There still isn’t a clear date as to when NBA free agency will start, but due to the nature of what should be a short offseason, there will be plenty of veteran ring chasers who will sign with contending teams in order to win a championship before retirement. Some of these players in the backcourt include D.J. Augustin, Goran Dragic, Kyle Korver, and Jeff Teague. The frontcourt players include Carmelo Anthony, Aron Baynes, Jeff Green, Dwight Howard, and Paul Millsap.
Best Free Agency Landing Spots for Veteran Ring Chasers
Augustin is a great fit for the Golden State Warriors. Stephen Curry will be healthy again, and the Warriors could use a back-up. Ky Bowman and Jordan Poole are not going to cut it for a contending team. Augustin has experience, is calm on the ball, and can lead a bench unit.
Dragic will be a hot name due to his playoff performances before his Finals injury. Due to this, he will have a lengthy list of suitors as one of the premier veteran ring chasers. With this being said, the Miami Heat still present the best fit. Even with other teams making moves this offseason, the Heat will remain a contender. Dragic is still a great starter, and it gives the Heat more time to allow Kendrick Nunn to grow.
The Philadelphia 76ers desperately need shooting, and new head coach Mike D’Antoni loves his shooters. They make for a perfect match with Korver. This will also serve as a homecoming for Korver, who started his career in Philadelphia. Due to the fact that he’s 39-years-old, his next contract is likely to be his last, and it’d be a great farewell for him to help the 76ers into a deep playoff run.
Teague is a solid fit for the Utah Jazz. Mike Conley is in a decline, and Jordan Clarkson is not a clear-cut starter. If Emmanuel Mudiay departs in free agency, the Jazz can roster a solid three-man rotation at point guard with Conley, Clarkson, and Teague. This can also allow Clarkson to feature as a back-up shooting guard, while Teague backs up Conley.
Anthony’s comeback last season was a sight to see, and it came with the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s not hard to picture him re-signing. Portland looked like a major threat in the bubble, but injuries and fatigue clearly played a role in their first-round series loss. Anthony already has a nice niche on a fringe-contender.
Baynes is quietly one of the better back-up centers in the league. He’s a hustle player, plays great defense, and is actually a reliable three-point shooter. The Boston Celtics are a great fit for him. Daniel Theis carved out a solid role in Boston last season, and rotating him with Baynes gives the Celtics a strong rotation that doesn’t need a star at the position.
Green became reinvigorated under D’Antoni with the Houston Rockets. Due to this, the 76ers present a good fit for him. They need better bench options at all positions, and he can also help with their shooting woes.
Like Anthony, Howard’s comeback to relevancy with the Los Angeles Lakers was a great story last season. Playing primarily as a back-up center, Howard managed to average 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game in just 19 minutes. He’s not a starter anymore, but there’s no reason for him to consider leaving the reigning champions if they want him back.
Millsap can still be a starter in today’s league, but the majority of contending teams will likely view him as one of their first options off the bench. Due to this, the Dallas Mavericks are a great landing spot for him. The Mavericks can score in bunches against anybody but need toughness, defense, and more veteran leadership. Millsap brings all of this. In addition, due to a shortened offseason, it’s unlikely that Kristaps Porzingis will be at full health to start the season. Millsap is a great fill-in for some time and will become one of the team’s top players off the bench.
Main Image:Embed from Getty Images