7: Veterans like Gasol, Randolph, and Deng will Bolt for Younger, Brighter Teams
These 3 veterans find themselves in 3 completely different situations. Gasol is stuck on a team that he has done so much more for than they have for him (trade rumors, being traded, etc). Randolph’s situation is the flip flop. The Grizz have done so much for Zebos career and it would be a shame to see him go, although that may be the case. Deng was by some accounts wrongfully traded to the Cavs this season. One might understand his displeasure heading to a mess like Cleveland and relate to his want to get out. Teams like the Knicks, Suns, and Grizzlies seem like good options for Pau Gasol. The Pelicans are a great fit for Zebo, as the Pelicans have a very bright future ahead of them with Anthony Davis at the helm. Deng should go to a team looking to utilize his talents, such as Phoenix or LAC. Overall, none of these three return to their current teams this offseason.
6: Charlotte, Toronto, and Washington will all attract free agents
Now with the emergence of these teams as playoff contenders, they will appeal to FA looking for playoffs. Each of these cities possess uniqueness and excitement. Charlotte has a major overhaul bringing them back to the Hornets as well as Michael Jordan running the show. Toronto is a bright town with great people and an up and coming NBA team. Their politics may not be the best, but their new Raptors team are looking like a major team for the next few seasons. Washington, being the nations beautiful capital, has always been a nice location to settle down for NBA players. Now with a top PG in John Wall and a great supporting cast, expect the Wizards to bring in some big names and contributors this offseason.
5: The Bulls will Not Make any Major Overhauls
Do you consider Nikola Mirotic a major overhaul? Me neither. Do you call amnestying Carlos Boozer a major overhaul? not really. The Bulls front office this past few seasons have shown an inability to act, especially when the Bulls were faltering. You could blame it on the success that the Bulls continued to experience through injuries thanks to Tom Thibodeau, but still it is time for the Bulls to make a change. And you know what the Bulls front office are going to do this summer? Absolutely nothing. The Bulls will wait again for Derrick Rose to return and save the show and lead them to the Finals. That just will not happen without a second offensive star. Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler provide an excellent supporting cast for Rose, but it has proved not enough.
4: Rajon Rondo will be Traded
The Rajon Rondo saga needs to end, and it won’t end in Boston. The final member of a big four that led Boston to the Finals in 2008 has had an interesting and dramatic past 2 seasons. Whether it is skipping games for his birthday or dazzling the league with his passing, you never know what you are going to get with Rondo. A change of scenery would benefit Rondo more than sticking with the Celtics through this upcoming rebuild. Boston would probably get more out of a trade than actually keeping Rondo. A couple of first rounders and a good rotational player with a lot of upside should do the trick to rid Danny Ainge of this ongoing problem.
3: Andrew Wiggins will go #1 overall
The case to be made for Wiggins, Parker, and Embiid this season are all great ones. There is one thing that stands out from all of them, though. Andrew Wiggins’ massive potential. Wiggins has been dubbed an upcoming star since his high school days and scouts have finally reverted back to that perception. Oddly enough, of the top 3 players mentioned, he had the best NCAA tournament performance since Embiid sat it out and Jabari could not even propel Duke past Mercer. Wiggins superstar potential is enough to top Parker and Embiid’s this June, and look to hear new commissioner Adam Silver to call Wiggin’s name first.
2: Kevin Love will Change Teams
Perhaps the most anticipated and foreshadowed departure from a team in the last five years, Kevin Love is not fooling anyone. We all know that Love wants to play in the big lights with the big city and the power that comes with being a big city star. While LA is the most rumored destination and Love’s ties there are strong (dad was a laker, played for UCLA), LA is not the only contender in the Love sweepstakes. Chicago and NY could prove as just as good of options, and each possess younger stars that Kobe. For more on Loves options this summer, check out Mitchell Koch’s article on the situation here.
1: Carmelo Anthony Will Return to NY
Carmelo and the Knicks have had an exciting but disappointing marriage so far, but I do not expect it to end so soon. Melo’s other options are no better than the Knicks financially. In addition, Phil Jackson finally has the Knicks playing winning basketball. With Jackson’s championship experience and the draw to free agents of playing in the Big Apple, the Knicks could see drastic improvement next year with Melo’s return. On the other hand, Melo’s departure could spell the end of Knicks basketball relevance for a good few years to come.
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