15. Serge Ibaka – TOR (PF)
14.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.6 bpg
Only Westbrook remains at OKC. Ibaka was traded to Orlando for 3 young players. However, things were not great and he moved to Toronto to add some veteran experience for a team wanting to make a deep playoff run. His run this season, has been good as per his career averages and he has been a defensive rock for years now in the NBA. Obviously Toronto might do well to have him, but they have a lot more to worry about with Lowry set to leave. However, Ibaka’s salary (unless he takes a pay cut) would be a fairly hefty amount in the excess of $12 million a year.
He is still, a 15 point per game,nearly 7 rebounds and 2 blocks a game and a decent 3-point shooter. It would be appealing to many teams.
14. Derrick Rose – NYK (PG)
18.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.4 apg
How things have fallen for Rose. After his amazing 2010-11 MVP season, he has never been the same player since his injuries. Despite some occasional flashes of brilliance, he is not a max contract player he wants to be, or is a fit in the Knicks. Not to mention, him going AWOL without permission before a game against the Pelicans would not do well.
However, he would still be a good off-the bench option for any team, and if he is willing to take a pay cut and chase a championship ring, there would be quite a few interested teams that would want to add depth to their PG position.
13. Dion Waiters – MIA (SG) (Player Option)
15.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.3 apg
Miami’s season was a tale of 2 halves. The first half of the season, they went 11-30. The second half of the season, they went 30-11 and nearly made the playoffs in a resurgent run. Waiters was one of the players that played a big role for the team. A decent scoring (not an exceptional one) scoring player, he finally had a season he would not forget. Averaging 15.8 point a game (career average 13.2) and providing more than 4 assists a game, it helped the team a lot. He gave a good 3-point shooting option as he shot nearly 40% from downtown, on almost 5 attempts a game.
Having declined his player option, it would be a matter of money. Having earned just under $3 million for the season, he is likely to command a salary of $15 million, given his performances. Miami may have cringed at paying so much, but now that they have settled the issues with Chris Bosh, they should be able to move on from their big-3 era.
12. Zach Randolph – MEM (PF)
14.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.7 apg
Memphis are a gritty team that can slog their way pasttheir opposition. The biggest example of that can be their veteran Zach Randolph. At the age of 35, providing 14 points a game and being a dominating presence on the boards, helped Memphis’s 2 leaders in Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. This gave them a 7th seed playoff berth. There would be no shortage of suitors for him, especially with a fairly low salary. If he takes a pay cut, he would even be a great target for Golden State Warriors or Cleveland.
It would be shocking to see him not re-sign with the Grizzlies. He has stated his love for the team and its fans and the city and this is the place for him. Memphis can still hope to rely on him for the next few seasons. A declining Zach Randolph, who has successfully embraced a role on the bench, would be a needed and respected leader for the team.
11. George Hill – UTA (PG)
16.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.2 apg
George Hill had a career best season with Utah. He produced more than his career averages in points, rebounds and assists. His 16.9 points a game were a career high average for a season. He helped the Utah claim the Northwest division title and a comfortable 5th seed in the West. In the playoffs, he played an important role as the Jazz overcame a more fancied Los Angeles Clippers before being swept by the Golden State Warriors.
An efficient shooter from any part of the court (including 3-point range), he can score reliably, having averaged fewer than 10 points a just twice in his career. However, teams would have some doubts regarding his fitness, as injuries limited him to 49 regular season games and he missed the last 3 games against the Warriors in the playoffs. His contract however is not very expensive and should be interesting a few teams. Utah would want to keep him for the foreseeable future, but San Antonio might also be interested in getting back a player (Coach pop’s favourite) who they traded for Kawhi Leonard.