NBA training camp – Most likely landing spots for Blake Griffin, Hassan Whiteside and other veteran free agents

NBA training camps opened this week, and players from all 30 franchises are preparing to hone their skills and build chemistry with their teammates for the 2022-23 season.

But a handful of viable players are yet to be signed and not yet sure which team, if any, they will help in the upcoming season. Injuries, age and reduced playing minutes from previous stints in teams with many rosters have reduced their pool of players, but several teams still have time to risk these non-signed players and bring them in ahead of the season.

Seasoned veterans like Jeremy Lamb and Hassan Whiteside and former All-Star Blake Griffin are among the top unsigned players who could make solid late additions to an NBA team, either roleplaying for a contender or as Mentor for young teams.

Here’s a look at the top non-signed players who still have a chance of finding a home this season and where they might fit in best:

Jeremy Lamb | guard | Age: 30

Stats: 7.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.4 APG

What went right in 2021-22: Lamb was healthier last season, appearing in 56 games between his appearances with the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings — his most since his left knee cruciate ligament surgery in 2020. He’s not the same scorer as before the injury, but he has a few flashes of instant insult from the bench. He played his best basketball in January before the trade, averaging 8.5 points on 43% shooting with a steal and 0.5 blocks. – Yamal Collier

What went wrong in 2021-22: He has struggled with shooting since his injury, especially his jump shot. In 2021-22, Lamb shot 32.4% on 3s and 44.1% on 2s in one of the worst shooting seasons of his career while still shooting 10.4 shots per game. If Lamb finds a role as a reserve for the 2022-23 season, he needs to improve his efficiency coming off the bench. – Necklace

Best fit for the coming season: Toronto. The Raptors bolstered their frontcourt depth with the signings of Otto Porter and Juancho Hernangomez while retaining Thaddeus Young and Chris Boucher. Still, there is a gap in bank scoring. The lone reserves are Malachi Flynn, Dalano Banton and Jeff Dowtin. The Raptors have 13 guaranteed contracts and four players on partial or non-guaranteed deals (Banton, Josh Jackson, Justin Champagnie and DJ Wilson). – Bobby Marks

Hassan Whiteside | center | Age: 33

Stats: 8.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 0.4 APG

What went right in 2021-22: Whiteside proved last season he can still be a solid option when he backed Rudy Gobert and could help a team looking for size and experience off the bench. He averaged 8.2 points and 7.6 rebounds while fielding a career-best 65.2% on 5.1 tries last season from the field, and filled in a fine starter in Gobert’s absence. In eight starts in Utah last season, he averaged 11.5 points and 11.3 rebounds. – Necklace

What went wrong in 2021-22: Whiteside has his limitations, but his biggest problem might be an overcrowded market for players with his skills given they’re much less in demand in the modern NBA. Whiteside joins a group of experienced big men still scouting for landing spots, including Tristan Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and others. Whiteside has accepted his role as a reserve more seamlessly in recent seasons. – Necklace

Best fit for the coming season: Brooklyn. If this Nets team has one weakness, it’s the lack of size in the centre. The Nets have re-signed Nic Claxton but the lone replacement is Day’Ron Sharpe. Last season, Brooklyn ranked last in defensive rebound percentage and there is still an urgent need to expand their roster. Unlike most teams, the Nets have roster spots open. — Markings

LaMarcus Aldridge | center | Age: 37

Stats: 12.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.9 APG

What went right in 2021-22: In the first half of the season, Aldridge provided the Nets with a stabilizing veteran presence — averaging 15 points and 5.5 rebounds in six December games while helping Brooklyn get off to a strong start in the East. – Nick Friedell

What went wrong in 2021-22: After 16 points and nine rebounds in a March 1 loss to the Toronto Raptors that left the Nets without Kevin Durant (knee) and Kyrie Irving (vaccination), Aldridge played just four more games and ended up stuck by Steve Nash’s bank. – Friedel

Best fit for the coming season: Golden State. Aldridge in the Bay Area is an “emergency broken glass” situation. Kevon Looney started all 82 games but his backup, James Wiseman, missed the entire season with a knee injury. Wiseman has been cleared for practice but there will be a glaring lack of size if the former No. 2 pick suffers a setback. Due to the Warriors’ luxury tax situation, signing a player like Aldridge would cost them nearly $12 million. — Markings

Blake Griffins | Forward | Age: 33

Stats: 6.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.9 APG

What went right in 2021-22: Griffin averaged 8.8 points and five rebounds in eight games in December while the Nets struggled with injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak. – Friedell

What went wrong in 2021-22: Griffin only played seven games from March 1 through the end of the season. Nash repeatedly praised Griffin for being ready — but the athleticism and explosiveness that defined his career are no longer consistent after 13 seasons in the league. Like veteran center LaMarcus Aldridge, Griffin struggled to get off the bench for the final two months of the season. – Friedel

Best fit for the coming season:Miami. The Heat have an open roster and a gap at power forward with PJ Tucker’s loss to Philadelphia. However, Miami is just $162,830 short of the luxury tax and the final roster spot is unlikely to be filled until after the trade deadline. — Markings

Eric Bledsoe | guard | Age: 32

Stats: 9.9 PPG, 4.2 APG, 3.4 RPG

What went right in 2021-22: Bledsoe started the season with the LA Clippers and came out with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Bledsoe started and came off the bench at times for the Clippers and had his best stretch in nine games from mid-December through New Year’s when he averaged 15.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds while averaging 48.6 overall % and 45.7% of 3 shot . -Andrew Lopez

What went wrong in 2021-22: The 22-point performance in the opener was his second-highest scoring performance of the season. After being dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers in February, Bledsoe ended up on injury report with tendinopathy in his left Achilles tendon and was officially ruled out for the season on March 28. Overall, Bledsoe’s efficiency continued to drop, shooting 42.1% – the second lowest grade of his career – and 31.3% from 3 – his lowest grade since 2011/12. – Lopez

Best fit for the coming season: Charlotte. The Hornets have two roster spots open, and their sole replacement for LaMelo Ball is Dennis Smith Jr. The former lottery winner signed a non-guaranteed training camp contract and played 37 games for Portland last season before being fired in February. — Markings

Stats: 10.2 PPG, 1.6 RPG. 0.9APG

What went right in 2021-22: McLemore proved he was still a shooter, capable of racking up points when his shot came off. McLemore averaged double digits in 64 games with Portland for the third time in his career. He reached a season high of 28 points three times. While Portland struggled with injuries, McLemore averaged 16.1 points in the last 14 games of the season. He was also second with the Blazers in 3-points (151) and his 10.2 point-per-game average was the second-highest in the former lottery winner’s career. – Lopez

What went wrong in 2021-22: While McLemore was making his shots, it didn’t always result in success for the Blazers. Certain late-season lineups contributed, but of the 215 players who played in at least 60 games last season, McLemore finished the second-worst net rating at minus 13.1. – Lopez

Best fit for the coming season: New Orleans. The Hornets’ reserve shot 31.9% (27th in the league) from 3 last season and there is a need for additional bench scoring. However, the Pelicans have 15 guaranteed contracts (including Jose Alvarado’s partial contract) and would need to open a roster spot. — Markings NBA training camp – Most likely landing spots for Blake Griffin, Hassan Whiteside and other veteran free agents

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