What Teams Are Set to Have a Big Offseason?
*Photo via AP
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have let be known, through their horrendous roster and by vocally stating, they will be extremely active in free agency. Before the season even came to a close Mitch Kupchak openly stated that he would sign a player to a max deal.
Who might that player be?
Well, in every team’s dream that would be Marc Gasol but it looks like he’s staying put, at least that’s the overwhelming feeling. Regardless, the Lakers are likely to go after a big with a big name. On their list (as well on the list of many others) are LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan, Kevin Love, and Greg Monroe. Out of all these players, I can see the Lakers landing LaMarcus Aldridge, who would demand max money that the Los Angeles would be more than willing to give.
The Lakers have long been connected to Rajon Rondo, especially after Kobe Bryant’s flattering compliments on his play. Yet, since the Lakers drafted D’Angelo Russell this scenario is looking less and less likely.
New York Knicks
I believe in Phil. I believe in Phil. I believe in Phil (I actually do). The Zen Master has done a great job, in my opinion, in setting the Knicks up for future success. He got rid of the cancerous J.R. Smith, in conjunction with Amar’e Stoudemire’s departure and the expiration of Andrea Bargnani’s contract the Knicks are in good financial position to secure solid players this offseason and (hopefully) in years to come.
Let’s be real: the Knicks can use all the help they can get. With probably one of the worst rosters in the league, the Knicks need help in nearly every position. Yet, with approximately $26 million to play with the Knicks should not go willy-nilly spending their cash. Truly, the only two players the Knicks should consider giving max money are Marc Gasol (who looks like he staying put) and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Knicks have been connected to Greg Monroe, who will seek a max deal, whom would be a good fit for the Knicks. DeAndre Jordan seems to be high on their list along with David West, Paul Millsap, and Tobias Harris.
There’s no doubt the Knicks will look to add size in free agency but another gaping hole is the shooting guard position. After trading Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland midseason and shipping of Tim Hardaway Jr. for Jerian Grant, the Knicks will look to add a guard with both shooting and perimeter defensive abilities. Phil Jackson and co. will be looking to sign the likes of Arron Afflalo, Danny Green, and Wesley Matthews. If New York can secure one of these guys and a big man for the right money, it’ll be a successful offseason.
The Bucks are looking to make a splash at the center position, rightfully so. After losing Larry Sanders to life (in all fairness, props to Larry Sanders http://www.theplayerstribune.com/larry-sanders-exclusive-interview/) and their next best big man being Zaza Pechulia, the Bucks will like to add a starter to balance their roster.
Their main target being DeAndre Jordan (but, really, Jordan isn’t leaving Hollywood for Wisconsin) followed by every big man in free agency. They’ll be willing to spend big money on players like Brook Lopez, Tyson Chandler, and Greg Monroe, whereas other teams are less likely to do so. Which mean the Bucks could make the big splash that they hope to.
San Antonio Spurs
While the Spurs are typically quiet in free agency and do much of their rebuilding through the draft, this year is different. Success in free agency this year could mean another title in Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli’s final years and could set them up to remain on top for years to come (seriously, have the Spurs ever been bad?).
First matter of business for them will be resigning three huge pieces: Kawhi Leonard (their first priority, whom will receive a max contract), Duncan, and Ginobili, both of the latter are expected to take salary cuts.
The Spurs’ second matter of business will be most interesting: they’ll look to lure either Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge. What makes this so interesting is that they probably have the highest chance of prying Gasol from Memphis and adding Aldridge would automatically make them a contender (not that anyone has counted them out, anyway). The Spurs will then look to sign a shooting guard if they do not resign Danny Green (who will likely receive more money elsewhere), someone like Wesley Matthews could be in that fold.
After a surprise playoff visit this past season, the Celtics have promised a busy offseason in order to stay competitive in an awful Eastern Conference. The Celtics will make a push for Kevin Love (though he’s likely to stay with Cleveland), Greg Monroe and Al-Farouq Aminu. While it seems the Celtics are a hard sell, they’re a potential landing spot for Tobias Harris because of their possible willingness to give him a max deal.
It seems like Dallas is always ready and willing to spend money. While they may lose their two starting guards, it looks that Dallas could be in the works to add DeAndre Jordan, which is a big offseason for any team.