Although the ’09 NBA free agent class isn’t as stacked as in years past â€” not to mention the League is being more thrifty than ever due to the slumping economy â€” teams still have holes they want to plug, and players have moves they want to make. Here, we break down all 30 NBA teams’ free agent strategy…
G – Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, Mickael Pietrus, J.J. Redick, Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Jeremy Richardson
F – Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson
C – Dwight Howard, Marcin Gortat, Adonal Foyle
Turkoglu, Gortat (R), Lue, Foyle, Richardson
Although the Magic are undergoing a major facelift, they’re still in good position to make another NBA Finals run in 2010.
Turkoglu is as good as gone, as GM Otis Smith has said he’s willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold this summer to remain an elite team, but probably not to the extent that he’d have to in order to keep up with the offers Hedo is getting. Gortat is also a hot commodity on the open market, but at a more reasonable price tag, Orlando so far is committed to matching the offers he gets.
The Magic made their big move by trading for Vince Carter before the Draft. Now they’ve set their sights on getting a real power forward in free agency — assuming Hedo is gone and allowing Rashard to move to SF — and while they don’t have a lot of money to work with, as a legit title contender they can lure a very good player with their mid-level exception. And in the high likelihood that Gortat leaves (he says he wants more playing time, which won’t happen as long as Dwight is around), they’ll need a cheap backup center and another forward or two just to add depth to that position. And if those guys can shoot threes? Even better.
SF – Linas Kleiza (R), Matt Barnes, Josh Childress (R), Marvin Williams (R), Walter Herrmann, Rodney Carney, Ime Udoka
PF – Rasheed Wallace, Brandon Bass, Big Baby Davis (R), Shawn Marion, Anderson Varejao, Antonio McDyess, Leon Powe, Steve Novak (R), Drew Gooden, Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith, Channing Frye, Hakim Warrick (R), Shelden Williams, Ryan Bowen
C – Birdman Andersen, Ryan Hollins (R), Brian Skinner, Theo Ratliff, Rasho Nesterovic, Johan Petro, Joel Anthony (R), Jamaal Magloire, Melvin Ely