15 NBA Players Who Need a Change of Scenery in 2014
15 NBA Players Who Need a Change of Scenery in 2014
Already this season we are seeing and hearing things about certain players that make us think, as fans, "What exactly is going on there?" There are players, seemingly every year, that look like they're on their way out of their current team. Either that, or they have expressed a desire to be moved in a roundabout way.
Whether we as fans like it or not, there will be reasons players we love decide to move on. A lot of players nowadays are wanting a ring more than anything -- as they should. Therefore, they decide to head to a franchise in which they see a great chance of a title happening.
Sometimes, it's a matter of pure business at hand; in other words -- money. Other times, it is a matter of depth being overloaded, and, there just isn't enough room to keep everybody on the roster. Even then, there are times where players feel under-appreciated or under-used.
But then, there are also other situations where you just have this gut feeling a player has checked out, moved on and is counting down the days toward free agency in the next offseason. Without name dropping -- yet -- I will say that through the first few weeks of this season, we seem to have a feeling, as fans, that a certain someone dressed in royal blue and orange may be looking ahead to just that.
With all of this said, I've decided to look at a few players that may be on their way out of their current team. For whatever reason it may be, these 15 guys need a change of scenery in 2014.
15. Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
After the Utah Jazz decided to give big man Derrick Favors an extension prior to the start of the regular season, it was widely speculated that, if the franchise was as serious as they seemed about forward Gordon Hayward, his new deal would be soon to follow.
Well, it didn't work out that way. Hayward did not receive an extension due to the deadline coming too quickly. I believe Hayward will find himself a new team in 2014 where his diverse talents will be used better. He's a guy that does a little bit of everything, but at times for the Jazz, he may be counted on to do too much -- and that's not something he can do. In the right role, on the right team, he will find a fresh start highly beneficial both for himself and for his new team's title hopes.
14. Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic
Jameer Nelson is a guy that is far past his prime, and the Orlando Magic might end up moving in a different direction soon -- i.e. youth. With guards like Victor Oladipo and E'Twaun Moore on the roster, the Magic can afford to let Nelson go.
Of course, Nelson would love to go somewhere he could win a championship as would anybody. But, to do so, he might have to understand that at this point he'd be a valuable backup. He's lost too much to be counted on as a starting point guard anymore. With a PER of just barely over 12.0 this year, the 31-year old must find himself a reduced role in 2014.
13. Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers
When the Philadelphia 76ers made it clear they were in rebuilding mode by trading for rookie center Nerlens Noel, Spencer Hawes' future immediately became clear. The veteran center is far too talented to be a backup when Noel returns, therefore entering free agency in 2014 Hawes will likely wind up with another team.
I have a feeling Hawes wants out anyways. He's still got plenty to offer a contender, being a guy that can shoot, pass and rebound when he's at his best. With Noel coming back -- whenever he does -- in the future, Hawes is as good as gone.
12. Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards
23-year old center Kevin Seraphin has shown flashes of promise here and there, and with the Washington Wizards only playing him single-digit minutes this year I think he'll be out of there in a hurry next summer. The athletic big man is still under-developed, but again that could be due to the coaching situation and Seraphin not being a part of the team's long-term plans.
11. Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers will likely be waving goodbye to long-time center Anderson Varejao next summer. After the Cavs invested in guys like Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Bynum, Varejao's expiring contract looked as good as a ticket out of Cleveland. Varejao is still a very good player and can help a power house in search for a championship.
He's been a fairly efficient big man for the Cavs this season in over 30 minutes per game, but with all the youth at hand for the Cavs and his probable desire for a decent contract, I'm sure he'll be looking elsewhere next July.
10. Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
While the Minnesota Timberwolves have improved greatly over the last year, forward Derrick Williams has not been any part of the reason why. Since being the number two overall pick in 2011, Williams has been considered to be somewhat of a bust. His time with the Wolves is running short as he's not received consistent playing time in 2013 and very well could be moved even before 2014.
9. Elton Brand, Atlanta Hawks
Elton Brand chose the Atlanta Hawks this offseason as his destination of choice as a free agent, but in 2014 he will have the chance to try again. I would have thought Brand wanted a championship so desperately that a team like Atlanta wasn't even on his radar. But, in the end he chose the Hawks. Brand has still not won a championship in his 14 year career and is one of those guys that is deserving of a ring. My only question is, how did he think he'd have a shot to get a title in Atlanta? Hopefully next year he chooses a bit more wisely.
8. Greivis Vasquez, Sacramento Kings
During the offseason this past year, the Sacramento Kings dealt Tyreke Evans for Greivis Vasquez in a move that I thought would make them much better overall. But, with the breakout season of Isaiah Thomas this year, Vasquez hasn't seen as many minutes as I originally thought. Vasquez led the league in assists a year ago and remains a very good, young, emerging point guard. I don't see him lasting long in Sacramento.
7. Omer Asik, Houston Rockets
This one is a no-brainer for anybody that follows basketball in general. After the Houston Rockets brought in Dwight Howard this past summer, center Omer Asik's days with the team were numbered whether the coaching staff wanted to admit it or not. Now that we're a few weeks into the season, Asik has already reportedly asked for a trade and the Rockets, as of now, aren't willing to grant his request.
6. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
This situation boggles my mind. The Denver Nuggets have reportedly already gauged interest levels around the league for Kenneth Faried in a potential trade. Some rumors said that the team believed he has reached his ceiling already and would be fine moving on from the young big man. Faried is such an exciting and aggressive player and I don't see any reason why he should stay in Denver any longer. Even prior to 2014, I could see him being moved if all of this talk doesn't subside.
5. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Although Minnesota Timberwolves fans adore power forward Kevin Love, I don't see him staying much longer. Like other guys on this list, there have been rumors for a while that he wants out and I'd like to think Minnesota will attempt to get something in return for him before his contract is up in two years. Love has played out of his mind in 2013 and doesn't look like he'll be slowing down, but Minnesota better enjoy it while it lasts because this guy hasn't planned his future in the Twin Cities, nor will he ever do so.
4. Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
Although it might be tough for Indiana Pacers fans to watch, Danny Granger is as good as gone next summer. With the emergence of Paul George, there's no way Granger wants to have his minutes limited while he's trying to prove he's past his injury problems -- that is, once he is finally completely healthy. But, George along with Lance Stephenson have given Indiana the ability to be OK with letting Granger go and not attempting to keep him. Granger knows he can still help a contender in a big way, and should see plenty of offers next summer.
3. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
At this point, I'm not even sure if Miami Heat fans like Chris Bosh a whole lot. Sure, he's good in spurts. But, he's soft and lacks a lot of defensive skills many of the great big men possess. Bosh makes the list because, like everyone else on the Heat, he might not return next season. For his sake, he'll want to find another team that can guarantee him a long-term, high dollar contract. The Heat could sure find a better way to spend $20 million, I can guarantee you that. If Bosh can guarantee himself more than $20 million in another longer deal, he'll likely take it.
2. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
I bet you were wondering when this guy made the cut. Carmelo Anthony, in many experts' eyes, has already checked out of the New York Knicks' 2013 season and is already looking forward to teaming up with Kobe Bryant next summer. He hasn't sounded convincing in his efforts to make us believe he loves playing in New York this year, and I believe he is gone once free agency hits in 2014.
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
Does LeBron James need a change of scenery in 2014? Eh, maybe, maybe not. Nonetheless, with all of the rumors and scenarios involving his next free agency decision in 2014 he makes this list and is emphatically placed number one. Like I said earlier, every player in Miami has the chance to not return next season whether it be at the decision of the organization or player. James knows he can get himself another big, fat contract next summer and I'm sure he'll think long and hard before committing to another season with the Heat.