7. Paul Millsap
Paul Millsap appears to be miserable in Atlanta, (playing next to Dwight Howard will do that to you,) and he can become a free agent this year. With reports that the Hawks were looking to deal Millsap earlier in the year, they clearly don’t feel confident in their ability to retain him. Look for the power forward to find a new home in free agency.
6. Dwyane Wade
If it’s about the money, Wade will likely opt into the second year of the deal he signed with the Bulls. If he’d rather win another championship before retiring, then he’d be much better off signing elsewhere. Wade can make millions off endorsements and his shoe deal in China. Signing for the minimum with the Cavs and winning another championship could vault him into the top-15 players to ever set foot on the court.
5. Blake Griffin
All good things must come to an end, and Lob City has had it coming for a long time. Griffin’s health has always been volatile, but he’d have value on a team with more depth. The Clippers just can’t get the job done with their current core, so him moving on might be the best thing for him. The Thunder may not have a ton of depth, but they offer the chance to play with a star close to where Griffin went to school.
4. Carmelo Anthony
Nobody is a bigger mess than the New York Knicks, and Carmelo Anthony will be much better off playing elsewhere. Anthony is bound to get dealt this offseason, the only things in question are where he’ll land, and what the Knicks will receive in return. The Heat could potentially sneak into this race, so keep an eye on them.
3. Chris Paul
In terms of ability, Chris Paul is one of the best point guards ever. His accolades simply don’t match up with the type of talent he’s shown on the court, though. Paul has an enormous decision to make in about two months. He could re-sign with the Clippers, but he probably won’t win anything there. Paul would be much better off playing for a different team, so keep an eye on him as free agency nears.
2. Jimmy Butler
The Bulls don’t want Jimmy Butler, and he’d be much better off playing elsewhere. If Boston wins the lottery, they’ll be in the perfect position to draft a point guard. The Celtics have exceptional point guard depth, so dealing that pick to the Bulls for Butler’s services makes far more sense than adding another point guard. The Bulls would be foolish to pass on an offer like that.
1. Paul George
Whether he gets traded, or leaves as a free agent next summer, Paul George will be wearing a different shade of gold sometime in 2018. George wants to play for the Lakers, and it’s really only a matter of time before he gets his way. The question is: Will the Lakers surrender assets in a trade for him? That’d be a bad move, but they could jump the gun in an effort to seal the deal.