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Free Agency 2019

NBA Free Agency 2019: Under-the-radar free agents in line for potentially big contracts

looney-brogdon-under-the-radar-063019-ftr-nba-getty
Looney and Brogdon will make a big splash wherever they land (NBA Getty Images)

For the first time ever, free agency will begin at 6 p.m. ET on June 30.

With several of the league's biggest stars potentially on the move to teams in the biggest markets, this has become the perfect year to advance the commotion six hours forward into prime time.

MORE: 2019 Free Agency Tracker

For months, the conversation has been monopolized by speculation about Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and several other elite players. The players on this list are not at an All-NBA level and won't likely be flooded with max offers the moment free agency begins but, whether due to good timing or positional scarcity, they are each in line to make far more than fans might expect.

Patrick Beverley

There is a pretty clear line of demarcation among the top free agent point guards. Irving, D'Angelo Russell and Kemba Walker are all expecting max or near-max offers. After those top three All-Stars, there is a pretty substantial drop-off to the next tier led by Beverley.

MORE: Ranking best point guards in free agency

He has his limitations, but Beverley's strengths are easy to sell to a franchise. His defensive reputation precedes him, but he's also a good floor general, a 40 percent three-point shooter and someone who's game and intensity clearly translate to a playoff atmosphere.

Beverley makes a ton of sense for prospective playoff teams with a hole at point guard like the Lakers or Pacers. He would fit as a short-term answer on a younger team like the Suns should they strike out on their top targets. Coming off of two consecutive below-market value contracts, Beverley is in a good position to cash in on what could be the 31-year-old's last major deal.

Malcolm Brogdon

Brogdon is a restricted free agent and, in most cases, that would limit his value on the open market; with Milwaukee also having to worry about retaining Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, Brogdon might be poachable with a big offer sheet the Bucks can't afford to match.

Brogdon's strengths are clear. The 2017 Rookie of the Year has become a fantastic two-way guard and joined a trio of MVPs as the only starters with a 50-40-90 season this decade . Though they ultimately fell to Toronto, Brogdon more than held his own against the eventual NBA champs and was arguably Milwaukee's second-best player once he returned from injury.

MORE: Best perimeter defenders in free agency

This summer, in particular, his biggest asset is his ability to play both guard positions. Klay Thompson is the only All-Star-calibre shooting guard on the market and, if the Warriors offer him a full max, there's a chance he's not truly available. If a team needs a shooting guard and Thompson isn't available, Brogdon becomes the top candidate on the market.

Teams like the Suns, Bulls, Celtics or even 76ers (if they don't bring back Jimmy Butler or Tobias Harris) could all be interested. It might take a lot to pry him away from Milwaukee but, with so many potential suitors, Brogdon is bound to receive a big offer from someone.

Kevon Looney

Compared to the rather shallow guard pool, there are more than enough centres to go around. Al Horford is the clear prize but most of the other names on the market are on the wrong side of 30 or have had injury woes like DeMarcus Cousins.

Looney is a very different candidate. A fringe role player entering 2017-18, Looney had established himself as Golden State's most reliable center by the end of last season and the only one Steve Kerr could truly trust in the Finals.

MORE: Ranking best centres in free agency

On raw numbers alone - 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds last season - Looney looks more like a player on his way out of the league than one worth signing to a big deal. His numbers as a Warrior were always going to be limited playing alongside some of the best scorers of all time but even on that team, his rebounding, screen setting and defensive switchability made him invaluable.

Looney does all of the little things that lead to winning, but he clearly won't be the right fit for every team. He needs the right players around him and teams that need production out of their centre would be better off taking a risk on someone like Cousins or Nikola Vucevic but with next year's title race wide open, several teams are going to push in their chips and will want to have a player like Looney on their roster.

Bojan Bogdanovic

Bogdanovic might not exactly be under the radar given he averaged 20.7 points per game after Victor Oladipo's injury but, considering his relative anonymity to the average fan before last season, he could have a surprisingly big market this summer.

Unlike the guards and centers, plenty of All-Star-caliber wings will be on the move this summer. For the teams who miss out on - or are priced out of - the superstar sweepstakes, Bogdanovic is a very viable Plan B and is the top name on that next tier of wings.

MORE: Ranking best forwards in free agency

Oddly enough, Bogdanovic's situation mirrors that of Beverley. Though they solve very different problems, both present short-term answers to franchises who can't make their more grandiose team-building plans come to fruition. It's unlikely a team makes a sizable four-year commitment to Bogdanovic given his age and possibly anomalous scoring jump in 2019, but taking an expensive short-term flier on him - a la JJ Redick in Philadelphia - would make a lot of sense.

Bogdanovic won't raise a team's ceiling as much he will their floor. Adding him to a roster is more likely to move them from the lottery to the bottom half of the playoffs than from a first-round exit to title contention. For young teams looking to make the jump to the playoffs or fringe teams looking to stay in, that alone could make him worth signing.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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