Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
> Tell us where the following five big-name free agents — LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Draymond Green and Dwyane Wade — will be playing come 2015-16 and a quick reason why they are going there.
LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs. It sounds like he’s leaving Portland regardless, and the Spurs can lock in on him with the salesmanship of their heavy hitters (Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan) and the closest thing in this league to guaranteed winning.
Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzzlies. Meeting with just one team, in the city in which he’s grown up and found success, seems like a simple choice.
DeAndre Jordan – L.A. Clippers. The man with bottomless pockets, Steve Ballmer, and the NBA’s most persuasive voice, Doc Rivers, will, er, twist Jordan’s arm to take the max deal, max length.
Draymond Green – Golden State. Green is worth more to the Warriors, in their system, than he is to any other team. They know it, he knows it. No grass is Greener.
Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat. If Wade wants to be Joe Montana quarterbacking Kansas City, Bobby Orr with the Blackhawks or Hakeem Olajuwon as a Raptor, sure, he should go with his pride and sign elsewhere
LaMarcus Aldridge — San Antonio Spurs. The native Texan gets to return home in the perfect place to contend for a championship next season with Tim Duncan and move ahead toward more with Kawhi Leonard. It’s a seamless transition as L.A. approaches his 30th birthday.
Marc Gasol — Memphis Grizzlies. He’s comfortable and he’s loyal. Did I mention he’s comfortable and he’s loyal?
DeAndre Jordan — Dallas Mavericks. He wants out of playing third fiddle behind Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, even though it’s a foolish decision that moves him farther from a championship and will expose him as less than a leading man. But he’ll fall in love with Mark Cuban’s wooing.
Draymond Green — Golden State Warriors. Really? You have to ask?
Dwyane Wade — Miami Heat. If it’s about money, which Wade seems to indicate it is, he’ll eventually realize there’s still more of it to be had with the Heat than anyplace else
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Aldridge will be going to the Spurs, because he is tired of being on one of the better teams in the West and wants to be somewhere with the track record of getting to the very top, and maybe, just maybe, because he wants to get away from the increasing Damian Lillard spotlight. I think LMA is leaving, it’s just a matter of where. It’s more like 50-50 for a DeAndre Jordan departure from the Clippers. I would not be surprised if he stays, would not be surprised if he goes. And if he does go: Mavericks. Wade probably stays in Miami. Gasol definitely stays in Memphis, Green definitely stays in Oakland.
LaMarcus Aldridge — San Antonio Spurs. It’s an hour from his home in Austin and he’d immediately make the Spurs a strong favorite. Because Aldridge made big money on his last contract, he doesn’t need to squeeze the last dime (that’s not The Spurs Way anyway) and he’d benefit from no state tax. If they get Aldridge, Tim Duncan may sign up for two more years.
Marc Gasol — Memphis Grizzlies. He went to high school in Memphis and spent his entire NBA career in Memphis. He’s Memphis.
DeAndre Jordan — Los Angeles Clippers. I don’t buy whispers about him beefing with Chris Paul and wanting to be a go-to guy offensively.
Draymond Green — Golden State Warriors. He won’t find more money and a bigger role anywhere else.
Dwyane Wade — Miami Heat. He’s not throwing away all that goodwill, and besides, they’ll find a cushy gig for him when he retires
LaMarcus Aldridge — San Antonio Spurs, because it’s the organization that every player should want to join.
Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies, because he’s got a pretty good thing going there.
DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers. See Gasol, Marc. If Jordan goes elsewhere, he’s really going to miss Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors. He’s a restricted free agent, and the Warriors will obviously match any offer.
Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat, because of loyalty and money, but also because that will be a pretty good team next season.
LaMarcus Aldridge — L.A. Lakers, where he can serve as the bridge star from the end of the Kobe Bryant era to the future for the Lakers.
Marc Gasol — Memphis Grizzlies, where he remains the face and backbone of the grit and grind movement.
DeAndre Jordan — Dallas Mavericks, where he can find the bigger role and environment he seeks.
Draymond Green — Golden State Warriors, because you don’t leave a championship situation where you fit perfectly.
Dwyane Wade — Miami Heat, because his value is greater (at this stage of his career) than it is anywhere else.
Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: I believe all will be staying put. Aldridge will be passing up too much money to leave Portland, and he possesses a powerful role within the organization that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Gasol is at home in Memphis and is not to be lured by the more glamorous markets. Why would Jordan leave the Clippers? It is a destination franchise in the league’s most compelling market with championship hopes – in addition to the ability to pay him more than anyone else. Green isn’t leaving a championship team that has the right to match any offer. Wade and the Heat need one another and will ultimately come to an agreement, I believe.
LaMarcus Aldridge — San Antonio Spurs, because he’s a Texas guy and this is his best opportunity at winning.
Marc Gasol — Memphis Grizzlies, because it makes perfect sense for him to stay.
DeAndre Jordan — Dallas Mavericks, because owner Mark Cuban has swung and missed a lot the last few years, and he’s due for a home run … well, maybe a stand-up double.
Draymond Green — Golden State Warriors, because he ain’t going anywhere else.
Dwyane Wade — Miami Heat, because I think Wade will discover the big money market may be sparse for a 33-year-old with bad knees who can’t shoot threes.