NBA Free Agency 2014: What’s Left?

Free agency continues with the NBA’s biggest names already off the board.  But plenty of talent remains available for teams still on the market.

 

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Free agency continues with the NBA’s biggest names already off the board.  But plenty of talent remains available for teams still on the market.

LeBron James’ decision to head back to Cleveland captured every headline, had an enormous domino effect and will probably be talked about for the next year.  Players like Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Chris Bosh (Heat), Dwyane Wade (Heat), Pau Gasol (Bulls) and Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) subsequently chose their respective homes.

With that said, teams can still find quality players, and one team may even gain an All-Star caliber player.  Undoubtedly, the best player left on the board is guard Eric Bledsoe (Suns).

Bledsoe is a restricted free agent, meaning teams have shied away from pursuing him because they know Phoenix can match any offer he accepts.  However, Bledsoe and the Suns aren’t anywhere close to an agreement.  Phoenix is offering a four-year, $48 million deal, while Bledsoe is seeking a max contract (five years, $80 million).  It remains likely Bledsoe will re-sign with the Suns, but interest could warm up from teams like the Lakers, Rockets and perhaps even the Pacers.

Another talented young restricted free agent is Greg Monroe (Pistons).  Unlike the Bledsoe situation, Monroe staying with the Pistons isn’t assumed as much of a sure thing.  Detroit has a logjam in their front-court, with emerging star Andre Drummond and high-priced forward Josh Smith.  The three players didn’t gel as the starting front-court last season.  However, Detroit is still hoping to re-sign him, either with the mindset that new coach Stan Van Gundy can make it work or because they plan to trade Smith.

Aside from Monroe and Bledsoe, future hall of famer Ray Allen is also unsigned.  Allen was seriously considering retirement, but he is now reportedly leaning toward coming back for another season and signing with the Cavaliers to again team up with LeBron James.

Other available free agents of note include: Andray Blatche (Nets), Shawn Marion (Mavs), Mo Williams (Blazers) and Emeka Okafor (Suns).

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