If you need your free-agent fix in the NBA, then all you have to do is keep drinking that beer until tomorrow morning, because that’s when the first big news from the NBA free-agent frenzy will come down the pipeline. The five players to watch for betting purposes are below, because in no other league can one player make such a dramatic impact. Whether it’s a good impact (Kevin Garnett) or a bad one (Elton Brand) depends on so many things…but these are the guys you dish out on.
Where Is Boozer Going?
The big man from Duke has been a consistent 15-10 guy his entire career. He’s also a force to be reckoned with…when he’s healthy. He’s be an idiot to stay in Utah, a team embroiled in failure its entire existence (don’t start with me about Stockton and Malone!). So Boozer’s best bet is to sync up with the Miami Heat or cash in a big pay day. There’s a lot of things I don’t like about Carlos Boozer. He’s disloyal (Utah Jazz). But when you’re that big, and that good, you command a double-team and any team with a high-flying scorer is going to pay through the nose for a guy like Boozer.
Best Fit: Miami Heat (+5000 To Win NBA Title)
To Hedo, Or Not Hedo
No player was shunned worse by his team than Hedo Turkoglu. What was he supposed to do? Write an apology letter for carrying the Magic in the playoffs? Instead the gutsy and tenacious scorer and leader for the Magic watched Orlando spend more than double to get Vince Carter. Nice move. Trade a tough Turk for a cry-baby.
At age 30, he’s no spring chicken, but hot hands and pressure shooters are a hot commodity in this league. Turkoglu isn’t a sensational defender but he’s not terrible, and his leadership intangibles certainly make up for it. Move Carmelo to shooting-guard and bring aboard Hedo Turkoglu, and Denver is a scary, scoring team.
Best Fit: Denver Nuggets (+1200 To Win NBA Title)
David Lee Wasting Away In New York
As a restricted free-agent, the name suggests that wriggling out of your current team’s grasp is a little difficult. It doesn’t help that New York would riot if Lee got traded. But the fact is that New York is going nowhere fast, and Lee is their biggest and best commodity. They don’t envision him as a superstar, nor should they, and signing him to an extension will lead to difficulties if they choose to go after a guy like Bosh along with LeBron.
Lee’s best bet is to force a move now so that he can put himself in a better position for next summer when he’s unrestricted. He led the league in double-doubles with 65 and is a class act. That’s why his best bet is to go to Toronto, because at age 26, he’s in a position for rebuilding a franchise around him.
Best Fit: Toronto Raptors (+10000 To Win NBA Title)
Ben Gordon To Detroit?
It’s been the hot rumor all summer. Detroit apparently has an $11 million offer on the table for Gordon, and Chicago would be ignorant not to match it or better it. Gordon is a lights out shooter with amazing touch and a ferocious appetite for the ball. He’s the perfect compliment to a guy like Rose. Together they scored 44 points against the Celtics in the playoffs. Chicago would be remiss to see a guard combo like Rose-Gordon slip through their fingers.
Best Fit: Chicago Bulls (+5000 To Win NBA Title)
Ron Artest Is The True Leader In Houston
Along with Shane Battier, Artest led the Rockets deep in to a seven-game thriller with Kobe’s Lakers. With the question marks surrounding Yao Ming’s health, Artest could be lured away from Houston. Any team would love to have a guy like this, but it’s rare to find a compliment like Shane Battier to Artest’s fiery nature. Keep Artest in Houston.
Best Fit: Houston Rockets (+1500 To Win NBA Title)