FanPost

The market for free agents in 2014.

I recently did a fanpost on what contracts have looked like for upper echelon big men in the last couple years to get an idea of what Favors next contract might look like. But just as important as it is to look to the past, we must also look to the future (I'm so deep...). Every year the market for free agents is a little different. Some things stay the same, like superstars always getting paid max contracts. But for everyone else, contracts are generally influenced by what the market dictates that year. For example, if there are a lot of teams with cap space that need a center, but only a few decent centers in FA, those centers are likely to be paid top dollar because they're in high demand. On the flip side, if there are a lot of centers available in FA, but not a lot of need for them (or not a lot of teams w/ cap space), then their contracts will be for less money.

So what will the FA market look like in 2014 for wings and bigs? Lets take a look who will be on the open market.

FA's in 2014

Shooting guards

Bryant, Wade*, Iguadola, Ellis, Mayo, Allen, George*, Turner*, Rush, Sefolosha, Crawford, J.R. Smith, Gordon, Shannon Brown, Delfino, J. Richardson, Carter, Hamilton

Small forwards

James*, Anthony*, Pierce, Granger, Deng, Butler, Battier, Marion, Ariza, MWP, Turkoglu, M. Williams, R. Jefferson, Hayward, Salmons, Miles.

Power forwards

Nowitzki, Gasol, Duncan*, Bosh*, Stoudemire*, Zebo*, Favors*, Davis*, Patterson*, Sanders*, Humphries, Bargnani, Frye, Landry, Speights

Centers

Cousins*, Gortat, Bogut, Monroe*, Hawes, Okafor, Hill

* players that may or may not be free agents for various reasons (player options, team options, ability to sign an extension, etc...).

I did not include players who I personally don't believe will influence the market of Favors/Hayward because they're just not that good.

So taking a look at these free agents, what sticks out? First off, I see that there are a LOT more wings on here than front court players. I think this is generally the case (there just simply aren't as many players listed at Center as there are back court positions), but I also think there is more talent at the wing positions than there are at the Center. This is probably why bigs are more in demand than wings.

Something else important to notice is that Favors value will be heavily effected by other players decisions. Monroe, Cousins, Sanders, and Davis are all up for extensions the same time as Favors. Depending on what they do could really effect the market for Favors. Here's to hoping NONE OF THEM sign extensions :).

I also think it's important to consider not just positions, but skills when trying to figure out the FA market. So the question is, how many defensive minded bigs will there be? Probably a few. Favors, Sanders, and Davis fit the bill. Bogut and Okafor are other options as well. But again, if Sanders and Davis sign extensions, Favors will be the lone young defensive big for other teams to target.

Now if we do the same exercise for wings and look at similar players, we find that there are quite a few gunners on the list (Smith, Crawford, Gordon, Mayo, and Ellis). There are also a few stars/near stars on the list (James*, Wade*, Pierce, Iggy, Granger). So what about players with a similar skill set to Hayward's? I feel like Deng, Iggy, Granger, and Pierce were all better when they signed their last contract, but may be looking at contracts similar to Hayward's in 2014 as they'll all be past their peaks. George and Turner may also be targeted if they make it to RFA. That's quite a lot of wings competing for similar contracts. This is good news for the Jazz, as it might help us sign Gordon to a cheaper contract.

Some people (I was one of them) have looked at Batum when trying to figure all this out. Batum is a pretty good comparison to Hayward because they're both big, versatile (shooting, passing, rebounding, etc), and young. So it makes sense to think that since Batum recently signed for 11 million dollars a year, Hayward will sign a similar contract. But there is one problem with that, and that's the difference in market from this last year to 2014 for wings. While there are a lot of good/great wings available in 2014 (potentially 11, more likely 8. This is not including the shorter combo guards), do you know how many good wing players there were available last year? 4. Gallinari, AK, Batum, and Eric Gordon. This fact makes me wonder if Hayward will get a similar contract to Batum's, or if it will be a few million less because there will be less demand.

Finally, there is one more item we should consider. What will the new CBA's effect be on future contracts? Which players will it effect? I don't think we'll really understand until the new tax kicks in, but it's something to consider.

Anything I missed you'd like to add? Feel free to leave your thoughts below :)

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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