It’s never too early to start looking at the next list of free agents in the NBA. That’s especially true if you’re the Charlotte Bobcats and you’ve got nothing to look forward to until the offseason.
So lets get away from that bit of depression, and dive into the list of free agents the ‘Cats should already have their eyes on.
1. Chandler Parsons
Why should the Bobcats even think they have a chance to land this guy? Because they’ve got cap space to work with, and they could outbid almost any team for him if they really wanted to. That, of course, would mean overpaying for a guy who’d be on just his second NBA contract… But that guy is Chandler Parsons, and he’s pretty good.
2. Ivan Johnson
Again, another guy people might scoff at Charlotte for trying to land, but, again, the ‘Cats can overpay for Johnson if they want. He’s a force inside, and even if they overpay for him, he’d still come cheaper than almost anyone of equivalent talent available in 2013. Don’t think for a second that Atlanta will just let him walk, but for a guy in his shoes (came up through the D League), more money, and in turn a bigger showing of faith from the organization, might be enough to draw him to the Queen City.
3. Timofey Mozgov
The Nuggets can offer Mozgov more than anyone else this summer, but will they want to? Before JaVale McGee got to Denver, Mozgov started, and played pretty damn well. For his career he’s averaging 12 points and nine rebounds per 36 minutes. I watched him when he was with New York, and despite his propensity to get dunked on by Blake Griffin, I believe if he gets close to 36 minutes per game, he could average a double-double.
4. J.R. Smith
He might not technically fall under the “under the radar” banner, but as a free agent, he might. Did you know he makes less than $3 million this season? He does have a player option, and who could blame him if he decides to stay in NY and play at Madison Square Garden for another year… But, who could blame him if he decides to head to Charlotte after Michael Jordan (yeah, I know, Rich Cho runs things now) offers him a solid contract and a starting position. I salivate at the prospect of watching him and Kemba Walker run the backcourt… Salivate.
5. Larry Sanders
This is, of course, reliant on Milwaukee not executing its team option on him… Which they’ll probably do… But, can you imagine watching him and Bismack Biyombo swat a combined 1,000,0000,000 shots a night (a little exaggeration, but not too far off)? If Milwaukee doesn’t use its team option on Sanders, the Bobcats will be a team that pursues Sanders.
6. Boris Diaw