As we approach towards the end of the NBA season, two of the most exciting and promising moments of the year are just around the corner: The NBA Draft and the Free Agency season, with every single NBA team keen to make several moves to improve their current rosters.
So, as several guys are already on vacation after being knocked out of the running for the NBA title, agents, managers and pretty much everybody is already planning ahead for the next season, and you don’t want to be caught sleeping when free agency season starts.
This year we'll have a very interesting free agency class, so we’ll take a look at some of the hottest free agents everybody will be talking about for the upcoming months.
Honorable Mention: Jrue Holiday, Pau Gasol, George Hill, Greg Monroe
10. Danilo Gallinari
There’s absolutely no doubt about Gallo’s scoring ability and development since his time with the Knicks, and he could be a great addition for pretty much every contender in need of some scoring and three-point shooting.
Still, there are a lot of concerns regarding his durability and health, so that’s definitely going to hurt his value, but he could be a great steal for the right price if a contending team manages to lure him with the chance of winning a ring and not a lot of money.
9. Serge Ibaka
Ibaka completely developed his offensive game and even managed to become an above-average three-point shooter as well to providing great defense, his forte through his entire career.
However, his numbers have taken a major dip and he’s not the great presence in the paint he used to be, but he can still be very productive, as he showed during the last passages of the season with the Raptors, so he should be on pretty much every team’s radar, especially those who need some post presence off the bench.
8. Kyle Lowry
Once again, Lowry was a huge disappointment during crunch time, completely disappearing in the playoffs when the Raptors needed him the most, although he was struggling with some nagging pains.
Kyle Lowry could be a great addition to a team in the need of a second point guard, as it would be difficult to trust him to run a team’s offense for the future considering the 10-year pro and 3-time All-Star is about to turn 31 years old.
7. Dwyane Wade
Wade knows he made a huge mistake choosing the Bulls during the last offseason, and it’s pretty clear that the veteran shooting guard won’t be coming back next season to his hometown team, as the dysfunctional nature of the franchise has them on the verge of a huge meltdown.
Wade can be extremely productive if his coach manages his minutes and keeps him fresh, so pairing himself with another couple of All-Stars would be a great choice for “The Flash”, who’s keen to win a fourth NBA ring before retiring.
6. Paul Millsap
Millsap was on the trading block for most of the year until the Atlanta Hawks turned their season around and made a playoff push. Still, the veteran power forward isn’t very likely to resign with the Hawks, as he knows he could get a lot of money from a desperate team, or take a pay cut and make a championship run with a contender.
Millsap is one of the most productive players on both ends of the floor, and he could have a David West kind of role if he decides to join a contending team off the bench.
5. Chris Paul
Chris Paul should definitely be at the top of our list, but it’s very unlikely that the best point guard in the league leaves Doc Rivers’ tutelage. Still, he’s set to try free agency just to get a lot of money, and it would be a huge surprise to see Chris Paul changing teams.
Nonetheless, he’s definitely going to have a lot of suitors desperate to acquire his services, and the possibility to finally make it to the NBA Finals should be quite attractive for the veteran point guard.
4. Blake Griffin
Unlike Paul, there’s a big possibility that Blake Griffin changes teams for the upcoming season, although the Clippers would still be his best choice financially speaking.
Nevertheless, it’s been known that the Oklahoma City Thunder is going to be quite aggressive in their pursuit of the Oklahoma native, and he’ll totally thrive alongside Russell Westbrook, and Victor Oladipo, creating arguably the most athletic team in the NBA and totally improving the Thunder for another championship run.
3. Gordon Hayward
Hayward has a huge situation to face over the next few months, as he’s the go-to-guy on the Jazz and they’re going to do everything they can to retain arguably the most important piece of their promising project, or he could choose a bigger market (like Boston), even if that means sacrificing a bit to make a run at a ring.
The future’s bright for Hayward, and with pretty much every team having a lot of cash to offer him, the 2-way player is going to have to make a really, really tough decision.
2. Stephen Curry
Over the course of the past few years, there have been a lot of rumors stating that Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets are going to do everything they can to lure the Carolina native Stephen Curry to the team, but that’s definitely one of the most unlikely scenarios we’re going to see.
Curry's very likely to stay with the Warriors, even if Golden State has had him for pretty much a bargain over the course of his career due to concerns about his ankles and durability, the 2 time MVP is now set to sign a max deal to stay in the Bay Area for at least 5 more years, probably becoming the highest-paid baller in NBA history (sorry, Mike Conley).
1. Kevin Durant
Well, it’s been pretty clear that Durant wants a ring more than anything in the world, jeopardizing his reputation while signing with the Warriors instead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. So, that leaves a lot of questions for the forward at the end of the season: If the Warriors win the ring, should he resign and pursue another one? Should he pull a LeBron and go back to the Thunder? If they lose, should he join another team and make even a bigger fool of himself?
We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s very likely that the Kevin Durant drama isn’t over just yet... or maybe it will be done if Golden State Warriors win an NBA Championship 2017?