DeMarcus Cousins
Photo: Bleacher Report

Top free agents, such as DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, JR Smith and Jamal Crawford, could play in the NBA this season. The rule changes which allow the teams to bring 17 instead 15 players will open the door to free agents to sign into open roster spots.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN:

“Free-agent players such as DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas — who were on NBA rosters this season — and those who weren’t — JR Smith and Jamal Crawford, for example — are eligible to sign into open roster spots.”

Cousins signed with the Lakers last summer, but suffered a torn ACL during pre-season. He was waived in February of this year. According to various reports, the Lakers might be interested in bringing Cousins back for the playoffs. Miami Heat is another team that could try to sign the 29-year-old center.

Thomas started the season in Washington. The Wizards traded him to the Clippers on trade deadline. Two days later he was waived and remained a free agent since.

Both Smith and Crawford were free agents since the end of last season. Smith worked out for the Lakers but LA signed Dion Waiters instead.

However, this will not apply to international players, who did not have FIBA clearances when the NBA season got suspended:

“Teams won’t be allowed to sign international players, such as Nikola Mirotic, who weren’t on NBA rosters this season. Players who were playing internationally and did not have FIBA clearance at the time the season was postponed would be ruled ineligible.”