With the trade deadline only a few weeks away, it is the time of year when trade rumors kick into overdrive. Though the 2014 free agent class could turn out to be one of the biggest ever (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc.), we’re starting to hear some of the potential destinations for the big name players in next year’s free agent class. That’s because players like Anthony will impact the other signings based on what they do this summer. Below, we take a look at some of those top free agents in 2015 and their potential landing spots.
Arguably the biggest name in the class, Love has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, but ESPN’s Chris Broussard is hearing that it is a “100 percent certainty” he’ll sign with the Lakers, according to one GM. This comes as no surprise as Love was a former UCLA Bruin. With $23.5 million committed to Kobe Bryant next season and $25 million to start the 2015 season, in order to sign Love to a max contract (or close to it) the Lakers will have to pass on signing Anthony this summer. They would have to sign a few complimentary mid-level players to play with Bryant next year and then bring him some Love for what will most likely be Kobe’s final season.
Last week, Danny Ainge reportedly offered Rondo a contract extension that would pay him “star money”. Rondo’s response: “I’m making star money now”. Broussard is also reporting that he is in no rush to sign an extension with Boston and wants to keep his options open to winning and money. If Ainge believes he will not be able to re-sign Rondo, he may be forced to trade him around the 2014 draft or before the trade deadline next season and get something in return. If Anthony re-signs with New York, the Knicks could be a strong suitor for Rondo with nearly $49 million coming off their books next summer. The Houston Rockets could be a dark horse in the Rondo sweepstakes as they currently have less than $40 million on the books for 2015.
Amongst the rumors of Love and Rondo, ESPN’s Chad Ford surprised many Thursday when he said Kyrie Irving is privately telling people he wants out of Cleveland. That has to be disheartening for Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who already lost Lebron to free agency and now his former no. 1 pick wants to bolt town as well. Big market teams like the Lakers and Knicks would make sense for Irving.
As an MVP candidate and All-Star this season, Aldridge is having his best season as a pro and it is paying off for the Trail Blazers as a contender out West. Paired with Damian Lillard, it is hard to envision a scenario in which Aldridge would walk as a free agent and will most likely be signed to an extension before next season, similar to how Paul George was this year.