It’s that time of year again that everyone speculates where the top free agents will end up.
Chris Paul- I felt confident that he would stay with the Clips well before “his people” told teams not to bother pursuing him.
Dwight Howard- I think he goes to Houston. The Lakers are a wreck right now, especially with Kobe out. He doesn’t like their coach and Kobe probably takes things too seriously in Dwight’s eyes. The Rockets have a legacy of big men without the pressure of LA. His coach would be a big and he’d have more access to Hakim. They have lots of shooters to so they can play more like the Magic did, except with a lot more talent around him. Not to mention Harden would be a lot more fun to play with than Kobe. I think Dwight touches down in Houston.
Andre Iguadala- I know the Pistons are interested, and I hope they land him. They will have to over pay someone who is closing in on 30, but that may just be worth it to get arguably the third best free agent who fills a need and automatically puts them in playoff contention. Especially since Dumars has to get his team to the playoffs this next season or he is likely out. However, I think ultimately he resigns with Denver.
Al Jefferson- After striking out on Dwight, the Mavericks will probably make a push for the next tier free agents. I know they’ve had interest in Big Al in the past.
Josh Smith- The Hawks seem to be rebuilding and probably won’t land another major free agent, so I don’t see him staying. I can see the Mavs, Pistons, and Pelicans all making a push for him. The problem is that he’d be starting at SF on those teams. Not really sure where he’ll end up.
Manu Ginobili, David West, Tony Allen- Staying put.
Andrew Bynum- Is he willing to take less and a shorter contract to play for a contender that needs a center like the Thunder or Heat? Do those teams even want him? I can see Milwaukee being all too willing to pay him what he wants.
Brandon Jennings- I think he stays with the Bucks, but if he goes anywhere, I see him signing with the Mavs.
Jose Calderon- The Jazz were seen as his most likely landing spot until they drafted Burke. Hopefully he resigns with the Pistons. There are rumors of a sign and trade to Houston for Jeremy Lin. I hope not, although I think Lin is better than what he showed last year. He and Harden aren’t the best compliments for each other.
Paul Milsap- I’d like him to stay as a sixth man for the Jazz, but it looks unlikely. I know he’ll have suitors, but I’m not sure if any of them will provide a much better shot at winning than the Jazz.
Tyreke Evans- I don’t think he stays with the Kings, but I’m not sure who’d want him right now. New Orleans? Maybe the Lakers get him cheap to help hold the fort while they wait for Kobe to return.
JJ Reddick, Kevin Martin, Jarrett Jack, or Kyle Korver- I expect the Grizzlies to go after at least one of these guys for some much needed shooting.
Both my teams, the Pistons and the Jazz, are rebuilding but can stay competitive if they make the right moves and don’t overpay the wrong people (O.J. Mayo). And with the Celtics and 76ers committed to rebuilding, I’m hoping the Bucks make some bad signings paving the way for the Pistons to slip into the playoffs. After this odd draft, I excited to see how free agency plays out.