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phlp_bj
07-02-2008, 05:52 PM
1. Los Angeles Clippers: Who would've guessed the Los Angeles Clippers would be the premiere free agent destination this summer? Owner Donald Sterling's history of having tight pockets and being more committed to making money than winning basketball games has caused a number of players over the years to pause when thinking about signing on the dotted line with LA's "other" team. Keeping Brand and Corey Maggette in Los Angeles a few years back started to change the league's perception, but sometimes it's hard to shake a negative narrative like the one that has defined the Clippers for the better part of the last two decades.

After agreeing to terms with Davis, though, it seems apparent the Clips have officially turned over a new leaf. That said, it remains to be seen whether or not the combo of Davis and Brand will turn LA into a legitimate contender.

2. Philadelphia 76ers: Last season was supposed to be a complete rebuilding project, but Philly got a pleasant surprise coming down the home stretch qualifying for the postseason. It didn't stop there, either, as the Sixers gave the Detroit Pistons a decent scare in the first round of the playoffs.

Combine last season's success with the over $20 million in cap space the Sixers could potentially have depending on what the organization decides to do with Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams, and you have a destination that should attract at least one top free agent. Not to mention the fact Philly has some of the most passionate fans in all of sport (if you're skeptical, just watch the tape of the ovation Allen Iverson got in his return earlier this year).

The Sixers are rumored to have eyes for Josh Smith. If Philadelphia can land him and also keep Iguodala, the Sixers could be a real factor in the East next season.

3. Miami HEAT: Can you say South Beach, anyone? It seems like no single area gets more attention during free agency every year than Miami. Players love everything that comes with South Beach. Furthermore, some around the league see Miami as kind of like the Boston Celtics of this offseason in the sense that the HEAT might be just a piece or two away from having the ability to go from worst to first, which only provides further intrigue for potential free agents.

Miami's discussion with free agents will likely start and end with the Mid-Level Exception. Another option could be a sign-and-trade. However, with Brand now a virtual lock to return to the Clippers, expect the HEAT to turn its attention towards Carlos Boozer next summer.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9331

amos1er
07-02-2008, 05:57 PM
You only listed three.

x_notorious
07-02-2008, 05:58 PM
4. Los Angeles Lakers/Boston Celtics: Okay, so technically this list should be the top seven destinations, but the Lakers and Celtics are included together in this spot for a reason. Both teams are well over the cap, both teams qualified for The NBA Finals, and both teams play in cities that are among the most desirable in the Association.

Neither of these teams will be involved in signing any big name free agents. However, the agents of veteran players interested in winning titles (think Brent Barry, Michael Finley and James Posey) will make contact with both Mitch Kupchak and Danny Ainge just as they contacted the Spurs' R.C. Buford for the last few years in San Antonio. If either Kupchak or Ainge can convince a solid free agent like Maggette to settle for just the Mid-Level Exception in exchange for the chance to win a championship, these two teams could be scary good for a long, long time.

5. Golden State Warriors: After Davis' unexpected decision to opt out, the Warriors are suddenly a player in free agency. The problem is there may not be many options left for the Warriors to chase with their newfound cap space. Golden State's best option may be to take care of Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins this summer and go shopping for a big-time free agent in 2009.

Having a head coach like Don Nelson is a huge plus as far as recruiting goes. Players enjoy being able to play for a coach like him because they understand they will get a ton of freedom on the offensive end and their offensive numbers will increase playing in Nellie's run-and-gun system. This will in the long-run increase a player's value and could mean a bigger pay-day down the road. Monta Ellis is a perfect example.

Another reason the Warriors will be a popular destination is because of geographic location. San Francisco is a fabulous city and that's a fact which is not lost on most players. Yes, players want to get paid first and foremost. However, everything else being equal, there are quite a few NBA players who would give the Warriors a long look because of lifestyle and location.

6. San Antonio Spurs: No, the Spurs don't have much money to spend, but quite frankly, that never seems to matter. If a player wants to win, San Antonio will always be in the mix. A chance to play for a coach like Gregg Popovich and with a future Hall of Famer like Tim Duncan is an opportunity that doesn't come along everyday.

Name another team that has had a chance to win in it all every year for the last decade? You simply can't do it. This is the reason why the Spurs have a legitimate shot at landing Maggette. And if that doesn't happen, you can bet another solid free agent will agree to hop onboard.

This is a big summer for the Spurs as it's apparent the roster was a little too long in the tooth last season. San Antonio needs to inject some youth and athleticism into the lineup. If the Spurs can get that done, expect San Antonio to be among the front-runners for a championship in 2008-09.

4-6.

bayareafan650
07-02-2008, 06:05 PM
I hope the warriors can pick up someone big after the loss of Baron :pity: I can assure you that i will be at the first Warriors vs Clippers at oracle and i will be booing his ***. Atleast the warriors still have Monta

BH-Sports
07-02-2008, 06:23 PM
Raptors need to pick up some atheletic FA.s they are a dangerous team with the roster they have now and watch out EAST. with a healty JO, AINT NOT STOPPING THEM NOW!!!

tonyd3b54
07-02-2008, 07:22 PM
except the celtics...

Leftcoast_yg
07-02-2008, 08:38 PM
and everobody in the west

Iodine
07-02-2008, 08:41 PM
Raptors need to pick up some atheletic FA.s they are a dangerous team with the roster they have now and watch out EAST. with a healty JO, AINT NOT STOPPING THEM NOW!!!
Untill everyone remembers how overated JO is

superkegger
07-02-2008, 08:42 PM
I'm very interested to see what the warriors do...without baron, I would not be all that suprised to see them move sjax and harrington and maybe even let biedrins go if hes too expensive.

Or will they keep everybody and still hope to land someone else...like josh smith or deng or somebody.

_Sn1P3r_
07-03-2008, 10:46 AM
I hope the warriors can pick up someone big after the loss of Baron :pity: I can assure you that i will be at the first Warriors vs Clippers at oracle and i will be booing his ***. Atleast the warriors still have Monta

I agree. They'd be booing him like the ACC when VC is in town. Im sure they won't be dumb enough to let Monta go.

SwaggaIke
07-03-2008, 12:31 PM
Why boo Baron? He left for better money and a potentially better situation. Boo your front office, not Baron.

BALLER71
07-03-2008, 12:42 PM
Untill everyone remembers how overated JO is

JO + Manute Bol with Dreads + Bargniani = Soft.