Top 5 NBA free agent signings 2013
The free agent market has been pretty strong for the NBA this offseason and the player shuffle that's resulted should make for interesting upcoming year.
Hoopsvibe's quick call: Here the top 5 most interesting NEW free agent signings (re-signing excluded).
1.) Dwight Howard – Old team: Lakers, New Team: Rockets
It's been difficult to root for Dwight Howard over the past few years, because it seems he rips team morale apart everywhere he ends up. Regardless, Houston got him on the cheap at $22 million a year, considering he left $30 million on the table by leaving in LA. And when you combine Howard's talent (dude has averaged 18.3 points and 12.9 rebounds a game over his career) with James Harden's and Jeremy Lin's (not to mention both those guys seem like humble, team players) it makes for a threatening "big 3" in the western conference. And then there's the fact that the Rockets are coached by one of the best big men to play the game in Kevin McHale, someone who Dwight respects and will help his game and find a spot for him in the offense. Something Mike D'Antoni had a tough time doing in LA.
(Sidenote: Although Howard leaves $30 mill on the table leaving in LA, there's no state income tax in Texas and California's income tax in the highest in the country, which means Howard will actually net roughly $2 million more over the next four years.)
2.) Metta World Peace – Old team: Lakers, New Team: Knicks
While a contact has yet to officially be signed, all reports note that an agreement has been reached and The Baller Formerly Known as Ron Artest will be a member of the New York Knicks this season. Even though the Lakers amnestied him to free up cap space, there's no arguing that while MWP can be a wildcard at times, he performs on the court. He's one of the best defenders in the NBA and has averaged 14.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game over the course of 14 seasons. He may be older, but he doesn't seem to have lost a step. He's from New York, and there's probably no better place he could've ended up. The Knicks will definitely benefit from the energy he'll bring.
3.) Mike Dunleavy – Old team: Bucks, New team: Bulls
Look out for the Chicago Bulls next season. A healthy Derrick Rose, combined with Luo Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and now Mike Dunleavy, a 42.8% three-point shooter who's averaged just under 12 points a game in his career, is a pretty scary Eastern Conference combo. And for a guy who's had such a solid career with not much playoff experience, you can bet he'll be motivated to do well in Chicago.
4.) Andre Iguodala – Old team: Nuggets, New team: Warriors
Iguodala is a nine-year NBA baller and an All-Star, who's averaged 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists in his regular season career. He pretty much does everything on the court (he's a great defender as well) and was even third among shooter guards this past season for assists per game. (Behind only Kobe Bryant and James Harden) Putting Iguodala on a squad with the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes? Serious.
5.) Josh Smith – Old team: Hawks, New team: Pistons
Simply put: Josh Smith presents a tough matchup. He's a six foot nine inch lefty, that can shoot the mid range jump shot while also bodying it up down low. Having great size and range makes him an ideal pickup for the Detroit Pistons, who made Smith their #1 priority this offseason. He's a pretty decent defender, too; all the more reason Joe Dumars and company in Detroit decided to sign him to a four-year $54 million deal. "Smith is the only NBA player to average at least 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal per game since blocks and steals became an official league statistic four decages ago, according to STATS LLC." (www.nba.com)
What do you think, Hoopsvibers? Who is the best free agent acquisition?
Photo Credit: WENN