The NBA is doing its best to restart the 2019-2020 season in an enclosed bubble in Disney World, Florida, this coming July 30th. 22 teams will play a short round-robin to finalise the traditional 16 squads that will qualify for the playoffs. Because of the irregular nature of the restart, NBA teams will be allowed to sign free agents for a short time.
By the time the season resumes, the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic would have lasted over five months. Health concerns, family separation, and an ongoing campaign for social injustice sparked by the George Floyd incident are giving a lot of NBA players second thoughts about joining their teams in Disney World.
According to CBS Sports, the league has decided to allow teams to recruit free agents to help them finish the season and complete their roster in anticipation of players opting out of the season. Here is a list of top players that teams can sign to help win the championship.
DeMarcus Cousins - This 29-year-old, four-time All-Star center averages 21.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists a game. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this season after a short stint with the Golden State Warriors. He played for the US national team and won the FIBA basketball world cup in 2014. The Lakers waived his contract last February, making him a free agent.
A double-double big man with NBA finals experience as recent as 2019, Cousins is the best player currently in free agency.
Joe Johnson - This 38-year-old swingman averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists a game. He is a 44% field goal shooter during his NBA career from 2001 to 2018. He scored over 20,000 points as a player and is a seven-time All-Star. In his last season with the Houston Rockets, he averaged 22 minutes and scored 6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
Johnson at 6'7" can fill up a shooting guard or small forward position. His wide range of abilities makes him a capable role player off the bench.
Isaiah Thomas - Not to be confused with the Detroit Pistons bad boy and basketball legend, 31-year-old Isaiah Thomas is a 5'9" prolific guard playing just a bit weaker than when he was in his prime. He was also waived by the Los Angeles Lakers last February. He is a solid role player, averaging 18.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. He recorded 12.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in the first half of the 2019-2020 season.
Usually, roster changes past the trade deadline are not allowed. But with things as they are, lots of players will have a chance to play in the NBA one more time. There are other choices such as Allen Crabbe, Tyler Johnson, Pau Gasol, and Jordan Bell, who can fit other teams' reserve benches nicely. But those three are the best in the market to fill up absences brought about by the current situation.