Derek Fisher: The point guard position may be the weakest position left in free agency. Fisher is a wily veteran who helped the Oklahoma City Thunder make it to last year’s Finals, but he also turns 38 years old in August. If Fisher is one of the best available players at a position, it’s clear that position is no longer very deep.
There’s no question Fisher can be a mentor to a young team like he did with the Thunder last season, but relying on him for anything more than 10-15 minutes a night could be a disaster. Fisher’s points per game has dropped for three consecutive season’s and last year with the Thunder he shot only 34.3 percent from the field, and it’s likely there will be another fall off in production this season.
Jodie Meeks: Meeks is one of the few players on this list that has proven over his career he can be a starter. Last season for the Philadelphia 76ers, Meeks started 50 games averaging over nine points and shooting better than 37 percent from behind the three-point line. Meeks stands 6’4 and 208 pounds, making him big enough to guard most of the starting shooting guards in the NBA.
Meeks isn’t much of a creator, but any team looking for shooting could do worse than the 24-year-old, who has started a total of 114 games in his 200-game career. Any time a team can pluck a potential starting shooting guard off of free agency this late in the summer, they will be getting a good value and could end up with the steal of the offseason.
Brandon Rush: Rush put up excellent numbers last year coming off the bench for the Golden State Warriors. He averaged almost 10 points per game shooting over 50 percent from the field and better than 45 percent from behind the arc. Those are numbers every team in the NBA could use.
Rush is also a big defender standing 6’6 and weighing 210 pounds. Rush has proven he can start in the NBA, but last year he showed he might be more comfortable coming off the bench. Like Meeks, any team that is in need of a player to help spread the floor should look no further than Rush.
Mickael Pietrus: Pietrus is the classic defensive stopper off the bench, who can also knock down the occasional three. He is also familiar with playoff basketball after being an important member of the last year’s Boston Celtics team that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals and in 2009 playing in the NBA Finals with the Orlando Magic.
Pietrus also has the ability to guard multiple positions, something that is becoming more important in today’s NBA. In last year’s playoffs, he took on league and Finals MVP LeBron James, as well as Mario Chalmers at times.
Tracy McGrady: McGrady is the opposite of Pietrus – he is all offense all the time off the bench. The former scoring champion no longer can put up 30-point games like he did in his prime, but he is still capable of taking over for stretches during games. At 6’6, McGrady also has the ability to play shooting guard and small forward, making him a potential matchup problem for opposing defenses.
Carl Landry: Landry is arguably the best free agent left on the market. He has proven to be a capable starter on playoff teams or, at the very least, a big-time producer off the bench. Landry never complains and is by all accounts an excellent teammate. Last season with the New Orleans Hornets, Landry averaged 12.5 points per game playing mostly off the bench, he also shot better than 50 percent from the field and grabbed five rebounds in only 24 minutes of action each night.
Landry isn’t a flashy player, but he comes to play every night. The rumored reason he hasn’t signed on with a team yet is he is looking for a multi-year deal and most teams have been hesitant to spend this late in free agency. Wherever Landry ends up, he will make a difference for that team both on the court and in the locker room.