FIRSTLY I would like to apologise. I was a little bit late in writing these predictions and as a result the NBA fucked me. The trades of Chris Paul and Paul George have turned my original predictions on their head and now I’m left trying to pick up the pieces. There are however plenty of relevant dudes who haven’t committed to staying put or finding a new home, so let’s break down the likely destinations of the left over free agents.
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THERE have been no words on Kevin Durant and Steph Curry yet, but let’s be honest we know they aren’t moving addresses. If you haven’t heard so far Blake Griffin has re-signed in LA with the Clippers and Ricky Rubio has been traded to the Utah Jazz with Jeff Teague committing to be his replacement with the Timberwolves. The biggest news today though was the trade between OKC and the Pacers, with the Thunder swapping Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for Paul George!
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ANDRE Iguodala has accomplished a lot more than most NBA players ever do. He is a 2x champ and has a Finals MVP on his resume. Therefore, when he leave the Golden State Warriors this offseason chasing one last big payday, no one can talk smack about him. Iggy has paid his dues to the Dubs, now I expect him to take his talents to one of their division rivals.
LANDING SPOT: SACRAMENTO KINGS
THERE is a lot of buzz around Kyle Lowry potentially moving his talents south of the border. With three All-Star appearances with the Toronto Raptors in the last three years, Lowry has spearheaded the most successful period of time in the franchises history, flanked by mid range master DeMar DeRozan. I have a hunch that after he meets with other teams though he will learn the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side and re-up with the Raps.
LANDING SPOT: TORONTO RAPTORS
THERE is still plenty left in the tank of the 30 year old Rudy Gay. He may not have the bounce or skillset he once did, but the veteran wing can still contribute meaningful minutes to a contender or a team trying to make the leap up the standings. When Miami strike out in the Gordon Hayward sweepstakes, their attention will turn to signing Gay.
LANDING SPOT: MIAMI HEAT
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THIS was one of the toughest ones to predict. While I don’t think it’s too farfetched to see Millsap resigning in Atlanta, a move to Phoenix or Denver seems the likeliest outcome. The Nuggets already have 376 power forwards, but none of them are on the same level as Millsap, while the Suns would love to pair their youthful core with a talented fringe All-Star. I think the fit with the Suns makes the most sense for Millsap and therefore, we can expect to see him in the desert next season.
LANDING SPOT: PHOENIX SUNS
BEFORE the NBA Draft I assumed the Holiday would become a Dallas Maverick, but after they drafted their future floor general in Dennis Smith that’s clearly not happening. A return to the Bayou isn’t impossible either, but I think Holiday will look to bounce from the franchise with an opening at point guard now in Indiana.
LANDING SPOT: INDIANA PACERS
Otto Porter (Restricted)
PORTER isn’t going anywhere. The Washington Wizards have the right to match any offer they receive on Otto Porter and will likely to so when someone throws max money at him. it’s a big commitment for the Wizards front office, but it’s the right big commitment.
LANDING SPOT: WASHINGTON WIZARDS
AFTER an injury interrupted, yet successful season in Utah, George Hill is once again on the move. The floor general won’t likely stick around now that the team has swung a deal to bring Ricky Rubio in, setting up a perfect reunion with Hill and his former club the San Antonio Spurs.
LANDING SPOT: SAN ANTONIO SPURS
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THIS one seems almost too easy. Don’t rule out Pat Riley placing his shiny rings in front of Gordon Hayward during their meeting and wowing the Utah swingman, but his ties in Boston should see him don green in 2017-18. his former college coach Brad Stevens is now the head coach of the Boston Celtics and with all the moves that have happened in the past week, the Eastern Conference is significantly weaker than the West. Sorry Jazz fans Hayward’s outta there.
LANDING SPOT: BOSTON CELTICS
IF this was maybe four years ago, Derrick Rose would be a sought after player. However, after a disastrous season with the Knicks and given his injury history most teams are steering well clear of the former MVP. There is a real possibility that he will be a back-up point guard next season and my guess is it’s for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LANDING SPOT: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOVLES
NOW that Blake Griffin has recommitted to the Clippers a return from Reddick is a real chance. He has been linked to the 76ers and Nets over the past week or two as well and I think someone will throw money at him that will help him make his mind up to leave LA. My guess is he signs with his hometown Brooklyn Nets, forming a respectable and intriguing starting backcourt with D’Angelo Russell.
LANDING SPOT: BROOKLYN NETS
Last But Not Least
TO finish off I’ll do a quick fire list of other relevant free agents and were I expect them to be playing next season. Some of these dudes deserve a bigger write up in the eyes of many, but I’m putting everyone on this list a peg below the other free agents.
Serge Ibaka – Miami Heat
Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks. Duh.
Danilo Gallinari – Houston Rockets
Rajon Rondo – D-League. Jokes, Los Angeles Clippers
Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies
Vince Carter – Golden State Warriors
Manu Ginobili – Retire
Taj Gibson – Minnesota Timberwolves
Kyle Korver – Cleveland Cavaliers
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