Free Agents Your Team MUST Avoid

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An article by Alex Kurpeski 

NBA Free Agency is like a game of Russian Roulette. There exists an intense thrill that can turn into a fatal blow, as the desire to land a big fish often comes with the caveat of overpaying for past production. With that being said, here are some free agents that could absolutely ruin your team’s financial future. 

C/PF Al Horford

Already 33 years old, investing in Horford is guaranteed to result in a sunk cost, as the likelihood of him maintaining his current level of play through the next four seasons is extremely low. Anyone interested in Horford should be focused on winning as soon as possible. There is a decline coming sooner rather than later.

SF/SG Jimmy Butler 

Butler is a soon-to-be 30 year old swingman with a history of issues working with younger players. Thus, if you’re a team like the Clippers, Knicks, or Nets taking on Butler becomes an extremely risky proposition. While I’m not as concerned about his play level dropping off, his fit from a chemistry perspective is what will ultimately determine how effective Butler will be.

PG Kyrie Irving

What can we say about Kyrie that hasn’t already been said? He truly lives in a world all to himself, where the only thing that matters is Kyrie Irving. Signing a player like Kyrie is risky in nature if you simply consider his effect on morale in Boston, where his presence ultimately ruined a team that was destined for greatness. On top of his attitude issues, Irving also has a troubling history of knee issues that have twice knocked him out of the playoffs. In my opinion, Irving is the riskiest free agent on the market this offseason. 

PG Kemba Walker

Another soon-to-be 30 year old, Walker is an excellent offensive player at this stage in his career, however his lack of playoff experience should be taken into consideration for teams chasing him as a number one option. While I’m not doubting that Walker has the ability to be the best player on a contending team, his time spent as the lone star for the lowly Hornets franchise did nothing to prove his reputation as a winner. 

C DeMarcus Cousins 

Cousins had a bizarre 2018-19 season. For the better part of the year, we saw Cousins as a clumsy, borderline unplayable member of the Warriors rotation. While there were flashes of the old Boogie at times, it is possible that Cousins’ days of being an all-star level player are in the past. Already a net negative on defense, Cousins is now no longer the force of nature on the boards that he once was. Signing him to anything more than a mid-level exception could be problematic for any Boogie suitors.

C Brook Lopez

Following an eye-opening renaissance year in Milwaukee, during which he became an elite three point sniper, Lopez should emerge from the free agency period with a fat contract from some team looking to add a big man. While Lopez was elite last year, he is entering his 12th season in the league, leaving one to wonder whether he will be able to stay healthy over the course of a 3-4 year deal. Likewise, Lopez’s offensive and defensive improvements might be a product of Milwaukee’s system and expecting them to translate to a new team could be betting on the wrong horse. 

SF/PF Marcus Morris

Morris is coming off of a career year in Boston. While the numbers tell one story, his bloated number of shot attempts paint him as a ball stopper who helped to stall the offensive chemistry of the Celtics. It is likely that he will continue to do so elsewhere should someone decide to pay him accordingly. 

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