10 NBA Teams Set to Make a Major Splash in 2013 Free Agency
Is it too soon to start looking toward the 2013 summer of free agency? Absolutely not.
While the 2012-13 season is still months away, there are a number of teams like the Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic who have their sights set on rebuilding during the 2013 offseason because of the cap space they have available to them.
With players like Chris Paul, Tyreke Evans, Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala hitting free agency, a number of teams are sure to do all it takes to acquire that kind of talent.
Ahead is a list of 10 NBA teams set to make a major splash in 2013 free agency.
All salary information was obtained from Hoops Hype.
New Orleans Hornets
Harry How/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $37.7 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $15.1
Signing Eric Gordon and trading for Ryan Anderson this past offseason certainly tied up a bunch of cap space for the Hornets over the next few seasons.
Aside from those players, though, the Hornets don't have much money guaranteed across the board, and that's good news when it comes to acquiring legitimate talent this upcoming offseason.
With an exciting core group of Gordon, Anderson and Anthony Davis, there's no reason why the Hornets shouldn't be able to garner interest from top-level free agents this offseason like Tyreke Evans, James Harden and even Monta Ellis.
The Hornets are set up well to acquire legitimate talent during the 2013 offseason; it's just a matter of how well the Hornets front office can manage their cash moving forward.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $24.3 million
2013-14 Player Option Salary: $14.8 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $5.5 million
The Orlando Magic are clearly in rebuilding mode. With Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo as their foundational talent, the Magic have nowhere to go but up, and the 2013 offseason will help them do just that.
The Magic have a lot of room to work during next year's offseason and while they don't have Dwight Howard to lure anyone down to Orlando, they certainly have the promise of letting a player be the cornerstone of their franchise.
What could end up happening, though is overpaying for a player, as they will certainly be looking to acquire talent any way possible. The Magic have the cash, now they just need to come up with a plan on how to entice players to want to play in Orlando and help rebuild their franchise.
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $26.2 million
2013-14 Player Option Salary: $11.0 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $9.2 million
Next offseason will be an interesting one for the Milwaukee Bucks. Monta Ellis will be in the player option of his contract and Brandon Jennings will be in the qualifying offer of his.
If the Bucks can sign one of those players to a maximum contract, they will have the foundational player they need to entice other talented free agents to Milwaukee.
Even after signing Ellis or Jennings to a max deal, the Bucks will have a decent amount of cap space to work with to bolster their backcourt and their small forward position.
One thing the Bucks need is depth, and they can acquire that during the 2013 offseason, especially considering that they will be able to rid themselves of Beno Udrih's and Samuel Dalembert's overpriced contracts—which total $14.5 million next season.
Bob Levey/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $17.4 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $11.1 million
Even after signing Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin to questionable contracts, back-loaded with $14 million each in the third year of their contracts, the Rockets are still going to have a ton of cash to spend during the 2013 offseason.
At the end of the 2012-13 season the Rockets will be able to part ways with Kevin Martin's massive $12 million contract, and that will free up a lot of room for them to acquire talent.
The Rockets are certainly going to struggle next season, and they will be looking to reload a bit during the 2013 offseason. Depth will be a major focus for the Rockets during the offseason, which means they won't be major players for top-level free agents.
The Rockets will however acquire a number of mid-level free agents who can help them become a more complete, deep team.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $16.8 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $2.2 million
The Atlanta Hawks could look like an entirely different team heading into the 2013-14 season, as the only players under contract post next year are Al Horford, Jeff Teague, John Jenkins and DeShawn Stevenson.
One thing is for sure, and that is that the Hawks will have a lot of cap flexibility heading into the 2013 offseason. It's just a question of how they are going to spend it.
Josh Smith could be a thing of the past in Atlanta, as he will be a free agent at the end of next season, and while that will be sad for Hawks fans, it will be exciting to see what direction the Hawks move in.
The 2013 offseason could be the start of a rebuilding process for the Hawks. That is exactly what they need. A fresh start with a new, core group of players ready to change the mentality in Atlanta.
San Antonio Spurs
Brett Deering/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $37.8 million
2013-14 Player Option Salary: $4.7 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $3.1 million
The biggest question surrounding the Spurs heading into the 2012-13 season is if they will be able to bring back Manu Ginobili at the end of it.
Ginobili will be a free agent at the end of the season, and while the Spurs will have more than enough cap space to bring him back, it might be time to move in a different direction.
Without Ginobili and Stephen Jackson's contracts heading into the 2013-14 season, the Spurs will have a lot of room to build and acquire free agents.
If history has taught us anything, though, it's that the Spurs will bring back the talent that has helped them reach the level of success they've grown accustomed to.
Who knows, though, maybe it's time for the Spurs to move in a different direction. If they are going to do that, the 2013 offseason is a great place to start.
Chris Chambers/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $41 million
2013-14 Player Option Salary: $7.2 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $3.2 million
The Toronto Raptors had a much better offseason than a lot of NBA fans want to give them credit for.
Sure, signing Landry Fields to a three-year, $18.7 million contract was questionable to say the least, but acquiring Kyle Lowry was a huge step in the right direction for the struggling franchise.
While the Raptors will have eight players under contract heading into the 2013-14 season, they still have a lot of cash to work with, which means they could invest a lot of money in a player like Monta Ellis, Josh Smith or even Andre Iguodala.
The Raptors' future looks bright right now, and that's because they have a lot of room to grow over the next season. With a big 2013 offseason, the Raptors could make a return to the playoffs for the first time since Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $31.8 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $19.9 million
2013-14 Player Option Salary: $7.7 million
The Washington Wizards could look like a completely different team at the start of the 2013-14 season, as they have three players under guaranteed contracts and six players in the team option year of their contracts.
If the Wizards struggle this year, there is no doubt that they will enter a rebuilding mode, and the good news is that they certainly have enough cash to do that.
The only problem for the Wizards is making sure they don't overpay for a lackluster player, similar to the way they acquired Rashard Lewis and his massively overpriced contract.
If they can find talent that both complements the talent on their roster and fits into their offensive flow, the Wizards can quickly become a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. They sure have enough money to make a splash heading into the 2013 offseason.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $44.1 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $15.6 million
The Sacramento Kings don't really have an identity aside from being a team built around of bunch of players who are individually talented, but incapable of playing together like a cohesive team.
If the 2012-13 season ends poorly for the Kings, like the past few have, the 2013 offseason will be a rebuilding one for them.
Tyreke Evans will be in the qualifying year of his contract, and if he fails to improve his leadership this next season, the Kings need to part ways with him and move in a different direction.
With all the talent available in 2013 free agency, the Kings would be wise to weigh their options with Evans before free agency begins.
The Kings have enough cap space to bring in a veteran player or two, and that could be exactly what players like Marcus Thornton, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins need to turn the corner in their careers.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
2013-14 Guaranteed Player Salary: $1.7 million
2013-14 Team Option Salary: $16.6 million
2013-14 Player Option Salary: $7.5 million
Heading into the 2013-14 season, the Utah Jazz will only have one player, Jeremy Evans, under a guaranteed contract. They will have four players in the team option year of their contracts, and one player in the player option year of his.
With that being said, the Jazz could look like a completely different team once the 2012-13 season is over.
The good news is that they have a a ton of money to throw at free agents like James Harden, Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala. The bad news is that the Jazz don't have a lot to entice those kind of free agents to sign with them.
Either way, with all the money the Jazz have to spend during the 2013 offseason, they will certainly make a splash, simply because they have no other option if they want to fill out their roster.