NBA Free Agents 2011: 5 Teams Sure To Get Screwed This Summer
Following one of the weakest NBA drafts ever, teams are sure to attack free agency, trying to find talent in different places. However, when there's not enough food to serve every kid at the table, sometimes the children go hungry.
Not only are a few teams bound to get screwed over this offseason, but their playoff hopes hang in the balance as well.
New Orleans Hornets
After David West opted out of the final year of his contract, the New Orleans Hornets were officially screwed. Chris Paul's future with the organization is rocky to say the least, and they've got a load of talented players as unrestricted free agents in Carl Landry, Willie Green and Aaron Gray.
It's time for the Hornets to begin the "rebuilding process" by completely revamping their entire roster with youth and athleticism. Maybe that's why they're letting everyone hit unrestricted free agency?
Even though Jamal Crawford's numbers took a slight dip from his Sixth Man of the Year season in 2009-10, there's no question that he's definitely one of the most elite scorers in the game. The fact that he's still an unrestricted free agent could mean that Atlanta is looking to part ways with him.
Losing Crawford would mean that the Hawks would, once again, have to rely on Joe Johnson for all of their scoring necessities. And with all of the Josh Smith trade rumors floating around, there's no telling what Atlanta's rotation will look like come the regular season.
The Celtics don't have any of their big-name players out on the market; they've just got a lot of the others hanging out to dry.
If Boston loses Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Delonte West, Von Wafer, Nenad Kristic, Sasha Pavlovic, Troy Murphy and Carlos Arroyo, not only would their roster be slashed in half, but they wouldn't even have solid replacements for their aged Big Three.
JaJuan Johnson will be a solid replacement for Big Baby, if they decide to let Davis walk, but the Celtics are risking too much by letting their entire bench hit free agency. They need to re-sign some of these players, specifically Von Wafer and Glen Davis, and add some new talent to keep the team relevant in the NBA.
What made Denver such a lethal team last season was its depth. After trading Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups away to the New York Knicks, Denver received almost an entire starting lineup, stacking each position with talent.
But now that J.R. Smith, Nene and Kenyon Martin are bound to make their move somewhere else, the Nuggets aren't looking like such a threat anymore. Sure they've got Birdman (aka Chris Anderson) to fill in for Nene, but his offensive abilities are severely limited, and losing J.R. Smith's scoring ability, along with the drama, is sure to put a damper on the Nuggets' points-per-game average.
If they don't find a few free agents to tie up the loose ends, the Nuggets will be in a critical situation when the regular season starts.
I'm not too sure what was going through the genius minds of the champion Dallas Mavericks' front office, but they are not yet looking primed for a repeat next season.
As of right now, the Mavericks have six unrestricted free agents, including players integral to their postseason success. J.J. Barea, Tyson Chandler, DeShawn Stevenson, Peja Stojakovic and Brian Cardinal are five of the six free agents Dallas used very effectively in their playoff run. The injured Caron Butler is the sixth, and there's no questioning his offensive abilities.
If the Mavs are unable to re-sign these players, their rotation looks very slim, to say the least. They would have a starting lineup of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood, with Rudy Fernandez, Rodrigue Beaubois, Corey Brewer, Dominique Jones and Ian Mahimi off the bench.
That is not a lineup built for success—especially the bench. Since those players were so important to the championship run, free agency will be very important for the Mavs this offseason.
Right now, though, the Mavericks don't appear to be positioned as well as would be ideal. Tyson Chandler sounds like he wants to explore his options, and J.J. Barea has displayed interest in other teams like the Heat, Knicks and Lakers.
Both players have also expressed a preference to return if the money is right, but good luck getting back to the finals if you can't re-sign either of them.