Greetings, since the season is winding down tomorrow, I thought I'd look ahead to the biggest off season question facing the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan's free agent status. My hopes are that we re-sign him, but it won't be easy.
Eastern Conference Team-Current Starter
Boston N. Kristic The Celtics apparently made a big mistake trading away K. Perkins. How would a young athletic center like DJ fit into that team. Any visions of Rondo to DJ alley oops? 2011 Salary 66 million. They might not have cap space, but they are committed to putting a winner on the floor. The new CBA could hinder they're spending ability, but I think it would be a good fit.
New York No center The Knicks don't have a center at this time. Stoudamire will probably get the minutes in the playoffs as D'Antoni will try once again to win a championship with little D and lots of offense. Maybe a froncourt of Anthony, Stoudamire, and DJ could do it. 2011 Salary 61 million. Another team with deep pockets and a hole at center. Dj would thrive in an open court system and I'm sure the Knicks realize that.
Philadelphia S. Hawes Are the 76ers happy with Hawes at center? Would DJ be a significant upgrade? 2011 salary 54 million. They might have cap space but I don't think the 76ers will be a threat.
New Jersey B. Lopez The Nets have a center in Lopez so unless they trade him signing DJ seems remote. 2011 salary 40 million
Toronto A. Bargnani The Raptors signed Bargnani to a contract extension through 2014-15. He would need to either be traded, or moved to stretch 4, which might work. 2011 salary 47 million. DJ could help here with Bargnani at the 4, but why leave LA for Toronto?
Chicago J. Noah Another team with a starter on a long contract. 2011 salary 64 million.
Indiana R. Hibbert Pacers already have a young center. 2011 salary 36 million.
Milwaukee A. Bogut Bogut is owed 39 million over the next 3 years. 2011 salary 51 million
Detroit G. Monroe The Pistons drafted Greg Monroe last year, and apparently he's been a solid rookie. 2011 salary 48 million. This would fall under my why spend big money on a free agent when you drafted a lottery pick at the same position argument. A la Al Farouq Aminu. I don't see a DJ to the Pistons sceneraio.
Cleveland J. Hickson J.J. Hickson should probably be a PF. Varejao would need to be traded if Cleveland were to make a run at DJ. 2011 salary 56 million. Could Baron Davis lure DJ to Cleveland?
Miami Some stiff DJ would be great on this Miami team. 2011 salary 67 million. With the big three there isn't a lot of money to go around. Again the new CBA may hinder there spending ability going forward.
Orlando D. Howard Position is filled. 2011 salary 76 million
Atlanta A. Horford Another team with a PF playing C. DJ's athleticism would fit on this team. A likley early playoff exit may force a turnover. 2011 salary 66 million. Only way the Hawks get DJ is if they trade some of their starters, which is likely.
Charlotte K. Brown Brown is a free agent and DJ would be an upgrade. 2011 salary 51 million. The Bobcats have been trading away starters for the last year so Michael Jordan's plan is a mystery to me.
Washington J. McGee The Wizards seem to have two young athletic bigs so signing DJ wouldn't make a lot of sense. 2011 salary 46 million.
San Antonio D. Blair Another team where DJ could fit. DJ at the 5 with Tim Duncan at the four. For a defensive minded coach like Popovich this could be intriguining- until DJ gets multiple 3 second violations and abandons his defensive assignment trying to block shots. 2011 salary 74 million. They could release some players on non guarenteed contracts, but they probably won't have the money.
Dallas T. Chandler Chanler is a free agent at the end of the season. The Mavs signed Haywood to a long contract but Mark Cuban will spend to have a winner. If Chandler leaves then the Mavs could be a possibility. 2011 salary 60 million
Memphis M. Gasol The Grizzlies need to decide on re-signing Zach Randolph. Although Gasol is also a restricted free agent. I'd guess the Grizzlies will spend the money on there own free agents. 2011 salary 37 million
New Orleans E. Okafor Okafor is along the same lines as DJ but less athletic. 2011 salary 53 million
Houston C. Hayes The Chuckwagon plays with a lot of heart, but a real center would help this team immensly. A DJ-Luis Scola frontcourt would be a good mix. Scola has shooting ability and uses superior footwork and anticipation while DJ uses athleticism and length. 2011 salary 49 million A lot of reasons to like this pairing. DJ would be home, the team wins consistently, they have money to spend and a hole at the position. The coaching position could be changed, so there is that. Although I'd assume that the hire will be better than Vinny Del Negro.
Oklahoma City K. Perkins With Perkins the Thunder are set and are a real threat to win championships in the near future. 2011 salary 49 million. And they're still under the cap.
Denver Nene Nene has an early termination option on his contract worth $11.6 million. The Nuggets will probably try to extend him now that they don't have to overpay Carmelo. 2011 salary 41 million. The Nuggets have the cap space if Nene opts out for a longer deal. Personally, if we lose DJ and Nene is available a proactive front office should try to get him out of Denver. This guy is the best center in the west.
Blazers M. Camby The Blazers could use a center. Camby has one more year left on his deal, but he isn't a long term solution. Greg Oden will likely never reach the level the team hoped when he was drafted 1st overall. 2011 salary 74 million. The Blazers always spend money for a competitive team, but they are way over the cap.
Minnesota D. Milicic I don't know if the Wolves are content with Milicic at center. I don't think any team that starts Milicic at center will win. 2011 salary 44 million. Why leave LA for Minnesota?
LA Lakers A. Bynum The Lakers have their center. Only a first round knockout might prompt the front office into blowing the team up to try and create another tital run with Kobe. 2011 salary 93 million. An unlikely scenerio.
Phoenix M. Gortat The Suns traded for Gortat this year and he's under contract for at least 3 more years. 2011 salary 66 million. The Suns may start over, but Gortat will likely be a holdover.
Golden State A. Biedrins Biedrins is an overpaid undersized center. Not a good combination, unless your playing Nellie ball. 2011 salary 49 million. The Warriors could use a center like DJ. I wouldn't overlook this possibility, the Warriors have cap space.
LA Clippers C. Kaman We all know the Clippers situation. 2011 salary 45 million.
Sacramento/Anaheim D. Cousins The Kings/Royals probably have their center. Cousins is a very talented player who will hopefully mature and reach his potential. 2011 salary 29 million. The Kings/Royals have a lot of cap space but will probably use it on other positions.
Well there you have it. At this point making predictions without knowing how the new CBA will look is difficult. However, the current salary levels and rosters can give us an idea on who we will be bidding against. Good luck Neil Oshley, building a contender starts this summer.
A couple of follow up points
-Portland's 74 million cap figure includes a $9 million qualifiying offer for Greg Oden. I doubt Portland wll pay 9 million for a center on a cain who can't run for another 5 months. Their cap figure should be 65 million.
The top free agent centers in my opinion.
1 Nene- If he opts out, which is likely
2 T. Chandler
3 M. Gasol-Restricted
Don't overlook teams that are potentially over the cap. If we go on the cheap and DJ decides he wants to play for a winning organization teams with high payrolls could still work out a sign and trade deal.