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Top seven free agents still on the market

Jul 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony finally got around to making their decisions and when they did the flood gates opened and the NBA free agent market exploded with a rash of signings. It seemed like everyone signed in the coming few days.

Well, not everyone.

There are still some quality free agents on the market — guys who can help your team win games from the opening tip next fall. Understand, if they are still on the market there is a reason — maybe a basketball reason, maybe a market reason — but here are the seven best guys still out there.

Eric Bledsoe (restricted free agent). He’s an All-Star caliber point guard who is incredibly athletic, can score in transition, attacks the rim, plus is tenacious on defense. His play isn’t the reason he’s still available — he wants a max offer sheet and Suns GM Ryan McDonough has said they will match any offer — and remember he traded for Bledsoe, he’s not letting him go. So no offers. The problem for Bledsoe is he lacks leverage, the Sixers are the only team with max cap space left and they are not interested in making an offer. Suns offering four years, $48 million, he wants full max of five years, $80 million. He could play for the qualifying offer ($3.7 million) and become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but for a guy with his injury history that is a huge risk.

[RELATED: Lakers considered a bid for Bledsoe?]

Greg Monroe (restricted free agent). Another guy who has fans around the league in front offices but teams expect the Pistons would match pretty much any offer. Monroe is a potential future All-Star big man with a versatile offensive game — he can pass or score from both the elbow and the post, plus runs the floor well. Stan Van Gundy still has to figure out how to resolve the Monroe/Andre Drummond/Josh Smith conundrum but he’s not going to give up a promising young big easily.

[RELATED: Suns considering signing Monroe to an offer sheet]

Andray Blatche (unrestricted free agent). There are a lot of teams looking for a big to come off their bench and Blatche did that last year in Brooklyn. He scored 11 points a game with a pretty average true shooting percentage of .532. And he’s not a great defender. Look at his history and there are questions, but he played pretty well last season and for a couple million a year would make a value signing.

Ray Allen (unrestricted fee agent). Does he want to play again? If he does want to play again, would he want to do that in Cleveland or somewhere warmer? Teams (including the Cavaliers) have reached out and are waiting for him to decide. He’s still in great shape, still the consummate professional and still can knock down the corner three.

[MORE: Summer League observations]

Shawn Marion (unrestricted free agent). Dallas wanted to keep him but with Chandler Parsons and other moves Marion is on the market now. He is a solid reserve with the ability to hit the three, drive inside and score (or post up smaller players) and he’s a decent defender. Being age 36 is not helping his prospect.

Evan Turner (restricted free agent). That he is still on the market tells you how far the perception of him around the league has fallen. He put up raw numbers in Philly where he was asked to shoot but when forced to blend into the Pacers team concept he could not. Some team will bring him in on a minimum deal and if you need a guy to put up shots on a bad team he could be your guy.

[RELATED: Is Minnesota interested in Turner?]

• Jameer Nelson (unrestricted). One of a few good, veteran backup point guards still on the market (Ramon Sessions is another). Nelson was stuck on a Magic team going young (and bad) last season but still averaged 12.1 points and 7 assists a game. He’s still a quality shooter and good at running the pick-and-roll, he would be a solid addition to a number of teams.

  1. mp4philly - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    I’m not Knick fan but I would think Phil Jackson would have started with some of the names on this list. Instead he’d rather dig up corpses from there decades old championship runs.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      The haters are up early this morning I see…

      Phil is building a system & is doing the SMART thing by only adding players who either fit that system regardless of how familiar the casual NBA fan is with them or have extensive experience in that system.

      The only player on this list who would fit the Triangle offense is Monroe who the Knicks obviously cant afford. All of the others have a 3 point % less than 35% with the exception of Nelson (37%) but they already have 3 point guards on the roster.

      “I’m not Knick fan”

      With the nonsense that followed, you didn’t even need to include that part.

      • theentity1 - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        What is with the 3rd grade use of the word “hater”? For your edification, when someone is critical of a sports personality, here are a few more appropriate words to describe them: critic, detractor, cynic, skeptic, doubter, sneerer, and many more. Phil Jackson would be very impressed if you stopped abusing the English language.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Whiny New Yawkers: dime a dozen. Maybe if the Knicks didn’t suck you wouldn’t get all the negative comments.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        1-Grow up with the “hater” crap. At least learn when it can be used properly.
        2-Adding system players is one thing. Adding people that qualify for the senior supper at Golden Corral is another.

      • adoombray - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:25 AM

        more immature than the use of the word hater is the need to correct some random stranger on the internet about their speech. He doesn’t owe you pleasing words, it’s a basketball blog, get over it

      • cruzan80 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        @ adoombray

        I was going to give almost that ver same reply I but I didnt even find it worth it.

        Thank you sir.

      • cruzan80 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        @ adoombray

        I was going to give almost that very same reply I but I didnt even find it worth it.

        Thank you sir.

    • demo3356 - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Knicks are like 30 million over the cap and only had the tax payers exception of like 3 mil a year. Which one of the guys on that list would play for 3 mil a year genius? Also keep in mind the Knicks cant trade for someone in a sign and trade either since they are over the cap.. Phil has done very well with the limited resources he had. He has improved the PG situation immensely and got some youth and athleticism added while only giving up an injury prone declining Chandler and a terrible point guard

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        “Which one of the guys on that list would play for 3 mil a year genius? ”

        The one(s) that aren’t offered a bigger deal.

  2. steelerfanforlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Bulls need a 2 guard, Turner is from Chicago. See if he’d come in for the minimum and try to reestablish himself in the league. Thibs has done an amazing job of getting castoffs to play well and then they leave for more money!

    • spursareold - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      Turner is pretty awful unless you put the ball in his hands, and then he’s only real bad.

      • madnova - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        Might make sense for the Pacers to bring him back, then, since Stephenson left.

    • undagroundnbablogspot - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      Why won’t the Sixers take him back? They actually won some quality games last season (including against the Heat) with him in the lead, and it looks like they’ll need a scorer again this season. I thought they traded him out of sympathy since they felt he deserved to be on a competitive team, and going from the top dog to like the fifth or sixth fiddle would be difficult for most anyone to adjust to. He may not be the best team player, but remember he was getting All-Star consideration when he was on the Sixers. The way the NBA is nowadays a lot of teams (i.e. the Heat) just run down the court and chuck up the ball anyway.

      • madnova - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Because Sam Hinkie ain’t his GM.

      • philadelphiafan - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:43 PM

        I don’t think Sam Hinkie would even entertain the idea of bringing ET back. Mainly because they’re in tank mode again this season. The fact that the Sixers traded him mid season for half a ham sandwich should tell you exactly how much they value Turner. I was hoping they would resign Hawes though. He’s still young enough where he could grow with this new core especially while waiting for Embiid to get on the court. The Clippers definitely got a solid piece to come off their bench.

      • thesixersbench - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        Not only is Turner bad on the court (one of the least efficient players in the league), he’s not a positive presence in the locker room. He is definitely not the kind of guy you want influencing younger players during a rebuild.

        Him being on the court and in the locker room would only hamstring the Sixers player development efforts – especially since I don’t think ET has much more “developing” of his game to do.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        maybe Turner should start a basketball camp in Columbus, Ohio where he is still beloved. wow…what a fall. he was the face of the Buckeyes for a year and now on the verge of being a minimum salary vet.

  3. jeffkx - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Evan Turner is unrestricted..

  4. chicagocane - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    bulls fan here and Turner might be a good idea…worth a shot. I think they have a Dunleavy trade move still lurking to maybe get a more active wing player for that $3m slot. With McDermott, Gasol and Mirotic…Dunleavy is more if the same…and that’s way too many white guys!! haha

    • madnova - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Trying to figure out any way Dunleavy or McDermott are like Gasol and Mirotic beyond complexion.

      …nope, can’t do it.

  5. jman2020 - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Turner would be a good fit with da lakers and they really shoulda picked up sessions over lin anyday

    • bigmeechy74 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      why

    • madnova - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Do teams get a draft pick for signing Sessions?

  6. cantonb0und13 - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Eric Bledsoe: Lakers, Suns.
    Greg Monroe: Pistons
    Andray Blatche: Rockets
    Ray Allen: Cavaliers or retirement
    Evan Turner: Overseas (Europe)
    Shawn Marion: Cavaliers
    Jameer Nelson: Mavericks
    Mo Williams: Trail Blazers

    • shanelsweet - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Andray got sent home during the season for 4 games last year. Houston needs a guy like that to play with H & H? Oh well, I’m sure the strip clubs will love having him around.

      • qdog112 - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Blatche belongs in Charlotte backing up Al Jefferson. He is worth the risk. You don’t find post scorers everyday. I hope the Hornets grab him.

    • madnova - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:32 PM

      Bledsoe to the Lakers?

      You’d think, if they wanted him, they would’ve made an offer while they had the cap room.

  7. daveshingle - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Turner isn’t going to take no minimum.

    • genericcommenter - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      He’s already made over $20 million, is only 25, and might not have many NBA options left. So taking the minimum might be his best bet- if he wants a long-term NBA career.

      Sometimes guys get underpaid on their rookie deals, while others get overpaid and set for life due to their draft position. Turner is the latter.

  8. thehawg - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Michael Beasley ?

    • bellerophon30 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      You mean the next American headed for the Turkish league?

  9. themagicfanguy - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Above post it right, Jameer would be a good fit with the Mavs. Ellis is going to have to initiate the offense this year because Calderon is gone, so having Jameer play as an off-ball PG who can hit the 3 and dish to the open man would work well. He’s not very good on defense but neither is Felton. Jameer is also very good running the pick and roll and with Tyson Chandler on board that would be a good combo.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Hell yeah he would be perfect for the mavs. Every over-the-hill player that goes to dallas becomes awesome for no reason. If he went to dallas he would be one of the top 5 pg’s in the league

      • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        Reason: Rick Carlisle.

  10. mutasian - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    anyone wants to play for minimum…lakers are interested.

  11. therealhtj - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    This is where the Lakers went wrong from the get go. They should’ve quietly offered Bledsoe and Monroe 2 year max deals with an opt-out after 1 and whatever other crappy conditions they could’ve thrown in to make matching for the Suns and Pistons a toss up.

    Instead of holding out for Melo, who wasn’t leaving for anything less than a strong contender AND max money, or Lebron who wouldn’t go anywhere that wasn’t stacked either, this would’ve been a wise front office move.

    It would’ve been a wiser move than playing Nash past ten games, not trading Pau for ANYTHING at the deadline, and then extending Kobe.

    • nickjackalson - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      revisionist

      • therealhtj - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        You could say that, but then you could sort through every Lakers article over the past year on this site where I’ve been saying these same things and see you’re incorrect.

    • qdog112 - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Maybe they did do it quietly and that’s why you don’t know about it.

    • madnova - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      I would think the Suns at the very least would’ve been thrilled over a 2 year deal with Bledsoe.

    • AZ Dem - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      PHX would love to get Bledsoe for 2 years and an opt out next summer.

      If Bledsoe can’t play at least 75 games next season, it’s time to let him go. He’s still a young player, yet he’s always injured. This season is his last shot.

  12. erking1991 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Idk what the hell makes bledsoe think he’s a max contract player, he hasn’t proved anything in this league and thinks a team will be willing to give up 1/3 of their cap space for him? Good luck with that.

    • program33 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      @erking – You’re right. My first guess would be injuries. When a person feels that injuries could definitely be a factor they try and get locked in for as long as possible. Just an opinion.

    • bellerophon30 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      I’m thinking that Bledsoe’s agent was going for “It can’t hurt to ask.”, but then egos got involved and now there’s a stalemate, of sorts. No way is he worth the max, not with his paltry track record, and even 4 years $48 is a bit much given his history. I’ve long thought that an even up swap of Bledsoe and Monroe would be great for both teams, especially now that Phoenix signed Thomas and drafted Ennis.

    • rrhoe - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      @erking1991: I agree 100% with you,while he may be up-and-coming his body of work in PHX is only 43 gms and before anybody says “Parsons and Hayward” didn’t deserve the contracts they got they had the one thing Bledsoe doesn’t,another team to make an offer. Blesoe has been on this max contract thing even when he was with the Clippers,while CP3’s backup no less,so it wouldn’t surprise me if this gets ugly.

  13. rajbais - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Now you update the list???

    I feel bad for Evan Turner. He should have performed better, but Indiana should just renounce his RFA rights and let him be free to get anything.

    It’ll keep him off the market sooner and no one has to worry about Indiana matching the deal.

  14. rajbais - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Miami could use Nelson and Blatche.

    Blatche can learn from a real pro like Bosh. He’ll never get his head on completely straight, but was he that much of a problem in Brooklyn???

    It seems that he wasn’t the problem in Brooklyn until J-Kidd left.

    He’s too talented to be on the streets, but is too risky for a 2-year deal.

  15. hurley711 - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Don’t feel bad for Evan Turner he dug his own grave. He can’t play within a team concept, needs the ball in his hands to be effective and he is not very efficient when he has the ball. On top of that he is a weird guy off the court and in the locker room. I was a fan of his and happy when my Sixers drafted him but believe me I watched him and read about him daily when he was here, he just isn’t a good team player and he is unwilling to accept the fact that he is a role player, a secondary option on a good team. In his mind he is a STAR.

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