Another player who was part of a mid-season trade last year but failed to crack the rotation of a championship contender is Darius Bazley.
After spending the first 3.5 seasons of his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Bazley was dealt to the Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline. Despite being available and the Suns not being a deep team, Bazley didn’t play in any playoff games. Therefore unsurprisingly, they didn’t extend a qualifying offer to him, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Bazley still has untapped potential. Still only 23, Bazley has time to bring all the intriguing parts of his game together. He is long and athletic, has a huge wingspan, and can defend. At 6’8, his ability to switch and stay in front of smaller defenders is a valuable skill.
However, his biggest deficiency is his shooting. He is a low-volume, low-effiency jump shooter, and teams dare him to shoot by leaving him wide open. He hasn’t been able to make them pay in his career so far, hitting 31% of his threes. He was considered a high-level potential when he was with Oklahoma City, with hopes of him improving his shooting and offensive game.
There is still a possibility there. Bazley deserves a flyer. Athletic wings who can guard multiple positions and play small ball five don’t come around too often.