NBA Free Agency will officially begin on July 1st 2016, amidst all the rumors and expert opinions it’s still a dice game where players will end up. The big fish is Kevin Durant. Will he stay or will he go but to think that Durant is the only game changer would be a mistake. It takes more than one player to win a championship and while Durant could easily lead a team to a title there are others that will be a hot commodity when GM’s are allowed to hit that send button. Lets take a look at a few of the top Free Agents.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Name a team that couldn’t use the services of the former MVP. Rumors has him going from OKC to Miami to Golden State to the Alaska Redbulls. Durant will be an upgrade for any team. The Spurs are rumored as a destination but with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge already in the frontcourt I can’t see Durant making that jump. The Warriors seem like a great destination but there is only one basketball allowed on the floor last time I check and they have a few gunners already. The Celtics and Knicks could be players, especially NY with their addition of Rose but where would Durant play? The Celtics have a shot, a legit shot at that but is that roster really that much better than OKC’s? The Thunder made moves during the draft to secure Durant’s services with the trade of Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo.
Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
Remember when Howard was labeled the best Center in the NBA? That’s been a while but with the right team he could inch closer to that title again. His time in the NBA has been rough since leaving the Orlando Magic. Howard’s tenure with the Lakers was a disaster and his time with the Rockets didn’t pan out either. Now with Howard deciding he can’t win with James Harden he is back on the market. The Knicks looked to be the perfect fit but with them signing Joakim Noah that boat has sailed. The Celtics could be a great fit as they lack a true inside presence. The Heat could be in play depending on what Hassan Whiteside does and we can’t forget about the Warriors. If Howard can keep his emotions in check he can easily be the missing piece to a team’s title hopes.
Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks)
Horford has been consistent throughout his tenure with the Hawks but now it looks as if his time is up. The Hawks are treading water and with the departure of PG Jeff Teague, Horford may look to take his talents elsewhere in 2016. He is smaller than Howard and might not provide the same defensive strengths but offensively he moves like a SF with a much improved perimeter game. The Celtics would be a good fit as should the Warriors but his asking price may be too high for a player that is known to vanish stretches during crunch time. If he can pair with a solid defensive player in the frontcourt like Draymond Green or DeMarcus Cousins the impact could be parade worthy.
Bismack Biyombo (Toronto Raptors)
Biyombo played himself into a max deal during the playoffs. Does he deserve that type of money? No but some team like the Celtics or Lakers will pay him just the same. On paper he is your average defender and rebounder but when given quality starter minutes he has All Star written all over him. The Raptors know they can’t afford him, Biyombo and his agent must be smiling from ear to ear. The Celtics should give him a call and see what the going rate for a premier defender and rebounder is but they may not be willing to pay that muck for a player that can foul out in the first quarter.
Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat)
Whiteside has a big decision to make. Does he stay with the Heat, with a declining Dwayne Wade and inconsistent Luol Deng, with tax-free money or does he test the waters and see if he can be that missing piece for a team? The Heat are not winning a ring anytime soon and Whiteside must come to terms with that or begin to rebuild after Wade leaves. His presence on the court for any team can easily put them in contention and with so many in need of a Center that can play both ends he will be in high demand. The obvious choices are still the same, the Celtics, Warriors and the Lakers.
As you can see the majority of my selections were big men. The NBA today is a guards game but as we seen in the playoffs defense still decides the contest. Any and everyone in the league can score but if you have that solid post defender it takes pressure of the offense.