10 notable NBA players not on team rosters right now

Deron Williams didn't receive a contract this summer despite playing backup for the Cavaliers in 2017
Deron Williams didn't receive a contract this summer despite playing backup for the Cavaliers in 2017

The flurry of activities surrounding the NBA free agency has come and gone. Players have found new homes, others have moved while some have been displaced by rookies with guaranteed contracts from the recent NBA draft, international prospects, and other foreign-based players.

The influx of new players into the league guarantees a displacement of around 20% or more of the existing number of established players (players with a minimum of 5 years NBA experience). Though there’s a chance-performance or injury related, that these players make it back into the league as the season progresses.

Below are the best 10 notable players that can still make a difference on some teams in the league, but are absent on all current team rosters.

#10 Ty Lawson

Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks
Ty Lawson.

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Drafted with the 18th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Ty Lawson’s career trajectory recently took a bad turn with numerous off-court issues - domestic violence and DUI's.

He might have just drunk himself out of the league. Teams gave him chances to resuscitate his career to no avail. In the right frame of mind, Lawson was a low-risk floor general that was regarded as one of the NBA’s better traditional point guards.

He last played for the Kings averaging 9.9 points and 4.8 assists in 25.1 minutes per game. Whether he ran out of second chances remains to be seen.

#9 Jared Sullinger

#0 Jared Sullinger
#0 Jared Sullinger

Jared Sullinger’s career has been marred by serious injuries, weight issues and he recently admitted to having suffered a mental breakdown. Sullinger is a productive power forward with an array of desirable skills that might hopefully catch the eye of NBA scouts. He was last employed by the Phoenix Suns but was waived before making a single appearance for them.

The NBA demands athletes in top shape. This has forced him to change to a vegan diet. He currently plays in China with the hope of a call back to the league.

#8 Matt Barnes

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz - Game Four
Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes is a seasoned veteran with playoff experience and a god given sense of basketball toughness. He last played for the 2017 NBA Champions - the Golden State Warriors.

A team with ‘soft’ superstars need someone to have their back when events go south. Barnes is the perfect candidate for such a job. The 3-and-D enforcer remains an eligible free agent. Despite the rule changes and evolving playing style in the league, tough and disruptive players are good for entertainment.

Matt Barnes is a good shooter who doesn’t really need the ball for him to be effective. He can play both forward positions and can defend multiple positions. The only question mark is the number of technical fouls he can accumulate, his off-court issues and whether he can perform at the age of 37.

#7 Deron Williams

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics
Deron Williams

Deron Williams played college basketball at the University of Illinois before being drafted third overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz.

Deron Williams' numbers have steadily declined over the years. He looks like a shadow of himself. It is hard to believe that at some point it was hard to pick who was the best point guard between him and Chris Paul. He is capable and frustrating at the same time considering the experience he comes with.

The three-time All-Star is creative enough as a backup point guard, who can knock down threes given his 41.5% accuracy for the Cavs last season. He is not quick enough to defend smaller guards, but his strength can make him an option to defend smaller wings.

#6 David Lee

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets - Game Six
David Lee

David Lee is a two-time All-Star and won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. The 12-year veteran is healthy coming off a great season with the San Antonio Spurs, where he posted his best true shooting percentage in almost a decade.

Lee brings leadership and is a good inside scorer with an eye for rebounds. He is very intelligent, tough and can compete with traditional power forwards. He lacks the range to stretch the floor as is required in the modern game. He sees the floor well and should be a sound role player at 34 years.

#5 Brandon Jennings

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards
Brandon Jennings

Selected 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2009 NBA draft, Jennings is a player that was projected to go the distance in the NBA. He is a solid point guard that can defend, shoot from range, and even facilitate at a respectable level.

Before tearing his Achilles tendon in 2015, he was playing the best basketball of his career. Jennings had led the Detroit Pistons to a positive start that year while averaging 15.4 points, 6.8 assists and 1.1 steals a game.

He is currently on a one-year deal to play in China with the hope of returning to the NBA afterward.

#4 Monta Ellis

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards
Monta Ellis

After losing Paul George, the Indiana Pacers decided to waive Monta Ellis in early July.

Ellis entered the 2005 NBA draft directly after graduating from Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was drafted with the 40th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors. He was named the Most Improved Player in 2007.

Despite career averages of 17.0 points per game, 4.6 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game, critics have been on his neck, labeling him as a single-minded scorer without the much-needed efficiency. At just 31 years, playoff teams could still use him off the bench for some instant offense.

#3 Gerald Green

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns
Gerald Green

At the beginning of free agency, Green drew interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves. There haven't been any developments to think that a contract is on the way for the 11-year veteran. He is a huge locker room presence as well as an offensive spark off the bench given his high-flying acrobatic skills.

Green was one of the last players to enter the NBA directly from high school. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 18th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft.

At 31 years, Green still has plenty to offer. He appeared in 47 games last season for the Boston Celtics averaging 5.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per contest.

#2 Jameer Nelson

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets
Jameer Nelson

Drafted 20th overall in the 2004 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, he is a very intelligent playmaker that last played for the Denver Nuggets averaging 9.2 points, 5.1 assists, and 2.6 rebounds. He was recently waived by the Nuggets to create a roster spot for newly signed veteran Richard Jefferson.

Jameer is a great mentor for the younger players as echoed by his former coach, Mike Malone. The thirteen-year veteran is a one-time all-star and has been to the NBA Finals once with the Orlando Magic in 2009. He is 88th on the all-time assists list.

#1 Gerald Henderson Jr.

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers
Gerald Henderson Jr

Gerald Henderson Jr represented the Duke Blue Devils in college basketball. He was drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets).

He last played for the Sixers and was waived in a move to aid the rebuilding process of the Sixers. He chose to have surgery on his troublesome hip amid genuine interest from NBA teams. He’ll likely miss the 2017-2018 season.

When healthy, he is a solid two-way player. Over the course of eight NBA seasons, he holds averages of 11.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 26 minutes per game. His past endeavors will likely earn him a contract when he recovers.

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Edited by Yash Matange
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