This free agency class of 2017 is headlined by some absolute stars and that is no secret. Everyone is anticipating if one of these stars will join up with their club to take their favorite team to a whole other level. I am here to breakdown who the top free agents are and why a certain destination awaits in their futures.
Certain free agents chase rings. Certain free agents chase dollar signs. All free agents chase a destination where they can play out their career happily. In this article, we are going to discuss 5 free agents and 1 honorable mention. Get the popcorn and open your imagination.
Honorable Mention: Stephen Curry
The reason Stephen Curry doesn’t make the cut isn’t because he’s not a top free agent. His resume speaks volumes to how he might be the greatest shooter ever and among the top players in today’s game.
The reason Curry doesn’t make the cut is because of how obvious his target destination is. We can sit here and ponder about the thought of him going to Charlotte to play in front of his hometown fans. However, he has already become the face of the franchise in Oakland.
There is no doubt in my mind, he is staying there for the rest of his career. The possibilities with the super team they have is unbelievable. They could literally run the league for the next 7-10 seasons depending on health and how well the core ages. If you bet on Curry leaving the Warriors, then that’s bet you lost.
5. Paul Millsap - Denver Nuggets
I believe Paul Millsap’s playing style and defensive prowess would fit amazingly in Denver. The Denver Nuggets have the cap space to give Millsap a big offer this off-season. Millsap would be tempted because of how young and well balanced of a team that Denver has assembled.
The sky’s the limit. Millsap would work out well with Nikola Jokic as a potential frontcourt tandem and help cover up any of the Jokers defensive weaknesses.
Millsap would become the defensive anchor for this young Denver club and would be a tremendous veteran presence on and off the court. Young players need a leader to look to and Millsap can have an impact in a role that requires just that.
4. Kyle Lowry - Philadelphia Sixers
I believe Kyle Lowry will finally return home to Philadelphia and play for the Sixers. They are planning to offer him a lucrative deal this summer according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. A chance to play for your hometown, build something with an incredibly young nucleus, and get the max money he’s earned with his All-Star level of play. That is a triple threat that is hard to pass up. Imagine a big four of Kyle Lowry, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Trust the process becomes to make the playoffs.
Kyle Lowry would add playmaking, three point shooting, and experience to a young club in need of all of those things. Adding Kyle Lowry is the main playmaker of your team is ideal than having Ben Simmons play at the point as an inexperienced rookie that is prone to screw up.
3. Blake Griffin - Los Angeles Clippers
I expect Blake Griffin to return to the city of bright lights and home of the Hollywood sign. There is no other particular situation as ideal as Blake Griffin staying put in Lob City. The Los Angeles Clippers will be his home for the long run. I believe the Clippers may be the only team willing to pay him that much to keep him. Based on the words of Doc Rivers, the team seems desperate to retain its core at whatever cost.
Due to Griffin’s recent bouts with an injury that have crippled the playoff runs of the Clippers. I doubt other teams aren’t presently taking note of that. The Clippers seem to sweep it under the rug and hope for better days.
At this point, Blake Griffin is young and entering his prime. The window on a championship and building a legacy for himself has not closed one bit for High Griffinition. I’m sure Blake Griffin will be back in red and white come October.
If Griffin leaves the Clippers now, then there will be a great amount of what ifs for him to ponder at later. The things this team is capable of when health is undetermined. Let’s erase the asterisk and find out this group's true potential.
2. Chris Paul - San Antonio Spurs
Well, it only seemed fitting to mention CP3 next. It is no secret that Chris Paul’s championship window is closing faster than LeBron’s hairline is fading. The guard has to be thinking less about the money and more about a win now destination. What better than the San Antonio Spurs? It appears that there is a mutual appeal between both parties according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
Chris Paul would likely have to take a pay cut to go to San Antonio, but there is no doubt of the potential a trio of he, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge could make. This pairing could be the key to taking down the Golden State Warriors run at the top of the mountain. Chris Paul high IQ brand of basketball would fit well in a team basketball system such as the one San Antonio Spurs run.
In addition, it would take the weight off of Chris Paul to be the second option to Kawhi Leonard. Chris Paul is aging gracefully but has never been able to get over the hump as the number one option on a basketball team. Having the longest drought of any NBA player in history when it comes to getting past the second round. The San Antonio Spurs are one of the most consistent sport franchises in recent years, seems like a match made in heaven to me.
1. Gordon Hayward - Boston Celtics
Gordon Hayward should join the run for banner 18 with the Boston Celtics. A reunion between him and Brad Stevens should appear as an alluring possibility for the young forward, who experienced a great deal of success as a bulldog at Butler. Where Stevens was the coach. Hayward would have no problem assimilating into the system Brad runs with the Celtics because it would be like the back of his hand.
Utah definitely overachieved this year but they are long ways away from being actual contenders. Hayward should opt for the win now approach and form a big four with Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, and Al Horford. They could use his two-way play and All-Star caliber skill set to help take off the pressure of Isaiah Thomas on the offensive end.
With this move, there will be no more nights where a 5’9 guard has to go complete bonkers in the 4th quarter just for the C’s to pull out a win. The Celtics have the brightest future of any team in terms of the cap space, draft picks and movable assets they have. Why pass up on building a dynasty in Beantown?