The NBA's free-agency period is officially upon us, as rumors run rampant throughout the league concerning what the next big signing will be.
While there are those teams that could use about 10 free agents to make the postseason, I will be focusing on the playoff contenders who will probably need one or two more pieces to make major waves in the playoffs next season.
Here's a look at my top three teams that need to add a free agent this summer to be dangerous in the 2013-14 NBA playoffs.
The Houston Rockets already have a rather formidable team, but their first-round loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last season showed they still have some work to do. Even as Chandler Parsons shoots up like a rocket (literally!), they will still need an extra piece to make a deep run in the playoffs.
As you have probably heard by now, the Rockets are pursuing one Dwight Howard. As Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported, the Rockets met with Howard on Monday, with Howard asking if there was room to add another max contract.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported on Sunday—the day before free agency tipped off—that the Rockets have put point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik on the trade block. If they receive a verbal agreement from Howard, they may decide to clear up some cap space in trades, which would allow them to go after another notable free agent.
With Howard, All-Star James Harden and Chandler Parsons playing together—along with another big name—perhaps the Rockets do big things in 2013-14.
The Jazz fell just short of the playoffs last season, but what they do this summer may determine if they are able to slide into the playoff picture next season.
According to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, the Jazz have "high interest" in re-signing unrestricted free agent Paul Millsap this summer. That may mean the end of Al Jefferson's time with the squad. In that case, the Jazz would have to add another big body to make up for the loss.
Interestingly enough, Portland Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge may be up for trade this summer, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reported last week. Aldridge, considered to be one of the game's best big men, averaged 21.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season for Portland. He would certainly help fill the void if Jefferson went elsewhere.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors don't have a whole lot of cap space to work with this summer, which is probably why they will lose backup guard Jarrett Jack, who is an unrestricted free agent.
On top of that, power forward Carl Landry has a player option, so he could opt out this summer. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported on Tuesday that Landry was set to visit with the Los Angeles Clippers, potentially reuniting with former New Orleans Hornets teammate Chris Paul.
That could leave the Warriors with two voids on the bench, one in the backcourt and one in the frontcourt. Also, you can't exactly trust that starting center Andrew Bogut will be healthy all of next season and it was reported backup Festus Ezeli would miss six to nine months in June after undergoing knee surgery.
To this extent, the Warriors have indeed been active in free agency. They met with Dwight Howard and Andre Iguodala on Monday, per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, and they've had talks about trading All-Star power forward David Lee.
The Warriors will likely only be able to add a fill-in with the money they currently have in free agency, but they could add a solid player via a sign-and-trade.
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