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8 NBA Free Agents Who Will Stay Put And 7 Who Will Change Teams

We're only about halfway through the 2016-2017 NBA season, but it is never too early to start thinking about free agency this summer.  A free agency signing has the ability to alter the landscape of the league, which we experienced when Kevin Durant chose to leave Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors.  Some big names become free agents after the season, and some have the ability to opt out.  Is the recent perennial success of the Clippers about to be over?  Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have the ability to opt out of their respective contracts and test the market, which could make for huge pay days.

Not everyone will move on.  More times than none, the top players and their franchise manage to come together and keep their team in tact.  A lot of young talent will be looking for their second contract, and their current NBA home will be looking to keep them around for the future.  Players being under contract as restricted free agents offers the current team the ability to match any offer the players may receive.  Many factors will come into play, but the summer of free agency offers another round of entertainment for us basketball lovers.

So we will browse through both players that will be on the move, and players that will be staying put.

15 Otto Porter

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Wizards Restricted free agent.

After a couple sub par campaigns to open his career, in 2016-2017 Otto Porter has shown signs of what made him the 3rd pick in the 2013 draft by the Washington Wizards.  The former Georgetown Hoya is 23 years old and becomes a restricted free agent at years end.  With the free agency contracts going around these days, Porter seems poised to receive a heavy pay day.  Most likely another team will sign him to an offer sheet, in which the Washington Wizards will have to decide whether to match or not.  It's hard to see the Wizards letting go of the young swingman, who can provide services at both forward positions.  Expect the Wizards to keep their core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter together.

Prediction: Staying put

14 Derrick Rose

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks Unrestricted free agent.

Former MVP, Rose has made it clear that he will be seeking a max contract this offseason.  Considering the Knicks are flirting with the chance of trading Carmelo Anthony, it seems like they will be starting to build around budding star Kristaps Porzingis.  Rose doesn't fit into those plans.  Still a serviceable and reliable point guard, Rose will find a home, and most likely get overpaid.  Still supplying right around 18 points, 4 boards, and 4 assists per game, suitors will line up.  Look for a team like the Dallas Mavericks to make a push.  Maybe a move to South Beach to help out superstar in the making, Hassan Whiteside could make sense.  Maybe unexpectedly, the Heat have been set back with the departure of LeBron James and more recently Dwyane Wade, and Pat Riley will look to make a move to become relevant again, sooner than later.

Prediction: Changing teams.

13 Nerlens Noel

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Philadlephia 76ers Restricted free agent.

Earlier in the 2016-2017 season, it was hard even imagine the 76ers and their defensive minded center would even make it through to free agency negotiations.  Here we are 41 games into the season, and Noel now has hold of the backup center.  With Joel Embiid's emergence into perhaps the league's best young big man, Noel and Jahlil Okafor had been battling for the minutes Embiid leaves unfilled.  For the better part of the season it seemed like Noel was the odd man out, and looking to leave Philadelphia altogether.  In recent weeks, Nerlens Noel has taken back the back up center role, and Okafor has had trouble getting anything but a DNP.  The Sixers are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and it seems that Brett Brown and company have found the rotation that works best.  Before Noel's return to the rotation, Embiid would leave the game and the drop in defensive efficiency would drop dramatically.  Noel offers stability to the second unit, and has been able to step in and play with the starting unit when needed.

Prediction: Staying put.

12 Rajon Rondo

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls Player option.

It would actually be amazing if it makes it to the offseason, being Rondo's time with the Bulls is already up.  Recently losing his starter role to the likes of Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant, the former Boston Celtic will be looking to move to yet another NBA team.  The Bulls made an effort to form a formidable team around star Jimmy Butler, adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo in the offseason.  It just hasn't worked, and Rondo has been rumored to be heading out of town for most of the 2016-2017 campaign.  Since leaving the Celtics in 2015, Rondo has bounced around from the Mavericks to the Kings and now to Chicago, finding minimal success and team comradery along the way.  Rondo will move onto his 4th team in as many years, and perhaps find a home that suits him.  The former NBA Champion may not be worthy of a lucrative deal any longer, but there will be suitors.

Prediction: Changing teams.

11 Shaun Livingston

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Unrestricted free agent.

After a gruesome knee injury to start off his NBA career, Shaun Livingston has found a new home and new game with the Golden State Warriors.  The backup point guard is able to guard multiple positions, making him an integral part of the bay area basketball team.  Livingston had a role in the 2014-2015 NBA Championship team, as well as the record breaking 73-9 season in 2015-2016.  With the addition of Kevin Durant this year, it looks like the Warriors are again the favorite to win the NBA Finals.  It wont take a max deal or anything near, both sides will find a way to stay together.  Livingston provides the stability the Warriors need, and the Warriors have supplied Livingston with a long basketball career that at one time seemed unlikely.  Golden State will have a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason, this wont be one of them

Prediction: Staying put.

10 JJ Redick

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers Unrestricted free agent.

There are going to be a fair share of Los Angeles Clippers as we move on here.  The former Duke Blue Devil star is now 32 and has been in the league since 2006.  Started his career in Orlando where he played in his only NBA Finals.  After as short stop in Milwaukee, Redick made Los Angeles his new home.  Simply put, if the Clippers do not make an NBA Final this year, expect the roster to be blown up.  Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both have player options (we'll get to that later), and will likely opt out.  Mainly for a bigger contract, but as we experienced with Kevin Durant last year, they will meet with other teams and there is a chance one, if not both, players will move on.  Redick will likely make his decision based on the decisions of his teammates.  Being that Griffin seems likely to move on, Redick could make a move back East.  Maybe his former team, the Orlando Magic, or a move to Charlotte could make sense.

Prediction: Changing teams.

9 Mason Plumlee

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers Restricted free agent.

There's been talk all year bout the Blazers desire to trade for proven big man.  Unable to pull off any type of trade this far, Mason Plumlee may be the main beneficiary.  Plumlee is a nice player, averaging just under 11 points and 8 rebounds per game.  If the Blazers are still unable to add a better option in the low post, Plumlee could see a big pay day.  The Blazers paid everyone big money last summer, and the former Duke Blue Devil hopes that is the case again this offseason.  The Blazers are young and talented with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the forefront.  If a trade is completed it will likely include other big men Meyers Leonard or Noah Vonleh.   Expect Plumlee to remain a Trail Blazer for the future.

Prediction: Staying put.

8 Deron Williams

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks Unrestricted free agent.

William started off his career as a coveted point guard out of The University of Illinois.  He lived up to the hype in Utah, becoming one of the league's top point guards and an Olympian as well.  For the Jazz, Williams and Carlos Boozer combined to make up their own version of the pick and roll, which was familiar to people in Utah.  They would go on to make the Western Conference Finals in 2006-2007 at the peek of the best years since Stockton and Malone.  Williams would move on from the team to the then New Jersey Nets in 2011.  He had a couple more All-Star caliber seasons there, but more recently has found himself on losing teams in Dallas, and signs of his game seriously regressing.  Look for Williams to sign with a contender to supply a veteran presence in a back up role.  If it's a role he embraces he should have a few more years left in the NBA.

Prediction: Changing teams.

7 Robert Covington

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Philadephia 76ers Team option.

The 76ers are winning basketball games more frequently than they have since the Sam Hinkie tanking process started.  The Sixers have already produced a higher win total this year than last and we are just hitting the midway point of the season.  Covington has become a constant for the team and a consistent starter at small forward.  RoCo has become an elite defender and supplies a formidable three point game.  There is an importance of the 3 and D player in the NBA these days, and at least for one more year the 76ers can have that in Robert Covington at a discounted rate.  Expect the team to exercise their option to keep Covington in Philadelphia.  Next year they may have to come with a big deal if he continues his improvement.  But for now RoCo remains with the Sixers.

Prediction: Staying put.

6 Jrue Holiday

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans Unrestricted free agent.

Jrue Holiday was selected as an All-Star reserve in 2013 in Philadelphia, but since then a change of scenery, injuries, and some personal situations has set back his career in the past few years.  Holiday was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013.  A trade made on draft day which sent number 6 overall pick Nerlens Noel to Philadelphia in exchange for the former UCLA Bruin.  Since arriving in New Orleans, Holiday has battled through injuries and an illness of his wife Lauren, which cause him to miss the beginning of the 2016-2017 campaign.  A top tier point guard when on the court, Holiday has been the subject of many trade rumors and off season signings.  The Dallas Mavericks have been mentioned, and a move back to Philadelphia seems to be a priority for the Sixers going into free agency.  Expect a reunion with the 76ers to make his career come full circle.

Prediction: Changing teams.

5 Pau Gasol

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs Player option.

After starting off his career with the Grizzlies, Gasol went on to be one of the top big men in the league as he and the Los Angeles Lakers went on to win two NBA Championships during his prime.  Since leaving the Lakers, the Spain native had stops in Chicago with the Bulls and now resides on the San Antonio Spurs.  A contender year in and year out, the Spurs are perfect fit for the 36 year old Gasol.  With a player option, and a career winding down, Gasol will look to cap off a Hall of Fame career with another NBA Championship.  Pau has taken on the role left behind by Tim Duncan's retirement.   Unless something goes seriously wrong in San Antonio, expect Gasol to exercise his option and remain a Spur for the rest of his NBA career.

Prediction: Staying put.

4 Chris Paul

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angles Clippers Player option.

Paul was drafted out of Wake Forest to the then New Orleans/ Oklahoma City Hornets.  He would go on to play six seasons with the Hornets franchise before a trade that would send him to the Los Angeles Clippers to team with Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan for the foreseeable future.  The Clippers have become perennial playoff contenders, but due to in parts of injuries, the team has never made it past the Western Conference Semi Finals.  The window may be closing in L.A. and Chris Paul will likely test the free agent market after the 2016-2017 campaign.  There has long been talks of how "superfriends" Chris Paul, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade have wanted to play together.  It will not be all four anytime soon, but expect Paul to visit with each of his buddy's teams.  Although a lot would have to be moved around, making Cleveland his new stomping grounds could be the best option here.

Prediction: Changing teams.

3 Stephen Curry

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Unrestricted free agent.

To think of the reigning two time NBA MVP anywhere else seems absurd.  Curry has changed the NBA during these recent years, playing the main role in a NBA Championship and a record breaking 73-9 season.  There is no better situation than Golden State for Curry.  Playing alongside Splash Brother Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and new to the mix in 2016-2017, Kevin Durant, the Warriors will be a favorite every year for another championship run.  But for the Warriors, decisions will have to be made.  All these players are max contract talents, and eventually the salary cap plays a role in dismantling even the greatest rosters in the NBA history.  It will not be at the expense of Curry however.  Curry will be back in the bay area, leading the team alongside his regular cast for at least a few more seasons.  What happens to the rest of the roster in future years remains to be seen.

Prediction: Staying put.

2 Blake Griffin

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angles Clippers Player option.

We have eluded to the Clipper's situation earlier in the article, and already it looks like JJ Redick and Chris Paul could be on the move.  Unless somehow, this year's Clippers team is able to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, it looks like some of the pieces of this current Clippers run will be on the move.  Blake actually seems most likely to move on, as mind boggling as it may be to see Griffin in another uniform.  All the pieces seem to be in place for a championship contender, but as we know that is not the case. Something is not working in L.A. and it's time to find out what. Griffin could be viewed as Russell Westbrook's next running mate in Oklahoma City.  The two would offer an exciting brand of basketball.  More importantly the two would both have something to prove to all their NBA counterparts.  So why not do it together?

Prediction: Changing teams.

1 Kevin Durant

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Player option.

The star of last summer's offseason, Kevin Durant could again make a splash if he so choses.  Durant left Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder just months after being knocked out of the playoffs by now current team, the Golden State Warriors.  The Thunder had a run of success with the two superstars.  A trip to the NBA Finals before being ousted by the Miami Heat in 2012.  And even last year the Thunder had the Warriors against the wall with a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals.  There was always a chance of Durant leaving, having been rumored to joining the Celtics or even Wizards at season's end.  But being acquired by the Warriors changed the landscape of the entire NBA.  A team consisting of 4 sure fire NBA All Stars, the Warriors will go on to break more records and contend for numerous titles.  Durant may exercise his contract, but it will be to sign a long term deal to stay in the Bay Area alongside Stephen Curry.

Prediction: Staying put.

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8 NBA Free Agents Who Will Stay Put And 7 Who Will Change Teams