NBA fans and season ticket holders, we received some news regarding the 2018-2019 schedule today. The five Christmas games have been announced along with MLK day games, and a few opening night match-ups. Lebron and the “new look” Lakers will be visiting Damian Lillard and company. The Boston Celtics will face off against the up and coming 76ers on October 16th, and Pat Connaughton and the Bucks will visit the New York Knickerbockers for the first Christmas Day game. Will any of the top free agents be playing for any of these teams on those days? Lets take a look..
The 36 year old three time NBA champion is unsure if he will step on an NBA court again. Those are the recent reports, but if you follow him on social media it seems like he is in prime shape and training almost everyday. That doesn’t mean his 65 year old knees can take the grit and grind of an 82 game season in which he hasn’t achieved in his entire career. The closest he has been was in 2008 when he suited up and played 79 games for the Miami Heat. I believe many teams could definitely use his leadership in the locker room and as a spark off the bench. He ended up leading the Heat in scoring in multiple games this past playoffs. With Dion Waiters returning from injury and a young back court including Tyler Johnson, Wade is still a great fit for the team he won championships for. The only other option would be if another team in China offered him a contract. The Zhejiang Golden Bulls offered him a three year deal worth over $25 million last month, but he did not respond as the team gave him a three day deadline to make a decision. Bet on Wade signing a one year deal with the Miami Heat before the season starts.
Rodney Hood … For 3
On Sunday February 11, 2018, I was apart of one of the most important basketball games in Celtics history; Paul Pierce’s retirement game. The Celtics hosted the “new look” Cavs days after the trade deadline. The Celtics were blown out, I teared up as #34 was raised to the rafters, and the words “Rodney Hood for 3” are now forever embedded in my mind from the announcer. Anyway…
Rodney Hood was a scoring machine averaging 17 points for the Utah Jazz before being shipped over to Cleveland. By the playoffs he was out of the rotation completely while refusing to check into the end of blow out games. This was bizarre to me considering he was the third best player on the roster behind Lebron James and Kevin Love. As Hood is a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers extended a qualifying offer of 3.3 million for next season. Hood and his representatives are looking for more of a long term deal. At 25 years old and the ability to create shots and play defense, I expected a deal worth around 60-70 million to already be on the table. Since the drama at the end of last season, Hood is looking like he will be receiving a deal similar to Marcus Smart. I predict he will suit up for the Cavs on a four year deal worth between 50-55 million.
A respected top ball handler who could go off for 20 points any given night is still a free agent? I guess the 38 year old vet isn’t as appealing as I thought, or maybe teams aren’t offering the right money, but his services could be used by various teams in the NBA. The first player in NBA history to win the 6th man of the year three times is a spark off the bench who can virtually create a shot at any given moment. He can cross up anyone and can be a great role model on a young team. I believe the 76ers or the Timberwolves make the most sense. About a week ago (queue Bobby Shmurda) the core of the 76ers including Ben Simmons loved the idea of bringing in Crawford via Twitter. To be honest, their bench is somewhat stacked if Fultz comes back with a jump shot after a miserable rookie season where he only played 14 games. We got to see flashes at the end of the season including a triple double. Anyway, one other team that might throw a veteran minimum offer to Jamal is the defending champion, Warriors. I believe Crawford has to much pride to join the super team, but at this point anything can happen. I see Crawford returning to the Wolves on a one year deal worth 3-5 million.
Under the radar Free Agents with predictions :
- Nick “Swag Champ” Young: Houston Rockets
- Lucas Nogueira: Toronto Raptors