Halfway through the 2014-15 NBA season may not seem to be the time to consider free agency. Oh, wait a minute! It sure is. It is only several months away for players to make their decision about free agency. In the meantime, the process does not mean that they will get it right, especially due to the current NBA climate. The economic scene changed entirely when the NBA league secured a 9-year, $24 billion contract rights with ESPN/ABC and TNT in October, which will begin in the 2016-17 season. Lebron James signed a short-term contract with Cleveland for that reason.
So, there is uncertainty to what lies ahead. Due to the heightened salary caps, players who are currently under the radar may sign contracts as a bargaining chip. This means that the upcoming offseason is going to be even more significant than other seasons. For all those fans and franchises that are looking at top named players like Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and Kevin Love, a crop of amazing talent not yet in the spotlight like those big names are being assessed and sought-after by NBA executives who may want to take them to another level.
The preparation for free agency is already in motion. Teams like the Knicks and Lakers are restructuring their financial stance to be ready for what is coming. The offseason endeavor is to land the big names and stealing valued players from their current teams. Who might fall into the flight risk category? That is what many want to find out. To consider which one of the unrestricted free agents wants to leave their franchise will come down to circumstances, opportunities and positional gridlock. A selected player must fit into the longterm plans of the team and he must have not lost his luster for the game. The main focus, however, will be on the unrestricted free agents and an interest in household names. Let us know see which ones meet the criteria.
12 12. Thaddeus Young - Minnesota Timberwolves
Thaddeus Young of the Minnesota Timberwolves may be on his way out, even before his free agent status kicks in. The team’s franchise may be considering moving Young in an attempt to rebuild the team. This makes sense for the franchise. Why? Well, the Knicks and 76ers are inching their way on the Timberwolves' lottery terrain. If the franchise swaps Young for a few draft picks and roster feed, this will only make the team tank even more. It also safeguards the Timberwolves in not losing Young for nothing.
11 11. Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies
10 10. Rajon Rondo – Dallas Mavericks
Many think that Rajon Rondo of the Dallas Mavericks and previously Boston Celtics is the best match for the Miami Heat, even though he has been a hated rival in Miami. No one can argue, though, that Rondo, when healthy, is a force to be reckoned with. He has excellent passing and playing skills. As he ages, his shooting percentage could be improved.
9 9. Goran Dragic – Phoenix Suns
8 8. Greg Monroe – Detroit Pistons
Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons is going to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. With the departure of Josh Smith, the Piston placed their eyes on another big man, Andre Drummond. To use both Monroe and Drummond on the team would be overindulgence for the coach since the play tactics contradict. Even though they both are starters, they are only playing less than 16 minutes per game since Smith left. Monroe averages 29.3 minutes per game.
7 7. Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls
6 6. Paul Millsap – Atlanta Hawks
5 5. Tobias Harris – Orlando Magic
4 4. Tyson Chandler
3 3. Amar’e Stoudemire - New York Knicks
2 2. Kevin Love - Cleveland Cavaliers
It's not a certainty that Kevin Love will be a free agent, but he can opt out of his contract at the end of the season. There's been constant speculation around Love that he will hit the open market and questions of him fitting in with the current Cavs roster. LeBron recently posted a cryptic tweet, addressing Love.
Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 8, 2015
1 1. LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers
Some think that the San Antonio Spurs could make a dash at free agency for LaMarcus Alridge. The Portland Trail Blazers don't want this to happen. The Spurs were patient with Kawhi Leonard’s extension to reserve the maximum salary cap space, just in case Duncan and Ginobili were to retire. The Spurs also will make a wise decision for a solid contract or trade offer if LaMarcus Alridge shows interest in the team. However, at the moment, Alridge seems to be in a good spot as the superstar point guard on the Trail Blazers. He could get an offer of one year in Portland with more pay than his other suitors may want to give him.
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