2016 NBA Free Agency: Predicting Where Top 25 Free Agents End Up
NBA Free Agency
July 1, 2016
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The 2016 NBA Free Agency begins Friday and will have every team in the league looking to make moves to improve their roster. With the new TV deal money kicking in, there’s a ton of money to spend and chances for everybody to make a splash.
Who said there’s an offseason in basketball?
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Anyway, let’s take a look at the top 25 free agents in the NBA and predict a landing spot.
Kevin Durant - Kevin Durant isn’t leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, as he’s playing with a top-five player and has made the WCF in five of the last six years. He's also not going to leave Westbrook high and dry.
LeBron James - Name the last star who left a team the year after he won the title. Anybody? LeBron James stays in Cleveland.
Andre Drummond - The Detroit Pistons will do whatever it takes to resign Andre Drummond, and there’s no indication of him wanting to play anywhere else.
Hassan Whiteside - The Miami Heat was the only team to give Hassan Whiteside a chance when he was shooting hoops at the YMCA. He’ll stay in Miami when Pat Riley tells him he’ll be the face of the team with Wade and others getting older by the day.
DeMar DeRozan - Word is that DeMar DeRozan doesn’t even want to talk to other teams and hopes to remain in Toronto long term. It’s possible he could go to the Lakers, but the Raptors seem to be the best fit for DeRozan.
Mike Conley - Mike Conley wants to win and Tony Parker is probably a backup point guard at this point. The San Antonio Spurs strike gold in free agency again and land the talented guard.
Al Horford - The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Serge Ibaka and Al Horford played for Billy Donovan in college. Horford fills the power forward position and makes the Thunder the team to beat next season.
Dwight Howard - Mark Cuban and the Mavericks have been looking to sign a big name center for quite some time. Dwight Howard takes the bait and helps keep Dallas somewhat relevant in the loaded West.
Bradley Beal - With no shot of landing Durant, the Washington Wizards will do whatever to keep Bradley Beal around. A healthy Beal and John Wall is a nasty backcourt that keeps the Wizards competitive in the East.
Dwyane Wade - Dwyane Wade isn’t leaving Miami, and it’d be nice if the rest of the media finally accepted it. Wade will retire in a Heat jersey.
Harrison Barnes - The Los Angeles Clippers have been desperate to find depth alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Harrison Barnes provides that and doesn’t have to move out of the state of California.
Pau Gasol - After losing Mike Conley, the Memphis Grizzlies need to make a move fast. Why not add Pau Gasol to play with his brother Marc? This move would help give the Grizzlies an offensive punch they've needed for a while.
Chandler Parsons - The New Orleans Pelicans have needed a small forward for years, and a healthy Chandler Parsons could do wonders for them. It’s risky, but the Pelicans must do whatever they can to not waste Anthony Davis’ good years.
Dirk Nowitzki - Like Wade, it seems like Dirk Nowitzki is loyal to his current franchise and wants to retire in Dallas. While there’s better options from a winning standpoint, Nowitzki stays in the lone star state.
Rajon Rondo - Not sure a contender wants to take a risk with Rajon Rondo. So, the Brooklyn Nets could use the flashy point guard who is still capable of racking up 10-plus assists per game.
Nicolas Batum - After missing out on Durant and letting Barnes walk, the Golden State Warriors look at Nicolas Batum. A solid defensive player and a guy who strokes it from deep, Batum fits perfectly in Golden State.
Al Jefferson - Al Jefferson still has good ball left in him at 31 years old, and he’s already said Charlotte is the best situation for him. The Hornets overpaid for him once, might as well double up.
Tim Duncan - For Tim Duncan, it’s either retire or spend another season with the San Antonio Spurs. Nothing to see here.
Ryan Anderson - The Boston Celtics need outside shooting and have all this money and assets to make something happen. Ryan Anderson makes the Celtics a far better team than they are currently.
Luol Deng - Luol Deng has raved about Miami for months and would like to return even if it means he leaves some money on the table. Have to give the slight edge to the Heat to bring him back.
Jordan Clarkson - Jordan Clarkson is one of the current key pieces for the Lakers, so it would be surprising to see them not match whatever offer to keep him in Los Angeles.
Joakim Noah - Derrick Rose is pushing for the Knicks to sign Joakim Noah, and New York has a need at center with Robin Lopez traded. Noah returns to his birthplace.
Bismack Biyombo - After the Lakers miss out on Whiteside, they turn their attention to Bismack Biyombo. The Lakers need to do something with their money and signing a young, promising defensive center in Biyombo is a wise move.
Festus Ezeli - The Houston Rockets just lost Howard and don’t have much depth at the center position behind Clint Capela. It would be nice to see Houston commit to defense once in awhile by signing Festus Ezeli.
Evan Turner - The Bulls need to do something to help Jimmy Butler, as you can’t lose Gasol and Rose, and not do anything to replace those guys. Evan Turner is a decent shooter and solid defensively, becoming an instant fit in Chicago.