There are still many questions regarding the start date of next season. With that being said, the NBA Draft will take place on November 18th, meaning free-agency will likely start shortly after. This offseason’s free-agent class simply does not compare to the 2021 class, but there are plenty of available players who can vault a team to playoffs or championship contention. Due to that, there will be plenty of low-risk, high-reward 2020 free agents.
Low-Risk, High-Reward 2020 Free Agents
Five backcourt players stand out in this free-agency class. This group consists of players who can be acquired on the “cheaper” side but still become real contributors. Kris Dunn, DJ Augustin, Justin Holiday, E’Twuan Moore, and Jordan McRae make up this list.
Dunn’s situation is interesting because he’s a restricted free agent. With that being said, the Chicago Bulls are likely ready to give him up. Coby White is on schedule for an expanded role, making Dunn expendable. Dunn is a lockdown defender and was solid offensively, averaging 7.3 points and 3.4 assists last season and scouts as a capable back-up point guard. With his youth, Dunn finds himself on the higher tier of low-risk, high-reward 2020 free agents.
Augustin is primed to become a “ring-chaser.” He’s a veteran who’s approaching the twilight of his career. Last season, Augustin showed glimpses as a legitimate starter for the Orlando Magic, but is best suited off the bench. His phone will be flooded with calls from contenders.
Holiday and Moore are similar in that they provide perimeter defense and three-point shooting. Holiday has the edge from a talent standpoint, but Moore is not far off. Both already suit up for playoff-contending teams but may opt to leave for more legitimate championship contenders.
McRae thrives as a scorer off the bench and is the kind of end-of-the-bench high-energy player that a contender seeks. He has the potential as a sneaky-good acquisition similar to Trey Burke‘s success with the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Bubble.
Baynes will definitely have a long list of suitors. He performed very well as both a starter and bench player for the Phoenix Suns. He fits the Suns well as one of their main veteran leaders, but Phoenix is still a few years away from contention. Baynes is 33, and his championship window is closing. He’s a great defender that fits the “tough guy” role. The 2014 NBA Champion averaged 11.5 points per game this season, knocking down 35 percent of his attempts from three. Baynes’ toughness and versatility make him an ideal back-up center.
Biyombo has become somewhat forgotten while developing a “bust” label, but he played well last season. He averaged 7.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1 block per game. Biyombo is more than worth the risk on a cheap deal.
Howard enjoyed a reinvigorated season for the Los Angeles Lakers this year. During the regular season, he averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game in just 18 minutes on the floor. He still possesses elite athleticism and has fully embraced the back-up center role. Los Angeles will attempt to re-sign him, but he’ll have plenty of suitors.
Millsap, like the aforementioned Augustin, can still be a viable starter. At this point in his career, however, he may be ready to ring-chase. That’s not a bad thing either, for Millsap’s career résumé is deserving of a championship. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game on a 48-44-82 shooting split. If Millsap embraces a bench role, then he instantly becomes one of the best back-up power forwards in the league.
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