With the playoffs around the corner, and less than 30 games left in the regular season, one of the least-appreciated deadlines in the NBA is upon us. Mark it down on your calendars people, because this is Where Stephon Marbury Happens. For any player who has spent time on an NBA roster this season, they must by be waived by March 1 in order to be eligible for the playoffs with another team. That means you Big Z and Drew Gooden, so keep those negotiations moving.
But while current players need to act fast – even though they can join a team any time before the final game of the season and be eligible for the playoffs – guys that have been out of the League all year (the P.J. Brown‘s of the world) can play in the playoffs if they sign before the end of the season.
With that in mind, here are five players who can help your team right now:
1. Wally Szczerbiak – Of all the free agents that went unsigned this past summer, none surprised me more than Szczerbiak. Here’s a guy who has career averages of 14.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting 49% from the field, 41% from three and 86% from the line. Tell me that the Cavs wouldn’t want to add him back to the roster, or a team like Denver or Dallas couldn’t use another guy off the bench. Expect Wally to be in uniform before April.
2. Jason Hart – On Feb. 5, Hart signed a 10-Day contract with the Hornets, logging only 17 minutes over four games. While his production was next to nothing, the fact that he cracked a roster means that he’s on GMs’ radar. There’s something to be said for veteran point guards, especially heading into the playoffs. If someone goes down with an injury, expect Hart to be back.
3. Jacque Vaughn – After spending his last three seasons in San Antonio, I’m kind of surprised that he was not back with the Spurs this year. But then again, they must have known just how good George Hill is. With Tony Parker currently banged up, I could see Pop give Vaughn a call. They do only have 13 guys on the roster.
4. Ricky Davis – After being waived by the Clippers to make room, it appeared that it could have been the end of the road for Ricky Davis. But then again, with 11 years in the League under his belt, why not add him to the roster? If your squad is looking for a cheap weapon to come off the bench, he just might be your guy.
5. Greg Buckner – His numbers won’t amaze you, but then again, Buckner’s intangibles don’t show up in the box score. And in the playoffs, teams are always in need of a defensive stopper. Having spent his most productive seasons in Dallas and Denver, those are two teams that could definitely use the 10-year veteran.
What do you think? Do you see any contenders adding these guys to their roster? Would you want them on your team?
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