June 29, 2009

NBA Free Agency: Party Like It's '09

With NBA free-agent signings set to commence Wednesday (12:01 am if any GMs are really enthusiastic), it seems the appropriate time for OtB to bring you the top 30 players who might be moving in the coming months. With 30 quality players possibly moving and 30 NBA teams, it only makes sense to match each player with a prospective team, even if it most certainly won't shake out that way.

A quick update, before we get into the list. The teams with the most cap space are the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Portland Trailblazers, and the Detroit Pistons. The teams with potentially the most players to lose to free-agency are the Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Pistons. Do the math, Detroit stands the change the most significantly this summer. You can check out ESPN's list to see all the players eligible this summer and next. It's been pointed out that big name teams are positioning to have loads of cap space next summer. Therefore, for smaller market teams like the Grizzlies, the time to make significant acquisitions might be now or never. Teams that have already made some serious moves this summer include the Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Cleveland Cavaliers. On to the list!

  1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: The best of this crop, Kobe can opt out this summer, but leaving the Lakers now couldn't do anything for his reputation or title hopes.
  2. Carlos Boozer, Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizz don't have a history for making firebrand moves, but they are looking, as well they should be, to fill that power forward slot. The Grizz discussed a (failed, thankfully) trade for Zach Randolph, so Boozer would be a big pick up.
  3. Ama're Stoudamire, Golden State Warriors: Though Don Nelson seems to be messing with Steve Kerr, the Warriors are still looking at STAT. There've been murmurings that Ama're won't be as effective after rehabbing his...eye.
  4. Ben Gordon, Minnesota Timberwolves: Minny just traded away two shooting guards. The Brit would fit perfectly here.
  5. Paul Millsap, OKC Thunder: Millsap is a restricted free agent, but OKC has been talking shop. He'd be great next to Durant, but the Thunder already have Jeff Green and are thin at the center spot. Perhaps a trade with Memphis for Marc Gasol? If the Jazz retain Millsap, teammate Okur could also be available. Just speculation here, though.
  6. Josh Smith, Washington Wizards: Smith is not a free agent, but teams have been salivating over mention he might be available. Washington's Antawn Jamison is also rumored to be up for relocation. Swapsies?
  7. Ron Artest, Houston Rockets: The Rockets have been getting it right lately, and though the team looks drastically different without Yao, they will most likely put a premium on brining Artest back.
  8. Trevor Ariza, Cleveland Cavaliers: Ariza will most likely be back with the Lakers, but for the purposes of this exercise let's take note of the Cavs fleeting interest, especially because Cleveland would love to take a piece away from the Lakers.
  9. Chris Anderson, Heat: The Heat boast plodding big men Udonis Haslem and Jermaine O'neal up front, but Dwayne Wade needs some horses to run with. The Birdman would be a perfect example. The Heat also have long standing interest in Boozer.
  10. Lamar Odom, Indiana Pacers: Lamar loves the Lakers and vice versa, but if he can't get back Indiana would love to snap him up. Mike Dunleavy Jr. is out for the start of the season and Lamar would work perfectly as a complement to Danny Granger.
  11. Jason Kidd, New York Knicks: Kidd might re-up with the Mavs, but New York and Mike D'Antoni (and Darko) have shown interest. Kidd could also take the mid-level to go play with Lebron and Shaq.
  12. Hedo Turkoglu, Toronto Raptors: The Magic took on Vince Carter, and thus will not be able to pay Hedo what he wants. Also interested are the Pistons and Spurs, but something tells me Hidayet is going North of the border.
  13. Rasheed Wallace, Orlando Magic: Orlando, however, is not staying still this offseason. They're looking to blow this weapons race out of the water by picking up the former Piston.
  14. David Lee, Milwaukee Bucks: Lee could end up anywhere needing a good rebounder, including Memphis or, yes, New York. Milwaukee looks for the pick up by not extending a qualifying offer to Charlie Villanueva. Lee is a restricted free agent though, so could stay in NY.
  15. Shawn Marion, New Orleans Hornets: CP3's team needs depth everywhere but pg and pf. Peja Stojakovic has been tailing off, so they need to pick up someone to play the 3.
  16. Nate Robinson, Sacramento Kings: Though the Kings just picked up Tyreke Evans, Krypto-Nate has shown his ability to play with other points-guards, even behind them, just not in D'Antoni's system. Robinson is also a restricted free agent.
  17. Kyle Korver, Utah Jazz: the Jazz stand to lose the most this summer, but they should hold on to at least some of their free agents, of which Korver is one.
  18. Charlie Villanueva, New Jersey Nets: Powder's just 24, so would complement New Jersey's youth movement nicely, and would play well next to Brooks Lopez.
  19. Brandon Bass, Chicago Bulls: The Bulls have needed a banger ever since Elton Brand left town. Bass would fill that void. Orlando also seems interested.
  20. Marcin Gortat, Boston Celtics: The Celts were so desperate for depth up front that they signed Mikki Moore last season. They'd much prefer the Polish Hammer.
  21. Allen Iverson, Charlotte Bobcats: I have no idea what the future holds for the answer. The only straw to grasp on now is word that Iverson wouldn't mind playing for Larry Brown again.
  22. Andre Miller, Philadelphia 76ers: Similarly, I have no idea where Miller will end up. Someplace that needs a back up pg? Let's just say he goes back to Philly, since I can't imagine Jrue is really ready to be the full time distributor.
  23. Mike Bibby, Portland Trail Blazers: I'm looking to Portland to make splashes through trades rather than free agency, and then perhaps make an impact next summer. Though really I have a feeling they might fumble all that talent they've stockpiled. They've been looking for a point, and Bibby can be off the ball enough to play with B-Roy.
  24. Drew Gooden, San Antonio Spurs: If the Spurs don't pick up any of the bigger name big men this summer, look for them to retain Gooden.
  25. Antonio McDyess, Detroit Pistons: Dumars strikes me as a guy moving through trades, so I'm not looking for big acquisitions this summer in free agency. McDyess will probably retire if he doesn't get resigned by the Pistons, so we'll put him here.
  26. Grant Hill, Phoenix Suns: See above, McDyess. Substitute Kerr for Dumars.
  27. Zaza Pachulia, Dallas Mavericks: I originally included Zaza on this list just because his name is awesome. But The Mavs don't have much beyond Dampier at the 5, so Pachulia could be a good hire.
  28. Von Wafer, Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets should really stand pat this summer and just focus on re-signing the Birdman, but if they lose him Von Wafer could be a nice scorer behind Billups. Anthony Carter might not return for back up duty.
  29. Stephon Marbury, Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks are thin pretty much everywhere, and need to not start Maurice Evans on one of the wings, but after acquiring Jamal Crawford, the Hawks just have to figure out what's really good with Josh Smith. Starbury could be back with the Celts, but House will probably return too.
  30. Zach Randolph, Los Angeles Clippers: Randolph makes this list simply because the Clippers need to get rid of Z-bo and make room for Blake Griffin. Randolph's not a free agent, but their failure to move him will simply confirm that the Clippers continue to be the worst franchise in the history of sports. How did they get Boom Dizzle to sign last summer? Geez.
Honorable mention: Wally Szczerbiak, who doesn't make the list because without his albatross contract still set to come of the books, he loses a whole heap of value. Maybe Larry Bird will pick him up. Just kidding.

By Sean "Ho'omana'o" (previously "snagamat") with No comments


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