NBA Free Agency 2012: Best Destinations for Biggest Free Agents Still Available
NBA free agency is winding down, and its talent pool has almost completely evaporated. Only a few talented players still find themselves unsigned.
That said, for being so late in the summer, there still is a good handful of talented players who will make a nice impact on their respective rosters. How good they will be depends in large part on the team that eventually picks them up, though.
Let's check out the best landing spots for the remaining free agents.
Fisher had some strong moments for the Thunder in the playoffs, but with Eric Maynor coming back from injury last year, Fisher seems unlikely to return to Oklahoma City.
Early in July, SI.com reported that Fisher was interested in signing with Brooklyn, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas and Oklahoma City (in no particular order).
Fisher is no starter, but at worst, he's a decent backup. The Bulls could use another point guard with Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague being the only true points on the squad until Derrick Rose returns from injury. The Cavaliers could use a backup point behind Kyrie Irving, and they could use more veteran presence in their locker room. Dallas also could use a backup behind Darren Collison.
Brooklyn seems the best fit, though. Deron Williams is the starter, with C.J. Watson and Tyshawn Taylor as the backups, but another veteran would never hurt a team that is going "all-in" on winning and winning now.
Best Landing Spot: Brooklyn
According to Matt Moore of CBSSports.com, the Warriors are focusing on landing big man Carl Landry. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer also tweeted earlier this week that the Bobcats were in hot pursuit.
If it comes down to those two teams, Golden State obviously is the better squad, but Charlotte may be the better fit. The Bobcats have some sharp, young, big men, but Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullens won't score enough paint points. Landry is a good inside scorer, and he'd be a great addition off the bench. The Warriors already have a bigger, more expensive version of Landry in big man David Lee.
In a perfect world, Landry would wait to sign with a veteran team that needs more big men scorers off the bench (e.g., Miami, Oklahoma City), but if the choice comes down to the Warriors or the Bobcats, Charlotte is the better fit.
Best Landing Spot: Charlotte
Update: The Warriors and Landry have agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal, according to beat writer Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times.
The Warriors have a very scary guard/wing combo with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. But they still could use some offensive firepower off the bench, which brings us to Brandon Rush.
Rush was one of the biggest surprises last year, scoring 9.8 points on 50.2 percent shooting and a 45.2 percent clip from downtown. He'd be an excellent re-sign by the Warriors.
With the exception of point guard Jarrett Jack, the Warriors don't have any real, capable guards off the bench, so you'd think keeping Rush would be at the top of their priority list.
Best Landing Spot: Golden State
Update: The Warriors are close to signing Rush to a new deal, SI.com reports.
Terrence Williams had a very quiet, but efficient year in Sacramento last season, averaging 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 46.1 percent for the Kings. Sacramento seemed to take itself out of the picture, however, when it signed Aaron Brooks and traded for James Johnson.
Williams is a capable scorer, a sharp defender and a very skilled passed. He's a strong all-around player with no one serious talent, but no weaknesses either.
The Lakers and Bulls both could use Williams' solid, all-around play in their second units. He wouldn't start in L.A., but he'd provide the Lakers with some excellent depth that they really lack from their wing players. In Chicago, he might even have a chance to start when/if Rip Hamilton gets injured.
Both fits would be excellent, but I feel the best fit is Chicago, where he'd have a legitimate chance to start.
Best Landing Spot: Chicago
Tracy McGrady could stand to retire—after all, he's been in the league for 15 years.
But if he's going to return, it should be to Atlanta.
If McGrady wants to go ring chasing, then Miami or Oklahoma City could be nice fits. But Atlanta carved out its wing talent when it traded Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson. Even as old as he is, McGrady could very well start in Atlanta if he returned to the Hawks.
If McGrady wants to start and prove he can still play, Atlanta is the best fit. If he wants a last chance at a ring, he probably should go elsewhere.
Best Landing Spot: Atlanta
With the re-signing of Jeff Green and the new additions of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, I don't see swingman Mickael Pietrus making a return to the Boston Celtics.
Pietrus was somewhat solid for the Celtics last year, giving them 6.9 points off the bench, but he struggled to shoot and finished at 38.5 percent shooting. He's still a very capable defender and was even assigned to guard LeBron James at times in the playoffs.
My vote is Oklahoma City, where he'd see minimal playing time, but would give them a better defensive player at the guard/wing spot than the Thunder currently have on their roster.
Best Landing Spot: Oklahoma City
Nate Robinson was a very capable replacement for the Golden State Warriors when Stephen Curry was injured last year. A return to Golden State seems unlikely, however, after the Warriors traded for point guard Jarrett Jack.
In my opinion, the best fit for Robinson would be Washington, where the Wizards have no serious backup for John Wall. Robinson seems incapable of lasting long on one team, but he'd provide bench scoring and another shooter for a team that lacks both.
Why Robinson has a hard time finding work, I'll never understand.
Best Landing Spot: Washington
Update: Robinson is expected to sign with the Bulls, according to Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago.