By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on May 29, 2014
Though the 2014 NBA Playoffs are still wearing on, 2014 NBA Free Agency begins in just over a month. With plenty of big names available, there could be a lot of excitement. Not including the Heat’s Big Three, other players with early termination options, or players with player options, where’s the best and/or most likely place for the top 10 free-agents to end up this summer.
Thomas has to be excited about the salary-increase that is undoubtedly coming his way. After playing out his second-round rookie deal, the point guard will likely draw a fair amount of interest from around the league. Given the Kings’ situation at the position, though, it’s highly unlikely that they won’t match any offer.
Monroe is a bit of a wildcard in this free agency class, especially with Stan Van Gundy taking the reins in Detroit. With what we know about SVG, though, I get the feeling that he’ll want to make his frontcourt less crowded and either not retain or sign-and-trade Monroe. Though Charlotte has Cody Zeller and could draft a PF, they have the cap-room to sign Monroe to a big payday and comprise a monster frontcourt.
For a veteran presence like Deng, there are going to be plenty of suitors. However, with a need to add solid veteran pieces and a great deal of cap-room to work with, the Lakers are one of the teams that could make a run at the forward. The Suns are another viable option for Deng, but I see the allure of L.A. winning out in this situation.
With the way Gortat played late in the season and in the playoffs, he looks to bring in a nice payday in free agency. Given the rapport he developed with this team, the veteran presence he provides, and reports that he “loves” this team, Washington seems like the place that Gortat is going to end up.
After not giving him an extension last summer, the predominant belief seems to be that the Jazz aren’t willing to give Hayward close to max money. Looking at teams with need and cap-room, the Mavericks would be a perfect place for Hayward, an experienced youngster that can inject youth into an aging roster.
Lowry had an All-Star caliber season in 2013-14, but the Raptors still were bounced in the first round. He’s going to demand a big pay day, but I don’t think Toronto can afford to cut ties with the point guard at this point. It’s not a formality that Lowry will re-sign, but it seems the most likely situation here.
In typical fashion, Stephenson is hard to peg, this time in terms of his free agency. With the talent and progression he’s shown, you have to believe there will be a ton of suitors. However, the best place for him and his growth is almost definitely Indiana. There’s no telling, but staying a Pacer is the right call.
There are going to be some big numbers thrown Eric Bledsoe’s way this summer and Goran Dragic’s rise makes the decision to retain him a bit more difficult for Phoenix. However, Bledsoe is far too talented and young for the Suns to not match any offer after having him on the roster for just one season.
People seem to overlook the fact that one of the best big men in history is a free-agent this summer, but that’s because there’s virtually no chance that Dirk doesn’t re-sign in Dallas. He’s already talked about taking a pay-cut to help the team moving forward, which seems to show that loyalty to the organization will win out.
There’s rampant speculation about all of the places that Melo could end up this summer, but it seems crazy to me to think he won’t still be Knick when all is said and done. There’s just too much money to be left on the table if he doesn’t re-sign, even if New York is seemingly a mess at this point.
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