As the new season approaches, all the teams are busy preparing for the season ahead. I’d thought I’d take the time to check out which players will be entering free agency next summer.
Obviously we have to start with Kevin Durant. Unrestricted going into free agency next summer and his options are limitless. He’s part of an OKC team that look like they’ll be competing in the west, as long as they aren’t foiled with injuries. KD will be teaming up with Russel Westbrook who’s coming off of a huge year, with multiple triple-doubles to his name. That team will be a threat come the post-season. For me, if the Thunder fail to make the western finals then Durant will test free agency waters, and of course every team will be bombarding him with offers. It will be interesting to see what he decides. Keep in mind that Dion Waiters will also be a restricted free agent next summer, and if they both choose to leave what kind of affect will that have on OKC?
LeBron James could also enter free agency, although it’s unlikely. He has a player option on his contract in Cleveland and unless they have a disastrous season, he’ll most likely take that max deal. The Cavs will be in the finals I expect so it’s not like he’s not in a good position. I think he’ll stay but you never know.
Dwight Howard also has a player option on his contract with the Rockets. Currently it’s 50/50 whether he’ll take that contract offer or he’ll test free agency. He wants a ring more than anything, and personally I don’t see that happening in Houston. Many analysts and pundits are suggesting that the Knicks are at the top of his go-to list, and for me that’s a great move for him if he goes through with that. Dwight and Melo would be a great duo! It will be very interesting to see what he decided to do.
Andre Drummond will be a restricted free agent next summer. I can’t see him staying in Detroit because he wants to be competing for championships sooner rather than later. Portland would be a good move for him because they need a big man to replace Aldridge, and Lillard is a great point guard which is what Drummond needs in order to be successful. Lots of teams will be interested in Andre and rightly so, he’s one of the most underrated players in the league in my opinion. His second chance points make all the difference.
Dwyane Wade will enter free agency unrestricted and that will be very interesting. Age is slowly beginning to catch up with him, but he’s still a star in Miami. The Heat have a good roster this year and I’m certain they’ll be competing at the top end of the east. So far in his career he’s been incredibly loyal to them, but I think now might be the time for him to focus on himself and try something new. Rumours suggest he’d like to play for a western team before he retires which is interesting. Now might be the time to go through with that.
Mike Conley will be unrestricted and could well leave the Grizzlies. His aggressive style has consistently won basketball games and there’s no doubt teams will be interested in him. Should he stay in Memphis? I think he should because their style of play suits him very well, and the fans love him so what more could you want? A championship perhaps?
Speaking of point guards, Damian Lillard will be a restricted free agent and he may choose to leave Portland. They have a weakened roster due to Lamarcus Aldridge leaving for a loaded Spurs team. Most of the limelight will be on Lillard this year. He’ll have to be at his very best every night to carry his team on the offensive end. I think he should leave to have a chance to win a ring, but you just never know in the NBA. I rate him incredibly highly and he would be a star at any team in the league. He’s young, hungry, and ready to take his game to the next level.
There is so much talent possibly entering free agency in 2016, with the likes of Al Horford (unrestricted), Bradley Beal (restricted), Pau Gasol (player option), Harrison Barners (restricted) and Kobe Bryant (unrestricted, will most likely re-sign or retire). The list could go on and on.
Throughout the season I will be putting forward my thoughts on potential free agency moves. Let me know which players you’d like to see move next summer, and where you think they should move to…