For this article, we will take a look at the top four teams in terms of free-agent destinations. I will pick two teams from each conference. These teams have either made some great moves for their future, or they had a breakout season that surprised everyone. These teams are on the cusp of breaking through to the playoffs and/or getting ready to contend for much more.
4. Dallas Mavericks: Most Appealing Factors- Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis
This is all because of the most shocking trade of the season. The Mav’s made a huge splash and landed Latvian Star Kristaps Porziņģis. It was a brilliant move, and they showed they are trying to win now with his move and the gold they struck with Luka. They are going to make one of the best European duos, they might even become one of the best duos in the NBA. Their ability to stretch the floor and score the ball will be the most appealing to NBA players. Their youth might scare off some veterans trying to ring chase, but this should be known, Luka may be known as the best player in the NBA someday. That may be a stretch since he has only played one season, but he is a special player that should be a perennial all-star if all goes correctly. If Kristaps can stay healthy, this duo will be frightening.
The only flaw that stays with this team is Kristaps. I mentioned his durability, but the more serious problem is the rape accusation that surfaced months ago. I don’t know exactly what happened, but that has to be in the back of a lot of players minds when it comes to signing with them. If this keeps going on and Kristaps is found guilty, this is serious trouble. This could be the end of him and he may be black balled from the NBA. That is what I would hope at least if he is found guilty.
At this moment in time, the Mav’s are going to be an enticing free-agent destination because of the youth they possess. Luka and Kristaps are going to be a duo that every defensive coordinator fears. That being said, if they are able to add a solid point guard to help Luka, like Kemba Walker, that would be best for them. Now that offense would be one of the best in the NBA if they can figure it out.
3. New York Knicks: Most Appealing Factors- The City and their First-Round Pick
Let’s be honest, the Knicks don’t have anything going for them other than being New York and the large amounts of money. I mean I would be okay with the money, but the Knicks want a championship. Their current roster is littered with first round point guards. But they have the opportunity to land two HUGE stars this offseason. Can the pry them from their current teams? That is the difficult part. If I am the Knicks, the current reports of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant becoming increasingly disgruntled is a win for them. Kyrie seemed frustrated all season, KD had a huge public argument with Draymond Green. Both incidents most likely had the Knicks salivating like a kid at an ice cream parlor.
For their first-round pick, the Knicks currently have a 14% chance to land the first overall pick. That is tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns. So it is coming all down to chance. That being said, the Knicks need to land the first round pick to get Zion Williamson. If their pick is anything but the first overall pick, this becomes increasingly more difficult to land Kyrie and KD. They cannot select Ja Morant because he is a point God, oops guard. R.J. Barrett is a solid selection but his inability to stretch the floor might be problematic for both Kyrie and KD. The Knicks need Zion, he carries a world of opportunity for them, but he also will instantly become one of the most hyped players in the NBA.
2. Los Angeles Clippers: Most Appealing Factors- Youth and The City
This Clippers team reminds me a lot of that 2012-13 Denver Nuggets team that Gallinari was a part of. They don’t have an established star but they play with a ton of heart. This Clippers team wasn’t even slated to make the playoffs. They were able to make the playoffs above a Los Angeles Lakers team that was lead by LeBron James. That, in my opinion, makes them the better team in LA. They also have rookie stud in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was able put up some solid numbers. He averaged 10.8 points per game, and he also dished out 3.3 assists a game. He had a good year and he should be able to build on this season. Landry Shamet was also a great pick up for the Clippers. In 25 games, Shamet averaged 10.9 points a game, and he also made 2.7 threes a game. They also made a deadline deal that landed them Ivica Zubac, who did well in his 26 games as well. He averaged 9.4 points a game and grabbed 7.7 rebounds a game as well. The Clippers have a lot of potential and I am excited to see who they land in the Summer.
Their aren’t too many flaws going for the Clippers this offseason. They do have a good amount of free agents in the upcoming class, but they can be resigned or even replaced. Zubac should be a player to focus on as long as no team over bids for him. Rumors have been whispered and it seems like Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard are putting the Clippers over the Lakers this offseason. NBA players are less inclined to go to the Lakers because of the presence that LeBron casts over the team. Just take a look at the rumors that plagued the team this season. The trade rumors killed moral and it was a really bad look for such a historic franchise. Then Laker legend Magic Johnson stepping down was another shocking moment during the season. The Clippers kept their head down and played very well this season. They should be a prime location because of their youth and they are LA, who doesn’t love LA?
1 . Brooklynn Nets: Most Appealing Factors- D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert
The Nets had easily one of the most surprising seasons, similar to the Clippers. For week 1 of the NBA season, the Nets were ranked 23rd overall and the Clippers were ranked 21st for the power rankings. No one saw this kind of output from the Nets. Not one person saw this all-star season from D-Lo. Caris LeVert showed his worth in the playoffs by averaging 21 points per game on 49.3% from the field. LeVert really made a name for himself during the post season. Their potential as a duo is high, and as a team, I see them as a prime location for free-agents. The Nets have a lot more in store for them, even if they don’t land a star.
D-Lo was able to put together a great season and he was able to lock up his position on the all-star team. I think a player like Kevin Durant will put the Nets over the Knicks because they have more going for them within their roster. Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris would both come off the bench and they would both be able to put up great minutes and be shot makers off the bench. The Nets have a great roster right now, and they should be able to lure some big names because of this. Brooklynn is better than New York right now, and I see them building upon this season. If they are able to land a big name free agent, then they should be able to have an even better season.
A flaw I could see them running into is losing D-Lo. If they don’t offer him what he’s expecting, he could choose to jump ship to the highest bidder. They need to retain D-Lo before they go out and try to sign others. He should be the number one priority because of what he did this past season. He was one of the best guards in the Eastern conference, and he will build on this season as long as the Nets stay aggressive during the offseason. Picking up some veterans will help this young team and making sure they retain important pieces like D-Lo and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson should be a high priority. Rondae should only be resigned if he comes at a reasonable price though. The Nets will definitely be a team to watch, and I can’t wait to see what is ahead for them.
Categories: NBA News Blog