With the big name free agents already signing, it is time to take a peek at if the players went to their best possible option. Some players this off season decided to return and get paid, rather than go to a team that could actually have a chance at bringing the Larry O'Brien Trophy to their franchise. Other players should have went ring chasing rather than signing with a team that makes no sense for them to play for. Then you have your players that got way overpaid, along with the players that were very underpaid as well.
This off season has brought a lot of surprising signings and twists, that you could not imagine that it would of happened towards the end of the NBA Finals. Looking forward some players got good deals that are good for them and not the franchise, other players got good deals that are good for the franchise, and then there are players that got bad deals that are bad for a franchise. Some of the big name free agents signed with teams that made you sit there and shake your head and say why in the world would he sign with them.
Looking forward to this current NBA season looks like it will be very entertaining, but imagining where these eight NBA free agents should of gone instead of where they did would be great to think about as well. With that being said here are the 8 free agents that signed with the wrong team this off season and the 8 teams that they should have signed with instead.
16 Zach Randolph (Signed With Sacramento)
Zach Randolph signed a 2 year, $24 million contract with the Sacramento Kings this summer which makes no sense to myself. Looking back there were several teams that would have been a better fit for Randolph then the Sacramento Kings. The reason that the Kings signed him was because he is a veteran who could help shape the locker room for their younger talent. With the Kings moving on from the DeMarcus Cousins Era, they need to look for a new face of their franchise, and Randolph can help develop that face.
Looking forward, Randolph is 36 years old and probably signed with the team that offered him the most money. Randolph is a two-time all star and revived his career when he was with Memphis. Now is there a team that Randolph should have signed with instead, and here it is...
15 Zach Randolph (Should Have Signed With Golden State)
Now the better option for Randolph's career would have been the Golden State Warriors. He would have been a great bench player for them, and would have most likely gotten an opportunity to play for a championship before his career is over. Looking forward imaging Zach Randolph on a second unit with David West, Nick Young, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston sounds like a starting lineup for another team.
That second unit not only would have been one of the best second units in the NBA, but it would of helped the starters play less minutes during the regular season. Adding Randolph to an already deep team like Golden State would have done wonders for a player who is well deserving of a championship ring. Look for Randolph to wonder if he made the right decision once the 2017-18 season starts.
14 Tyreke Evans (Signed With Memphis)
Tyreke Evans signed a one year $3.29 million dollar contract with the Memphis Grizzlies this off season. One deal that doesn't make sense for anybody besides the Grizzlies. They signed Evans to be either the starting shooting guard, or the backup small forward for Chandler Parsons. Memphis got him on a prove it deal, due to the fact that the former rookie of the year has struggled over the past few seasons.
Evans is in the prime of his career, and he played his college career at the University of Memphis so it is familiar ground for him. He has not been the good scorer that we were accustomed to seeing his rookie season, but then again he has never played in a full 82 game season due to injuries. One team would have been a better fit for him then Memphis, and it is?
13 Tyreke Evans (Should Have Signed With Phoenix)
Tyreke Evans should have signed with the Phoenix Suns, because of the fact that Phoenix would have paid him, and he had a realistic chance at starting at small forward. With Josh Jackson entering his rookie campaign, he doesn't look like he will be starting for the Suns, and Evans is much better than T.J. Warren and could have started over him. With Evans' track record of being injury prone, it made teams want to stay away from him this off season.
Phoenix would have been a good fit for him, due to the amazing training staff that they have down there. We have heard of veterans loving to play in Phoenix because their training staff was absolutely exceptional when it came to injury management. That would have been perfect because we might have been able to see Tyreke Evans play a full season for the first time in his NBA career.
12 George Hill (Signed With Sacramento)
George Hill signed a three year $57 million contract with the Sacramento Kings this summer. It makes sense for the Kings, but not for George Hill who can be a starting point guard on a playoff caliber team. With the Kings going through a rebuild it seems very surprising that he would sign with them even after they drafted De'Aaron Fox with the 5th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Another veteran presence in that locker room just like Randolph's can help the younger talent out.
Hill most likely will play in front of Fox, and will probably not make the playoffs in any of his three seasons that he has under contract with the Kings. Looking ahead their was a playoff team that could of used George Hill and he would of started for them.
11 George Hill (Should Have Signed With The Los Angeles Clippers)
George Hill should have signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, which would have been a good move for not only Hill, but the Clippers as well. Looking at what could have been if the Clippers got Hill to sign with them is a starting lineup of George Hill, Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan would have been a playoff caliber starting lineup in the Western Conference. Hill would have fit in nicely since he does not need the ball in his hands to be effective at all time.
Imagine what could have been, especially with that good core that the Clippers have in their front court. Now would they be contenders to go to the NBA Finals? Probably not, but they would have at least been one of the more competitive teams to play in the Western Conference.
10 Jrue Holiday (Re-Signed With New Orleans)
Jrue Holiday re-signed with the Pelicans this summer, as they both agreed to a 5 year $126 million contract, which is a good contract for him, but why stay in New Orleans? After they signed Holiday, they signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, so what is the purpose of having Holiday? Jrue is a former all star and has been playing well, but could have been one of the better guards if he went to the Eastern Conference.
There were much more better fits for him then to go back to the Pelicans. He could have strived in many different situations that would have been good for his style of play. Looking forward in order to make this team the slightest bit better for the future, they should have signed Jrue Holiday.
9 Jrue Holiday (Should Have Signed With New York)
Now this signing would have made so much more sense for Jrue Holiday. Holiday could have been the focal point of the New York Knicks and got the opportunity to play with Kristaps Porzingis, and could have made Carmelo want to stay in New York. Even without Carmelo, having Holiday with Porzingis would have been a good foundation to start building around, and I get that Holiday wants to win now, but it won't happen in New Orleans.
Thinking ahead now if they got Holiday to go along with Tim Hardaway Jr., they could have had one good young backcourt that could help lead the Knicks for the future. Obviously they would not be in the title picture, but they could have at least made the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference.
8 Serge Ibaka (Re-Signed With Toronto)
Serge Ibaka re-signed with the Toronto Raptors, as both sides agreed to a three year $65 million contract this summer. This move helps make Toronto a solid contender in the weak Eastern Conference, but at the same time it does not make sense for Ibaka at all. It is clear that Ibaka is no more than a third option when it comes to scoring the basketball, but his defensive presence on the floor is not what it use to be when he played in Oklahoma City.
He was known as Serge "Iblocka" and ever since he started focusing on his offense, his defense has taken a huge hit. The Raptors got lucky, because Ibaka could have been a number two option on a different team. Also he could of helped a young team contend for a playoff spot in the stacked Western Conference.
7 Serge Ibaka (Should Signed With Denver)
Now this would have been a better cheaper option for the Nuggets, rather than going all in on Paul Millsap. If they signed Ibaka, they could have gotten another piece via free agency, rather than using all that money on Millsap. Nothing against Millsap - he is a hell of a player and can help make any team better - but at the same time he would have been better off to go elsewhere in my opinion.
Looking forward the Nuggets have a good solid front court, but imagine instead of signing just Millsap they signed Ibaka, and a quality player that could of helped the young Nuggets out not only this season, but the future as well. Denver made up their mind, but they already have a young star to build around and Ibaka could have helped that for a longer period of time rather than Millsap.
6 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Signed With The Los Angeles Lakers)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed a one year $17.7 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. This move made absolutely no sense to anybody, except for the Lakers who made out in that deal. Caldwell-Pope is a solid scoring shooting guard who could start for many teams, but at the same time why go to the Lakers for one year. If you are going to sign with the Lakers you should have asked for more years especially if LeBron is going to potentially take his talents to Los Angeles after next season.
Looking ahead, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could of went to another Western Conference team that he would of helped make the playoffs. Unfortunately we will not see what could have been with Caldwell-Pope, but we can imagine though right?
5 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Should Have Signed With Memphis)
Now this would have been a win-win situation for both sides for the following reason; Kentavious would have been the starting point guard for a potential playoff team, and Memphis gets their shooting guard of the future. Caldwell-Pope and Mike Conley would be a great back court duo, but at the same time would the money situation have worked? It could have because they did not re-sign Randolph and they had so much room, especially if they cut Chandler Parsons because he has been awful since signing with Memphis.
Looking forward we'll wonder what could have been, especially if Caldwell-Pope did not sign with the Lakers. A back court of Mike Conley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be one of the better younger scoring backcourts in the league today. Don't be surprised if they team up sooner rather than later.
4 Kyle Lowry (Re-Signed With Toronto)
Kyle Lowry re-signed with the Toronto Raptors, as both sides agreed to a three year $100 million contract, which makes absolute no sense money wise. The Raptors kept their back court, but at the same time Lowry should not be making $100 million in a span of three years. That is absolutely horrible. I understand that Lowry is one of the better point guards in the league today, but at the same time there is no point to pay him that kind of money.
It is pointless to pay both of your starting backcourt max contracts, since you will not have enough money to be able to help build around them. Toronto should have tried to get Lowry at a team friendlier contract, and tried to build a solid bench for the Raptors to be an actual threat for the NBA Finals.
3 Kyle Lowry (Should Have Signed With San Antonio)
This move would have been one of the better moves of the summer, especially if it actually happened. If the Spurs could have some how gotten their point guard in Kyle Lowry to go along with Kawhi Leonard, Pau Gasol, and LaMarcus Aldridge would have been a great starting four some that would have been tough to beat in the Western Conference. Imagining a duo like Lowry and Kawhi is a very tough duo to think about, because he could of helped San Antonio have a realistic chance of going back to the NBA Finals, and could have given Golden State a run for their money this season in the Western Conference.
Imagining a San Antonio team that has both Kawhi and Lowry on it makes the Spurs a must-watch team, and they have a realistic chance of making it to the NBA Finals for the forseeable future.
2 Paul Millsap (Signed With Denver)
Paul Millsap signed a two year $61 million contract with the Denver Nuggets this summer, and has a club option for 2019. Now this move was one of the most out of the ordinary moves that we saw happen this summer, but it is not the right fit for him. Thinking about it, there are a couple of teams that would have been the best fit for him, and he could have helped actually contend for a chance to potentially not only go to the Conference Finals, but to the NBA Finals as well.
Looking ahead Millsap is helping give the young Nuggets team a veteran presence in the locker room, but at the same time why pay him around $29 to $30 million for two years when you are going to have to pay Jokic soon?
1 Paul Millsap (Should Have Signed With Portland)
This move would have been one of the better moves all summer if Paul Millsap took his talents to Portland to play with Damian Lillard. Now obivously you think how would the money situation have worked, well they could have trade Crabbe like they did, but they could have also moved another piece to Atlanta along with a draft pick to make it work. The trio of Millsap, McCollum, and Lillard would have been a great one to watch this season, and they could have been one of the playoff teams to come out of the Western Conference.
Looking forward imaging a team like this would have been one of the better moves that Portland could have made this off season especially if they could have signed Millsap. I see Millsap looking in the rearview mirror and thinking to himself what could have been.