While the 2013 offseason is just around the corner, it’s the summer of 2014 that has NBA decision-makers excited.
Next offseason has the potential to shift the balance of power in the NBA because the draft class and free agent class are loaded with franchise-changing players. Rebuilding teams will have the opportunity to add a star in June while contending teams will be able to bolster their roster in July.
The 2014 draft class could include Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Dante Exum, Mario Hezonja, James McAdoo, P.J. Hairston, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein and many other talented players.
Wiggins has superstar potential and his dominance at the high school level has led some talent evaluators to compare him to LeBron James. Many people in NBA circles believe that Wiggins could start in the NBA today and make a significant impact – he’s that good
However, Wiggins isn’t the only potential star in the draft class. Parker and Randle have drawn a lot of praise as well and they have tremendous upside too. Gordon and the Harrison twins are expected to be one-and-done and then light up the NBA as well. Throw in the players who decided to return to school such as Smart, McAdoo, Hairston, Poythress and Cauley-Stein – who were all being projected as first-round picks in the 2013 NBA Draft – and the 2014 draft class could be one of the best in recent history.
The 2014 free agent class could include LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh, John Wall, Paul George, Zach Randolph, Luol Deng, Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors, Larry Sanders, Greg Monroe, Paul Pierce, Danny Granger, Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrew Bogut among others.
Bryant, Nowitzki, Granger, Deng, Pierce, Gasol and Bogut will be unrestricted free agents that summer. James, Wade, Anthony, Stoudemire, Bosh, Gay and Randolph have either a player option or early termination option, which means they can opt-out and become unrestricted free agents. Wall, George, Cousins, Favors, Sanders and Monroe will be restricted free agents.
Executives have already started preparing for next offseason. Some rebuilding teams are doing their homework on the top draft prospects. Some contending teams have refused to make any moves that jeopardize their flexibility and cap room for the summer of 2014. Either way, teams understand that there will be a wealth of talent available in the very near future. One Western Conference executive admitted that he has been eyeing the summer of 2014 since last year.
The summer of 2013 should be fun, as NBA offseasons always are. However, it’s nothing compared to what we’ll see in the summer of 2014.
Edited by MDI, April 17, 2013 - 01:43 PM.