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View Full Version : ESPN: Best Fits for Remaining Top FA



Jrod Jones
07-03-2012, 02:24 PM
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8126043/nba-best-fits-deron-williams-steve-nash-best-remaining-free-agents


Let the matchmaking begin.

Although Kevin Garnett and Gerald Wallace reportedly are already off the market, there are still plenty of big names looking for jobs in the NBA as free agency heats up.

Where will they go?

Considering cap space, playoff contention and team needs, let's take a look at the best fits for the remaining top 10 free agents.

PG Deron Williams

Best fit: Brooklyn Nets
Next-best: Dallas Mavericks

There are only a handful of teams who can offer the max deal that Williams warrants, but only the Nets can offer a real chance at winning right away. With Wallace, Joe Johnson and (likely) Brook Lopez in tow, the Nets have the makings of a top-four team in the East if Williams stays aboard.

The Mavericks can't pony up the max-level cash, but the Texas native could head there if he values a shot at a championship more than fame and money. While the Nets are building a strong team in the East, Western Conference teams have to be rooting against a Nowitkzi-Williams pairing. Whatever the case, Williams has made it clear it's between Brooklyn or Big D.

SG Eric Gordon (restricted)

Best fit: New Orleans Hornets
Next-best: Indiana Pacers
The dark horse: Phoenix Suns

Don't let New Orleans' selection of Austin Rivers fool you -- the shooting guard spot has Gordon's name on it. Gordon and Anthony Davis could be one of the top young duos going forward, but don't expect the Hornets to be the only one calling.

Along with James Harden, Gordon is one of the league's best young wing players and could possibly see a near max-contract offer from Indiana, his home state. But Gordon is a restricted free agent so the Hornets can match any offer sent his way. And all indications are that they will. Gordon can get the money he wants -- and the ball whenever he wants -- in the Big Easy.

PG Steve Nash

Best fit: Indiana Pacers
Next-best: Toronto Raptors
The dark horse: Dallas Mavericks

As our own John Hollinger pointed out, an Indiana-Nash partnership makes all the sense in the world from a basketball standpoint. They're on the cusp of championship contention, they have the cap space to offer him a $10 million-plus, three-year deal, and they have an open slot at point guard to boot (George Hill can slide to the 2 if needed).

Alas, when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The city of Indianapolis probably won't lure any top free agents until it moves to a coast. Toronto has a three-year, $36 million offer out to Nash, even if it can't offer a shot at a title.

C Roy Hibbert (restricted)

Best fit: Indiana Pacers
Next-best: Portland Trail Blazers
The dark horse: Cleveland Cavaliers

So, with the Trail Blazers reportedly throwing the max at Hibbert, the question becomes, will Indiana match it? They should if they plan on capitalizing on their meteoric rise in recent years.

Hibbert led the Pacers by taking huge strides in his efficiency and rebounding numbers while providing a nice complement to David West's inside-out game. While the Blazers can build a towering front line with Hibbert and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Pacers offer more certainty on next season's roster and likely more W's.

PF Ryan Anderson (restricted)

Best fit: Orlando Magic
Next-best: Phoenix Suns
The dark horse: Sacramento Kings

Like Gordon, it's a good bet that Anderson won't be switching jerseys this summer since he's a restricted free agent. However, you can't rule out anything with the Dwight Howard situation that's playing out in Orlando. Anderson took his game to new heights with a career-high 21.2 player efficiency rating in 2011-12, but can he be an adequate defender without Howard if the center bolts?

Few players are as efficient as Anderson at the power forward position, but new GM Rob Hennigan might face a difficult decision when someone inevitably offers the young stretch 4 a bloated deal.

C Brook Lopez (restricted)

Best fit: Brooklyn Nets
Next-best: Portland Trail Blazers
The dark horse: Indiana Pacers

Every indication is that the Nets will reel in the restricted free agent and debut the Brooklyn arena with Lopez anchoring the paint. It makes sense on all fronts, especially if he can fully recover from his foot surgery.

There are some red flags here -- namely, the problematic foot and an allergy to rebounding -- but a 24-year-old 7-footer who can consistently average 20 points a night and do so efficiently? That's a franchise cornerstone. Don't be surprised if the Blazers jump in the bidding if Hibbert stays in Indiana.

SG Ray Allen

Best fit: Boston Celtics
Next-best: Miami Heat
The dark horse: Los Angeles Clippers

There's no doubt that the Heat can give Allen a better shot at a title next season, but at what price? The Heat won't have nearly enough dough to offer as the Celtics (the Heat have only an annual $3 million exception to flaunt). Though the starting gig might be out of reach for both squads, Allen could get far more money by returning to the Celtics than venturing elsewhere.

With the Celtics bringing back Garnett and potentially getting a draft day steal in Jared Sullinger, the end of the Big Three era may not be as close as we originally thought.

PG Jeremy Lin (restricted)

Best fit: Phoenix Suns
Next-best: New York Knicks
Less snug fit: Toronto Raptors

The expectation here is that Lin will find himself on the Knicks roster next season and beyond. But the 2011-12 season taught us that Lin's game isn't optimized with an isolation-heavy offense filled with players who struggled to play off the ball (i.e. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire). Lin could get his stage and money in New York, but he might be better off blossoming elsewhere.

If Phoenix offered a back-loaded "Omer Asik deal" to Lin, it might deter the Knicks from matching, Chris Broussard reports. The Suns could look to Lin as a replacement for Nash if he doesn't return and give him the offense in which he could thrive.

PF Ersan Ilyasova

Best fit: Phoenix Suns
Next-best: Milwaukee Bucks
The dark horse: New Orleans Hornets

The Suns are an interesting team this summer. They have gobs of cash to throw at a free agent, but they haven't necessarily been a destination for an elite player since Nash joined eight summers ago. If they strike out on landing Nash or Gordon, they might feel pressured to overpay for a lower-tiered player (here's looking at you, Ilyasova).

The Bucks have already stockpiled big men this summer (Samuel Dalembert and John Henson), which means Ilyasova might be squeezed out. As a stretch 4 and rebounding monster, Ilysaova would be a big upgrade from Channing Frye.

SF Nicolas Batum (restricted)

Best fit: Minnesota Timberwolves
Next-best: Portland Trail Blazers
The dark horse: Dallas Mavericks

It looks like a two-horse race between the Blazers and the Timberwolves for the services of the stretch wing player. Of course, since Batum is a restricted free agent, the Blazers have the last say on where he goes, and if they lose out on Hibbert, they might feel more compelled to match a big offer from Minnesota.

In terms of on-court fit, the Timberwolves, who entered the offseason starving for a shooting guard who could, you know, shoot, offer Batum a stronger bet to reach the playoffs now and in the future.

Steagles
07-03-2012, 02:30 PM
And here comes another EJ thread.....

Thanks for posting, although I don't agree with all it was a good read.

blanket
07-03-2012, 02:35 PM
thanks

they also have us listed in Brook Lopez

A.B.Hollywood
07-03-2012, 02:38 PM
The mention of us being a Dark Horse for Brook Lopez is intriguing. If Hibbert goes that is a nice back-up plan. Defensively and rebounding wise it isn't ideal but Offensively he would give us a dynamic we haven't had since JO.

Jrod Jones
07-03-2012, 02:42 PM
I feel like the author just threw us in as the dark horse for Lopez because it could make sense on paper. He didn't even mention us in the little blurb

Really?
07-03-2012, 03:02 PM
Would not mind Brook at all, has the potential to be a efficent 20 10 guy, averaged more than 1.5 blocks per game every season, that is who I originally wanted to fall to us in that draft.

An interesting thing is that he may be a better investment long term, when balancing money and potential with Roy. I wonder what kind of offers he has been getting, if any.

Steagles
07-03-2012, 03:09 PM
Would not mind Brook at all, has the potential to be a efficent 20 10 guy, averaged more than 1.5 blocks per game every season, that is who I originally wanted to fall to us in that draft.

An interesting thing is that he may be a better investment long term, when balancing money and potential with Roy. I wonder what kind of offers he has been getting, if any.

I think he'd be a better back up plan than Kaman.

Ace E.Anderson
07-03-2012, 04:26 PM
Would not mind Brook at all, has the potential to be a efficent 20 10 guy, averaged more than 1.5 blocks per game every season, that is who I originally wanted to fall to us in that draft.

An interesting thing is that he may be a better investment long term, when balancing money and potential with Roy. I wonder what kind of offers he has been getting, if any.

He is not a good enough rebounder to average 10 a game. Roy only averaged a lil over 8.5, and Roy is much better rebounder than Lopez. Also even though he gets a few blocks, I'm not sure he could be the intimidating presence that Roy has become. Now offensively, Lopez is much more versatile in the high and low post. If he could be had for 10 mil a yr, he's not a bad consolation prize.

CableKC
07-03-2012, 04:53 PM
He is not a good enough rebounder to average 10 a game. Roy only averaged a lil over 8.5, and Roy is much better rebounder than Lopez. Also even though he gets a few blocks, I'm not sure he could be the intimidating presence that Roy has become. Now offensively, Lopez is much more versatile in the high and low post. If he could be had for 10 mil a yr, he's not a bad consolation prize.
Brook averaged 8+ rpg in his 1st two seasons.....his rebounding went down after Avery Johnson decided to have him focus on his offense while allowing Kris Humphries to do all of the dirty work ( as in rebounding ).

He is perfectly capable of rebounding at a much rate.

But IMHO...even with the likely upside that Brook has over Kaman....I doubt that there is enough justification for the Simons to go after Brook over Kaman....especially with as a UFA.

Pacersalltheway10
07-03-2012, 09:09 PM
It would be so awesome if we could sign Nash and resign Hibbert while trading DC, Hans, 1st round pick(s) for Eric Gordon

ECKrueger
07-03-2012, 09:19 PM
It would be so awesome if we could sign Nash and resign Hibbert while trading DC, Hans, 1st round pick(s) for Eric Gordon

That would be ideal.