You wouldn’t know it but there are other free agents who may change teams. Paul George and Kevin Durant didn’t. They took the money option and the it’s good here option and are doing what most players do. Most players don’t leave teams. It’s not different than non-athletes. People pretty much live where they have always lived. LeBron is the lone superstar willing to change teams. Over and over again. What does that same about him? That he is willing to take risks.
Let me say this about the whole superstar taking a risk thing. In the old days, players wanted security and money. Nowadays security isn’t that big of a deal. Big time talents want the money on smaller deals so they can have the option to go if things fall apart. They are not afraid of leaving.
The rest of the NBA isn’t afraid of leaving either. Particularly if more money is involved.
DeAndre Jordan (Unrestricted). Dallas is the frontrunner despite DJ punking them three years ago. They have the cap space to give DJ a similar salary to what he is making now, $24 million, and are talking to him about making it happen so goodbye L.A. Add DJ to Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic and it may not be a playoff team because their bench is suspect but they are in the scrum fighting for an 8th seed. Jordan helps them defensively and with rebounding but his offense is blah. 2017-18: 12 points, 15 rebounds. 105 Defensive Rating. 20.2 PER
Chris Paul (Unrestricted). He can take the Western Conference Finals off his bucket list. He returns to Houston and tries to figure out how to unseat the Warriors. Clue: defense matters. 2017-18: 18 points. 8 assists. 105 Defensive Rating. 24.4 PER.
J.J. Redick (Unrestricted). May return to Philly. If the 76ers signed LeBron than he was odd man out. But barring that miracle, if the 76ers make small moves to upgrade the bench, Redick may return on a two year deal. He’s great in the locker room. But he’d also fit with the Warriors as a Shaun Livingston replacement. 2017-18: 17 points. 42% three pointers. 119 Offensive Rating.
Aaron Gordon (Restricted). He has never lived up to his top of the lottery potential but he was a 17 and 8 player last year. He can’t rid the he’s just a dunker bio. But he can be a third option on a team with two elite scorers. He’s buried in Orlando who have too many front court players. He should want to leave but he’ll take the most money if Orlando offers it. If they don’t, he’ll feel disrespected. 2017-18: 17 points. 8 rebounds.
Julius Randle (Restricted). He looked prime and ready for the Mavericks but once DeAndre came available, a better defensive player, a worse offensive player, Randle was squeezed by the system with few teams that are spenders. The 76ers would be interesting with Embiid and Randle in the front court. Randle plays hard and hustles. The Blazers need him. But the Lakers might talk him into taking less money. Or Utah might be interested if they get rid of Derrick Favors. And watch out for the Nets. 2017-18: 16 points. 8 rebounds. 19.9 PER
Jabari Parker (Restricted). He would have an extension but two ACL injuries have put his Milwaukee future in doubt. Of course he wants a max deal but no one is giving that to him after two ACL injuries, even as he has proven he still has athleticism and can run the floor. The question is, does his game have to change? Shut down all that torque and concentrate on mid-range and perimeter shot making. 2017-18: 12 points. 5 rebounds. 38% three pointers.
Isaiah Thomas (Restricted). You can’t get more unlucky that Isaiah. He was on track for a max deal, then the hip injury, LeBron and a funky 2017-18 got in the way. He’s worth about $10 million on a one year deal with an option. Isaiah can score and distribute but how healthy can he stay? His health is keeping his salary suppressed but Isaiah is still a wild card. Don’t count out the Spurs who need all the offense they can get and may even start Isaiah. Isaiah would love to play in the Garden. And don’t count out the Lakers. 2017-18: 15 points. 5 assists.
Tyreke Evans (Unrestricted). He bet on himself on a very, very friendly $3 million dollar deal and had a career year on the offensive side of the ball, doing things the Tyreke book said he just could not do. Scoring from the perimeter. He’d make a good compliment on a playoff team and you don’t have to break the bank. The Grizzlies want him back but can’t afford him. 2017-18: 19 points. 5 rebounds. 5 assists. 21.1 PER
Derrick Favors (Unrestricted). Favors is interesting. He’s a defensive player without much of an offensive game. What he is going to do for you are things that don’t show in the stat sheet. He’s a role player that isn’t going to cost that much though I’m sure he’s asking for about $14 million. Utah wants him back but how much are they going to pay? 2017-18: 12 points. 7 rebounds. 1.1 blocks. 104 Defensive Rating. 18.8 PER.
Trevor Ariza (Unrestricted). I expect to see him with the Warriors as the Warriors end their Swaggy experiment. Ariza does everything the Warriors like a player to do. He spaces the floor, he’s a team guy, he has a ring playing with a superstar (Kobe Bryant), he’s coachable. 2017-18: 12 points. 4 rebounds. 114 Offensive Rating.