2016 NBA Free Agency: Top 10 Players Available on 4th of July
The 2016 NBA free agency period has been an eventful one, with some big names getting huge contracts to stay with their respective teams, and others getting even more money to leave town.
We have the ones that make sense, like the Pistons hanging onto Andre Drummond, or the Celtics paying up for a center upgrade via Al Horford.
Then we have teams like the Bucks over-paying for the likes of Matthew Dellavedova, the Magic spending money on a pricey backup center in Bismack Biyombo and the Lakers arguably taking the cake by throwing a boat load of cash at Timofey Mozgov.
Of course, there are still some big names that could fall, so let’s touch on them as we sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday:
Rajon Rondo – PG
Rondo forced his way out of Boston and flamed out with the Mavs, largely because he prefers to run an offense his own way and he brings inefficient scoring to the table.
Rondo can’t shoot and his defense has slipped, but he can still run an offense and put on a show. His game and attitude aren’t magically changing, but he can still be a difference-maker in the right spot. His chances of owning a huge role on a contender are toast, so he’s looking at a bad team or maybe the Bulls.
— RealGM (@RealGM) July 1, 2016
Deron Williams – PG
D-Will’s market has dried up due to age and injuries, but he can still hit from outside and run an offense at a high level when healthy. He wanted to come to Dallas last year and for the most part, his stay went well.
Considering the Mavs don’t have a better alternative, it’d make sense for the Mavericks to lock him up to a three-year deal or something similar. Williams is in decline, but Dallas could do a lot worse with the starting point guard spot.
Dwyane Wade – SG
Wade is one of the top names out here still that actually could shake things up considerably. It’s tough to buy him spurning the Heat, but there were quick rumors that they “angered” him with a weak contract offer.
There hasn’t been much word on what Wade will do, but there have been loose ties to him going to Chicago or New York. New York’s signing of Courtney Lee likely nixes that, however, so odds are good we’ll see Wade return to South Beach.
J.R. Smith – SG
Smith opted out of his deal with the Cavs to likely make more money, but after the Cavs lost some veteran talent, he actually could make it staying in Ohio.
No teams have gone hard at Smith, but unless there is a crazy offer, it’s unlikely the Cavs are losing their sharp-shooting guard.
Kevin Durant – SF
Durant is the key to this list, as he’s basically down to returning to the Thunder or heading over to Golden State. The Dubs can’t give him as much cash, but seeing as they’ve been in each of the last two Finals and won two years ago, KD should take notice.
There is something about staying in OKC and finishing the job that has to appeal to Durant, though, and the Thunder can still give him more cash. If he leaves, it’s going to be the Warriors, but it’s unlikely he jets. One way or another, we’re all slated to find out on the U.S. Independence Day.
Multiple teams have been told to expect Durant’s decision Monday. Hearing more and more it won’t be based on money. https://t.co/XZ9zRWYr2c
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) July 3, 2016
LeBron James – SF
James merely opted out of his deal to make more money and allow the Cavs to figure out how they’re completing their roster. They lost two players and could lose J.R. Smith, but none of that will impact King James.
James is just biding his time before he announces he’s returning on what should be a two-year deal.
Dirk Nowitzki – PF
Dirk is another big name free agent that probably isn’t going anywhere, but the lack of big moves by the Mavs can’t have him too excited.
Report: No Chance Dirk Nowitzki Ever Leaves Dallas https://t.co/Y7oGk50Y6R
— Michael Lark (@Michael_Lark) June 29, 2016
Chandler Parsons is gone, Zaza Pachulia and Deron Williams could easily follow and their big move thus far was signing Harrison Barnes to a huge deal. If the Warriors don’t get Barnes, they’d likely match, killing Dallas’ momentum even more.
Going into his age 38 season, Nowitzki may have to decide between being loyal or trying to win. Odds are he stays where he’s always been, but keep an eye on rumors linking him with Golden State.
Pau Gasol – F/C
Gasol is probably the biggest name to track on this list, as he’s surely not returning to the rebuilding Bulls and he has a lot of options to consider.
He could head to San Antonio to try to win another title, he could join the super team the Knicks are piecing together or he could even join Ricky Rubio in Minnesota.
— SI NBA (@si_nba) July 3, 2016
The best situation for him may be with the Spurs, where he could be the final piece to their NBA Finals puzzle.
Jared Sullinger – F/C
Sully can’t love the idea of playing second fiddle to Al Horford, who the Celtics recently signed to a huge deal. Boston did already extend a qualifying offer, though, and should be able to match any offers the restricted free agent gets.
Boston may be willing to part ways with Sullinger thanks to such a jammed up rotation of bigs, so it depends who wants Sully and what they’re willing to pay to get him. So far there has been zero buzz around Sullinger, but it’s tough to see him stick around on the bench in Boston. Look for his name to gain some steam in the coming days.
Festus Ezeli – C
Ezeli is another interesting option, especially since the true centers are now largely spoken for. Ezeli has a very raw offensive game, but he’s an athletic big man that can rebound and block shots and also has some untapped upside.
Golden State is not going to pay huge money to keep him, but if his market dries up, he could stay on for far less than originally feared. For now, there aren’t any clear landing spots, but teams like Toronto
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