Yes the NBA playoffs are still going on but it is never too early to talk about NBA free agency and offseason moves. There is plenty of big name free agents this year. Lets first start with the two biggest name and that is Kevin Durant and Steph Curry.
I do think the Warriors will lose in the NBA finals this year to Cleveland. There will be much talk about breaking up the team and etc. But that will be such a dumb move on their part because they will still have a chance at a championship next year. I think the Warriors will make it work and find a way to afford both Curry and Durant. If they do lose I don’t think they will have the same team though. I look for them to possible add a new big man and add or subtract a few pieces off their bench but the core of Thompson, Green, Durant, and Curry will stay put.
I do think Andre Igodula will be the odd man out. I understand the Warriors need him but they also need to keep their core happy and there isn’t enough money to do that. I think a team like the Hawks, Blazers, or possibly the Clippers will throw money at him and he will go elsewhere. Even if the Warriors win the finals I see him leaving the bay area in the offseason.
If the Cavs win the championship I don’t see them making many changes besides for resigning people like Deron Williams or Kyle Korver. But if they lose things will change. You could see them maybe go after Carmelo Anthony and try to trade Kevin Love.
Now on to the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin who are their best players are set to be free agents and you could except some shake ups around there especially after another disappointing playoffs. There is so many scenarios for this team that I am going to get into. Chris Paul has said he is going to stay a Clipper which I think will happen but other things need to happen and if they don’t he might just sign elsewhere. If the Clippers want to keep Paul they need to make their roster better and get rid of Doc Rivers. I think they will fire Doc Rivers and replace with someone Paul likes.
I also think they won’t resign Blake Griffin. I think there is a chance the Clippers do a sign and trade with the Knicks and the two main pieces will be Carmelo Anthony, and Blake Griffin. I think Carmelo Anthony will be perfect fit for the Clippers and especially for Chris Paul. But lets just say they don’t fire Doc Rivers or can’t pull off this trade I could see Paul start to look elsewhere.
Teams could include the Pelicans where he has played before, or the Spurs. Paul on either of those teams could make them immediate championship contenders. If this happens will wonder what about Blake Griffin? I think either way Griffin won’t be playing for the Clippers next year.
I think he will be playing for the Knicks if Paul stays but if he leaves this opens up the doors for many other things. If Paul leaves or stays Griffin might look to go back Oklahoma where he played in college and team up with Russell Westbrook for the Thunder. This will give Griffin a fresh start and give Westbrook the help he needed all year. Another option for Griffin is the Portland Trail Blazers who desperately need a third option and a rim protector to go along with Damien Lillard and C.J. Mccoulum. If they were to add Griffin this would make them a threat in the West.
I talked about Carmelo Anthony earlier and I see no chance he ends up playing for the Knicks next year especially after what happened over the last few months between him and Phil Jackson. I think if the Cavs lose their a chance they could get him. But realistically it probably won’t happen because of Carmelo’s contract. I do see him most likely going to the Clippers but there is a dark horse team that no one is talking about and that is the Bucks.
The Bucks showed great promise this season capturing the 6 seed and giving the Raptors trouble in the first round. They have a bunch of young talent and a great coach in Jason Kidd who Carmelo Anthony likes a lot. If the Bucks miss out on Carmelo I still think they will make a run at a superstar such as Kyle Lowry who is a free agent.
Multiple reports have indictaed that Lowry wants to go back to the Western Conference where he started his career. But I think the Bucks might be a good fit for Lowry and will make them go up in the eastern conference standings. If the Bucks don’t workout for Lowry I do see him going back to the Western Conference though. Especially if Chris Paul does’t somehow end up on the Spurs. Tony Parker suffered a horrible injury and it looks like his career is going downhill so they are most likely going to have a new point guard next year.
Now on to the Wizards and Celtics who most likely will go seven games in this playoffs and the winner will lose to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Whoever wins both of these teams need to make some moves in order to ever beat the Cavs.
The Celtics are obviously in a better position with all of their young players, a possible lottery pick, and one of the best young coaches in Brad Stevens. Also don’t forget they are the Boston Celtics. I look for them to either use that pick to get a great young player in this draft or possibly trade it for Paul George, and Jimmy Butler. The Celtics are a great young team but they need another piece to knock off the Cavs. I will talk about Paul George and Jimmy Butler a little later on.
The Wizards arguably have the best back court in the eastern with John Wall and Bradley Beal but just like the Blazers they need one more key piece. You could see them go after Blake Griffin in free agency or Paul George and Jimmy Butler via trade. Just like the Celtics the Wizards need one more piece to compete with the Cavs.
Let’s now focus on Paul George who was very unhappy with the Pacers all year. It looks like George won’t be staying with Pacers once he hits free agency so they better get rid of him for something now. George has said he has always wanted to play for the Lakers who have a high draft pick and play of young players to trade for George if necessary. But if the Lakers don’t workout for George you could see the Bucks, Celtics, or even the Portland Trailblazers to go after him.
Jimmy Butler on the other hand I look to stay put in Chicago. Things were rocky for them all year and it looked like the trio of Rondo, Butler, and Wade wouldn’t co-exist but at the end of the year they went on a streak and managed to sneak into the playoffs and went up 2-0 against the one seeded Boston Celtics but then Rondo fractured his hand and was unable to play the rest of the series. The Celtics went on to win the next four games and advance. I think if Rondo never got hurt the Bulls would win. I think this ray of light be enough for the trio of Rondo, Wade, and Butler to give it one more try next year.
There is a bunch of scenarios that will happen this offseason. I don’t know if any of these things will happen but I do know something will happen because every team is getting sick of the Cavs and Warriors dominating every year. It is going to be a very eventful and fun offseason to watch play out.