Bucks: 5 NBA free agents who might be worth considering later on

Jun 6, 2023; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 6, 2023; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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San Antonio Spurs: Stanley Johnson
HOUSTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 19 (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Available free agents who might be worth a second look for the Bucks later on: No. 4 – Stanley Johnson

From the very start of this offseason, Stanley Johnson was one of the more under-the-radar highlights of this free agency class for this writer. Given his still-high upside and generally solid production over the past few seasons of his career, it’s certainly surprising he’s entering the season without a team to call on.

Johnson is a strong, flexible wing who can stop the ball at both wing positions. He still has some offensive potential and is a solid rebounder and defender. He might be a useful piece for the Bucks if they can get him with the few resources they have available.

His numbers generally don’t jump out the stats sheet, but this writer has always been high on his clear defensive impact. Johnson played in 30 games for the Spurs, averaging 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 15.7 minutes per game. In the 425 minutes that Johnson played for San Antonio as opposed to when he was on the bench, opponents shot 4.4 effective field goal percentage points fewer according to statistics on Cleaning the Glass. Interestingly, Johnson played center the majority of the time with the Spurs, only playing small forward in 11 percent of his minutes.

It would be dishonest to ignore the fact that Johnson has, for the most part, had difficulty securing regular playing time throughout his career. Everywhere he has gone, he has been asked to perform entirely different tasks, to fill a number of responsibilities on a squad, and to play in a range of situations. He has however demonstrated the ability to develop into a reliable role player in the NBA.

Johnson’s reputation as not being the finest shooter or ball-handler is one explanation for this. But most recently, while playing for the San Antonio Spurs, Stanley had a decent 45.0 percent shooting percentage while only getting 1.3 shots per game.

For the world of promise he’s shown throughout his career thus far, he’ll still be available to start the season. Johnson was selected by the Pistons with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, but has found himself playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G-League as of late.

This is just to say that he’s a journeyman still chipping away for a place in this league. This means he is a free agent and would likely be willing to sign a minimum contract. The 6-foot-7 forward is also still just 26 years old as of this writing.