Almost all NBA teams have suffered from the condensed nature of the 2020-21 season. Players have been extremely injury prone and franchises have failed to arrive at a balanced rotation. Considering how disruptive the current campaign has been, several teams – especially the playoff hopefuls and contenders – have been continuously updating their squads with available talents.
We're well past the NBA trade deadline and teams can only sign players in free agency now. There's still a catch, though. Only those athletes who weren't on an NBA roster as of April 9 will retain their playoff eligibility.
NBA free agents who've retained their playoff eligibility
While this criteria does narrow down the options, there are still a few experienced campaigners who could come in to help teams in the postseason. Let's look at three such names.
#1 Glenn Robinson III
Glenn Robinson was one of the last free agents to be scooped up by the Sacramento Kings despite having a career year last season. Unfortunately, Robinson's time in Sacramento was laden with injuries and the Kings waived him before his contract became guaranteed.
Robinson had managed 11.7 points per game in 2019-20 while shooting 48.6% from the field and 39.1% from downtown. He excelled last season in a 3-and-D role for the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Robinson may have struggled with the Kings but he has the potential to be an impact player off the bench on a contending team. His 6'6 frame would also allow him to guard multiple positions.
#2 Shabazz Napier
Shabazz Napier had a breakthrough campaign in the 2019-20 season as a pass-first guard. Napier managed 4.7 assists per game while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards. He has limitations as a scorer but Napier enjoyed the best run of his career with the Wizards, averaging 11.6 points through 20 games. He's been unable to land a contract so far in the 2020-21 NBA season.
The game slows down in the playoffs and Napier can help split set defenses with his pinpoint passing. He suffers against bigger players on defense due to his six-foot frame, but Napier is an active disruptor. In fact, he managed 1.2 steals per game last season as well.
#3 Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver turned 40 just a month ago, but he's yet to call time on his 17-year NBA career. Korver came off the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks last season and averaged 6.7 points per game on 41.8% shooting from downtown. Most importantly, he was able to maintain these numbers in the 2020 playoffs as well.
Korver is the perfect catch-and-shoot impact player for contending teams. He demands minimal touches and can give his side a scoring boost quickly. Korver also brings the intangibles to the table. He's a good locker room presence and his experience can come in handy in crunch situations.
Korver wasn't brought back by the Bucks this season due to their lack of cap flexibility. The one-time NBA All-Star could be a shrewd addition for any contender if given the chance this late into the season.