NBA Veterans that could return to the league

An NBA player’s career is highly volatile. One day you’re the star, then the next day you’re out of the league. It’s crazy to think that someone who once was thought to be a city’s cornerstone is now not even getting called to a team. While others have had fruitful careers, others weren’t so lucky. Tons of veterans have played overseas or completely retired after getting not a single offer. However, some teams in the NBA are desperately looking for that veteran presence on the court. Let’s name a few of these guys who we think deserve to be back in the NBA. Which team do you think should sign these players?

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DeMarcus Cousins

It’s unfortunate how DeMarcus Cousins’ career panned out. Arguably the best center during his prime, Boogie’s play quickly went downhill after suffering multiple injuries. After tearing his Achilles Tendon while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018, Cousins never recovered.

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DeMarcus Cousins (Denver Nuggets)
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He then jumped from one team to another until eventually, he was already out of the league at just the young age of 32. The last time he stepped foot on an NBA court was when he played for the Denver Nuggets on a 10-day contract. Sadly, he was never given a guaranteed contract with the team. There are rumors that he could sign with the team that drafted him – Sacramento Kings. He could be a good backup center for Domantas Sabonis. However, he hasn’t received a call from them or any team yet. He is also set to sign with a team in Taiwan’s T1 League, where another NBA veteran, Dwight Howard, is currently playing.

Isaiah Thomas

Amongst all of the players here, Isaiah Thomas may have had the most devastating career. We all remember how Boston Celtics screwed him after suffering an injury plus mourning the death of his sister in 2017.

Eventually, IT never returned to his All-star form. Thomas, who once was top 5 in MVP voting (2016-2017 season) is already out of the league in a three-year span. Although he is getting a lot of 10-day contracts in recent years, he never got a spot in every team’s roster he played. Despite being 5-foot-9, IT is playing very well in minor leagues. He even dropped 81 points in Jamal Crawford’s Crawsover league which featured a lot of NBA players. At 33, it’s highly unlikely he will be back to the NBA but Thomas is still hopeful that he would return to the hardwood. He could still be effective on teams like Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, and Cleveland Cavaliers that need a veteran point guard to lead the young guys in the locker room.

Tyreke Evans

Yes, you read that right. Tyreke Evan just got reinstated after his ban was lifted by the league. The 2009 Rookie of the Year had a promising career ahead of him but it was not meant to be.

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Evans peaked in his rookie season, averaging 20 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds a game. He looked like a future superstar but he quickly declined. Top that with his drug abuse in 2018 which lead to him getting banned from the league. Three years later, his ban was lifted and while he was trying to make a return, nobody batted an eye. However, earlier this year, Tyreke signed with Milwaukee Bucks’ G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. He is now 33 years old but he still looks impressively fit. There’s no report of a team that is interested in him yet but he could seek a return to the team he last played with – Indiana Pacers.

Trey Burke

Trey Burke was drafted in 2013, alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo. Except for the three players mentioned, it was a draft class with no promising players. Burke may have had a nice 11 years in the league, but he was mostly an average role player.

At his best, he averaged almost 13 points while playing only 20 minutes. Today, he is currently balling out with the Stockton Kings in the G-League and is pushing for a return after his last NBA stint with the Mavericks in 2021. The Stockton Kings is the G-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, where Burke may get a chance to play.

Dwight Howard

It is so odd to see Dwight Howard play overseas. Truthfully, this guy still deserves a spot in any team as a backup center. A solid contributor and a reliable defender in the paint, we’re all wondering why no team has picked him up yet.

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DH12 continued his basketball career in Taiwan’s T1 league where he is currently dominating. In his debut with the Taoyuan Leopards, he put up an almost monstrous triple-double of 38 points, 25 rebounds, and 9 assists together with 4 blocks. The 3-time Defensive Player of the Year previously expressed his interest to join the Golden State Warriors. Should the dubs sign him to win the championship again? Furthermore, the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets – teams that are in need of a good center – are also good destinations for Dwight.

Carmelo Anthony

It’s an insult to one of the greatest to play basketball not even be considered for a team’s roster. As a future Hall-of-Famer, Carmelo Anthony had a solid career with 10 All-star selections, 6 All-NBA teams, and a nod to the 75 greatest players of all time.

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When asked if he still would like to play in the NBA, Carmelo replied that he would still love to. However, he is just sitting and waiting for any team that would take interest in him. In his career, Anthony has averaged 22.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. Also, even at 38 years old, Carmelo still puts up impressive numbers while coming off the bench. In 2021, he averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Los Angeles Lakers. According to reports, the Phoenix Suns are eyeing the former All-star. Another team that could use his scoring abilities is Anthony’s former team, the New York Knicks. Honestly, he looks like he still has a lot of gas left in his tank so it’s no doubt that he should be in the NBA.

Will we ever see these guys play in the NBA again? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

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John Micheal (sometimes called JM or Mike) has been writing various types of professional articles for almost 2 years now. He is an avid sports fan and has been following the NBA since the early 2000s. He also loves playing a lot of video games like DotA 2, Valorant, but MMOs have a special places in JM's heart. Not only is he a huge fan of basketball and video games, he also loves movies and tv shows. He is a huge MARVEL and MCU fan plus he is into a lot of superhero stuff.