Free agency is nearing its climax and rosters are starting to fill out around the league. Certain teams have already used much of their cap space up. However, there are still a few more dominoes to fall in this 2018 free agency. There are still some promising young players available as well as quality role players that could add worth to a playoff team. Here are the Top 5 NBA free agents and where we believe they will sign.
5. Carmelo Anthony
Destination: Houston Rockets
Carmelo Anthony was recently dealt from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team trade involving OKC, Atlanta, and Philly. According to Woj, he is expected to be bought out of his contract by the Hawks and enter free agency. Despite, having a setback year with the Thunder. Melo still has much to offer the game of basketball, but on a roster that is ready to contend for a championship. According to Woj, the Houston Rockets appear as the leading frontrunner to acquire the former All-Star forward.
Carmelo Anthony is currently 34 years old and that championship window is coming to close. It just so happens that many believe that the Rockets were a healthy Chris Paul away from a championship this past season. Carmelo would be under less pressure too as he would likely be their fourth scoring option behind Harden, Paul, and Gordon. The Rockets would likely have to make a trade to free up some roster space, but according to ESPN, the Rockets are determined to sign Melo.
4. Vince Carter
Destination: Toronto Raptors
The days of Vinsanity are dwindling for the 41-year-old. However, Vince Carter is still chasing that ring entering what would be his 21st NBA season. It would be a shame for him to walk away ringless. At the end of the 2017-18 season, he received the NBPA(National Basketball Players Association) Backbone Award and the Most Respected Award.
Many young players could benefit from his mentorship and veteran leadership that he brings to any NBA locker room. It would be nice to see him chase a ring or eventually retire in the place where he started his Hall of Fame-caliber career. That would be with none other than the Toronto Raptors. The Toronto Raptors recently re-shaped their roster by acquiring former NBA champs from the Spurs in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. They are looking to go all in next year in the hopes of bringing the franchises first championship to the city of Toronto. Vince Carter could provide a great locker room presence to the franchise and nice shooter off the bench as a career 37% marksman from deep. When it's all said and done, I think we’ll see him return to where he started.
3. Dwyane Wade
Destination: Miami Heat
Now that Dwyane Wade returned to the Miami Heat it would be hard to see him leaving again. The once broken relationship between Wade and Pat Riley seems to have been repaired. At age 36, Wade’s durability and knees aren’t what they used to be. He is not likely to earn big money anywhere in the league. This past postseason he did show he can still ball albeit a small five-game sample size, where he averaged 16.6 ppg 4.2 rpg and 3.6 apg on 44% shooting with the Heat.
Dion Waiters has likely superseded him for the starting role on this Heat team, but at 36 what else could Wade expect. If the Miami Heat hope to retain their franchise’s backbone and leader they better act fast. According to Adam Wells, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball League are looking to scoop up the future Hall of Famer by offering a “monster contract”. I expect the Heat will come to terms with Wade on a new deal, but this Chinese team is a darkhorse to watch in the Dwayne Wade sweepstakes.
Destination: Cleveland Cavaliers
After his midseason trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers people seem to forget how good Rodney Hood was with the Utah Jazz. The sharpshooting wing was averaging 16.8 ppg on 42% shooting and 38% from 3 in 39 games. The guy can be a walking bucket at times on any roster. The 25-year-old wing has garnered interest from The Cavs, Bulls, Pelicans, and Kings.
I expect that he will return to the Cavs. According to Sam Amico, NBA Columnist the Cavs and Hood are still in discussions on a possible long-term deal. Since the Kings recently signed Yogi Ferrell and Nemanja Bjelica they have likely moved on from the possibility of placing an offer sheet out for the restricted free agent. The Bulls just signed Jabari Parker to a big deal. The Pelicans made additions to their roster with Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle. The ball in the Cavs court now. It seems like GM Coby Altman sees a future with Rodney Hood.
1. Clint Capela
Destination: Houston Rockets
Clint Capela does still want over a $100 Million max contract, but this seems undoubtedly similar to what we saw transpire with Nerlens Noel and the Dallas Mavericks last off-season. The Mavericks originally offered Noel a 4-year deal worth $70 Million, but he turned it down only to see the market dry up on him. Later, he was forced to re-up with the Mavs for just a measly $4.1 Million deal.
Clint Capela recently turned down a 5-year deal worth $85 Million with the Houston Rockets. I expect the market to dry up on him too in the same way it did Noel. This will force the rising star Forward to sign a less than stellar deal to prove himself again or try to renegotiate the same deal. I strongly believe based on this comparative history between Noel and Capela that he’ll be Rocket again even if it’s for short tenure.
We would be more than happy to hear your thoughts on these top remaining free agents. Be sure keep it locked on Fadeaway World for all the latest in-depth analysis, news, predictions, rankings, and everything NBA.