NBA Free Agents 2012: Bold Predictions for This Offseason's Hottest Targets
This year's crop of NBA free agents is riddled with role players, aging veterans, one superstar (Deron Williams) and everything in between. As usual, the situations surrounding their future destinations changes every single day as new suitors emerge and others fade away.
Future whereabouts are still up in the air, but that doesn't mean it's too early to predict these players' eventual landing spots.
Let's forecast where the hottest names on this year's market will call home next season.
Reports: Steve Nash has offers from Knicks, Raptors. on.si.com/MMAIhQ— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 1, 2012
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported on Monday that the Phoenix Suns have yet to make an offer to their star point guard.
Sources say Phoenix has not yet made an offer to Steve Nash.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 2, 2012
That leaves two realistic destinations for the veteran distributor. It's too late for Phoenix to jump back in and their priorities seem to lie elsewhere.
Nash has ties to Canada, and the Raptors have put together an interesting package. Their team is young, but not necessarily built to win right away.
Where do you think Steve Nash will play next season?
The Knicks are the opposite. They are built to win today, and the bright lights of New York City are unlike any home crowd Nash has experienced in his career.
In the end, Nash is going to opt for Madison Square Garden, Soho and Spike Lee's sideline rants.
Prediction: New York Knicks
Let's stick with point guards and make this one short and sweet.
The Nets brought in Joe Johnson, and a Dwight Howard deal could happen any day now. Williams is going to stay in Brooklyn with, or without, D12. He has a chance to make a name for himself on his own team, and now he has some help.
Prediction: Brookyn Nets
Hibbert was offered a max contract by Portland, but as a restricted free agent the Pacers will have a chance to match.
According to TNT's David Aldridge, Hibbert is leaning toward Rip City.
Sources: Roy Hibbert indeed leaning toward Blazers after max offer commitment Sat. Pacers mulling. Story up soon on NBA.com.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 2, 2012
Nothing is set in stone until the Pacers put their offer down, but the Pacers are meeting with Chris Kaman according to ESPN's Ric Bucher. Kaman is more affordable, but an obvious step back.
I think Hibbert lands in Portland. It's a great basketball city, and the team is ready to win now. If they land him, Portland is a top four team in the Western Conference.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers
Allen is either going to wind up with the Celtics, Clippers or the Heat. I don't see any other options.
All three bring different things to the table.
Boston brings money and loyalty. The Clippers are more equipped to win a championship as are the Heat. Playing for the defending champion has its allure too.
To be honest, I don't know why the Celtics want Allen back. He's showing his age, and the money he commands doesn't allow the team to add elsewhere. He is a fine piece off the bench at this point, but he isn't worth starter's money.
I think Allen stays put. I've gone back and forth on this one many times, but I think loyalty wins out in the end.
Prediction: Boston Celtics
Who has the best chance at Eric Gordon?
Gordon is the most dynamic scorer on the market this year, and he has a ton of room to grow. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, he is meeting with the Pacers, Rockets and Suns with the Hornets will in the mix to retain his services.
I think this comes down to Phoenix and New Orleans. According to Broussard, the Suns are prepared to offer Gordon a max contract.
Suns having dinner with Eric Gordon right now. Phx is considering offering him max deal (4 years, $58 million), sources say— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 3, 2012
Gordon has a chance to start his own legacy in Phoenix, or be the cornerstone of New Orleans' rebuilding effort. With the Suns it would be his team, but his legacy would be shared with Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers in New Orleans.
I think he opts to stay put. The Hornets did a wonderful job of drafting quality players, and they are going to have a ton of cap room in the coming years.
Staying put is his best option. He could put New Orleans back into the playoffs very quickly.
Prediction: New Orleans Hornets
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