Sign, Sealed, Oh, He'll Deliver: Top NBA Free Agents Destined for Breakout Seasons
Every year free agents are signed in the off season that you know will make an impact. Whether it pushes that team over the hump, or pushes that players game to the next level.
Here are a few of the signings that I think will affect their team or careers immensely.
Allen Iverson would be on this list, but pairing him with Zach Randolph is too high risk with low reward.
Out of all the players on this list, I think he's probably the only one who could be an All-Star either this season or next. The experience of playing with Kobe elevated his game to the next level.
Houston by far has the best role playing teammates in the league. If Ariza continues to work on his game, and show improvement like he's done since coming into the league, he has the potential to be a star.
Playing alongside Yao will add a new dimension to his game. Also with the high likelihood that Tracy McGrady will be injured, Ariza will be ready to take over the role of second option.
Very reminiscent of McGrady playing behind Vince for several years before heading to Orlando and finding superstardom.
Detroit lost Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess to free agency. Allen Iverson as well, but he doesn't count. They had to replace them quickly, which they did with Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon.
First, let me point out that Gordon has never shot under 41% from behind the arc. He's always been a prolific scorer.
However I think Ben Gordon will flourish Detroit's team-oriented style. It also gives Detroit a scorer, who unlike Iverson, doesn't have to take a high volume of shots to get his points.
If Detroit returns to thier original form, Gordon will finally get that well-deserved All Star nod. I believe they will get there now that they got rid of all the distractions.
In Mike Miller, the Washington Wizards finally get a high percentage shooter who could play two positions.
Miller, in turn gets to play alongside three perennial All Stars. Therefore defenders rarely will focus on him. That allows Miller to play off , and be a silent assassin. That is when Miller is at his best, being the non-focal point
Antonio McDyess resurrected his career with the Detriot Pistons. When he left Denver to come to the Knicks, they expected him to be the savior coming off a major injury.
In Detroit he had the luxury of taking his time and rebuilding his confidence, as well as his game. San Antonio fits that same team first mode.
Also, Tim Duncan finally gets to play with the best post presence and rebounder since David Robinson. I think its a great fit that will be beneficial to both sides
Leon Powe is a decent inside scorer and a good defender. A tough, hard nosed player. Granted, I dont see him as an All-Star in the future, but his future looks solid and bright.
Other than Anderson Varejao, there is no inside enforcer-type presence inside. Also, I think the presence of Shaq will make his development skyrocket—that presence alone will elevate his game.
Sort of like the way Kevin Garnett did for Big Baby Davis and Kedrick Perkins. It's just a good fit. He should excel if he continues to work hard
Even though he didn't switch teams, Utah found out how valuable this guy was during injury and free agency. Carlos Boozer was already eyeing his next contract, like he did with Cleveland.
So Millsap filled in just fine, being a formidable post presence. The only thing Millsap needed to work on was his scoring, which he did. Utah could pay him less, and get full effort and maximized potential. Millsap improves every season, and thats what most GMs like to see.
Look for him to play more often and for him to play happy, finally getting rewarded for his hard work since entering the league.
The one thing Orlando lacked in the Finals last season was a tough presence. After Dwight Howard, there was no one to post, defend the post, or rebound.
With Rashard Lewis as your starting power foward, things can't go too well forever. Also with Turkoglu sliding to Toronto, that will enable Lewis to go back to his real position. Rashard and Hedo play the same position with very similiar games.
Bass is a hard worker, that will help Howard immensely in the paint. Also, he will get the minutes that he didn't get in Dallas. By Turkoglu leaving, the Magic filled up two holes in thier offense. Inside presence and a good shooting guard.
Im always weary of players who leave winning teams and go to losing ones. However, pair Hedo with Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, there will be problems in the East.
Turkoglu gets to play a little more loosely since he won't have Dwight clogging the middle. Bosh and Bargnani both have the ability to score inside and out, so Toronto will possess a triple threat frontline.
Also, it will be the first time where Chris Bosh will play with a bonafide scorer who could get his own shot. It all depends on the on-court chemistry between the three.
The one thing the Sixers have lacked these last few years is a shooter. With Brand and Dalembert on the frontline, alongside a slasher like Iguodala on the wing, he fits perfectly into that system.
However Kapono's season could turn for the better or worse depending on Elton Brand's health.