Posted by briesen on 14th May 2012
For 75% of NBA teams the season is over and that means its time to look ahead to next season. 2012 free agency isn’t full of stars, but it is full of important players who could turn good teams into contenders and contenders into even more powerful contenders. Here’s a quick look at the top five from each position and where they could be headed:
1. PG- Deron Williams (player option), Steve Nash (unrestricted), Andre Miller (unrestricted), Jason Terry (unrestricted), Jameer Nelson (player option)
- It seems inevitable that Williams will end up in Dallas so the most coveted free agent point guard becomes Steve Nash. Nash has expressed interest in joining a contender and they’ll most likely be lining up at his door to offer him a contact. Miller is a nice consolation prize for whoever ends up not getting Nash. Terry will most likely demand the largest contact other then Williams because he still considers himself a top scorer. Nelson seems likely pick up his player option and stay in Orlando for one more year of the Dwightmare.
*Special Note: Many see Jeremy Lin’s name on the free agent list and assume he will leave the Knicks for a big contact, but thanks to The Gilbert Arenas Rule (that’s seriously what it’s called, and yes that makes two NBA rules that involve Arenas) he will most likely have to stay. The rule was created in 2005 and it prevents teams with restricted free agents that have been in the league for less then two years from being outbidded. If you want more details you can Google it, but the bottom line is he’ll be on the Knicks for one more year.
2. SG- Eric Gordon (restricted), O.J. Mayo (restricted), Ray Allen (unrestricted), J.R. Smith (player option), Louis Williams (player option)
- The free agent shooting guards are represented by many players who may have the ability, but haven’t had a chance to be a primary scorer. It’s possible Gordon gets a max offer from a desperate team like the Nets, but it depends on his health. Like Nash, Allen will be looking to join a contender on what will likely be a short deal. Smith, Mayo and Williams will most likely leave their respective teams for more money. They’ll all likely join sub par teams unless they’re willing to take a pay cut.
3. SF- Gerald Wallace (player option), Nic Batum (restricted), Steve Novak (unrestricted), Grant Hill (unrestricted), Matt Barnes (unrestricted)
- Small Fowards are the weakest of the free agent position. Batum is an underrated player due for a large contact. He’s a restricted free agent and it seems likely that the Blazers will match whatever another team offers. Wallace has a player option and could stay with the Nets and possibly (and sadly) be the initial face of their Brooklyn franchise. Novak earned his place in the NBA this season by leading the league in three point shooting and should get multiple offers. Hill and Barnes are respected veterans who will most likely become bench players for contenders.
4. PF- Kevin Garnett (unrestricted), Tim Duncan (unrestricted), Brandon Bass (player option), Ryan Anderson (restricted), Kris Humphries (unrestricted)
- Power Forwards are the most intriguing of the free agent positions. The only one that is surely resigning is Duncan who will probably sign his last contract and retire with the Spurs. It’s hard to imagine Boston losing both Garnett and Bass so it’s likely that one will stay. They’ll probably attempt to sign Garnett first. Anderson is coming off a stellar season where he won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award and will probably be leaving Orlando for a large deal. Humphries couldn’t find an offer he liked last year but now that he’s shed the Mrs. Kardashian tag, he should be sought after by many teams.
5. C- Roy Hibbert (restricted), Javale McGee (restricted), Brook Lopez (restricted), Spencer Hawes (unrestricted), Chris Kaman (unrestricted)
- With the center position rather thin right now, Hibbert becomes a rather coveted free agent. He’ll be sought after by more teams then any other free agent, but is restricted so the Pacers would have a chance to match any offer and most likely will. At the beginning of the season McGee was considered a raw talent better known for his mistakes. After being traded to Denver he has gotten his act together and turned himself into a legitimate center; its hard to imagine Denver letting him go. Lopez is coming off an injury ridden year and it seems unlikely he’ll leave the Nets. With the lack of centers there is certainly a market for both Hawes and Kaman and both will likely leave their teams.
Tags: Andre Miller, Brandon Bass, Brook Lopez, Chris Kaman, Deron Williams, Eric Gordon, Gerald Wallace, Grant Hill, J.R. Smith, Jameer Nelson, Jason Terry, JaVale McGee, Jeremy Lin, Kevin Garnett, Kris Humphries, Louis Williams, Matt Barnes, Nic Batum, O.J. Mayo, Ray Allen, Roy Hibbert, Ryan Anderson, Spencer Hawes, Steve Nash, Steve Novak, Tim Duncan
Posted in Basketball Stuff, Deron Williams, Jeremy Lin, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Roy Hibbert, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan | No Comments »