While most of the big names are gone, some of these signings will be intended to merely round out rosters or add depth. Yet as any fan and pundit can point out, such depth can be critical as the regular season rolls along.
Veterans like Roger Mason Jr. and Corey Maggette are still out there. Mickael Pietrus is also still available.
In various ways, each player has the opportunity to play a role somewhere in the upcoming season. A number of teams could use their services. Rumors and speculation have tied the aforementioned free agents to a few teams, and the developments could add to the makeup of the 2013-14 NBA season.
Mickael Pietrus has stated a number of teams were interested in him.
After spending the last three seasons with four different teams, Pietrus is again looking for a new place to call home.
On one hand, Pietrus has stated that Kobe Bryant and the Lakers would like to see him in Los Angeles. Pietrus also made it clear that a number of teams were interested in his services.
A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.
Boston could be a front-runner as tweeted by @CLNSRadio.
Pietrus would be a smart addition for both teams considering his three-pointer abilities. The changing dynamics of both teams also spell some need.
It will be interesting to see where he ends up, although Boston may be the better fit.
Does Corey Maggette find a job in the 2013-14 season?
At 33 years old, it is safe to assume that Maggette’s best days are behind him.
Yet the 14-year veteran still has something left to offer and would be an added bonus to a team looking for depth at the forward position.
In an interview posted by Ramneet Singh of Lakers Nation, Maggette stated that he would love to play with Los Angeles and would do so at a minimum cost. The Lakers could use his services especially after Metta World Peace was amnestied by their front office.
It is also a possibility that Maggette returns to the Detroit Pistons. About returning, Maggette stated via The Detroit Free Press:
Overall, I’m just waiting and being patient and see what opportunity comes. You always got to explore your options, but if the Pistons want me back, it’s great, man. I would love to come back.
Of course, there is the possibility that Maggette retires, which is evidenced by some of his offseason activities. These are explored in detail by Jared Zwerling.
The Lakers may be the best option here. If they do not offer Maggette a contract, his playing days may be over.
Roger Mason Jr. could provide depth at the guard position.
Roger Mason Jr.
The Miami Heat adding Mason would make perfect sense.
Recent reports and tweets state that Miami is currently examining Mason’s services, and as reported by Matthew Jussim of Sports World Report, the Heat would be interested in a cheap veteran coming off the bench.
His numbers last year were good, if not stellar, yet the true value of Mason could come towards the postseason. Given Miami’s playoff expectations moving forward, the added depth could be a critical factor.
This may be the most likely free agent signing mentioned and would figure to have the clearest dividends.
The Heat could use the depth, and Mason’s veteran presence would be a bonus from the bench. Expect him to be in uniform come opening day.
Which free agent will have the biggest impact this season?
With training camp just around the corner, these free agents—among others—could prove to be the final difference makers for the upcoming season.
True, none of these players are at the “elite” level, yet the fact that they still have something to offer provides a unique and intriguing aspect into what may transpire over the next few days.
Whether or not these players find employment in the 2012-13 season remains to be seen. If they do, however, their services could prove to be the difference.
Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.
NBA Free Agents 2013: Last-Minute Signings That Could Make All the Difference