NBA Free Agency – Best Players Available

The NBA’s biggest free agents mostly remain available as the free agency period progresses.  Although players like Dirk Nowitzki, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat are off the board, teams can still find plenty of talent at every position.

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The NBA’s biggest free agents mostly remain available as the free agency period progresses.  Although players like Dirk Nowitzki, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat are off the board, teams can still find plenty of talent at every position.

All talk of free agency begins with the Miami Heat’s “Big 3” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  In particular, the basketball world anxiously awaits to see where James will land.

When the “Big 3” opted out of their contracts and became free agents, the impression was they’d all sign new, less lucrative deals with the Heat, giving Miami salary cap space to pursue other free agents.  However, news has surfaced that James, Wade and Bosh aren’t actually on the same page, and James specifically is listening to offers from other teams.

The smart money is on James remaining with the Heat, and if that happens, Wade and Bosh will follow.  But teams like Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Cleveland and the Lakers are also pursuing James.

If James does leave Miami, Bosh will also be heavily recruited by the likes of Houston, the Lakers and others.  It’s commonly known though that Bosh wants to stay in Miami.  Wade meanwhile, is unlikely to sign elsewhere regardless of what James decides.

Carmelo Anthony is the other superstar still available, but it’s becoming increasingly likely that Anthony signs a max deal with the incumbent New York Knicks.  Along with the Knicks, Anthony has met with representatives from Chicago, Houston, Dallas and the Lakers.  But none of those teams can provide the amount of money and familiarity the Knicks are offering.

Other available unrestricted free agents are forward/center Pau Gasol, guard Lance Stephenson, forward Trevor Ariza, forward Luol Deng, and forward Paul Pierce.  A plethora of teams are pursuing Gasol.  The Lakers, Chicago, New York, Oklahoma City, Houston, Miami and Dallas are among the teams involved here.  Pierce is receiving interest from the Clippers, but they may not be able to afford him without a sign-and-trade agreement with Brooklyn.  Nets GM Billy King has already stated Brooklyn has no interest in a sign-and-trade.

Notable restricted free agents include guard Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix), guard/forward Gordon Hayward (Utah), guard Isaiah Thomas (Kings), forward Greg Monroe (Pistons) and forward Chandler Parsons (Rockets).

Ultimately, many of the second-tier free agents will wait and see where James and Anthony end up before making their own decisions.  The options will open up for them after the biggest names are off the market.

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