The NBA season seems like it just ended yesterday. The fact that we have free agents signing big contracts in September is really crazy, and it makes the season seem like it never ends. We had a massive summer, with all of the free agent signings, trades, and the stacked draft. Five columns will help preview and predict this NBA season, which, as always, will prove to be amazing.
Here, I’m going to figure out what free agent signing is going have the biggest impact, excluding Lebron James. The free agent market this summer was insane. Lebron put the whole thing on hold, and then, it blew. He held the league hostage, pretty much. Besides him, other signings will prove to be huge by the end of year. Take a look below.
These are free agents that signed with new teams this summer.
Lance Stephenson, Charlotte Hornets
Lance Stephenson made the headlines last year. Blowing in people’s ear during they Playoffs, and is regularly flopping. Leaving Indiana after the Eastern Conference Finals loss, might be smart, for this year, at least. Indiana is destined to slip, with Paul George out for the year, and Lance in Charlotte. The Hornets (formely Bobcats) grabbed the 7th seed in last year’s playoffs, making a statement to the league that they’re competitive. With Al Jefferson (Big Al!) and Kemba Walker, the Hornets felt pretty good coming into the playoffs, however, they had to match up with the Miami Heat, and were swept in that series.
Now, with Lance Stephenson, Al Jefferson, and Kemba Walker, this team could become interesting this year. The back-court is now stacked. They’ve got Big Al in the paint. They drafted Noah Vonleh, the power forward from Indiana, who looks promising, but is a project. On the wing, Michael Kidd Gilchrist has developed nicely, and is solid, but is not someone to rely on, yet. If you have anyone on your team with the last name Zeller, you’ve got a good player on your team. Cody Zeller, another big man in the paint, is another young guy on this team who can protect the rim.
Lance also plays good defense, and is a feisty defender. He can generate turnovers and get steals. The Hornets are already a very good defensive team, with the big rim blockers and the fast back-court. The acquisition though, is more about the offensive side of the ball.
With Lance, the offense of this team can be really dicey. Lance is very athletic, and should add some speed to the offense. With Kemba Walker at PG, Lance at two guard will be very complimentary. I’m not worried about enough shots on this team, though Lance needs to learn about high and low percentage shots. It’s not like he’s awful shooter, but it’s the decisions he makes with the basketball that costs him. The Hornets have a very bright future, and with Lance coming over, they could be moving up the standings in the East quietly.
Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks
Now they may have signed him in a night club, which honestly makes sense giving how much they payed him, but Parsons is a very unque talent. A talent were there aren’t many of in the league. A maximum of ten guys int he league have his skill: A wing player who will shoot 3’s and create shots for other people.
Parsons is one of my favorite players in the league. He is tall and athletic, and can shoot the basketball, from anywhere with 15-25 feet. He’s a 47% career shooter, and will pass the ball if not given the right opportunity.
Parsons is also young, something this Mavericks team lacks. With Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, it’s a old team. Parsons adds the athleticism, but not any kind of speed. Parsons doesn’t play great defense, as Damian Lillard proved to us last year.
Parsons wing play is special. You can play him at the 3 or 4 spot, and he will contribute. He’s gonna move around a bit, and will shoot the ball when given the opportunity. The Mavericks though, may want try to help on his defense. It’s not as bad as it seems, and wing is a offensive position, but contributions on defense are never a bad thing.
Isaiah Thomas, Phoenix Suns
In Preseason so far, Thomas has looked phenomenal. With Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, Thomas comes in as the 3rd guy, however, coach Jeff Hornacek, has played all three at once. It’s unlikely that they all start at the same time. The speed while that lineup was on the court though, was incredible. Guys were just flying up and down the court, as the three tossed the ball around and shot three’s. It going to be raining in Phoenix. I can’t wait to watch this team, overall.
Thomas is a total heat-check guy. He is going to launch at any given moment, which is what is going to drive this team. He can also drive to the paint, and lay the ball in. He’s going to be huge on offense. Adding to speed to this blazing offense is just going to capitalize it.
Thomas is also a very good defender. He’s quick, and won’t be beat. Thomas is going to be able to stay with guards, but not anyone else. He’s tiny, and anyone not playing guard is going to get by him. Thomas is scrappy, and can take it too far when guarding, but usually, it ends up in a steal. Defensive guards is something the Suns don’t lack, but if your coach is Jeff Hornacek, then you can’t enough of them.