup by a team.

• Added note: Trevor Booker would have been on this list, but he decided to take the cash in China for a season.

Rumor: Jamal Crawford could take minimum deal to join Warriors

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We are all waiting for the big pieces in this summer’s free agent period to choose their destinations. Destinations for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are up in the air, not to mention LeBron James.

But separate from the elite are the guys who are going to help fill out rosters, especially for championship-contending teams. The salary cap crunch many teams find themselves in thanks to outrageous spending during the summer of 2016 has tempered our expectations for what might happen come the end of the moratorium on July 6th.

The mid-level exception and taxpayer mid-level exception will be important weapons as teams try to round out their rotations heading into 2018-19. Then again, some players might just take a huge discount. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, one player who might be willing to take a pay cut is Jamal Crawford.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves bench scorer recently opted out of his $4.5 million contract and is free to sign where he likes this summer. Crawford, 38, is a veteran hunting for his first ring, and apparently could head to the champion Golden State Warriors on a league minimum deal.

Via ESPN:

There is some mutual interest between the Warriors and Jamal Crawford in a potential minimum deal, sources say. He might want more than the minimum. It’s unclear if the Warriors will use their mini-midlevel exception, but if they do, it likely will not be on Crawford.

Crawford is a good fit for Golden State’s system, and perhaps would bring a more dynamic and intelligent offensive punch then former wing backups like Nick Young. The Seattle native played in 80 games last year for Tom Thibodeau, and his advanced numbers are still relatively in line with his career averages.

If you are thinking that the beginning of free agency will be boring, it’s probably best to look at minutiae — like a potential Crawford deal — to get yourself into understanding just how this summer will shape this season and the one after.

Report: Warriors tender qualifying offer to Patrick McCaw

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What most people remember about Patrick McCaw‘s last season was the fall on March 31 that almost ended it and ended his NBA career.

He was almost paralyzed by that fall — when on the stretcher leaving the court he said he couldn’t feel his legs — and didn’t recover and get cleared to get back on the court until Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against Houston. Throwing a rusty young player into the mix against that level of basketball was never ideal, so he played a limited role for the Warriors the rest of the way.

But Golden State wants him back — they tendered the qualifying offer to him that makes McCaw a restricted free agent.

Besides the back injury and an earlier fractured wrist, McCaw had a sophomore slump on the court as well. He is a good perimeter defender with a 7-foot wingspan, but on the other end of the court he struggled — shooting 23.8 percent from three and with a true shooting percentage well below the league average at 47.7 — and so his minutes went to Nick Young and others.

Because of that, there isn’t going to be a massive market of teams trying to poach McCaw from the Warriors — and Golden State wants him back. They see a guy who fits their style, who can make a leap forward in his third year, and who will come at an affordable price as the costs of the top end of the Warriors’ payroll skyrockets. Expect the Warriors to keep him, no team is going to come in over the top and steal him away.

Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking

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Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.

Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.

Young, via TMZ:

“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”

Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.

We’re launching the PBT Mailbag, so what questions do you want answered?

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The 2017-18 NBA season is over, and the Golden State Warriors are champions once again. What that means the offseason is here, and for many fans that is the best time of the year. The summer in the NBA the past few years has given us some incredible stories. For many, this past postseason was rather boring, and the outcome was all but decided.

And so it is time to dig into our postseason favorites, starting with the 2018 NBA Draft. We here at Pro Basketball Talk would like to announce the start of our weekly mail bag, which will run each week on Wednesday mornings.

The first of mailbag will run this Wednesday, the day before the draft. Questions can be submitted via Twitter or by sending us an email directly at pbtmailbag@gmail.com.

The draft is obviously the big focus for many fans as we approach this next week, and much about the situation for many teams heading up into the event in Brooklyn is murky. If you have a burning question about the draft, now is the time to ask it.

Of course, you are encouraged to ask any kind of question you want to hear about from the Pro Basketball Talk crew such as:

  • Where is LeBron going?
  • Is a hotdog a sandwich?
  • Has Nick Young put his shirt back on yet?
  • Will Jordan Bell run out of Hennessy ever again?
  • Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?

All of these questions are fair game, and more.

We are looking forward to the kind of queries you need answered on a weekly basis as we roll through the summer in anticipation for the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.