As 2017 NBA Free Agency is set to get underway, a look at one signing every team should make to help further their cause moving forward
Not that any of the 30 teams in the league waiting for the new league year to start going berserk, but 2017 NBA free agency has arrived. It’s going to be one of the wildest periods in recent memory, perhaps even more so than a year ago with the huge salary cap spike with teams handing out enormous deals to a number of, for lack of a better term, unworthy candidates.
The potential calamity this offseason is due, in part, to the salary cap once again. Over the past year, the expectations for the 2017-18 salary cap have changed dramatically. They went from being higher than this past season, to being slightly lower, to then being even lower than that after fewer playoff games took place than expected.
However, what could also make 2017 NBA free agency a wild-west type of affair is the craziness that we’ve already seen to this point. After all, we’ve already seen both Jimmy Butler and Chris Paul traded. Meanwhile, figures like Paul George and [Insert New York Knicks rumor du jour] still hang over whatever else could happen this offseason. For both of those teams and the parties interested in them, that will affect how they approach offseason moves.
Additionally, there are a number of big names on the market, while the free agent pool also includes a number of high-upside contributors. No two teams are in the exact same situation, obviously, meaning they all have different needs and constraints on the open market. That means each team’s big targets this offseason are different as well.
So, who should each of the league’s 30 teams sign? A look at one signing every team needs to make in 2017 NBA free agency.
Atlanta Hawks: Serge Ibaka
Unfortunately for the Atlanta Hawks, all signs point to them not being able to retain Paul Millsap. Now that leaves the team and/or front office in somewhat of a bind. On one hand, they still have pieces like Dennis Schroeder that will allow them to potentially make big moves with their newfound cap space and still be competitive in the Eastern Conference. Of course, they could also elect to go the opposite way and bottom out before rebuilding through the draft or through free agency in a year.
Just given the tone of how things sound coming out of the organization, though, my money would be on the team trying to stay competitive. As such, they’re going to be trying to lure a big name to Atlanta. The problem with that is, however, that I’m not entirely sure how keen free agents would be on going to the Hawks if they care about much else besides money. Not that he cares about only money, but that makes landing a player like Serge Ibaka pivotal for the Hawks in free agency.
Though most would agree that he’s a lesser version, Ibaka would provide the Hawks with a similar impact to what Millsap gave the team. He’s a versatile offensive player that can run the floor and score from the outside, while also being an athletic and capable inside-out defender. It remains to be seen just how big of a deal that Ibaka will pull on the open market, but the Hawks are in a position to afford whatever the price is. Thus, they should make a strong play for the big man.