The NBA offseason has slowed down as teams are finding their identities. Some teams signed big-name players and established themselves as contenders in hopes of winning a championship. For example, the Los Angeles Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard, and the Brooklyn Nets signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The big-name free agents are long gone, but there are more free agents left on the market.
With the remaining free agents, teams (contenders or rebuilding) can fill voids in their roster while they prepare for next season. Teams can pick up solid pieces and make their teams better. There are a few veterans that can come in and help a team succeed. Here are five high-impact veterans still available for the 2019-20 season.
#5 J.R. Smith
While some fans may remember J.R. Smith for his 2018 Finals blunder, he is a solid player. Smith is a shooter that is deadly when he gets hot. He gives a team scoring when they need it most. He is a player who isn't afraid to take big shots, regardless of if he makes them or not. He proved this during his time with Cavs.
J.R. Smith last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs acquired him in a three-team trade that involved the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks. The Cavs received both Smith and his teammate Iman Shumpert from the Knicks through the trade.
In his first season with the Cavs, Smith averaged 12.7 points and 3.5 rebounds. Smith managed to shoot 39 percent from 3-point range at that time. Then, he was a part of the Cavaliers' 2016 championship team. He averaged 12.4 points in the regular season and 11.5 points in the playoffs. After their championship, Smith remained with the Cavs until a disagreement.
Last season, the Cavs started their first season post-LeBron James (again). James left the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers, and the Cavs took a step backward. The Cavaliers started their season with a record of 0-6 and fired their head coach Ty Lue. The Cavs ended up starting their season 2-13 as they dealt with injuries.
Cleveland was without Kevin Love for most of the season due to a toe injury, and Smith had a reduced role. This angered Smith, and he voiced his opinion. He felt that the Cavs were trying to tank rather than compete. After expressing his displeasure, Smith and the Cavs decided to part ways.
On November 20, 2018, Cleveland announced that Smith would no longer be with the team. The Cavs said they would work with Smith and his representation in hopes of finding a resolution. Both sides wanted to determine Smith's future as time progressed.
The Cavs tried trading Smith but could not find the right offer. So, they decided to waive him earlier this summer.
Smith played 11 games last season and last played on November 19, 2018. It has been a while since he played, but he can still help a team.
When he was waived, the Milwaukee Bucks met with him. However, no deal was established. If the Bucks or any other team signs J.R. Smith, they gain a shooter who can make crucial shots. It is worth taking a chance.