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Let’s Remember Some Guys Who May Or May Not Play In The NBA Ever Again

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot #8 of the Phoenix Suns stands on the court during a break in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Suns defeated the Lakers 119-115.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that this is Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

This blog isn’t quite service journalism, so let’s call it service hyperlinking. Here is a good and interesting list of guys who played in the NBA last year but are not (yet) signed to NBA contracts this year. You might find it helpful, or at least intriguing. I stumbled across the list while panning for Cade Cunningham highlights on r/NBA this morning, and found that, unlike Cade Cunningham highlights, which make me feel happy and hopeful, this list made me feel sad and wistful, even if I am glad it exists. To save me, personally, some beginning-of-season confusion, all leagues should publicly circulate these lists, along with lists of players who have changed teams in the last five months. This would save forgetful me the shock of seeing Dejounte Murray in a Hawks jersey with no warning. Hawks? When did that happen? But until they do, we can thank the enterprising posters over at “Hoops Wire” for this easy-to-read breakdown of the NBA’s dear (possibly) departed.

The list tells some sad stories, and is longer than I expected. It features former stars cut down by injuries, first-round picks who never quite put it together, old guys who aren’t really all that old when you see their actual ages next to their names, and 80 percent of last year’s Lakers roster. Also there’s a guy named “Jay Scrubb,” who probably had it coming. These NBA careers aren’t all over, to be sure; some will sign contracts over the course of the season. Rob Pelinka, I imagine, has this link bookmarked. Several guys here surely could be of genuine use to a team. Derrick Favors should get some calls. Stanley Johnson should get some calls. (Stanley Johnson’s calls cannot come from the Lakers, who traded him to the team that waived him and therefore are forbidden by the CBA from signing him.) And, of course, for all of these players, there exists the option to be paid varying degrees of handsomely overseas. But it is kind of striking to see, in list form, how sudden and quiet the end can be. Even if we tend to measure NBA time by the league’s “face” at the moment, these guys define its micro-eras. The league is small enough that the average fan will recognize many names on this list and think, Damn! What I’m saying is never go looking for Cade Cunningham highlights.

Some names that made me especially sad, in rough order of how sad they made me (the higher, the sadder):

Kemba Walker (32)

Rodney Hood (30)

Josh Jackson (25)

Hassan Whiteside (33)

Kent Bazemore (33)

Avery Bradley (32)

DeMarcus Cousins (32)

Tony Snell (31)

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (27)

Jeremy Lamb (30)

Jabari Parker (27)

Paul Millsap (37)

Wayne Ellington (35)

Stanley Johnson (26)

Langston Galloway (31)

Eric Bledsoe (33)

Frank Jackson (24)

Could I pick Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot out of a lineup? Absolutely not. But it brought me a kind of comfort to know he was always there—where? I don’t know, somewhere—sitting on an NBA bench.