This Independence Day weekend is shaping up to be a memorable one for sports fans. The fireworks of NBA free agency will begin at midnight on Saturday, July 1st.
WQAM’s hosts will find time between grilling, bottle rockets, and beer drinking to follow the carousel of meetings and signings.
The biggest names on the open market will be Gordon Hayward of the Jazz and Blake Griffin of the Clippers. Both will be on Heat president Pat Riley’s radar. Riley also has to consider re-signing Dion Waiters and James Johnson.
How will the dominoes fall into place? The hosts predict.
Zach Krantz: “I am predicting that Gordon Hayward will sign with the Celtics even after a great meeting with Pat Riley. The next ‘whale’ on deck is Blake Griffin. I think Blake takes the money and stays in L.A. When the dust settles, the big Heat offseason will be re-signing Dion Waiters and James Johnson. Disappointing, but I feel like Pat Riley still has a trick up his sleeve.”
Joe Rose: “Pat Riley has a lot of pressure on him. Hayward and Griffin are on Pat’s radar as options 1 and 1a. This is Pat’s time to shine. He’s found a way to stay sexy in the NBA world into his 70’s. Riley will get something special done.”
Visit the Joe Rose Show audio page for full free agency coverage
Orlando Alzugaray: “I believe Gordon Hayward ends up in Miami. Riley will convince him after showing him he will be the centerpiece of this franchise. Blake Griffin ends up in Houston with his former teammate Chris Paul, creating a nice ‘big three.’ They will produce a ton of highlights but they’ll be no threat to the Warriors in the West.”
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Marc Hochman: “I’m an eternal optimist… Here’s who I have going to the Miami Heat in free agency: Blake Griffin, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Gordon Hayward, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and possibly JJ Redick. Obviously there would have to be a lot of juggling within the salary cap, but If any front office can figure it out, it’s the Miami Heat.
What holiday is this again? My bad. I thought it was April Fool’s Day. Was just told it’s the 4th of July. Please ignore the previous paragraph.”
Channing Crowder: “You want my prediction? How is anybody supposed to know where these guys sign? I think James Johnson comes back to the Heat. That’s my prediction.”
Listen to Hoch and Crowder talk about moose soup and other things
Alex Donno: “Pat Riley wants Gordon Hayward and that’s who he will get. Boston will try and sell Hayward on the smoke and mirrors of future trades; but Riley will show him his rings, Heat culture, and a proven system to play in. James Johnson re-signs in Miami but the Heat lose Dion Waiters. I predict Blake Griffin stays in L.A. for the Clippers’ money.”
Check out all of Donno’s audio, including his plea to Gordon Hayward