This is a lead on from part 1 of the NBA Free Agent Market: Pacific Division where we have the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz. The Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves can be found in part 1.
Oklahoma City ThunderSeason Recap: The Western Conference Champions finished the regular season with the #2 seed at 47-19. They went on to beat the San Antonio Spurs in 6 and played a competitive NBA Finals series with the Miami Heat. They would lose that series but it gives them a lot of promise heading into the future. This Thunder team are destined to greatness and its just a matter of how long they will ride the top of the conference. Salary Cap Situation: The Thunder are over the salary cap and can only afford to sign new players with the mid level exception at $5.76 million or the veterans minimum. There won't be any problems this year attempting to keep their team intact but next year they will struggle as there will be other teams throwing money at James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Free Agents: Nazr Mohammed: 2011-2012 Salary $3.7 Million, unrestricted free agent. He is expendable to the Thunder as they have younger, stronger, better big men on the roster. He is in the top portion of money makers on this team and he may be let go. Royal Ivey: 2011-2012 Salary $1.2 Million, unrestricted free agent. Ivey was a shooting guard that came off the bench and hit some 3's here and there. But his play time was reduced when Derek Fisher was signed so if Fisher does come back for another year then Ivey may be unsigned to save some salary cap space. Derek Fisher: 2011-2012 Salary $0.4 Million, unrestricted free agent. The Rockets paid most of Fisher's salary which will make him more expensive to resign. Derek is looking at being offered the veterans minimum but may still generate some interest from other teams. Potential Targets: Derek Fisher (Oklahoma City Thunder): Oklahoma City's greatest interest is to keep their team together. Most of them have a big NBA career ahead of them and they want to stay with each other because their is potential to win many titles over the next 5-10 years. Fisher can provide experience as long as he is around. Outlook: The front office can put its feet up as there are only minor things to address. It's all about staying in shape now with a strong training camp and the Thunder will be back at it again. Photo Credit: www.zimbio.com
Portland TrailblazersSeason Recap: Portland went into rebuilding mode around the trade deadline and their record showed that as they finished 28-38. LaMarcus Aldridge also had to sit out the remainder of the season due to a hip injury so all was not well in Portland. With plenty of draft picks and some free agents they will be looking to take their next step of rebuilding this off season. Salary Cap Situation: There is some space under the cap for the Blazers to make some moves, which is one of the reasons why they have offered Roy Hibbert a big juicy contract. Plenty of players are coming off contract so the Blazers really need to pick it up if they want to entice some good players to go to Portland. Free Agents: Raymond Felton: 2011-2012 Salary $7.5 Million, unrestricted free agent. There has been no talk of where Raymond Felton may end up. It's surprising to see that he is not generating any interest but he will land with a team we just don't know who yet. Hasheem Thabeet: 2011-2012 Salary $5.1 Million, unrestricted free agent. The #2 pick in his draft and has failed to emerge as a star in the NBA. He's bouncing from team to team and word is Thabeet is on his way to the Thunder next season. Jamal Crawford: 2011-2012 Salary $5 Million, unrestricted free agent. His immediate future lies with Portland but he too could be on his way out of Portland. Crawford will always generate some interest because of how well he can shoot the ball some nights. Potential Targets: Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers): Portland has thrown a big multi year contract at Roy Hibbert that will likely see him in a Trail Blazers uniform next season. He will be able to lock down the paint on defense and LaMarcus Aldridge will be able to score on offense. A combination to be feared. Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks): Is a Power Forward that can come off the bench and spread the floor with his 3 point shooting. Would receive good minutes off the bench. Outlook: The Blazers are rebuilding, there is plenty of action yet to come out of Portland because the reality is they need 12 players on their roster before next season. Photo Credit: www.sports-kings.com
Utah JazzSeason Recap: Utah snuck into the postseason action as the #8 seed in the west at 36-30. They were to be swept in the first round though by San Antonio. The Jazz like their team but already they have started making moves to improve the roster. Salary Cap Situation: The Jazz are over the salary cap and have little room to be adding extra players. They will have to keep trading if they want to change the look of their team. Next off season will be critical for the Jazz as 4 highest paid players will be free agents. Free Agents: C.J. Miles: 2011-2012 Salary $3.7 Million, unrestricted free agent. Nothing as yet from the Jazz but Miles has taken the front foot and has met with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. They had dinner and there is no doubt the future of C.J's career was spoken about. Josh Howard: 2011-2012 Salary $2.1 Million, unrestricted free agent. A free agent once again after signing a 1 year deal for the Jazz last season. He could land up with anyone. Potential Targets: Mo Williams (Los Angeles Clippers): Has been traded to the Jazz via the Clippers and Mavericks. It's a one year deal which gives Mo the option to leave next season. This trade has forced Devin Harris out so Williams now becomes the starting point guard. Marvin Williams (Atlanta Hawks): This is another trade that involves Devin Harris as he has been swapped for Marvin Williams. Marvin will come in, play defense and shoot 3's at the Small Forward position. Outlook: The Jazz will be busy regrouping and will want to put in a solid season so that the marquee players will resign next year. Anythings possible. Photo Credit: www.clipsnation.com
There's the Western Conference all wrapped up. Now it's time to sit back and watch the madness of free agency unfold. Photo Credit: (top) www.streetball.com