Friday, May 25, 2007

Free Agency could change teams next year

Although none of the great players from the NBA Draft class of 2003 are among the free agents this summer, there are still many players who could change lottery teams into playoff contenders, or playoff teams into title contenders.

Chauncey Billups is a free agent this summer and he is an all-star point guard who thrives in the clutch. He was the 2004 NBA Finals MVP and could win another championship this year. If he stays in the Eastern Conference, he could lead just about any team into the playoffs next year. Face it, there are only three title contenders right now in the East, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago. Billups could probably lead the Celtics into the eighth seed next year, assuming they don't tank again next year to get OJ Mayo, a great prospect who will attend USC next year. Billups is unselfish, is a finisher, and plays excellent defense.

How about a good guy who could sell tickets. Look no further than Vince Carter. There are already rumors about the New York Knicks signing him this offseason. I could actually see him joining the Knicks if he doesen't rejoin the Nets. Isiah Thomas would probably give him the $20 million a year he wants if he could concoct a trade and, knowing him, everyone could be available. I could also see him joining a team like the Bobcats, who need a marketable player, or a team like the Lakers who need a reliable second scorer.

The star free agent I think would be most likely to leave is Rashard Lewis of the Seattle SuperSonics. The SuperSonics will probably draft Kevin Durant in the first round this year and he plays small forward, just like Lewis. If I were to predict a possible destination, I would probably say somewhere in the East, maybe New York or Cleveland. The Cavaliers could trade Zydrunas Ilgauskas or Drew Gooden because every team in the West needs a big man. New York could trade someone like, well, who knows what Isiah would do? Lewis shoots a lot of threes and is a very good scorer. He is always capable of scoring for thirty or more. He even has a fifty point game in his career.

One very underrated player in this year's draft class is Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats. I could definitely see him leaving in favor of a better team. He could go to Cleveland, the Lakers, the Knicks, maybe the Heat. He will be in high demand because he fills up a stat sheet with all five major categories, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. With all these skills, Wallace could be an all-star in the future.

In addition to these four players, Darko Milicic, Anderson Varejao, Andres Nocioni, Chris Webber, Jerry Stackhouse, Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, DeShawn Stevenson, and James Posey are all free agents this summer.

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