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2015 NBA Free Agency- Top 10 Available - This Is Sports Zone

We continue our preview of the 2015 NBA Free Agency with our top 20 free agents available, today counting down the top 10. The free agency moratorium begins July 1st, and our predictions on where each player will sign are in BOLD. Let us know your thought in the comments:

10. DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers- One of this offseasons biggest questions; does he stay or does he go? Rumors of a falling out with Chris Paul have been rampant since the Clippers’ season ended, and just about every team with money to spend is going to try to sign him, led by the Knicks, Lakers, Blazers, and Bucks, but the Mavericks and the Clippers are supposedly the favorites. He has the potential to transform any team with his standout defense, but in the end I still think he has more value to the CLIPPERS than to anyone, and playing with Paul and Blake Griffin is still his best chance to be on a winner.

9. Brook Lopez, C, Brooklyn Nets (Declined $16.74 million Player Option)- Surprisingly it appears he will stay in BROOKLYN, as the trade of Miles Plumlee hints that the Nets plan to build around him at the center position. Even though teams like the Bucks and Celtics should all court him, one has to wonder if any team wants to invest max money in a guy with Lopez’ injury history.

8. Paul Millsap, F, Atlanta Hawks- Millsap was always a versatile player but in the two years since he left Utah for Atlanta he has established himself as one of the top combo-forwards in the league, but at the age of 30 teams may balk at giving him a max contract. The HAWKS have the best chance of signing him, but should get competition from the Raptors, Pacers, and Knicks

7. Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls (RFA)- On Monday the Bulls extended Butler a maximum qualifying offer, meaning other teams can’t sign him to an offer sheet that runs fewer than three years or give him an option year. It’s been rumored Butler may try to leave for a team like the Lakers, but the BULLS seem determined to match any offer he receives. He’s not going anywhere this year.

6. Draymond Green, F, Golden State Warriors (RFA)- Green is the second of the three big restricted free agents this offseason, and truthfully none of them will be leaving their current teams this offseason. All three of them are too young and bring too much to their respective teams for them not to be brought back. He is reportedly being courted by the Pistons, Hawks, and Rockets, but Golden State still represents his best possible situation. The WARRIORS will match any offer given to Green, and he can be expected to sign a max contract to remain with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for the foreseeable future.

5. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs (RFA)- The last of the restricted small forwards, with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili all nearing the end of their careers, the Spurs will sign Leonard to a long-term contract, and match any offer he receives if need be. It might cost them Danny Green, but the SPURS need Leonard too much to let him go.

4. Kevin Love, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers (Declined $16.74 million Player Option)- It was no surprise when Love opted out of his player option after a shaky season in Cleveland with LeBron, but on Monday it was reported that Love is considering staying in Cleveland after all. As much as he would be the focal point of any team he would join (and the Lakers and Celtics appear to be the top two angling for his services), Love would be an absolute fool not to stay with the CAVALIERS. If he was healthy, they probably win the Championship and that notion will be enough to make him stay and prove it true next season, when he will have another year playing with James under his belt, with any kinks completely worked out.

3. Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzles- The best pure center in this year’s free agent class, Gasol has no reason to leave MEMPHIS, his arrival in the trade for his brother from the Lakers completely changed the fortunes of the franchise, and with Mike Conley and Zach Randolph he has turned the Grizzles from laughingstock to perennial contenders, which no other team that courts him can offer. The face of the Grizzles franchise will sign to a contract that sees him end his career in Memphis.

2. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers- Here’s another guy most thought as early as last season would be staying with the only franchise he has played for, in Aldridge’s case the Trail Blazers. But in recent weeks speculation has increased that Aldridge wants to play in his home state of Texas and that the Spurs, who are usually not involved in big name free agents, are the front-runners to take Aldridge away from Portland. The Trail Blazers themselves have seemingly braced themselves for the prospect of losing their star and front court mate Robin Lopez in free agency by trading for second-year Noah Vonleh from the Hornets and third-year center Miles Plumlee from the Nets. He plans on meeting with the Lakers, who could wind up stealing him from a home state reunion, as well as the Rockets, Spurs, Suns, Mavericks, Raptors and Knicks once free agency begins, but my prediction is that the SPURS bring him on board next to Tim Duncan, especially if he wants to win a Championship in front of his family and his home-town friends.

1. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (Declined $21.57 million Player Option)- Ever since LeBron signed last season it has been reported by basketball insiders that he will only sign short-term deals until the cap increases as expected before next season. He opted out over the weekend to the surprise of no one, and I’m pretty sure we’re past the point of him pulling the late fast one over on everyone, so I say he stays with the CAVALIERS, as does Love, and with a healthy Kyrie Irving and a resigned Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov, expect them to return to the Finals next season.

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