NBA

Who are the notable big men available on the free-agent market?

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Kabengele, Jones and Vonleh (NBAE/Getty Images)

The 2021 NBA Playoffs begin with the first-of-its-kind Play-In Tournament on May 18, 2021.

Ahead of that important date, the NBA recently announced that the playoff eligibility waiver - the final day that someone on an NBA contract can be waived and maintain playoff eligibility should they sign with a different team - is Friday, April 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

As teams look to bolster their rosters for a playoff run or a play-in bid, they'll look to the free-agent market now that the trade deadline has passed.

For those teams looking for potential frontcourt help, there are a few free agents available, from players that have been recently released by their NBA teams to a few standouts from the 2020-21 NBA G League season.

Here are a few of the more notable available bigs…

Henry Ellenson

6-foot-10, 240 pounds

Selected with 18th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, Ellenson fits the bill of a prototypical stretch big with size.

While he's struggled to find his footing at the NBA level, Ellenson stood out in the 2020-21 NBA G League bubble, shooting 8.3 triples per game at a 42.7 percent clip. Over 74 career G League games, Ellenson has pulled down an average of 9.2 rebounds.

This season, Ellenson made two appearances with the Toronto Raptors, posting averages of 7.5 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Donta Hall

6-foot-9, 230 pounds

Hall, a bouncy big with rim-protecting ability, is working to make his mark at the pro level.

After going undrafted in 2019, Hall got a short opportunity with the Pistons before playing with the Brooklyn Nets at the NBA Restart. He spent the beginning of the 2020-21 NBA G League season with Team Ignite before signing a 10-day contract with the Raptors.

He didn't make an appearance with Toronto but Hall averaged 14.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games with the 905.

Damian Jones

6-foot-11, 245 pounds

At 25, Jones is another first-round pick from 2016 that still has plenty of upside to tap into.

After stints with the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks to begin his career, Jones began the 2020-21 NBA season with the Phoenix Suns before getting waived in late February. Most recently, Jones signed two 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 5.4 points and 3.3 rebounds over eight games (six starts).

Mfiondu Kabengele

6-foot-9, 250 pounds

Selected 27th overall in 2019, Kabengele is a 23-year-old that has the capability of being a rim-protecting stretch big.

He's only appeared in 35 NBA games, in which he hit a total of 13 3s at a 34.2 percent clip, but in the 2019-20 G League season, he averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Agua Caliente Clippers.

A native of Burlington, ON, Kabengele is a first-round talent that has yet to find the opportunity to showcase his talents.

Noah Vonleh

6-foot-10, 260 pounds

While not necessarily a big - or a centre - in the traditional sense, Vonleh is a big body and a former lottery pick, selected ninth overall in 2014.

At 25, Vonleh is still young and has posted averages of 4.9 points and 5.1 rebounds over 339 career games. This season, Vonleh appeared in four games with the Nets but was released in late February.

Also of note…

Kyle Alexander - A 6-foot-11, 220-pound native of Scarborough, ON, Alexander spent the 2019-20 season on a two-way contract with the Miami Heat.

Skal Labissiere - A first-round pick in 2016, the 6-foot-10 Labissiere appeared in five games with the Westchester Knicks in the 2020-21 G League bubble.

Simisola Shittu - Shittu, a British-born native of Burlington, ON, stands at 6-foot-10, weighs 240 pounds and averaged 14.5 points and 10.1 rebounds in 13 G League games with Westchester in the 2020-21 bubble.

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