With the NBA season underway, many teams have already began exploring different options in hopes of improving their roster. Some are looking at various trade scenarios while others have gained interest in the many free agents who remain available as of today. Every year, a number of NBA players find themselves without any offers on the table during the summer, and end up getting signed before the Playoffs.
That's exactly why so many veterans are always hesitant to call it a career before they have explored all of their options. Many may choose to move on by joining a different league, while others continue to be in game shape due to the possibility of getting a deal for the remainder of the year. Once the top free agents come to an agreement with their respective teams, younger players and established role players are usually up next. And when it comes to veterans, they happen to be last to be tied up to deals as they are deemed as replaceable by most NBA teams.
This season, many players have found themselves without a home for the first time in their career. And most fans may not have noticed that these players are currently available on the market. And you also have players who have put their NBA days behind them by joining different leagues around the world for a new venture. Here are 10 NBA players fans didn't realize are still active and unsigned, and 10 who are out of the league:
20 Still Active And Unsigned: Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers' NBA journey may have come to an end following a decade in the league after struggling to find suitors in the offseason. While Chalmers had been confident that he would land another contract, he is still awaiting a chance as evident by his Twitter where he has been making a case for himself as an NBA player. Now that he claims to be fully healthy and ready to compete, Chalmers is hoping that he will earn another chance before the end of the season, otherwise he may have to join the G-League, CBA or possibly a European league.
19 Out Of The League: Derrick Williams
The former number two overall pick is already unable to find more opportunities in the NBA after failing to earn a contract this past summer. He remained a free agent until September as NBA teams passed on offering him a contract, leading to his departure away from the league. Now that he has joined Bayern Munich, Derrick Williams will have to work his way back into the NBA as he is still young enough to turn his career around. Despite putting up decent numbers when given time on the court, Williams hasn't been able to stuck around beyond a season in the NBA.
18 Still Active And Unsigned: Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Jack has been a solid role player throughout his NBA career who has had multiple stints since his arrival in 2005. Last year, he was signed to a non-guaranteed contract by the New York Knicks and was able to earn a full-time deal thanks to his impressive showings. Unfortunately for him, he didn't receive any offers in the offseason to return for one more season as he remains unsigned as of today. Once the playoffs approach, it is highly possible that Jack may be brought into the mix due to his experience, as well as ability to score off the bench.
17 Out Of The League: Jan Vesely
When Jan Vesely joined the Washington Wizards in 2011, the team was going through a rough transitional period - so it's no wonder that he failed to stick around for a lengthy stint. With an undefined role and inconsistent playing time, Vesely was never able to show his worth as the sixth pick of the draft. In 2014, he signed with Fenerbahce in hopes of reviving his career - and that has been a brilliant move for Vesely who has claimed the Euro League and multiple individual awards along the way. The league may have given up too soon on Vesely as he is clearly good enough to be apart of an NBA roster today.
16 Still Active And Unsigned: Brandan Wright
Brandan Wright could still be a serviceable player on a number of NBA teams who need a big man off the bench. It is likely that his latest injury as a member of the Houston Rockets may have prevented him from earning another contract. With Wright continuing to recover from his latest injury, he may be signed for the remainder of the season if he proves to be healthy enough to contribute. Given the amount of competition on the open market, as well as the emerging G-League, it has become tougher than ever to land a contract as an NBA veteran.
15 Out Of The League: Brandon Jennings
After some impressive seasons early in his career, Brandon Jennings has been struggling to find a place in the NBA for the past three seasons. Having been in and out of the league with various stints around the world, he may be unable to earn another contract following his disappointing showings for the Milwaukee Bucks last year. More recently, he joined Zenit Saint Petersburg in hopes of getting more playing time. Considering his style of play and lack of efficiency, he is better off remaining away from the NBA where Jennings is much more likely to excel in the foreseeable future.
14 Still Active And Unsigned: Arron Afflalo
Long gone are the days when Arron Afflalo was a borderline NBA All-Star. He had some brilliant seasons during his prime that earned him plaudits around the league. But Afflalo has always struggled to find a home, bouncing from one team to another. He played for five different teams in the past four years with his numbers taking a hit with every stint. There was a time when teams battled for his signature but Afflalo is now struggling to earn another contract for the 2018-19 season. Although he did receive a tryout with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the summer, Afflalo wasn't offered a deal to remain with the team.
13 Out Of The League: Al Jefferson
After 14 years in the NBA, Al Jefferson found himself without any offers on the table last summer when he decided to join the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. As his minutes and touches had significantly decreased in the past two years, Jefferson's numbers had taken a major hit. Now that he is set to be 34 years old in January of 2019, Jefferson made a wise decision by joining the CBA where he is much more likely to expand his career for a few more seasons. There is a possibility that he could still make the bench on some NBA teams, but the CBA offers are surely more intriguing at this point.
12 Still Active And Unsigned: Jameer Nelson
At 36 years old, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Jameer Nelson is now an active player who happens to be unsigned. While he hasn't announced his retirement from the league, it is looking unlikely that Nelson will be receiving an opportunity in the NBA. Given his struggles in the past year as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, as well as being an older, undersized guard - Nelson may be well aware that his days in the NBA are up. He had some memorable seasons along the way, especially with the Orlando Magic where he was named as an All-Star in 2009.
11 Out Of The League: Nando De Colo
Nando De Colo is currently out of the league, but there is no doubt that he could still play a positive role in the NBA. He wasn't around the league for a lengthy period, opting to go back to Europe after one season with the Toronto Raptors. Due to a limited role on the roster, De Colo decided to join CSKA Moscow where he has led the team to a 2016 Euro League Championship, while earning many individual awards during his stint. Given the success De Colo has found with CSKA Moscow, it's tough to blame him for turning his back on the NBA.
10 Still Active And Unsigned: Jason Terry
Jason Terry is a season away from having been an NBA player for two decades. At 41 years old, it is understandable as to why teams aren't knocking on his door as Terry's best days are clearly behind him. And while his performances with the Milwaukee Bucks were decent for a player in his role, Terry wasn't good enough to generate much interest this past offseason. Terry is among the many veterans who aren't ready to call it a career just yet, as they hope that some opportunities will come up prior to the 2019 playoffs as we have seen in recent years.
9 Out Of The League: Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut may not have put up huge numbers as a member of the Golden State Warriors, but he was instrumental in turning the franchise into a winning one. He also played an integral part in their 2015 Championship, and was sorely missed in the Finals the following year. After two short yet disappointing stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, Bogut found himself away from the league - which led him to join the Sydney Kings where he intends to finish his career when the time comes. With an All-NBA Third Team award and a ring, Bogut had a solid 13-year journey.
8 Still Active And Unsigned: Corey Brewer
One of the better free agents is Corey Brewer who has yet to land a deal for the 2018-19 NBA season. Having been known for his defensive ability, Brewer has managed to remain in the league for 11 years. There are certainly a few teams who could use his talents given that he has also improved his three point shot, as evident by his last season with Oklahoma City Thunder. During the offseason, Brewer was linked with the Houston Rockets - which could once again become an option now that the team has parted ways with Carmelo Anthony - as well as the Minnesota Timberwolves.
7 Out Of The League: Anthony Randolph
In 2009, Anthony Randolph increased his value as one of the best prospects in the league due to incredible performances at the Summer League. His inconsistency led to his exit from the NBA as he couldn't earn enough minutes to show his all-around talent, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise. Since then, Randolph has joined Real Madrid to become one of the best players in Europe, and while there have been offers on the table to return to the NBA - Randolph has made a wise choice by sticking around where he continues to be a star player as of today.
6 Still Active And Unsigned: Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson was once considered to be among the best guards in the NBA after leading the Atlanta Hawks to years of continuous success in the regular season, and some good showings in the playoffs. And while he did play well for the Utah Jazz in a limited role as he got older, the same cannot be stated for his time with the Houston Rockets. Johnson struggled to earn minutes on the team, and didn't look particularly impressive when given a chance to shine. He is now out of the league and may be forced to retire sooner than he wished.
5 Out Of The League: Yi Jianlian
Early in his NBA journey, Yi was considered to be among the best prospects of his draft class due to a unique skillset that was uncommon in the league. Following some unimpressive seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and New Jersey Nets, Yi found himself back in the CBA when he returned to his former team Guangdong Southern Tigers. He did have an opportunity to return to the NBA in 2016 when he briefly joined the Los Angeles Lakers, but Yi opted to go back to the Tigers due to lack of playing time. With his recent stint leaving a sour taste among several teams, it's safe to say that Yi's days in the NBA are done.
4 Still Active And Unsigned: Ty Lawson
In past years, Ty Lawson had some brilliant season for the Denver Nuggets to instantly jump on everyone's radar. Unfortunately for him, he struggled to replicate those performances to become a role player in the NBA. Considering his size, as well as inconsistent shooting, it's no surprise that Lawson hasn't found many suitors on the open market. He had underwhelming performances for the Washington Wizards in the playoffs, and hasn't been signed to a contract since then. Once teams begin looking for reinforcements for the playoffs, Lawson may get another opportunity to prove himself although he remains unsigned as of today.
3 Out Of The League: Jimmer Fredette
Coming from BYU, Jimmer Fredette generated a huge buzz among fans who were excited to see how his game would transition into the NBA. Despite being a top lottery pick by the Sacramento Kings, Fredette has fell short of expectations with underwhelming all-around numbers. Since then, several teams have given him a chance to succeed although the outcome ended up being the same every single time. It led to Shanghai Sharks recruiting Fredette to join the team, which has paid off for both sides. The Sharks were able to rack up some victories while Fredette got to be a star once again.
2 Still Active And Unsigned: Nick Young
When Nick Young signed with the Golden State Warriors, he was coming off an impressive year with the Los Angeles Lakers. And while he may have won a ring with the Warriors, it did cost Young the opportunity to play major minutes to earn another NBA contract. He has yet to find a home after waiting all summer long for an offer, and Young may have played his cards wrong based on his current situation. Not only did he play a minor role in the Warriors' championship victory, but he also hurt his reputation around the league beyond repair now.
1 Out Of The League: O.J Mayo
OJ Mayo had been declining for a number of years prior to his suspension from the NBA in 2016 as he had been struggling to stick around on a roster. But the suspension may have guaranteed that Mayo would never step on an NBA court again, as he hasn't received any interest despite being eligible to return this season. A few months ago, he took his talents to Taiwan where he plays for Dacin Tigers, which confirms that Mayo is unlikely to ever find his way back into the NBA, or any elite league around the world based on his current performances and the off-court concerns surrounding him.