The Obtainable 2013 NBA Free Agents
HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy recently broke down the top 2013 NBA free agents but not every one of those players is reasonably obtainable.
Could Chris Paul leave the Los Angeles Clippers? Anything is possible, but the far-greater likelihood is that he returns on a new five-year deal.
Dwight Howard is arguably obtainable. He certainly hasn’t given any sort of verbal indication that he’s a Laker for life.
The difficult trick for a suitor is opening up enough cap room while maintaining a competitive roster. Howard isn’t going to leave Los Angeles just to leave. He would need to find another opportunity to win and win quickly – and that’s not an easy argument the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks can make.
If there’s a dark horse for Howard, it’s the Houston Rockets but they’ll need to move players to open up enough cap room to pay the Lakers center some $20 million for next season.
Now what happens with Andrew Bynum and his knees is an even deeper question. The Indiana Pacers are going to need to keep David West. Andre Iguodala doesn’t seem a likely opt-out from the Denver Nuggets.
The following names are obtainable:
The Hawks worked diligently to trade him by the deadline but just couldn’t find a package that worked in time. While there’s some credence to his childhood relationship with Dwight Howard being a potential draw, Atlanta doesn’t really have the kind of space to re-sign Smith and sign Howard (barring a move to get out of Al Horford’s contract).
Smith is versatile. He can score, rebound, defend and even pass but he’s a borderline All-Star.
This summer he’ll get paid All-Star money from a squad outside of Atlanta.
Paul Millsap – Power Forward/Al Jefferson – Center – Utah Jazz
With Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter on the roster, the Jazz seem unlikely to bring back both Millsap and Jefferson. One of the two will land elsewhere this summer and maybe both.
Jefferson will command closer to the maximum salary but Millsap will probably get into the eight-figure range as well.
Monta Ellis/J.J. Redick – Shooting Guards – Milwaukee Bucks
Redick, recently acquired from the Orlando Magic, belongs on a championship contender – hitting open shots for a team on the verge.
The payday will probably be larger for Ellis, the more explosive scorer and playmaker. Both will be sought after. The Bucks will have a lot to think about in July.
J.J. Hickson – Power Forward/Center – Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers can spend to keep Hickson if they choose to do so – the question is, will they? A lot of rumors buzzed near the trade deadline that Portland was shopping their converted center.
After a few years trying to find his game, Hickson has been a solid starter for Portland.
Jarrett Jack – Point Guard – Golden State Warriors
The difficult part for the Warriors is the tax bill. Depending on player options, the team may already be paying $74 million. Jack is going to be looking for a payday and Golden State may not be able to give it to him without some other cost-cutting move.
Jose Calderon – Point Guard – Detroit Pistons
Calderon is one of the better true point guards in the league. He’s also a very capable shooter. The Pistons should re-sign him but he could be available to bigger spenders.
The issue for the Lakers is the massive tax bill they’re looking at for the 2013-14 season. If they’re looking to save cap room for the summer of 2014, can they pay Earl Clark a sizable deal?
The young forward finally emerged as a contributor. He’s an athletic defender who can help spread the floor for a center like Dwight Howard.
Clark is a difficult player to price but he’ll get some interest around the league this summer.
Marco Belinelli – Shooting Guard – Chicago Bulls
Belinelli has hit four game-winning shots of the Bulls in the final minutes this season.
The Bulls paid him just under $2 million this season and while the Italian guard may not cash a huge paycheck in free agency – the Marco Belinelli market should be higher than what it was last summer.
Corey Brewer – Small Forward – Denver Nuggets
Brewer has emerged as a vital role player in Denver this season. Given how much the team has invested in Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler – along with Iguodala – they may not be willing to spend much on Brewer.
For a playoff team looking for a defender who has added a somewhat steady three-ball, Brewer could be a vital get.
Others less attainable
It’s not quite clear what the Milwaukee Bucks will do with Brandon Jennings but since he’ll be a restricted free agent – he’s not easily attainable.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the same power over Nikola Pekovic, but the Wolves may be more likely to run into a budgetary crunch than Milwaukee based on existing salaries.
Of the three, restricted free agent guard Tyreke Evans is probably the most attainable. The ownership situation in Sacramento makes any projection murky at best.
O.J. Mayo could be attainable if the Dallas Mavericks don’t land any bigger names. If the Mavericks want Mayo back, he’ll stay in Dallas.
Andrei Kirilenko has the ability to opt out of his deal in Minnesota, should his agent sense a longer-team offer might be coming from somewhere else.
Kevin Martin won’t make the $12.4 million he’s earning this season but expect the Oklahoma City Thunder to find a number that works for the veteran guard.
The San Antonio Spurs seem likely to keep Manu Ginobili and restricted free agent Tiago Splitter.
The Utah Jazz don’t have much in the backcourt. Keeping Mo Williams would seem like the logical move.Cast Your Vote: Click here and Tweet #players name and the hash tag #dunkuary