The NBA free agency period has quietened down now that most of the big names have been grabbed. In a salary cap era most teams have one eye on the next free agency period and the big prizes that may become available. Here’s a look at the top five NBA free agents that are strong possibilities to emerge next summer.
5. Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
The Cavaliers haven’t fielded a competitive team during Kyrie Irving’s tenure with the team. The talented point guard has gradually emerged as one of the top point guards in the game and if the team fails to take a positive step forward in 2013-14, he may consider jumping ship. The Cavaliers may need to make a splash in the 2014 free agent period to retain Irving’s services.
4. Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors)
Bogut is an enigma of a player. However, he showed in the playoffs that he can still be an extremely tough big man in the NBA. He is playing on a strong Golden State team, he should have plenty of chance to show himself off. He enters a free agent class that is bereft of an obvious center superstar as well.
3. Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers)
There’s a good chance that the Lakers will be re-building. If they are then Gasol could become available. Age and injury is an issue for Pau, but this is a two time NBA champion and one of the most adaptable big men in the game. There will be significant interest and it will cost plenty of money to acquire his services.
2. Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Anthony isn’t likely to see much from the Knicks that can convince him they are capable of building a winner. He’s an elite level offensive player who will attract interest from a wide range of sources. Carmelo isn’t an all-round superstar, but he could work very well for a team searching for a superstar combination.
1. LeBron James (Miami Heat)
It isn’t really that obvious why James would consider leaving Miami, but the rumors already suggest that he could. The Heat did show signs of weakness in their 2013 championship run and Dwyane Wade’s knees are a concern. James may decide to take his services elsewhere.