NBA Free Agency 2012: Projecting Destinations

By Jason Fryer

With the end of the NBA Season almost here and both the NBA Draft and Start of Free Agency just around the corner, I felt its a good time to predict where I feel a few NBA Free Agents will sign this offseason. Here's the top NBA Free Agents and listed next to their name is who I feel they'll sign with in the next few weeks.

NBA Free Agents

Deron Williams:
(Brooklyn Nets): Deron Williams has a few different options to choose from which include: resigning with the Nets, or leaving via free agency and signing with either the Dallas Mavericks or Portland Trail Blazers. If Williams were to leave and sign with one of those other teams, he would play alongside one of the best Power Forwards in the league in LaMarcus Aldridge or Dirk Nowitzki. As good as those options sound, in the end I feel the Nets will work out a trade with the Orlando Magic for center Dwight Howard, and he'll stay with the Brooklyn Nets (but it will take a few weeks). Once Dwight Howard is on board, I feel Williams will resign with the Nets, giving them one of the best 1-2 duo's in the NBA.

Steve Nash:
(LA Lakers): Once again, were left with asking the question... where will Steve Nash play next year. Nash has a number of options which include staying with the Suns or leaving for via free agency for a number of different teams that are interested in him. If he leaves and decides to sign with another team, he'll have a number of teams interested in him which include: Dallas, Los Angeles (Lakers), Chicago (and fill in while Derrick Rose is hurt), New York (if they decided to trade Jeremy Lin), or Miami. In the end, I feel Nash will want to sign with a Title Contender, so I feel he'll leave the Suns and sign with another team. So why do I feel Steve Nash will sign with one of his biggest rivals: because the Lakers have been missing a solid Point Guard for the past few years. The Ramon Sessions trade didn't work and the Lakers know they'll need a player that can fit in with Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum. I feel Pau Gasol will be traded this offseason which will allow the Lakers to acquire additional depth to their backcourt.

Jason Kidd:
(Chicago Bulls): The future Hall-of-Famer has had a fantastic career and I feel he can still contribute to a Championship caliber team. There are a few different options that Kidd has to sign with, which include Brooklyn, New York, Dallas, and both LA teams (Clippers or Lakers) but in the end I feel he'll sign with the Bulls. Why? Because Kidd would be able to slowly learn what it’s like to come off the bench and when Rose returns to the Bulls lineup, Kidd would be able to slide over and play a little 2-Guard in the Bulls lineup. With this, the Bulls would be able to have 2 Ball-Handlers on the court at time to play alongside one of the best passing guards ever. Signing Jason Kidd would allow for Derrick Rose to learn from one of the best passers in the history of this sport.

Raymond Felton:
(Portland Trail Blazers): It’s been rumored that the teams most interested in signing Raymond Felton are Portland, New York, Phoenix, and Brooklyn. With Jeremy Lin still on the Knicks roster and Deron Williams resigning with the Nets (just my feeling), I feel it comes down to the Blazers and Suns who will be most interested in signing Raymond Felton. Felton had an ok 2011-2012 season (11.4 points and 6.5 assists) but I still feel he's one of the most underrated players in the NBA and can really help a team both next year and beyond.

Ray Allen:
(Miami Heat): It seems like both the Celtics and Ray Allen are both ready to start over. The Celtics should have Avery Bradley back at the start of the next season as he'll provide them the defense and athleticism they desperately missed in the Eastern Conference Finals. As for Allen, it seems like he wants to go to a team that's a Championship contender so he can end his career on top. In the end, I feel there are only two options for him to choose from: Oklahoma City and Miami and in the end I feel he'll choose the Miami Heat.

Gerald Wallace:
(New Orleans Hornets): Not that many teams have a significant amount of cap space, but one team that does have a lot of cap space is the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets have 2 top 10 picks (including the Number 1 overall pick) but they still need a few veterans who can help these younger players play the game the correct way. With Anthony Davis, another top 10 pick, Eric Gordon, Al-FarouqAminu, and Gustavo Ayon, on their roster, the Hornets could use a veteran that plays both side of the court and doesn't give up on plays. Gerald Wallace would be a perfect player to help with the future of the New Orleans Hornets.

(Portland Trail Blazers): It seems like new Blazers GM Neal Olshey feels that forwards NicBatum and All-Star Lamarcus Aldridge can create a nice core in the Pacific Northwest and with such a limited amount of teams having a significant amount of cap space this off-season I feel Batum will look at his options in the end and decided to stay with the Blazers. At age 23, Batum had his best season (13.9 points and 4.6 rebounds) and it seems like he's about to become a All-Star caliber forward in the next few years.

Kevin Garnett:
(Boston Celtics): I feel Kevin Garnett is deciding between 2 different options: Retirement or resigning with the Celtics. I don't feel KG wants to start over with another team at 36 years old and this late in his career. In the end I feel Garnett will look at the Celtics and see that there not as far off as people are making it seem they are as they'll get Avery Bradley (and hopefully Jeff Green) back, along with 2 First Round Draft Picks. Garnett takes the game so seriously and after last year, he showed he still has a lot left before he calls it quits.

Roy Hibbert:
(Indiana Pacers): There are only a few teams that have "legitimate big men" on their roster and the Pacers are fortunate enough to have one of the few "true big men" on their team in Roy Hibbert. Hibbert set career highs in points (12.8), rebounds (8.8), and blocks (2) and in February he made his first NBA All-Star Game. With the Pacers already featuring such a good young core (and having a low payroll), I feel Indiana will resign Hibbert and make him one of their core players of their roster.

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