Best fits for top NBA free agents

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Updated: July 1, 2015
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With the 2015 NBA draft completed, the NBA offseason is now in full swing, which means free agency is now underway. Last year’s free agency brought us storyline drama regarding LeBron James returning to Cleveland, Carmelo Anthony remaining in New York, and many more intriguing signings. While this year’s crop doesn’t have as much star power, there are still very good players to be had, and teams will be lining up to sign the best in the game.

Marc Gasol

Best Fit: Memphis Grizzlies

Marc Gasol is set to hit free agency on July 1, but most believe he will sign a five-year max extension with the Memphis Grizzlies. Gasol fits perfectly with the Grizzlies, as the tandem of him and Zach Randolph down low has been a tremendous one. Gasol is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, and has improved his offensive efficiency almost every year, posting a career high 21.7 PER. Gasol went to high school in Memphis, and has basically player his whole career there. Therefore, it only feels right that he stays there. It also doesn’t hurt that the Grizzlies have a team that is ready to win now as well.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Best Fit: San Antonio Spurs

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reported that Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, and Tony Parker are set to make a pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge to join the five-time champion San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge is a Texas native, and would fit in seamlessly into the Spurs style of play. The Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers represent interesting options as well, but both have flaws. In Houston, Aldridge would have to be willing to give up touches to James Harden and Dwight Howard, and I’m not sure how comfortable he would be playing third fiddle in Houston. In the case of the Lakers, Aldridge could come in and be the best player (sorry Kobe fans), but how patient would he be waiting for guys like Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson to develop? The Spurs offer the best combination of winning, and a system that fits his style of play. Aldridge is a natural power forward, and has excelled the last two seasons playing alongside Robin Lopez. Lopez was able to help mask some of Aldrige’s flaws on the defensive end, and let Aldridge get most of the touches on offense. Duncan is still a plus defender even at his advanced age, and would probably be willing to let Aldrige take a big load on offense. It just seems like a match made in heaven, and if Aldridge cares about winning, he should sign with the Spurs.

Kevin Love

Best Fit: Cleveland Cavaliers

The on-going story of the Kevin Love saga has been talked about since he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason. Will he stay or will he go? Reports say that Love will most likely stay with the Cavsbut he will listen to other offers. Love should keep his options open, but the best fit for the All-Star forward is in Cleveland. While Love struggled to fit in and find his role in the offense, the Cavs represent the best chance for Love to win now. Love suffered six long seasons in Minnesota without reaching the postseason, and even this past year only got a small taste of the playoffs before Kelly Olynyk dislocated his arm in Game 4 of round one. The Boston Celtics would be an interesting fit, but even if they add Love, they aren’t a true threat to win the East. Love’s presence was missed during the finals, and with a healthy core, the Cavs are the favorites to win the finals next season. Love could either sign a long term extension up to five-years, 110 million dollars, or sign a one year deal and wait till next offseason when the cap is estimated to skyrocket to cash in. If I’m Love, I would take the one year deal. Not just because of the ability to cash in on more money, but if I’m not sure how I would fit in with this team and if I wouldn’t want to sign a long-term deal there.

DeAndre Jordan

Best Fit: Dallas Mavericks

ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that DeAndre Jordan wants a bigger role on a team, and may be tired of being the third option behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Could the Knicks or the Lakers be viable options? Sure, but the Dallas Mavericks seem to be the best fit for Jordan. Not only do the Mavericks have a hole at the center spot, but in playing next to Dirk Nowitzki, Jordan wouldn’t have to take on a huge offensive load. The Mavs also run a lot of pick and roll, and Jordan is one of the best pick and roll players in the NBA with his ability to finish near the rim. The Mavs also give Jordan a chance to be a on a good team next season, and confidence in an organization that hasn’t had a losing season this millennium.

Paul Millsap

Best Fit: Atlanta Hawks

There have been some rumbling about Paul Millsap potentially returning to the Utah Jazz, where he played the first six years of his career. However, the best situation and fit for Millsap would be to re-sign with the Atlanta Hawks. Millsap was able to thrive under Mike Budenholzer’s system, and even developed a three point shot under Budenholzer’s watch. Millsap has played his best basketball in Atlanta, making two all star teams, and averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds a game. With the money being close to equal almost anywhere he goes, Millsap would be wise to stay in Atlanta, and continue the success he has had the last two seasons on a team that has a chance to win now.

Greg Monroe

Best Fit: New York Knicks

I have some questions on how well Greg Monroe would fit playing with Anthony, but with the Knicks probably out of the front running for the top free agents, a second tier free agent like Monroe wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. Monroe represents a little bit of a dying breed in the NBA, a big power forward who can score in the post, but doesn’t have a mid range game, and lacks versatility on defense. However, Monroe can still be an effective player, and has enough talent to be worth the money he gets. My biggest concern would be Monroe clogging up the paint, and not letting Carmelo get the paint touches he needs.

Tyson Chandler

Best Fit: Milwaukee Bucks

Wait, hold on a second, did I really just pin a pretty big free agent to play in Milwaukee? For the first time in what seems like a decade, the Milwaukee Bucks are actually a little bit of a destination. They have a nice young core with Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton (if he re-signs). The Bucks already have one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but with the loss of Larry Sanders, the Bucks don’t have a true rim protector. In steps Tyson Chandler, who has a new home in this scenario due to Jordan signing in Dallas. Chandler would provide a great veteran presence for the Bucks, and also give them cap room in the future, considering he won’t sign a long term deal. I’m not sure that Chandler will actually sign in Milwaukee, but i think it could be an underrated move this free agency if it happens.

Rajon Rondo

Best Fit: Sacramento Kings

With the way the Sacramento Kings offseason has gone so far, wouldn’t it be suiting if they signed the guy who basically got kicked off his team during the playoffs? Rajon Rondo would actually be an interesting fit for the Kings, as George Karl usually lets his point guards take control of the offense, and trust them enough to let them go with the flow. Rondo has always been a player who likes having as much control over the offense as possible, and because of the strong interest the Kings are showing, why not sign there? Rondo may able to get more money from the Kings than any other team. Rondo, Rudy Gay, and DeMarcus Cousins would be intriguing offense to say the least. It could either be a disaster, who surprisingly efficient at the end of the day, the Kings buying low on Rondo could end up being a good deal for them, if he can return close to his old form.

Danny Green

Best Fit: Dallas Mavericks Danny Green

Danny Green seems to always get lost behind the shadows of the big three in San Antonio, and lately the likes of Kawhi Leonard. Don’t be fooled though, Green is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and will command at least 11 million plus the offseason. Green is a great three point shooter, and while he won’t put it on the floor often, he is more versatile on offense than some think. Green would work well in Rick Carlisle’s system, which allows played to play freely, and get open shots. Dallas needs good defenders pretty bad, and they don’t have a good perimeter defender on their roster right now. Green could help fill that role for them, and solidify the defense to an extent.

Dwyane Wade

Best Fit: Miami Heat

There are some concerns around the league about  Dwyane Wade’s health issues, which is straying teams away from the interest of signing Wade to the three-year, 16 million dollar a year salary he desires. While the Miami Heat and Wade have had their issues this past month, I see them figuring out a way to solve this. Wade is so important to this franchise, and the Heat don’t really have the means to sign anyone to replace Wade in free agency. I know the Heat want to have the cap space to get into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes next off season, but there is no assurance the Heat even have a real shot at Durant next offseason. At the end of the day, the Heat will do the smart thing, and Wade will still be able to get close to the money he desires.

Robin Lopez

Best Fit: New York Knicks

The Knicks desperately need a rim protector, and while Lopez isn’t a sexy choice, he gets the job done. If the Knicks don’t end up getting Monroe, I actually think Lopez would be a little bit of a better fit, especially in the triangle. Lopez is an underrated rim protector and passer, and even has a little bit of a nice offensive game. Lopez won’t wow anyone, but he could represent a cheaper option for the Knicks, and leave the room to sign another second tier free agent.

 

Photo Cred (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Jimmy Siettmann

Jimmy Siettmann

Jimmy Siettmann is an NFL contributor to SidelineSports. Jimmy is currently a journalism major and hopes to have a career in sports journalism either writing or doing radio. Jimmy has also written for TheDesireToWin on all things sports.

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