30 Players You'll Probably See in Different Uniforms Next Season
Take a good look at the pictures because they're going to be updated next season.
Randolph turns 29 in a few weeks and is coming off a career season in Memphis where he averaged 20.8 points 11.7 rebounds per game.
More important than the big numbers, the man they call Z-Bo brought leadership—surprisingly—to a usually awful Grizzlies team that looked playoff-bound most of the year.
Despite the pros, there were cons—literally; no pun intended—and Randolph had his name surface during an investigation of an Indianapolis drug ring. Randolph, who has a long history with criminal activity, is in serious doo-doo.
Any way you cut it, this is bad public relations for both a team and city that are trying to turn a corner. Look for the Grizzlies to ship him out to a team in search of salary cap relief.
People like to hate on the New York Knicks' front office for all the boneheaded decisions it has made the past decade, but when it comes to the increasingly popular game show, "Who Wants to Ruin a Franchise?", the Minnesota Timberwolves organization is in the midst of a dynasty run.
The latest word is Al Jefferson, a 25-year-old, 20-and-10-caliber big man, who has a market value salary, is on the trading block.
Jefferson is owed $42 million over the next three seasons; an average of $14 million per season.
This is less money than what Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire, David Lee, Elton Brand, Zach Randolph, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Pau Gasol will make next season.
We're talking Andrew Bynum money... Andrew Bogut money... Chris Kaman money. Tyson Chandler, Troy Murphy and Sam Dalembert are all in the ballpark.
Jefferson isn't a bad contract by any means. He was hurt last year and still averaged per game 17.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in 32 minutes.
Why are the Wolves looking to deal him? To pursue big names like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul, all of whom we know will never play in Minnesota.
Sorry Wolves fans, but this isn't going to end well. You traded Kevin Garnett for this guy and now you want to deal him for Zach Randolph?
Look for Shaquille O'Neal, who can still be valuable in a limited role, to join one of the following size-needing, title-chasing teams: Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Boston, Portland and Oklahoma City.
At this point one would hope all Toronto Raptors fans have completely abandoned the possibility of Chris Bosh living in Canada next season.
You know what? They're probably better off.
Bosh considers himself to be a franchise-carrying superstar despite the fact he was able to take the Raptors to the playoffs only twice in seven seasons.
And let's not forget making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference usually means being a .500 team.
Troy Murphy is in the last year of his contract and will make $12 million.
The rebuilding Pacers are in position to be $40 million under cap after next season. Expect a lot of player movement from now until the start of the 2012 season when you'll be looking at a completely new team (new uniforms too, I bet).
So many folks are talking excitedly about their team landing Joe Johnson and completely ignoring the Atlanta Hawks felt he wasn't worth his asking price.
The 29-year-old Arkansan is a strong player who at 6'8" and 240 pounds creates problems for opponents with his inside-outside skills.
He averaged 21.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game last season but completely disappeared in the playoffs. In a second-round sweep to the Orlando Magic, Johnson averaged 12.8 points and shot 30 percent from the field.
The Chicago Bulls seem like the front-runner to land his services.
After having the two best seasons of his career in 2006 and 2007, everything has done downhill for Tyson Chandler. The 7'1" center has missed 68 of his last 164 games with injuries.
Chandler, who will make $12.8 million this season, the last of his contract, could be traded on draft day since the Charlotte Bobcats have no picks and seek immediate cap relief.
Word out of Chicago is the Bulls are desperately trying to move Luol Deng's contract with hopes of freeing up more cash.
Deng is a solid, young player who at just 25 still has room for growth. But at four years and $52 million remaining on his deal, the former Dukie is grossly overpaid.
Expect to see him on another team next season, possibly Washington, Minnesota or Utah.
Between the rumors he gave LeBron's mom, Gloria James, a, um, *gift* in a box, and the fact he was caught with machine guns, Delonte West has simply got to go.
Whether it's via trade, release, buyout or even an assassination—LeBron is like his own mob these days—West will not be back on the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.
The moment Denver Nuggets fans have been waiting on for years has arrived; Kenyon Martin is a tradeable commodity!
Martin, who is scheduled to make $16.5 next year, will be dealt to a team seeking either cap space, one year of post toughness or both.
Billups is coming off one of the best seasons of his career; he averaged 19.5 points, 5.6 assists per game, shot 39 percent on threes (two makes per game) and 91 percent from the line.
So why in the world would the Denver Nuggets trade him?
Following this season, the Nuggets have the option to pick up his deal for one more year at $14.2 million. Considering he'll be 35 years old and the Nuggets could be in a roster-overhaul situation (many expiring contracts), Denver might get rid of him earlier than expected.
The Detroit Pistons currently have $86 million invested into players, Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon, who essentially fit the same role.
Gordon is five years younger than Hamilton, has a steeper contract (four years, $48 million) and is virtually untradeable at the moment due to a combination of the money and recent injuries.
If the Pistons are unable to draft DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors, expect them to revisit talks of a Tayshaun Prince-for-Al Jefferson swap, and then possibly move Hamilton to Utah for Andrei Kirilenko.
If there's one word that sums up Lamar Odom, it's enigma. For a guy so talented, skilled and physically gifted, one can only scratch his head and shrug when trying to figure out why what could be almost never isn't.
Odom has two years and $17.1 million left on his deal, a bargain considering he's a double-double threat, a quality teammates and has valuable championship experience.
Unfortunately, the combination of Phil Jackson possibly not returning, Derek Fisher's free agent status, Andrew Bynum's rising star, huge contract and knee woes, leaves the L.A. Lakers with many question marks.
Many feel Odom is the guy to trade if a deal must be done. I'm not sure I agree, but the 7.6 points and 6.6 rebounds he averaged in the Finals certainly doesn't help his case.
Keep an eye on Miami; Pat Riley loves him.
Gay isn't even 24 years old yet and is coming off his best season in the league.
One would think the Memphis Grizzlies would have already hashed out an extension for the restricted free agent, but so far that hasn't happened. It appears the Grizz are waiting for the market to determine Gay's value instead of taking the risk of overpaying him prematurely.
The Ronnie Brewer deal was done for insurance purposes in case some team throws max money at Gay, which is an amount it appears Memphis is unwilling to match.
Still, there are way too many desperate teams out there right now and only a handful of top-notch talents. Some team will give Gay a max deal, especially considering his age, room for growth and what Joe Johnson will net.
Expect the Grizzlies to regretfully take a pass.
Scheduled to make just $5.8 million next season, it was only a matter of time before John Salmons opted out and tossed his hat into the free agent ring.
Salmons played his way to a significant raise after showing up in Milwaukee, scoring 20 points per game and leading the Bucks to a 22-8 record in their last 30 games.
Unwilling to do what some other team certainly will, overpay, the Bucks traded for Corey Maggette to fill the role left vacant by Salmons.
If you're a natural scoring guard who can't defend the position or run the point, you're either a sixth man or Allen Iverson. That's just how it has always worked.
Ricky Pierce, Bobby Jackson, Ben Gordon, Jason Terry, Leandro Barbosa, Dell Curry, Earl Boykins, and so on.
Devin Harris is a scorer, not a point guard. He can't defend the majority of twos out there. At $9 million per season, and with an ever-growing record of injuries, Harris' days in New Jersey are numbered.
I feel there should be a meet-up group for guys like Peja Stojakovic and Kenyon Martin—overpaid players who have underperformed and anchored their teams with dead weight.
I can see it now; high-fives over fancy, liquor-infused coffees; uproarious laughter; a nude mistress photo swap.
I wonder what percentage of Hornets fans have said, "oil spill? hell, at least Peja's in a walk year."
Don't be surprised if the 33-year-old, broken-down Stojakovic isn't on an NBA roster next season.
An expiring $11.3 million contract, Curry has missed 177 games the past two and half seasons.
On behalf of New York City, I'd like to say, "Good riddance."
The Vince Carter experiment didn't work out in Orlando as Magic brass hoped.
Carter started off slow and just never managed to piece it all together. Now the Magic are trying to move his expiring contract, which will pay him $17.3 million next season.
Once an incredible performer, the 33-year-old Carter seems to have completely lost what little interest and effort was left in the tank.
Few players were more pissed off last season than Marcin Gortat.
The Mavericks signed him to a long-term deal and intended to give him a shot at a starting job, but the Orlando Magic matched the offer sheet to keep him as Dwight Howard's backup.
The 25-year-old Polish center averaged just 13 minutes per game this season.
Teams have interest in acquiring him and the Magic might move him as they try to reconfigure their rotation for next season.
The only chance the Philadephia 76ers have to rid themselves of Elton Brand's contract is to piggyback it to any deal for Andre Iguodala.
In addition, the financially handcuffed 76ers are about to draft Ohio State's superman, Evan Turner, with the No. 2 overall pick. Turner and Iguodala play the same position.
Either way you cut it, it's in the organization's best interest to move Iguodala sooner than later. It's a shame poor management decisions have put the 76ers in a position in which they must get rid of their best player.
Many teams will be interested in the 26-year-old and his All-Star-caliber play.
With Steve Nash turning 37 next season, Jason Richardon entering a walk year, and Steve Kerr's recent, "screw this; broadcasting is less stressful," departure, Amar'e Stoudemire has every reason to jump ship.
And he will.
The Portland Trail Blazers seem to have no interest in picking up Andre Miller's $7.8 million option for next season, thus making a trade this season likely.
With Jerryd Bayless needing more run, and teams' interest in Miller, it only makes sense GM Kevin Pritchard moves Miller to fill a more pressing need.
I think Richard Jefferson managed to cause more disappointment in San Antonio last season than the state of Arizona's current immigration law.
To say Jefferson didn't work out well with his new team would be a gross understatement. The man seemed lost every minute of every game.
The Spurs will look to deal Jefferson's expiring $13 million contract to make a title run.
The guy signs an undeserved five-year, $53 million deal, has a miserable season, complains and then asks to be traded.
In short, you will not be seeing Hedo Turkoglu in a Toronto Raptors jersey next year.
If there is anything we have learned about Carlos Boozer thus far it's he's all about his money. Seriously, I think this guy would play in Iran if the money was right.
He broke a handshake deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to take more money in Utah. And now, after six injury-plagued seasons with the Jazz, during which the organization stuck by him, Boozer wants out for a bigger payday.
A max contract for a 29-year-old who has missed 31 or more games three times in the past six years?
Some team will give it to him; just not the Jazz.
Kirk Hinrich will make $17 million over the next two seasons.
For what, you ask? I have no idea.
Hinrich is a good defender, decent shooter and quality locker room guy, but nowhere near a player who should make close to double-digit millions.
If the Bulls are looking to move Loul Deng to clear more cap space, you can be sure they're shopping Hinrich around as well.
Caron Butler is an expiring $10.6-million deal. The Dallas Mavericks need to really shake things up a bit if they're going to get over the hump.
I expect Butler to be offered in a multi-player deal for a marquee name; Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, and even LeBron James, come to mind.
The man they call AK-47 is in the last year of his deal and will make an incredible $17.8 million.
With the imminent departure of Carlos Boozer, the Utah Jazz need to make some moves to surround star Deron Williams with at least one or two All-Star-caliber players.
Kirilenko's contract is large enough it could return two quality players. Let us not forget the Jazz currently hold the No. 9 pick in the draft.
A package deal of Kirilenko and picks can go a long way.
After spending the past year screaming that people are stupid for thinking LeBron James will leave Cleveland, I'm starting to feel pretty damn dumb.
After all, the Cavaliers situation went from being one in which only a few adjustments were needed to what now appears to be a complete rebuild.
The GM (Danny Ferry) quit, the coach (Mike Brown) was fired, the starting point guard (Mo Williams) is trade bait, both centers (Shaquille O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilgasukas) are geriatric free agents, and last year's big acquisition (Antawn Jamison) was a flop.
Is LeBron James pulling all the strings behind the scenes or is the organization preparing itself for his exit?
For the first time, I believe it's the latter.
The whole uniform number change for the sake of Michael Jordan move completely reeks of your typical, well-calculated, cockamamie public relations lie. And if you've paid close attention to James the past few months, almost everything he has said or done has been a thought-out chess move.
That tells me LeBron hasn't been spending his time paling around with his boys in Akron; he's been in corporate board rooms strategically figuring out how he can turn his back on his home state and still walk away a guy everyone loves.
I wouldn't be surprised if LeBron is playing owner Dan Gilbert, telling him to do X, Y, and Z, with the plan of creating an excuse—and organization in disarray—so he can walk away and say, "the Cavaliers just couldn't piece it together; I had no choice but to walk."
Because right now, the Cavaliers are just that, a team that looks like it's headed in the wrong direction.
If LeBron were truly a loyalist, he wouldn't have let this situation come undone the way it has.
Sorry Cleveland, but the man with the new jersey number is thinking about a fresh start elsewhere.