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Predicting the Landing Spots for the Top 15 NBA Free Agents

Predicting the Landing Spots for the Top 15 NBA Free Agents

NBA Free Agents
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With the 2014 NBA Finals set to take center stage on Thursday, it’s a sign that NBA free agency is nearly ready to take flight. Numerous teams are hoping to make a splash in free agency to improve their postseason chances for next season. In order to do that, the will need to land one of these top 15 free agents.

15. Luol Deng, SF

Luol Deng
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15. Luol Deng, SF

Luol Deng
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Free Agency Status: Unrestricted
Luol Deng will have the opportunity to sign with a team that will be able to contend next season. In fact, it will be his presence that will allow whichever team he signs with to make a difference in the postseason. The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns have both shown interest in the small forward. Don’t be surprised if the Lakers make an offer to give Kobe Bryant another weapon to work with.

14. Tim Duncan, C

Tim Duncan
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14. Tim Duncan, C

Tim Duncan
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Free Agency Status: Player Option
Tim Duncan is a loyal man who has had a lot of success with the San Antonio Spurs. Considering the team continues to reach the NBA Finals, don’t expect Duncan to be going anywhere next season.

13. Gordon Hayward, SG

Gordon Hayward
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13. Gordon Hayward, SG

Gordon Hayward
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Free Agency Status: Restricted
Despite Gordon Hayward shooting a dismal 41.3 percent from the field, he was one of only four players in the NBA to average at least 15 points, five assists and five rebounds in 2013-14. For that reason, he could become a hot commodity. The thing is the Utah Jazz have no intentions of allowing the 24-year-old to walk, which means he will remain with the Jazz for at least one more year.

12. Isaiah Thomas, PG

Isaiah Thomas
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12. Isaiah Thomas, PG

Isaiah Thomas
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Free Agency Status: Restricted
Isaiah Thomas has stated that he wants to stay with the Sacramento Kings. On top of that, Sacramento would be foolish to allow the young offensive talent who has the perfect court vision for the point guard position to leave via free agency. Expect the Kings to retain Thomas in the offseason.

11. Greg Monroe, C

Greg Monroe
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11. Greg Monroe, C

Greg Monroe
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Free Agency Status: Restricted
Greg Monroe could find himself with a maximum contract, something the Detroit Pistons most likely won’t match. His solid offensive game and rebounding skills makes him an ideal candidate for nearly any team that is looking for a big man. The Dallas Mavericks are one team in particular that must find one more piece to propel them to the next level. Monroe is just the man to do that.

10. Kyle Lowry, PG

Kyle Lowry
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10. Kyle Lowry, PG

Kyle Lowry
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Free Agency Status: Unrestricted
Don’t expect Kyle Lowry to be leaving the Toronto Raptors anytime soon. He has made it perfectly clear that he thoroughly enjoys being a part of the organization. Not to mention, the Raptors fully understand that they have a great opportunity to keep one of the best point guards in the game.

9. Eric Bledsoe, PG

Eric Bledsoe
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9. Eric Bledsoe, PG

Eric Bledsoe
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Free Agency Status: Restricted
Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough has stated that Eric Bledsoe is at the core of their team, which means he will match any offer that finds its way to the point guard. However, Bledsoe wasn’t happy about missing the playoffs, especially the way the Suns lost some games down the stretch. Even so, the fact that Bledsoe is an athletic machine with tremendous upside means the Suns in all likelihood will retain him.

8. Lance Stephenson, SG

Lance Stephenson
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8. Lance Stephenson, SG

Lance Stephenson
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Free Agency Status: Unrestricted
Lance Stephenson is a solid player on the court, but it’s his antics outside of playing that has teams concerned. For that reason, his potential big payday doesn’t look as bright as it did at the beginning of the season. However, a team that is willing to take a chance on him could benefit greatly, especially since he has improved his offensive game. The Los Angeles Clippers could use a rebounding guard like him.

7. Chris Bosh, C

Chris Bosh
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7. Chris Bosh, C

Chris Bosh
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Free Agency Status: Early-Termination Option
Chris Bosh is the first of the Big Three to appear on this list. With Bosh being 30 years old, it’s unlikely that he will opt out to sign elsewhere. Even though several teams could use his talent of spreading the court while playing the four or five position, I can’t imagine leaving the Heat is in his mind, especially if they win another championship.

6. Rudy Gay, SF

Rudy Gay
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6. Rudy Gay, SF

Rudy Gay
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Free Agency Status: Player Option
Passing up on a player option that is worth 19.3 million dollars sounds insane, but Rudy Gay may just find out that there are greener pastures elsewhere. The thing is the Sacramento Kings don’t want him to leave after acquiring him in a trade. On top of that, Gay won’t get anywhere near 19.3 million dollars per season in free agency, which is why he will stay with the Kings for at least one more season.

5. Zach Randolph, PF

Zach Randolph
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5. Zach Randolph, PF

Zach Randolph
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Free Agency Status: Player Option
The Memphis Grizzlies and Zach Randolph are reportedly discussing a contract extension, which would fall on top of his player option that is worth 16.5 million dollars. Despite the clear struggles in management, Randolph wants to finish his career with the Grizzlies, which is great news for Memphis fans. Even though Pau Gasol would be an option, extending Randolph is the right move.

4. Dwyane Wade, SG

Dwyane Wade
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4. Dwyane Wade, SG

Dwyane Wade
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Free Agency Status: Early-Termination Option
Dwyane Wade’s career is nearing an end for the sole reason that his knees are too unstable. However, his offensive production is still stellar, which is proof that he could put forth solid performances for years to come. Wade has been the heart of Miami basketball since he was drafted. There’s no way he opts out of his contract. As long as he plays in the NBA, it will be with the Heat.

3. Dirk Nowitzki, PF

Dirk Nowitzki
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3. Dirk Nowitzki, PF

Dirk Nowitzki
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Free Agency Status: Unrestricted
Dirk Nowitzki said he would take a pay cut if that meant the Mavericks would be able to bring in more talent. Along with that, he has stated on multiple occasions that he isn’t going anywhere in free agency. He wants to remain in Dallas for the entirety of his career.

2. Carmelo Anthony, SF

Carmelo Anthony
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2. Carmelo Anthony, SF

Carmelo Anthony
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Free Agency Status: Early-Termination Option
Even though Phil Jackson wants Carmelo Anthony to opt in the final year of his deal, it appears there’s a good chance he will opt out and sign elsewhere. Anthony would like to win a ring in New York, and Jackson could make promises of that happening, but I have to imagine he takes his chances someplace else. The Chicago Bulls would be an ideal fit, especially with a healthy Derrick Rose to help win.

1. LeBron James, SF

LeBron James
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1. LeBron James, SF

LeBron James
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Free Agency Status: Early-Termination Option
All the talk of LeBron James leaving Miami to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers is intriguing but unrealistic. James signed with the Heat to win championships. Now that he has done that, the Big Three are interested in becoming a dynasty that will be talked about forever. If Miami wins the 2014 title, expect James to stay with the Heat for at least one more year to win a fourth consecutive ring.