Josh Smith and Emeka Okafor Among Players Expected to Change Teams
Note: This article was originally published at Hoops4Life.com. I posted it here because, well, you Bleacher Creatures seem to enjoy this kind of stuff.
This off-season has been a star-studded event, moreso than any other off-season in recent memory.
You have guys that are perennial All-Stars and hometown favorites moving. Who would have expected Baron Davis to be moving before the offseason started? I certainly couldn't imagine him in any other uniform besides the Warriors, but all of a sudden he is wearing Clipper red and hoping to play well on the revamped team.
Elton Brand was adamant in his desire to stay with said Clippers, and even had his friend Davis sign with the team—only to back out of a new deal and take a cross-country road trip to Philly to join the Sixers.
Then Marcus Camby gets dealt for basically nothing to the Clippers, which seems to be a recurring theme—players being moved in and out of the Clippers organization, that is.
James Posey made a difficult decision earlier today when he left his Celtics and joined the Hornets. The two-time NBA Champion looks to add another ring with a stacked New Orleans team consisting of Posey, Chris Paul, David West, and Tyson Chandler.
But these aren't the only players that are going to be making transitions this off-season. Here are a more players that could be headed for new teams.
Ben Gordon or Kirk Hinrich are likely to be dealt following the Bulls' acquisition of Derrick Rose in the draft. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf is reportedly getting impatient with Chicago's stalled contract negotiations with Gordon and Luol Deng.
Expect Reinsdorf to take control from GM Jim Paxson and do something to get these situations resolved. This could be a sign-and-trade with Gordon, or a regular trade with Hinrich, to add a player inside and create cap space for the Gordon and Deng deals to get done.
Emeka Okafor has been stuck in contract talks for a long time, and things could get Brand-ish the Bobcats they don't get a deal done. A sign-and-trade is also possible for the power forward, who has been hindered by his tendency to get into foul troubles.
The most obvious person on this list who is likely to leave his squad and start over with a new team has to be Josh Smith. The two obvious choices were with the Clippers or the 76ers, but they both acquired inside players. New teams, possibly the Bulls or the Nuggets, are likely to step in and start a bidding war.
The Lakers, Heat, and Mavericks have all expressed interest in trading for Ron Artest, who has impressed the Kings with his defensive and rebounding abilities. The most serious offer has come from the Lakers, and would have to also include Lamar Odom and Kenny Thomas.
Zach Randolph may make you cringe with his boneheaded sayings off the court, but he has been a solid 20-10 guy over the past five seasons. He has received interest from the Clippers and Cavaliers. If he does find himself a new home, he could start to make some big noise on the court.
The Heat could be looking to trade Shawn Marion for a package of players to help their team more than Marion could alone. His contract has just one year left, which could be enticing for a team in a win-now situation.
His $17-million contract puts a weight on a team that Riley wants to make winners sooner rather than later.
Expect plenty of stars to be finding new homes, so you might want to hold off on buying your favorite player's jersey until the season starts.
I'm Joe W.
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