With the NBA Draft behind us, it’s finally time to turn our attention towards the chaotic frenzy otherwise known as free agency. 2015 is shaping up to be another fun summer with plenty of outside suitors looking to swipe away talent from opposing organizations. As much as everyone would love to scream and shout about another “Decision”, it appears LeBron will be returning to Cleveland for another title run. So with that being said, who do we have to focus on and what can we look forward to entering this summer’s free agency period.
Teams to Watch
The suddenly sexy San Antonio Spurs have to be my team to focus on this summer. With their big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker slowly fizzling out with age, the team finally looks to truly reload for the first time in over a decade. If retirement avoids any of these three for another year (which it probably will), the Spurs’ main core will most likely take reduced contracts to help the team as it heads into free agency. Labeled as the NBA’s boring and non-flashy success story, San Antonio has quickly become a potential landing spot for LaMarcus Aldridge. If the Spurs can manage to steal him away from Portland, it’d put them in a solid spot to once again contend for the West. Resigning Kawhi Leonard could be tough if they make a push for Aldridge, so it will be interesting to see how they approach this potential “rebuild and retain” type mentality. I would be surprised however if they don’t make resigning Leonard their main priority. If anyone can put together the right formula, it’s Professor Pop.
Free Agents Flying “Under the Radar” (Not LeBron, Aldridge, Love, or Gasol)
Paul Millsap: Coming off a season where he was underpaid in Atlanta, I would guess Millsap is looking forward to getting the payday he deserves. A battle-tested vet who has been an under-the-radar guy most of his career, he’s consistently produced everywhere he’s been. Wherever he ends up, Millsap will make his new team better across the board and most likely come at a discount compared to many of his fellow free agents. Why pay the big bucks for Aldridge, again?
DeMarre Carroll: Had you watched any Atlanta Hawks playoff games this year, I doubt you’ll need much convincing here. Carroll almost single-handedly kept the Hawks afloat during their bizarre 2015 postseason push. He’s as strong as any on the defensive side and can attack the rim in addition to hitting from the outside. The perfect role player, Carroll can help any steady paced team in the league. Also his hair makes him look like a sci-fi character, so that’s pretty cool too.
Danny Green: Having played in San Antonio for more than two seasons, Green has to have some of that Spurs magic instilled in him. His shooting and defensive ability should put him high on any and all free agent lists and he probably won’t be looking for a max contract. Combining these two factors make Green a very attractive option for most teams. At 28, Green still has a solid six seasons left in him and has had no injury problems at any point in his career. Teams should be drooling over him come July 1.
Wes Matthews: At 6-foot-5, Matthews is one of the league’s best perimeter shooters who can add extreme depth to any team’s defensive strength. Labeled as a “3-and-D” player, he plays primarily off the ball and can consistently put up a solid 16 points per game. When healthy (and that’s a big if), Matthews can be a big time threat sitting along the perimeter. As the Maverick’s move on from the Monte Ellis show, I can’t help but think of Matthews filling right in and becoming Dallas’ new starter at shooting guard. Mav’s fans will just have to wait and see, but should definitely hope this becomes a reality over the next few weeks.
Brandon Knight: All signs point to him resigning with the Suns; and he most likely will. But no restricted free agent has a highlight tape like Knight’s, so I figured checking out a few clips wouldn’t hurt.
Brandon hustling for loose balls:
Playing premier defense:
And getting viciously dunked on by DeAndre Jordan:
Good luck this summer B!
Free agency is a time where GM’s lose their minds over maintaining the possession of other human beings. People like you and I get the pleasure of sitting back and watching the hysteria unfold each July and August. So buckle up and hold on tight, the frenzy begins at midnight, and I for one cannot wait.
Gilbert Arenas is technically still a free agent. Just sayin’