NBA Free Agency: Surprises That May Happen
Mar 9, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) is defended by Chicago Bulls shooting guard Kirk Hinrich (12) during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls beat the Heat 95-88. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
One thing to remember about NBA free agency is nothing is a guarantee. What are some surprises fans can expect to possibly happen?
Pau Gasol returns to the Los Angeles Lakers
All hints up to this point have said that All-Star forward Pau Gasol pans to enter NBA free agency at the age of 34. It would effectively end a terrific run that saw two championship banner join the rafters at the Staples Center. Most expect Gasol to seek out a team that is more ready to contend right away. However, Gasol himself has admitted that he won’t cross the Lakers off of teams he will consider signing with. Obviously the team will have to change some things on their roster to interest him, but a return is still possible.
Dwyane Wade heads to the Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat fans would cringe to think about this. Dwyane Wade has become arguably their greatest success in franchise history, first winning a championship by himself in 2006 and then luring LeBron James in to win two more. Expectations are for him to accept a lesser deal to finish his career in Miami. The wild card situation rests in his hometown roots. Wade is a Chicago guy and one of his dreams was to play for the team he cheered for in the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago when he was last a free agent Wade admitted he came extremely close to signing with them before opting to join James in Miami. Safe bets say he does the same again, but don’t count Chicago out. Wade is 32-years old after all, he may never get another chance to play with the Bulls.
Cleveland welcomes back LeBron James
The irony is palpable. It wasn’t too long ago that LeBron James used NBA free agency to essentially abandon, and some say humiliate the Cleveland Cavaliers to go win championships in Miami. Now he is back on the market and suddenly the Cavs present an intriguing situation that may compel the King to return to his hometown team. Thanks to a series of high draft picks they have added All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and now Kansas uber-athlete Andrew Wiggins. The team has a young core of talent. What they lack is direction. Adding James would help it all come together. As for James himself, returning and winning a title in Cleveland would restore the love that was lost when he left so loudly in 2010.
Carmelo Anthony lands in Houston
If one asked the casual fan, they would likely say Carmelo Anthony is a good bet to either join Chicago, Miami or return to the New York Knicks. It’s a fair assessment given what those team have to offer, but it also makes it easy to overlook the Houston Rockets. They are on the short list of Anthony visits as well and their proposal is nearing its peak. By trading Omer Asik they have cleared a considerable amount of cap space. Now they hope to do the same with point guard Jeremy Lin and also letting forward Chandler Parson become a restricted free agent. This gives them the money. The presence of Dwight Howard and James Harden gives them the leverage. NBA free agency can hatch some crazy surprises.