It’s no surprise that everyone has been focused on the Free Agency rumors around Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson. Those are the big names that have the possibility to make a real impact in the league, but almost 40% of all NBA players became Free Agents this Summer!
On the other hand, while you haven’t been looking, the other NBA teams have made some really good Free Agency deals to give their team an extra boost. These are some of those pick-ups who can definitely make a real impact on their new team next season.
Bojan Bogdanovic – Utah Jazz
Bogdanovic quietly became a dominant force on the Pacers’ team, especially after they lost Victor Oladipo to an injury. He improved himself on almost every aspect this season, and averaged 6 more points this year than in his previous five seasons in the league. With the Jazz, Bogdanovic can continue this upwards trend, as he doesn’t have to be the first option on the team, but he will get the space to play an important role.
The Croatian forward was one of the better forwards available this free agency period, plus the fact that Bogdanovic became an unrestricted free agent, made him very valuable. With Bogdanovic, the Jazz are building quite a team for the upcoming season, and they might actually become good contenders this year.
Ricky Rubio – Phoenix Suns
Rubio’s deal with the Suns was quite sudden, as there had been rumors for a couple of weeks, that he was already on the brink of going to the Indiana Pacers. The experts were even sure that it would be an immediate day 1 deal. But nothing proved to be less true. Rubio had meeting with the Pacers, but instead of signing with them, he chose to go to the Phoenix Suns.
It’s a very good deal for the Suns, as they had to play most of last season without a point guard, or Devin Booker on point, as all their guards proved to be too light.
Rubio, as a veteran in the league and an excellent point guard, will definitely be the man for the job. He has already proven his worth in the league, and besides his great playmaking and passes, Rubio has started to improve his shot this year. It’ll be good to see him playing together with Booker and DeAndre Ayton.
Nicolo Melli – New Orleans Pelicans
Melli’s decision to go overseas and sign with the Pelicans might have been a surprise to a lot of players, but it’s a very good decision on his part. He already has a lot of experience in the Euroleague, the highest level of Europe, so the transition to the NBA, should go smoothly.
The Pelicans are building a team to complement Zion Williamson, and Melli will be able to make an impact on every aspect. Though Melli is a big man, he is a threat from outside the arc, and therefore will be great to create space for Zion on the court. That way, the Pelicans can make extra use of their No.1 pick’s versatility.
Terry Rozier – Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets had to endure a very tough loss when Kemba Walker signed with the Boston Celtics as soon as the free agency period began. They had offered him a deal, but Walker decided it was time for him to go to a contender.
Rozier’s quick choice was also somewhat of a surprise, as there was interest from several teams, such as the Suns, Wizards, Magic and more. With all of those teams, Rozier would’ve gotten a shot at being the first point guard, something he didn’t get during his time with the Celtics. Now, he has to show everyone he is able to keep the job as starting point guard in the NBA. It will be interesting to see how the Hornets will fill their team; either choosing older free agents, or deciding to build a new team from the ground up.