The complexion of NBA next year is going to take huge changes and we might see teams that didn’t make the postseason this year become dangerous contenders for a championship. Not only from the impressive incoming class of rookies, but also the already star-studded players that all have the opportunity to test for free agency this offseason.
The 6″10, 25 year old Minnesota Power Forward has reportedly already informed the team that he will test for free agency unless the team trades him in this current offseason. NBA.com reports that Kevin Love ended the 2013-2014 regular as a league leader in both points and rebounding. He was ranked fourth in scoring, averaging 26.1 points per game; and he finished third in rebounding, averaging 12.5 rebounds per game, according to NBA.com.
Kevin Love has yet to make the postseason yet in his NBA career, but many individuals argue that the reason for that being is due to Minnesota not having a more talented roster to back up Love, something that is very crucial when you’re in an extremely tough conference like the West. Despite Kevin Love not being defensively efficient, his offense is enough to make wherever team he ends up a threat to the competition.
Kevin Love wants to do more than just make the playoffs for the first time in his career; he wants rings. Love has never been on any other team besides the Timberwolves, so it’s hard to predict how successful he would make his team be, but his stats give us a good idea of what he’ll bring to wherever he ends up.
The 28ght-year-old rising, starting point guard for the Toronto Raptors has proved that he’s got the potential to grow to be one of the best point guards in NBA next season, after leading Toronto to the three seed in the Eastern Conference; while also directing Toronto to its closest attempt at winning a seven game series in the NBA postseason.
It’s more than likely that Kyle Lowry will stay in Toronto, but after his great showing this season and proving that he is one of NBA’s top point guards, many teams are going to pursue him, especially teams who are in the process of rebuilding like the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. Especially since those teams are strongly in need of a point guard and be willing to overpay him. Kyle Lowry says he wants to play for a winning team, but it’d be hard to turn down an offer to play for a major market while making twice as much money than you were making previously.
According to ESPN, Kyle Lowry finished the season averaging 17.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists, which are all career highs. Next season, you can expect those numbers to go up even more, but what team will he be contributing those numbers?
Even though he didn’t win the actual reward, many can argue that Lance Stephenson was indeed NBA’s Most Improved Player this year. Not only did Lance Stephenson play one of the biggest roles in helping bring the Indiana Pacers to the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but he led the entire season in triple doubles this year.
Despite having a great season shooting 49% from the field, Lance Stephenson always seemed to be nothing more than a role player working beside All-Star Smal Forward Paul George, but Stephenson is starting to defy all those critics solely due to his performance during this year’s NBA postseason. Many can even argue that Stephenson was the catalyst for the Pacers in the postseason, especially with their encounter with Miami.
Lance Stephenson will probably resign with Indiana, but then again, many teams will pursue him and he definitely has the potential to be a leading franchise player for many teams in the NBA, and his defensive prominence would be a matching fit for the Bulls, who are in need for someone who can give them that offensive punch as well. There have also been talks of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets eyeing him, and he would more than likely make more than he makes an Indiana, but money isn’t everything for everyone. But in the NBA, you never know what players might do.
This season, Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 7.2 rebounds, all career highs, according to NBA.com.
This season for Luol Deng was probably one of his toughest in his NBA career. Not necessarily because of his statistics, but more because of the fact that he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending his whole decade long career as a contributing member of the Chicago Bulls.
As a Bull this season, he averaged 19 points per game and 3.7 assists, NBA.com reports; a career high for him, and helped the Bulls hold their own by running the offense after Derrick Rose fell to his second injury.
It’s hard to say that Deng will resign with Chicago, but it’s even harder to say that he will resign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. There have been talks of the Charlotte Hornets eyeing Deng, while also the Los Angeles Lakers wanting to sign him to work alongside with an eventually returning Kobe Bryant.
Luol Deng is still want one of the best defending small forwards in the league, but where will he bring that defensive competence to?
After a disappointing season that the Los Angeles Lakers had without the leadership of Kobe Bryant on the court, Pau Gasol expressed his lack of desire to continue being a Laker, and will more than likely look to find a new team to play for.
The two time NBA Champion and four time NBA All-Star averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds this season, which are both an increase from his previous season, according to ESPN. It’s obvious that he isn’t the same Pau Gasol we saw in 2009, due to his age and amount of injuries. But the thirty three year old NBA veteran still can perform well in the front court and can be a big help to assisting in closing down lanes in the post and acquiring rebounds.
Many believe that Pau Gasol will make a return to the Memphis Grizzlies to play alongside with his brother off the bench, or maybe even starting if Zack Randolph decides to opt out of his contract.