NBA Free Agency Preview

01 Jul

NBA Free Agency is set to kick off and there are several big time players on the market. We already know Chris Paul is going to re-sign with the Clippers to play for Doc Rivers, but who are other names to look out for?

Dwight Howard
Possible Teams: (LAL, HOU, GS, DAL)
The NBA-world is once again getting ready for the summer of Dwight. Hopefully for everyone’s sake, Howard is able to make up his mind and make a decision without dragging this out for months.

Several teams are already going all out to try and acquire Dwight. The Lakers have started a #StayD12 campaign, but according to sources Howard doesn’t want to go back to LA. Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki, and the Mavericks are courting him. The Rockets have owner Les Alexander, coach Kevin McHale, GM Daryl Morsey, James Harden, and Hakeem Olajuwon going after Howard. Houston has been very busy clearing cap space while doing anything and everything possible to put themselves in position to get Howard including trading former top 5 pick Thomas Robinson. Howard could recognize that and choose to sign with the Rockets.

But, we have to remember who we are dealing with here, and it could take weeks, if not months before a decision is finally made.

Andre Iguodala
Possible Teams: (DEN, SAC, NO, DET)
The last 2-years have been quite eventful for Andre Iguodala. He was traded from the Sixers to the Nuggets in the deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.

After one season in Denver, Iguodala has opted out of the final year of his contract, a contract that would have paid him $16 million dollars next season, in order to pursue a long term deal in free agency. The New Orleans Pelicans as well as the Detroit Pistons have shown strong interest in the 29-year-old.

At 29, this is most likely Iguodala’s last big time contract. He wants to win and the Pelicans are an intriguing landing spot. His former point guard Jrue Holliday was just traded there, Eric Gordon is there, and Anthony Davis is there as well. Adding Iguodala would make New Orleans a legitimate team in the West.

Detroit, despite having a good young core of Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight, doesn’t look like a team close to contending. There is a chance Iguodala goes back to Denver, although that seems unlikely.

JR Smith
Possible Teams: (NYK, DET, MIL)
The reigning 6th man of the year award winner’s stock was through the roof entering the post-season. Then JR Smith elbowed Jason Terry in the head resulting in a suspension. Smith’s play dropped considerably and the Knicks were eliminated by the Pacers in the Semi-Finals.

Smtih has hinted that his time in the big apple may be over after tweeting, “It was fun while it lasted,” last week. JR is either incredible or a no show. That inconsistency, to go along with his attitude could be very unattractive to many teams.

He only made $2.5 million last season in New York, and will surely be seeking a significantly bigger pay day. The question is though will a team be willing to take a risk on Smith when looking at his reputation?

Josh Smith
Possible Teams: (ATL, DET, DAL)
Many teams will definitely be pursuing Josh Smith, who is looking for a max contract. As many as 6 teams have already expressed interest, according to sources.

Smith is one of the most talented power forwards in the game, and averages 15 points and 8 rebounds for his career. His time with the Hawks looks to be over, with Smith looking to join a contender. He will most likely have to wait for Dwight Howard to make a decision before he starts getting serious attention.

Look for a team that misses out on Dwight to go after Smith. The Mavericks have swung and missed at numerous free agents including Deron Williams last season. Losing out on Dwight may cause an overreaction by owner Mark Cuban which would mean bring the 27-year-old Smith to Big D.

OJ Mayo
(Possible Teams listed below)
Mayo is coming off his best season as a pro when he averaged over 15 points per game for the Mavericks last season. The former USC star opted out of his 2-year $2.4 million dollar contract in order to become a free agent.

According to USA Today Sports, the Jazz, Bucks, Timberwolves, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Bobcats, and Bulls have all expressed interest in Mayo. He could end up with the team that simply offers the most money, unless he wants to join a contender where he would most likely play fewer minutes.

Andrew Bynum
Possible Teams: (CLE, POR)
Before last season, the Philadelphia 76ers invested heavily in the 25-year-old Andrew Bynum giving up franchise player Andre Iguodala in the process. As we enter this off-season, Bynum’s tenure in Philly could be over before it started. He missed the entire season with injuries to both of his knees and required surgery on both.

It would be a tough pill for Sixers fans to swallow if the team let Bynum leave after giving up so much to acquire him. With Philly trading for Nerlens Noel, it doesn’t look like the Sixers will re-sign him. The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a rumored destination.

When healthy, Bynum is one of the best centers in the league. Any team that signs him is taking a big time risk.

Other free agents include: Monta Ellis, Nate Robinson, Mo Williams, JJ Reddick, Manu Ginbobili, Aaron Brooks, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, CJ Watson, Andray Blatche, Marco Bellineli, Gerald Henderson, Darren Collison, Elton Brand, Carl Landry, Will Bynum, David West, D.J. Augustin, Chauncey Billups, Tony Allen, Chris Andersen, Eric Maynor, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Jason Collins

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Posted by on 07/01/2013 in NBA


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