Best Bargain Buys in 2017 NBA Free Agency


Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

It’s offseason time. These seven players will sign deals that won’t pay them what they’re worth, and some are taking pay cuts to chase titles. Others can’t quite get market value because their weaknesses shine brighter than their elite, niche skills.

Vince Carter, SG/SF, Unrestricted

Age: 40

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 8.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks

Advanced Metrics11.7 PER1.29 RPM34.59 TPA

Vince Carter may be old, but he’s still a solid veteran for any team in the league. Couple that with his above-average NBA Math’s total points added (TPA) metric, he’s certainly able to prove that Father Time has little impact on his game.

Omri Casspi, SF, Unrestricted

Age: 29

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 5.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks

Advanced Metrics9.9 PERminus-2.3 RPMminus-38.14 TPA

Little Omri Casspi did during the 2016-17 campaign deserves much recognition. He played pretty poorly in his 22 games with the Sacramento Kings after he was inexplicably buried on the bench, suffered a thumb injury during his first game with the New Orleans Pelicans (after being traded with DeMarcus Cousins), and then failed to find his outside shot after landing with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

But if your rewind a year, Casspi had an 11.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game season while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Darren Collison, PG, Unrestricted

Age: 29

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 13.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks

Advanced Metrics15.3 PERminus-0.41 RPMminus-61.18 TPA

Three things make this 29-year old such a great value on the offensive end: his knack for finding open teammates (24.5 assist percentage), his perimeter shooting (41.7 percent on 2.6 three-point attempts per game), and his ability to minimize turnovers (12.6 turnover percentage).

His strength doesn’t lie in defense, but with Collison, you’re definitely getting some value.

Cristiano Felicio, PF/C, Restricted

Age: 24

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 4.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.2 blocks

Advanced Metrics15.2 PERminus-1.16 RPMminus-2.07 TPA

Felicio isn’t necessarily superb on the offensive end, but he’s one of only 25 players to post a defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) of at least 0.5 and a total rebounding percentage north of 16.0 during both go-rounds.

Having a great rebounder with a 6’10” frame who’s capable of switching on screens is important against the league’s most dynamic offenses, and the Brazilian big man can do exactly that in spurts.

Nikola Mirotic, PF, Restricted

Age: 26

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks

Advanced Metrics14.5 PER2.23 RPM16.67 TPA

You’ve definitely heard of Nikola Mirotic if you follow the league relatively. During his last 16 appearances in 2016-17, Mirotic averaged 15.8 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 47.1 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from downtown and 80.6 percent of his free-throw attempts.

Here’s a statement from The Athletic’s Will Gottlieb:

Defensively, Mirotic has a reputation as an incapable defender, but that could not be further from the truth. According to Synergy, Mirotic ranks in the 95th percentile in half court defense, allowing only 0.769 points per possession. This matches my eye test. Mirotic has great awareness and knows how to position himself on defense to support the backside, help on drives and contest kick-outs. He is also a phenomenal pick-and-roll container, ranking in the 85th percentile. While he is made to look silly against the speediest point guards, he does the subtle things right.

Honorable Mentions

Thabo Sefolosha, SF, Unrestricted

Age: 33

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks

Advanced Metrics11.9 PER0.33 RPM38.87 TPA

Alan Williams, PF/C, Restricted

Age: 24

2016-17 Per-Game Stats: 7.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks

Advanced Metrics19.5 PER0.55 RPMminus-25.15 TPA

Source: Bleacher Report


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s