The Other Free Agents

With all the attention focused on the big 3 from Miami and Carmelo Anthony, I wonder what options are out there for other free agents. Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe, Gordon Hayward and Isaiah Thomas are all restricted free agents so teams can match any offer given to them.

I don’t see the Kings matching an offer for Isaiah Thomas considering they just signed Darren Collison, drafted Nik Stauskas and still have Ben McLemore on the roster. Stauskas is a guy who can play either guard position while stretching the floor. Thomas seems to be the odd man out in this situation. If the Kings match an offer it will be crowded in the backcourt and the Kings need to get away from overcrowding positions.

Eric Bledsoe might demand a max contract and the Suns might match that. The Lakers should make a run for him if they miss out on Melo. The Suns can match but it’s still worth a shot for the Lakers. He’s young and explosive. He would be a nice fit next to Kobe and the city of LA will enjoy watching him again.

I don’t think Stan Van Gundy will let Greg Monroe get away. I’m not sure how much he will demand in free agency but he is a guy who will excel in a Van Gundy system. He has a high basketball IQ and one of the best passing big men in the game. I expect him to stay put in Detroit.

The Mavs, Cavs and Hornets are all interested in Hayward. The kid can play although his numbers were down across the board this past season. I don’t blame Hayward for that because the Jazz were not very good. If you put him on a good team he can really help. I don’t think he should get max money; he will probably be your third best player. Again the Jazz can match any offer so it will be interesting to see the offers he receives.

Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Lance Stephenson, Chandler Parsons, Paul Pierce, Evan Turner, Vince Carter, Nick Young and Shawn Marion are other unrestricted free agents out there. Pau has teams interested in him already. Stephenson and Parsons will be getting big pay raises. The Lakers should keep an eye out for Stephenson and Parsons; they do need to fill out their roster. The Heat really want Deng to take a pay cut but I don’t think he will. Doc wants Pierce with the Clippers. Evan Turner did not help himself this past season. He was very bad after the trade to the Pacers.

Teams need to be ready to acquire some of these guys after the big 3 and Melo make their decisions. There is still some value out there, just try not to overpay for it.