Brian Geltzeiler of Sheridan Hoops wrote:
1) Josh Smith (Atlanta) – The marriage between Smith and the Hawks has never been a math made in heaven. Smith has always taken too many shots for the Hawks’ management’s liking and Smith has never embraced the organization for any sustained period of time. New Hawks GM Danny Ferry either wants to sign a big free agent to accompany Smith and Al Horford. If he doesn’t think he can keep Smith after the season, Ferry will not hesitate to put him on the market. If Ferry is going to break it down to rebuild, he’ll incinerate it quick. And the great part for him is that there won’t be a shortage of suitors.
2) J.J Redick (Orlando)- Redick is in the last year of his contract on a team that is just starting a major rebuild, and the centerpiece player they acquired for their franchise center plays the same position as Redick. This is more than writing on the wall, this is block letter graffiti on a white building. Redick will be very marketable because he’s such a good shooter who’s not necessarily a minus on the defensive end. He’s not going to be a hard player for Orlando to move, and you can bet Rob Hennigan will shop him around.
3) Luol Deng (Chicago) - My caveat with Deng is the fact that I truly don’t believe that the Bulls are going to be anything better than average. They’re most likely going to extend Taj Gibson before Wednesday at a significant number. They’re committed to Joakim Noah for the next 4 years at a cool $47 million. They’re still paying Carlos Boozer over $15 million a year for the next three years or whenever they put him on amnesty waivers, whichever comes first. They’re going to be without superstar guard Derrick Rose for the better part of this season. Deng has a bad hand. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has run him into the ground minutes-wise the last two years, plus the Bulls owe him $27 million for the next 2 years. He’s a very good defensive player and respected around the league. The short duration of his contract makes him appealing to a contending team with deep pockets and could bring the Bulls back something extremely useful.
4) Anderson Varejao (Cleveland) – Varejao is owed $17 million over the next two years with a 3rd non-guaranteed year attached to the contract. The Cavaliers are rebuilding and their future front court will be anchored by 2nd year big forward Tristan Thompson and rookie center Tyler Zeller. As the season wears on, no matter how well Varejao plays, he’ll be blocking playing time for a young guy who is most likely much more part of their future than Varejao. Varejao is an effective enough player that the Cavs should be able to bring in a decent package for him. Varejao specializes in the dirty work and is contract is actually quite reasonable for the job that he does.
5) Paul Millsap (Utah) - Millsap is in the last year of his contract, and Utah’s two best young players are big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. I don’t anticipate Utah being anything more than a playoff bubble team. Considering that both Millsap and Al Jefferson are in the last year of their respective deals, the likelihood of Utah keeping both through he end of the season is quite low. If they’re not going to contenders for a home playoff series in the West, why keep a guy who’s most likely leaving when you have young guys waiting behind them that need the experience. The same argument could be made for trading Jefferson, but because of his excellent low-post game, I actually think Utah will find a reasonable way to keep him. Millsap on a rental could help Utah accumulate another asset, whether it’s a pick or player.