How 2013 NBA Coaching Hires Will Affect NBA Free Agency
Prior to recent coaching changes, we could pretty much predict which 2013 NBA free agents would change teams and those who would remain with their current teams.
In most cases, players will flock to the teams who will pay them the most.
Obviously, that will hold true this year as well. However, NBA franchises recently hiring top assistants as head coaches may make certain teams seem more appealing than before.
With the NBA coaching carousel still ongoing, there may also be coaching hires that turn players away from signing or re-signing with a particular team.
Here is a list of free agents whose decisions will be most affected by NBA coaching changes.
Before Steve Clifford was hired in Charlotte, I predicted J.J. Redick would end up signing with either Chicago, Memphis, Boston, Indiana or Dallas.
Chicago signed Redick, then a restricted free agent with the Orlando Magic, to a three-year, $20 million offer sheet during the 2010 free agency period. The Magic later matched that offer to keep Redick.
The Bulls will once again be in the running to sign him.
However, I think Redick's familiarity and bond with Clifford, a former Orlando assistant coach, will bring his talent to Charlotte. Plus, he played at Duke University, which is about a two hour drive away.
DeJuan Blair once seemed like a strong candidate to replace Tim Duncan whenever he retired.
Then San Antonio acquired Boris Diaw and Tiago Splitter. Blair has pretty much been reduced to the bench and limited playing time.
So I highly doubt he will re-sign with the Spurs during the off-season.
Blair will not draw a lot of money on the free agent market. But several teams will be looking to add a solid big man to their rotation. So he will have medium to high market value.
Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are likely leaving Utah. So he could end up there.
Blair played his collegiate ball at the University of Pittsburgh. Therefore, he may want to make a return to Pennsylvania and play for the Philadelphia 76ers.
I'm not sure what Blair's relationship was like with former Spurs assistants Mike Budenholzer and Jacque Vaughn. If it was pretty strong, then odds are higher that he will sign with Atlanta or Orlando.
Kyle Korver will be one of the most sought after free agents this summer.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Korver stated that the Atlanta Hawks have already discussed interest in re-signing him, so he may end up not going anywhere.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will be two teams that make his decision tough. Korver is a California native. Both teams have the money to entice him to come home.
Both teams also have a need at the small forward position.
Phoenix is now an intriguing option due to hiring of former Utah assistant coach Jeff Hornacek as head coach.
Korver was a part of Utah's roster when Hornacek was first brought in as a special assistant coach, who mostly worked with players on their shooting. As we know, Korver has become known as one of the best shooters currently in the NBA.
A new coach brings about new systems and changes to the rotation. The Suns' offensive style just might be focused heavily on...shooting.
By joining Hornacek in Phoenix, Korver has a chance to become a full-time starter at either shooting guard or small forward. A lot of other teams will ask him to be a key reserve off the bench and occasional starter.
Brian Shaw has yet to be hired as a head coach.
I do think, however, his opportunity is coming very soon. Whatever team hires him will land a decent coach.
If Shaw is indeed hired within the next few weeks, I boldly predict Andrew Bynum signs with that team in July. The only exception will be if the team that hires Shaw is Philadelphia or Detroit.
The reason he will not re-sign with Philadelphia is obvious.
Detroit, on the other hand, has the money to pay Bynum. But with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond being in full of control of the front court, that will not happen. Plus, Bynum will not want to come off the bench behind two younger guys.
Milwaukee does not appear to be interested in Shaw. So that leaves the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and possibly Sacramento Kings.
The Clippers need an upgrade over DeAndre Jordan. Playing for the Nets will require Bynum to switch to power forward for a starting position or come off the bench at center behind Brook Lopez. Sacramento may be in need of a replacement at center after possibly trading DeMarcus Cousins.
Of course, Bynum needs to get healthy first. There is uncertainty of when or if he will return.
I stated earlier that J.J. Redick is headed out of Milwaukee. My feeling is that Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis will leave as well.
This opens the door for Devin Harris to return home to Wisconsin.
Here lies the problem. Who will the Bucks choose as their next head coach? We know with Steve Clifford's hiring in Charlotte that it is now down to former Milwaukee assistant coach Kelvin Sampson and former Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
No Redick, Jennings and Ellis will make the Bucks an appealing option for free-agent guards, especially those looking for a chance to start.
Therefore, Harris should sign with Milwaukee no matter who it selects as head coach.
He knows Larry Drew's system from playing with the Hawks. The question is, will Sampson like the idea of Harris as his starting point guard?
Before anyone goes crazy, I think Dwight Howard will sign with the Dallas Mavericks and form a big three with Brandon Jennings and Dirk Nowitzki.
He is on this list because of the hiring of Steve Clifford in Charlotte.
Howard has a close relationship with Clifford. He is also close friends with fellow free agent Chris Paul. If there was the slightest chance of a free agency shocker, Howard and Paul joining forces in Charlotte would be it.
Some have mentioned Atlanta as a team where the duo could join forces. The Hawks have the money to make this move. It also helps that Howard is a Atlanta native.
Here is what you probably did not know.
Howard told NBA.com that his college choice would have been to attend either Duke or North Carolina. Like many other basketball players, he is also a huge fan of Michael Jordan.
Paul is a native of Lewisville, NC. He even spoke about the possibly of joining the Bobcats and playing for Jordan in a 2011 ESPN interview.
If J.J. Redick is willing to play with Howard again, and they bring in a reliable power forward, Charlotte could be a dangerous team. It would certainly help Michael Kidd Gilchrist's and Kemba Walker's careers.
Gilchrist could take a backseat role and gradually improve his game. Walker would likely be traded. He could either be starting on a better team or solid backup for a contender.
Unfortunately this will never happen.
Remember when Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan were considered San Antonio's "Big Three"?
They were one of the most feared trios in the NBA. Nowadays, the Spurs' "Big Three" is more of a "Big Two" with Parker and Duncan.
Ginobili even lost his starting role to Danny Green.
His desire may be to one day retire a Spur. He may even have no problem being in the sixth man role. Still, like DeJuan Blair, it seems time to move on. Duncan will retire within the next two or three seasons. The team is undergoing a youth movement.
The Mike Budenholzer hire in Atlanta provides the perfect opportunity for Ginobili to leave and become a starter again before he, too, retires. He can also replace the veteran and superstar presence Atlanta will lose when Josh Smith signs with a new team.
Golden State just completed one of the best seasons in team history. Jarrett Jack played a major role in the team's success.
Jack is now a free agent who has to make a decision of whether to remain with the Warriors or move on to another team. His performance as Stephen Curry's backup at point guard will have teams offering big bucks.
Regardless, Golden State will do all they can to keep him.
Curry possesses tremendous talent. He just cannot seem to stay healthy for an entire season. Thus the need for a backup who can come in and start right away.
Jack is that type of player, but he would likely prefer being a starter. There will be teams who will attempt to make that a reality.
The Warriors also face the potential lost of assistant coach Mike Malone.
Malone finally receives his chance as a head coach. You better believe if he heads to a team with uncertainty at the point guard position, Jack will be his main target.
Gerald Henderson has grown into a key player for the Charlotte Bobcats. So there will be an NBA team or two who will make an overpriced offer to the restricted free agent.
If the Bobcats do sign J.J. Redick as I predicted and they draft a shooting guard in June, then there will be no point in keeping Henderson.
Where does he land?
O.J. Mayo is most likely done in Dallas. Henderson could receive a deal to be his replacement. Mark Cuban will look to be a major spender during this year's free-agency period.
Detroit Pistons need help on the wing.
As previously mentioned on another slide, Milwaukee will be in need of guards if they lose Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick.
Henderson's dad briefly played for Detroit and Milwaukee so that could work in either team's favor.
Jeremy Lin proved that sometimes all a player needs is a chance to prove themselves.
Earl Clark is one of those players. He barely played in Phoenix and Orlando. Then his moment came with the Los Angeles Lakers. Clark took advantage.
While NBA teams were paying attention, Clark's performance was not on the level of receiving the type of contract Lin got.
The potential departures of Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison will make re-signing with the Lakers appear to be the best option. Mike D'Antoni would likely reward him with a continued role in the regular rotation.
Clark is also another guy who could join Steve Clifford in Charlotte.
Tyrus Thomas may be released or traded. Josh McRoberts is an unrestricted free agent. So Clifford will be looking to add some size to his roster.
Being familiar with the talent of Clark from coaching him in Orlando and Los Angeles, Clifford is another coach who could provide playing time.
Ronnie Brewer's career has pretty much fallen apart since being traded by the Utah Jazz in 2010.
He used to average about 30 minutes per game as a starter in Utah. He has not come close to achieving a career high of 13.7 points per game, which occurred during the 2008-09 season.
Tom Thibodeau utilized Brewer's defensive abilities in Chicago. So being a scoring option was not a necessity.
Brewer also faced his share of injuries.
So what does he do now? We know Oklahoma City likely will not re-sign him. Brewer was not a part of their main rotation. In fact, he only saw action in one game during the 2013 NBA playoffs.
We also know Brewer will be more of a low-key free agent signing that produces little excitement.
I would rather see him sign with the Phoenix Suns or join forces with a defensive minded coach. Brewer enjoyed his best days as a member of the Jazz.
So joining Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix would be ideal. Brewer can have his best chance at getting his career back on track.
Kevin Martin is finally on a winning team. He has a chance to earn a NBA championship ring. Martin is in basketball heaven and has no intention on leaving.
I would imagine the Oklahoma Thunder do want to keep Martin. You do not trade a player like James Harden only to let the player you received as his replacement walk away after just one season.
Martin is no Harden, however.
You also have this Milwaukee Bucks situation I keep mentioning.
If the Bucks do lose their three free agent guards, would playing for Oklahoma City as a backup be worth passing up a possible chance to start in Milwaukee?
The Bucks would have cap space to offer a better deal than the Thunder. If Kelvin Sampson is hired as head coach, Martin would also have a coach and system he's familiar with.