TEAM BY TEAM 2016 FREE AGENCY PREVIEW

With Free Agency starting soon, your ultimate guide to every team is here. Kevin Durant, Al Horford and Mike Conley, among others, hit the open market this off season and with the cap rising an absurd amount, nearly every team has cash to splash. This summer is unprecedented and players are going to get huge amounts of money. Are you ready for a world in which Bismack Biyombo gets paid more than Steph Curry? Brace yourselves, free agency is coming!

Atlanta Hawks

Free Agents:

  • Kent Bazemore (UFA)
  • Kirk Hinrich (UFA)
  • Al Horford (UFA)
  • Kris Humphries (UFA)
  • Mike Muscala (Team Option)
  • Mike Scott (Team Option)Assuming the Hawks decide to exercise their team options on both Muscala and Scott, they will have about $38 million in cap space going into the off season. If Al Horford chooses to remain a Hawk, it will likely be on a five-year deal at just over $29 million a year. This likely won’t leave Atlanta with enough room to sign Bazemore (who will probably command $12-15 million on the open market), but after drafting Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry, Atlanta won’t be too concerned. Whether they choose to resign Hinrich or Humphries to low-level deals is somewhat insignificant.

Targets:

  • DJ Augustin
  • Jerryd Bayless
  • Norris Cole
  • Langston Galloway
  • Greivis Vasquez
  • Pau Gasol
  • Dwight Howard
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Ian Mahinmi
  • Timofey MozgovAfter trading away Jeff Teague, the Hawks desperately need an upgrade to backup Dennis Schroeder. A guy like Bayless or Galloway would be ideal, but if they end up out of the Hawks price range, Norris Cole and DJ Augustin should be considered. If Al Horford decides to leave, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Hawks chase hometown boy Dwight Howard. He would be a nice fit alongside Paul Millsap and a solid Pick and Roll partner for Dennis Schroeder. If they could get him on a two-year, $50 million sort of contract, he may be a better alternative to signing Horford for five years. In a similar vein, they could chase Pau Gasol – an offensive stud with a similar skill set to Horford. Defensively, Gasol is poor at guarding the perimeter and the Pick and Roll, but is actually pretty good as a rim protector. He would fit beautifully alongiside Millsap who can cover for Gasol defensively, whilst Gasol would provide an elite rebounding presence that the Hawks have never had. If they can’t get Gasol or Howard, alternatives could be Ezeli, Mahinmi or Mozgov (in that order) to share Center minutes with Tiago Splitter.

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Boston Celtics

Free Agents:

  • Jared Sullinger (RFA)
  • Evan Turner (UFA)
  • Tyler Zeller (RFA)
  • Amir Johnson (Team Option)
  • Jonas Jerebko (Team Option)The Celtics will likely extend qualifying offers to Sullinger and Zeller but may only choose to keep one of them if the off season goes their way. After his performance in the playoffs, it is likely that they pick up Jonas Jerebko’s team option, but they may choose to wait on Amir Johnson until later in the off season to see how it unfolds. It is likely that both return to the Celtics along with one (possibly both) of Zeller and Sullinger. Whether they choose to re-sign Evan Turner is a conundrum for them as he will likely command offers upward of $12 million and they have Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley and now Jaylen Brown on the wing. As such, they probably let Turner walk.

Targets:

  • Trade for Kevin Love/Jimmy Butler/DeMarcus Cousins
  • Al Horford
  • Pau Gasol
  • Hassan Whiteside
  • Kevin DurantBoston needs a superstar and they will chase after one hard. With Thomas, Smart and Bradley in the back court and Crowder, Brown and (possibly) Turner on the wing, a big man would be ideal. Al Horford, Pau Gasol and Hassan Whiteside present as options on the Free Agency market, but luring one of them could prove difficult as Boston isn’t a marquee destination. More likely would be a trade for a disgruntled superstar such as DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler or Kevin Love (in that order). The Celtics still have a treasure chest of assets and they could look to form a blockbuster trade for a guy that could lead them to post season success. Of course, Danny Ainge will also throw his hat into the Kevin Durant ring, but it seems highly unlikely that KD will leave OKC, and if he does it seems more unlikely that he goes to the Celtics.

Brooklyn Nets

Free Agents:

  • Andrea Bargnani (UFA)
  • Markel Brown (Team Option, RFA)
  • Wayne Ellington (Player Option, UFA)
  • Jarrett Jack (Team Option, RFA)
  • Sergey Karasev (UFA)
  • Shane Larkin (Player Option, UFA)
  • Willie Reed (RFA)
  • Thomas Robinson (Player Option, UFA)
  • Donald Sloan (UFA)The Nets are unlikely to pick up Jarrett Jack’s team option, instead looking to create a roster space for a young player. It will be interesting to see which of these guys the Nets choose to keep, but at a guess I would say that Brown, Karasev, Larkin will be back and that Robinson, Sloan and Ellington are less likely to be in Brooklyn next season.

Targets: 

  • Anyone young that will play for you, undrafted Free Agents.
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Jared SullingerThe Nets are in a horrendous position, but under Sean Marks’ leadership it seems that they have hit the rebuild button. They should continue to monitor the D-League, Summer League and other alternative ways to attract talent whilst they don’t have draft picks. It’s the only way they will pick up the next Tyler Johnson, Hassan Whiteside or Wesley Matthews. Sullinger is a guy that could perform well as a scoring and rebounding big man for the Nets and may be able to bring back a solid trade package if he excels in Brooklyn.

Charlotte Hornets

Free Agents:

  • Nicolas Batum (UFA)
  • Troy Daniels (RFA)
  • Jorge Gutierrez (RFA)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (UFA)
  • Al Jefferson (UFA)
  • Courtney Lee (UFA)
  • Jeremy Lin (UFA)
  • Marvin Williams (UFA)After one of the most successful seasons in franchise history, the Hornets should do everything in their power to keep this roster together. Nicolas Batum wants to return, and the Hornets should pay whatever it takes to keep him after trading away Noah Vonleh to acquire him. The market for Al Jefferson will likely be small and if the Hornets can get him on the cheap, he is still a handy scorer off the bench. With MKG coming back from injury, Marvin Williams would likely be reduced to a bench role as well, so Charlotte won’t want to pay too much for him. Despite this, he can still play alongside MKG and/or Batum and his veteran presence still adds something to a young team. It seems unlikely that Jeremy Lin will be back if he gets offered a starting role, but the situation in Charlotte is ideal for him and he may return for the right price. Courtney Lee will be expensive (3&D wings are) and they will probably only be able to keep one of he and Williams. If the Hornets want to start Batum and MKG at the Forward positions, Lee should be brought back, but if they plan on starting Batum at the two and MKG at the 3 (I don’t love this), Marvin Williams is the better fit. This off season will be pivotal for setting the direction of the franchise going forward. They’re not quite contenders, but there is merit in being a consistent playoff team in this league and the Hornets have the ability to do exactly that if they play their cards right.

Targets:  

  • Dwight HowardIt’s hard to say for the Hornets as their is so much turbulence with their roster. They should absolutely focus on re-signing all of their marquee Free Agents to give continuity to this franchise. They targeted Dwight Howard during the mid-season trade period and may target him once again to protect the rim and run Pick and Roll action with Kemba Walker.

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Chicago Bulls

Free Agents:

  • Aaron Brooks (UFA)
  • Pau Gasol (Player Option, UFA)
  • E’Twaun Moore (UFA)
  • Joakim Noah (UFA)It seems highly unlikely to me that either Pau Gasol or Joakim Noah will be on this team next season. The Bulls will want to hit restart under Fred Hoiberg and cutting ties with their 35 and 31 year old big men is a good way of doing this. Chicago will likely bring Moore and Brooks back as neither will command big money in the open market.

Targets:

  • Hassan Whiteside
  • Bismack Biyombo
  • Jared Dudley
  • Maurice Harkless
  • Tyler Johnson
  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Rajon RondoI see the Bulls going after a rim protecting big man this offseason (especially if they trade Robin Lopez) and Whiteside and Biyombo fill this need. Whiteside is a legitimate top three Center and is a guy that could fit into a fast paced system under Fred Hoiberg. Biyombo is a worse version of Whiteside but is another player that could thrive in a similar role. After trading Derrick Rose, the Bulls will also be looking for Point Guard help and either Johnson or Dellavedova could fill a role on a team that currently has Calderon, Brooks, Grant and Dinwiddie as primary ball handlers. A guy like Jared Dudley or Maurice Harkless provides positional flexibility in the frontcourt and the ability to space the floor for the revamped Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Free Agents: 

  • Matthew Dellavedova (RFA)
  • LeBron James (UFA)
  • James Jones (UFA)
  • Jordan McRae (Team Option, RFA)
  • Timofey Mozgov (UFA)
  • J.R. Smith (UFA)
  • Mo Williams (UFA)The Cavs will re-sign LeBron immediately, let’s just get that out of the way. J.R. Smith will prove costly ($16-20 million a year range), however I see the Cavs bringing him back after he played a vital role in their title run this season. James Jones is cheap and will be back if he doesn’t retire and Mo Williams might come back on the veteran’s minimum for a chance to win another title. They can keep Jordan McRae if they like – he only stands to earn $874,636 next season. Where it gets interesting for Cleveland is Delly and Mozgov. After signing the aforementioned players, the Cavs may not be willing to pay Delly upwards of $10 million a year – a figure that has been floated by some teams. I’m not sure what sort of figure Mozgov will attract this summer, but if it’s under $10 million, I’m sure the Cavs will consider bringing him back.

Targets:

  • Wing helpThe Anderson Varejao trade gave Cleveland a $9.6 million trade exception that could possibly be used to improve their wing situation. The Cavs will consider moving Iman Shumpert – although trading now would be selling him at an all-time low – and Kevin Love. Whilst Love’s value isn’t great right now, they can still get a solid return for him from a team that is desperate for superstar (hello Boston). If they can get a package of Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley for example, Cleveland should pull the trigger.

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Dallas Mavericks

Free Agents:

  • Raymond Felton (UFA)
  • David Lee (UFA)
  • Dirk Nowitzki (Player Option, UFA)
  • Zaza Pachulia (UFA)
  • Chandler Parsons (Player Option, UFA)
  • Dwight Powell (Qualifying Offer, RFA)
  • Charlie Villanueva (UFA)
  • Deron Williams (Player Option, UFA)
    The Mavericks have one of the highest turnover rates in the NBA when it comes to their roster, but this year they may keep their core for once. Dirk is a 99% chance to return and Deron Williams should do the same after his comeback season under Rick Carlisle. Chandler Parsons will be expensive to keep when he opt out of his contract and if the bidding goes over $20 million (assuming a four year deal) for a guy that isn’t a go-to scorer or a great defender, they should let him walk (even if he will likely be maxed out somewhere). Felton, Pachulia, Villanueva and Lee will all be cheap to keep and Dwight Powell should come back even if he knocks back the qualifying offer. The Mavs can choose which of these guys they want to bring back and the supporting cast they want around Dirk, but bringing back Williams and Parsons should be a high priority for Cuban and co.

Targets:

  • Dwight Howard
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Bismack Biyombo
  • Ian Mahinmi
  • Joakim Noah
  • Jared Dudley
  • Luol DengThe Mavs swing for the fences every year in Free Agency and this year will be no different. Dwight Howard is a marquee name and Mark Cuban will do everything in his power to get Howard to Dallas. Theoretically, he works perfectly alongside the floor-spacing, defensively inept Dirk Nowitzki as a rim protector and rim crashing Center. The Mavs would likely offer Howard somewhere around $20-25 million a year for two or three years to avoid locking themselves into him long term. If they can’t lure Howard, Dallas will go after Ezeli and Biyombo to fill that role as cheaper and younger alternatives (Biyombo is just 23 and Ezeli is 26). If that falls through, Dallas will consider Ian Mahinmi and Joakim Noah on short term deals as stop-gap big man options. I also like the Dudley and Deng fits here, especially if Chandler Parsons leaves.

Denver Nuggets

Free Agents: 

  • Darrell Arthur (UFA)
  • DJ Augustin (UFA)
  • Joffrey Lauvergne (Team Option)
  • Mike Miller (UFA)
  • JaKarr Sampson (Team Option)
    The Nuggets will probably let Miller and Augustin walk after drafting Malik Beasley and Jamal Murray as neither of them fit with the Nuggets timeline. They will likely wait until the end of the off season to decide on Arthur’s future, but his contract won’t be too expensive (they can probably get him for the Mid Level Exception). I expect them to pick up the team option on Sampson and especially Lauvergne.

Targets:

  • Veteran Experience
  • SuperstarThe Nuggets are in the enviable position of having young pieces at every position. In the backcourt they have Mudiay, Harris, Murray and Beasley, whilst they have Jokic, Nurkic, Faried and now Hernangomez in the frontcourt. They also have Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler as combo forwards that could be valuable trade assets for a contender. We saw Denver try to acquire Blake Griffin from the Clippers at the trade deadline, but the deal fell through. With the players that they currently have, they can once again afford to chase a superstar this off season and may be able to put together the best bundle of assets league-wide. If this fails, getting some more veteran presence to develop this young roster should be a priority in the Mile High City.

Detroit Pistons

Free Agents:

  • Steve Blake (UFA)
  • Andre Drummond (RFA)
  • Anthony Tolliver (UFA)
  • Darrun Hilliard (Team Option)
  • Cameron Bairstow (Team Option)
    The Pistons will obviously sign Andre Drummond to a max contract this off-season, so we won’t waste time pondering that decision. As for the other guys, the Pistons just traded for Bairstow and Anthony Tolliver was serviceable for them as a spot up shooter, so the Pistons will probably bring them back as bench cover. Darrun Hilliard is still young and Detroit won’t give up on him yet and Steve Blake offers some veteran leadership, so the Pistons will most likely bring him back on the veterans minimum. Tolliver is the most likely to leave, but a Power Forward that shoots 39% from the field won’t be too hard to hold on to.

Sidenote: After this season, Josh Smith will finally be off the Pistons books. Yikes.

Targets: 

  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Jerryd Bayless
  • Langston GallowayThe Pistons will probably trade away Jodie Meeks as they now have Caldwell-Pope, Bullock, Marcus Morris, Johnson, Gbinije and Hilliard on the wing (as well as Tobias Harris who can play minutes at the three). They’ll get something back for him, but their roster is actually starting to round out nicely under SVG and the only glaring weakness is a backup Point Guard. SVG loves Delly and he is the first choice here (that would make three Aussies on the roster), even if it ends up costing them over $10 million a year. If they can’t land Delly, Jerryd Bayless would be an awesome consolation prize if Detroit can pry him away from the Bucks. Langston Galloway is the youngest of the three, but because he’s on the Gilbert Arena’s provision, it seems unlikely he’d leave New York.

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Golden State Warriors

Free Agents:

  • Leandro Barbosa (UFA)
  • Harrison Barnes (RFA)
  • Ian Clark (RFA)
  • Festus Ezeli (RFA)
  • James Michael McAdoo (RFA)
  • Shaun Livingston (Team Option)
  • Brandon Rush (UFA)
  • Marreese Speights (UFA)
  • Anderson Varejao (UFA)
    The entire Warriors bench (sans Iguodala) and Harrison Barnes will entire Free Agency this off season. Some combination of Barbosa, Clark, McAdoo, Rush, Speights and Varejao will be back depending on what other moves the Warriors make, but the supporting cast is expendable as long as Steve Kerr is coach. He’ll make do with whatever he has. It’s a near certainty that Golden State pick up Shaun Livingston’s team option, but the Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli situations are much more interesting. The Warriors will likely try to attract a big name recruit – namely Kevin Durant – which could make Barnes expendable, however, it seems more likely that they end up bringing Barnes back on a huge deal. Festus Ezeli, on the other hand, could attract up to a $12 million a year deal from a team in desperate need for a defensive Center. The Warriors probably won’t match an offer like this, but if they can bring back Ezeli in the $6-8 million range, they should absolutely do so.

Targets:

  • Kevin Durant
  • Al Horford
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Joakim Noah
    The Warriors can and will try to lure any marquee Free Agent they can this off season as long as they’re willing to take a pay cut. It’s incredibly unlikely that Dirk or KD join GSW, but as long as there’s rumours, they can go on the list. Joakim Noah could take a pay cut (maybe a one year, $8-10 million contract) to join them and he would fit their pass happy system. Similarly, Al Horford could become a Warrior – albeit at a much higher price – but again this seems unlikely. The most probable situation is that the Warriors pick up some solid fringe guys and try to consolidate their current roster by bringing back their own Free Agents.

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Houston Rockets

Free Agents:

  • Michael Beasley (Team Option)
  • Dwight Howard (UFA)
  • Terrence Jones (RFA)
  • Donatas Motiejunas (RFA)
  • Josh Smith (UFA)
  • Jason Terry (UFA)The Rockets are once again very interesting this off-season, with a plethora of big men up for grabs. Dwight Howard is almost certainly gone after a season in which he and James Harden’s personalities clashed beyond the point of repair. As such, it should be a high priority for the Rockets to re-sign Terrence Jones, even if a 24 year old with two-way potential may be costly. Houston nearly traded Motiejunas at the deadline and will likely let him go in Free Agency if his back issues are as bad as advertised, plus Beasley can take minutes at the four when they pick up his team option. Josh Smith and Jason Terry aren’t exactly in demand and the Rockets should be able to bring them back fairly cheaply.

Targets:

  • Luol Deng
  • Nicolas Batum
  • Marvin Williams
  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Langston GallowayThe Rockets had a bottom ten defense last season despite having Clint Capela and Dwight Howard protecting the rim. A lot of this came down to regression from Pat Beverley, Trevor Ariza and James Harden (he actually tried in 2014-15) after they finished 6th in 2014-15. As such, a two-way wing player like Deng, Williams or Batum would be ideal for the Rockets as a replacement for the declining Trevor Ariza or a small ball four if they lose Terrence Jones. Whether they can attract players of this caliber remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that Daryl Morey will chase them hard. With Beverley often hurt, the Rockets could look to upgrade at Point Guard and either Delly or Galloway could fill the role. Delly could cost $14-16 million a year over 3-4 years, but would fit perfectly alongside James Harden as a spot-up shooter and perimeter defender.

Indiana Pacers

Free Agents:

  • Jordan Hill (UFA)
  • Solomon Hill (UFA)
  • Ty Lawson (UFA)
  • Ian Mahinmi (UFA)The Pacers are left in a sticky situation this off-season, as they have a new coach and a middling roster that is built to win now. With the additions of Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young since the season ended, it is clear that the Pacers want to play an up-tempo system. This could very well mean that Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi will not be on the team next season and that Myles Turner and Lavoy Allen will play the majority of minutes at Center. As for Solomon Hill, some teams could still be interested in him as a potential small ball four, but he has shown no signs of being a starter in this league thus far. Ty Lawson may come back or he could be out of the league next season – who really cares at this point?

Targets:

  • Marvin Williams
  • Jared Dudley
  • Courtney Lee
  • Evan Fournier
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Mirza Teletovic
  • Timofey MozgovWith only Paul George being an above average three point shooter on this roster, the Pacers desperately need spacing. On the market, Williams and Dudley look to be perfect compliments to George at the Forward spots as two-way guys, whilst Anderson and Teletovic would provide floor spacing at the four. Evan Fournier and Courtney Lee both look to be large upgrades over Monta Ellis at the two-guard spot due to their elite three point shooting. Fournier is still young and has plenty of upside, but Lee is probably the better defender at this stage and a better fit alongside Jeff Teague. Mozgov could be interesting here as a guy that could back up the foul prone Myles Turner.

Los Angeles Clippers

Free Agents:

  • Cole Aldrich (Player Option, UFA)
  • Jeff Ayres (UFA)
  • Jamal Crawford (UFA)
  • Jeff Green (UFA)
  • Wesley Johnson (UFA)
  • Luc Mbah a Moute (UFA)
  • Pablo Prigioni (UFA)
  • Austin Rivers (Player Option, UFA)The Clippers have the perfect chance to remove a whole lot of deadweight this summer, with their entire bench entering Free Agency. Aldirch is cheap and will probably be brought back, whilst Jeff Ayres may be left fighting for a roster spot as the season draws closer. Jamal Crawford could well come back and Austin Rivers probably will, those two were good last season. If I’m the Clippers, I let go of Wesley Johnson and Pablo Prigioni, but probably hang onto Jeff Green (despite his flaws) and Mbah a Moute who will be cheap and was solid last year. The Clippers have a chance to retool their roster this off season and become a huge danger in the West.
    There is however a huge caveat to all of this: Doc Rivers is the GM and hasn’t made a great move since he got the role.

Targets:

  • Evan Turner
  • Marvin Williams
  • Luol Deng
  • Solomon Hill
  • James Johnson
  • Hollis ThompsonThe Clippers need a starting Small Forward and they need one badly. Tuner had a career year in Boston this season, but isn’t a catch and shoot guy and is probably better suited to the two-guard, but nonetheless would be great for LAC. Deng and Williams may end up out of the Clippers price range, but if they can afford either of these guys, they look to be ideal two-way fits for LAC on the wing. Hill, Johnson and Thompson are all cheaper alternatives if the Clips strike out on the aforementioned guys, but they are still probably better than Jeff Green and Wes Johnson.

Los Angeles Lakers

Free Agents:

  • Brandon Bass (Player Option, UFA)
  • Tarik Black (RFA)
  • Jordan Clarkson (RFA)
  • Roy Hibbert (UFA)
  • Marcelo Huertas (RFA)
  • Ryan Kelly (RFA)
  • Robert Sacre (UFA)
  • Metta World Peace (UFA)Clarkson is limited by the Gilbert Arena’s provision, which means that the Lakers will wait until another team signs him before matching his offer. If the Lakers do offer him a contract, he will have to play for the Mid-Level Exception before his contract rises into the $20-25 million range in the 3rd and 4th years (it would end up around the $55-65 million over 4 years range). Ideally for the Lakers, another team offers him a contract and they match it, which would result in more flexibility in 2018 and 2019. As for the other guys, Bass will likely leave and so will Hibbert, whilst I doubt the Lakers will keep World Peace. Marcelo Huertas showed enough last year to keep him around, as did Tarik Black. Robert Sacre may end up on the roster, but he’s at the bottom of the priority list. Ryan Kelly hasn’t shown enough at this stage to prove he’s an NBA player, but he’s worth one last chance on a cheap short term deal.

Targets:

  • Hassan Whiteside
  • Bismack Biyombo
  • Joakim Noah
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Harrison BarnesThe Lakers should swing for the fences once again this summer, and what better way to do so than chase Hassan Whitesdie – a 27 year old Center that has attitude issues and only one and a half years of good play in the NBA. Seriously though, Whiteside could be an ideal fit in LA as a rim protecting Center with a decent offensive game. If they strike out on Whiteside, they will very likely chase Biyombo, who at 23 years old potentially offers a higher upside. Unfortunately for LA, he only has a small sample of success in the NBA and he will probably come at a cost of over $15 million a year. If they prefer a guy like Joakim Noah on a one year deal or Festus Ezeli at a better price, I can see them going down those routes too. The Lakers have also been heavily linked to Harrison Barnes and will likely give him a max offer. If Golden State don’t match, Barnes complements Brandon Ingram nicely at the Forward spots.

Memphis Grizzlies

Free Agents:

  • Chris Andersen (UFA)
  • Matt Barnes (UFA)
  • Mario Chalmers (UFA)
  • Mike Conley (UFA)
  • Jordan Farmar (UFA)
  • PJ Hairston (UFA)
  • Ray McCallum (UFA)
  • Xavier Munford (Team Option, RFA)
  • Lance Stephenson (Team Option, UFA)After the Basketball Gods thrust injury upon injury on the Memphis Grizzlies last season, this off season looms as important in deciding the franchises future. First priority will be to decide on the future of Mike Conley. Conley could go down the LeBron James route and sign a one year deal that will allow him to potentially cash in next season, but at that stage he will be 29 and if he gets injured again next season, he won’t be anywhere near the max. As such, he will be looking for long-term security, and Memphis can offer him more money than any other team. The Grizzlies have Conley’s Bird Rights and as such, can offer him a 5th year on a max contract starting at nearly $31 million a year. Whether the Grizzlies decide to sign him will likely depend on whether they see themselves as a contender or whether they decide to hit rebuild. And, even if the Grizz decide they do want to sign Conley, he could very well choose to leave anyway and play for less money elsewhere.
    As for the other guys, the Grizz will likely let go of Andersen and Farmar now that they’re roster is healthy, but will bring back Chalmers, Barnes and Hairston along with McCallum and/or Munford depending on roster slots. Al these guys provide good depth on the bench. Lance Stephenson at over $9 million a year is probably not a team option that the Grizz will want to pick up, especially after drafting Wade Baldwin.

Targets:

  • J.R. Smith
  • Eric Gordon
  • Arron AfflaloIf they bring back Conley, Chalmers, Barnes, Hairston, McCallum and adding Deyonta Davis and Wade Baldwin, the Grizzlies will only have one roster spot left. They will likely use this spot on a shooter such as Smith or Gordon. Both will command a contract in the vicinity of $16-20 million a year (probably less for Gordon – $12-15 range seems likely for him), but after declining Stephenson’s team option, the Grizz should be able to afford this. Of course, if Conley leaves, Memphis will have cash to splash and will likely be able to outbid anyone for the services of Eric Gordon. If they strike out on Gordon and Smith, Arron Afflalo could be a guy to give them some spot up shooting from the wing at a lower price.

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Miami Heat

Free Agents:

  • Luol Deng (UFA)
  • Gerald Green (UFA)
  • Udonis Haslem (UFA)
  • Joe Johnson (UFA)
  • Tyler Johnson (RFA)
  • Amar’e Stoudemire (UFA)
  • Beno Udrih (UFA)
  • Dwyane Wade (UFA)
  • Hassan Whiteside (UFA)
  • Dorell Wright (UFA)The Heat don’t have Hassan Whiteside’s Bird Rights, and that puts them in a difficult situation this off season. Any contract they sign him to, they will have to use cap room. Whiteside’s max will start at around $23 million with annual raises of 7.5%. Despite this, Whiteside is still a top five Center and probably one of the 25 best players in the NBA. If he wants to come back, the Heat should absolutely max him out. Luol Deng is pretty much out the door, as is Tyler Johnson assuming they get expected deals. Gerald Green and Amar’e Stoudemire won’t be too expensive to bring back and Udrih and Wright are serviceable enough to bring back as well. Joe Johnson would have to take a pay cut to stay with the Heat, but it’s possible. Dwyane Wade will be interesting, because after taking a pay cut last season for Goran Dragic, he may want to get paid this off season. How much money he takes will likely dictate which Free Agents the Heat can get.

    Of course, there is the Chris Bosh elephant in the room and if he is forced into retirement, the Heat will have an extra $24 million in cap room. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that they will know his future by the end of the moratorium.

Targets:

  • Gerald Henderson
  • Langston Galloway
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Joakim Noah
  • Pau GasolIf the Heat bring the band back together, they will have almost no room to sign anyone else of significance. This leaves guys like Henderson and Galloway as guys that the Heat could land, although they may not be upgrades over Deng and Johnson at similar prices. If they can’t agree to terms with Whiteside, Ezeli and Noah present as viable alternatives. Pau Gasol could be an option, especially as a guy who wants to win now, but his fit alongside Chris Bosh is questionable.

Milwaukee Bucks

Free Agents:

  • Jerryd Bayless (UFA)
  • Chris Copeland (UFA)
  • Jared Cunningham (UFA)
  • O.J. Mayo (UFA)
  • Steve Novak (UFA)
  • Miles Plumlee (RFA)
  • Greivis Vasquez (UFA)The Bucks don’t have to pay any of their stars this summer, but will look to consolidate their supporting cast. Guys like Steve Novak, Jared Cunningham and Chris Copeland will likely be allowed to scope the market and if they come back, they will be end of the bench guys. After trading a first round pick for Vasquez, chances are they’ll re-sign him. Miles Plumlee won’t be expensive and if Greg Monroe leaves, they’ll need insurance at Center. Jerryd Bayless is a great fit with the Bucks, but with Vasquez, MCW and Tyler Ennis also on the roster to back up Point Giannis, he becomes expendable. If they can get him at under $10 million a year, however, they should hold onto him.

Targets:

  • Terrence Jones
  • Festus Ezeli

Jones has a huge upside and would fit with the Bucks mantra of long armed guys that can play at both ends. If they trade Monroe, he would join Henson, Parker and Maker as guys that would be on the team long term. The same goes for Ezeli, who would be a good defensive Center and rebounder for the Bucks.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Free Agents:

  • Tayshaun Prince (UFA)
  • Damjan Rudez (Team Option, RFA)The Wolves are pretty boring. They’ll pick up the Team Option on Rudez and will try to bring Prince back if he doesn’t retire.

Targets: 

  • Luol Deng
  • Joakim Noah
  • Ryan AndersonDeng and Noah are former Thibs guys, so I’m sure he’d want them back – especially Deng. Ryan Anderson makes sense as a short-term investment to space the floor for a Timberwolves team that could potentially be playing four non-shooters around him.

New Orleans Pelicans

Free Agents:

  • Ryan Anderson (UFA)
  • Norris Cole (UFA)
  • James Ennis (RFA)
  • Tim Frazier (RFA)
  • Alonzo Gee (Player Option, UFA)
  • Eric Gordon (UFA)
  • Jordan Hamilton (UFA)
  • Kendrick Perkins (UFA)The Pelicans won’t bring back Gordon or Anderson – that’s pretty clear. Apart from that, Frazier, Ennis and Cole are worth bringing back, as is Alonzo Gee if he doesn’t exercise his player option. Perkins and Hamilton are expendable, but could return for the right price.

Targets: 

  • Maurice Harkless
  • PJ Hairston
  • Terrence Jones
  • Solomon HillThe Pelicans need a serious upgrade at Small Forward and Harkless, Hill or Hairston would be nice fits. Harkless and Hill especially could provide the sort of young, 3&D player with upside that the Pelicans are looking for. As for Terrence Jones, he is another guy with huge upside as an inside-outside big man that would allow Anthony Davis to play Center. If the Pelicans could come out with Harkless and Jones at reasonable contracts, it would be a huge win.

New York Knicks

Free Agents:

  • Arron Afflalo (UFA)
  • Lou Amundson (UFA)
  • Cleanthony Early (RFA)
  • Langston Galloway (RFA)
  • Kevin Seraphin (UFA)
  • Lance Thomas (UFA)
  • Sasha Vujacic (UFA)
  • Derrick Williams (Player Option, UFA)The Knicks won’t bring back Afflalo and shouldn’t bring back Vujacic. Some combination of Amundson, Early, Seraphin and Thomas will come back – all were solid for the Knicks last season and won’t get better minutes elsewhere. If Derrick Williams exercises his play option – he will – the Knicks should bring him back as well, even if he is more expensive. As for Langston Galloway, the Knicks would be very interested in bringing him back, but after signing Derrick Rose, he may be out of New York’s price range as a back up.

Targets:

  • Evan Fournier
  • Eric Gordon
  • Dion Waiters
  • Courtney Lee
  • Gerald Henderson
  • E’Twaun Moore
  • Randy Foye
  • Dwight HowardThe Knicks need help at the two-guard and will try to lure the best on the market to the big apple. Fournier will likely be matched by the Magic, but it’s worth a try for the Knicks. Eric Gordon is possibly the best value here, but the Knicks could be scared off by his injury history, even at $12 million a year. That leaves Dion Waiters, Courtney Lee and Gerald Henderson as 3&D types to partner Derrick Rose in the back court. These guys will command upwards of $14 million a year, but the Knicks need a Shooting Guard and will take one of them. They could also try to acquire Randy Foye to back up both guard positions.s Dwight Howard is also interesting here, and although I like the idea of Porzingis at the 5 and Melo at the 4, Howard would provide rim protection and a Pick and Roll partner for DRose.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Free Agents:

  • Kevin Durant (UFA)
  • Randy Foye (UFA)
  • Nazr Mohammed (UFA)
  • Dion Waiters (RFA)The key to the Thunder’s off season is obviously Kevin Durant, but a lot has already been written about him and I’m 99% sure that he will return (probably on a 1+1 deal), so we will work under that assumption. The Thunder will let Randy Foye go, will re-sign Mohammed’s lockeroom presence and will match any offer for Waiters that they can afford.

Targets:

  • Al HorfordThis might be a stretch, but he played under Donovan at Florida and the Thunder could do some cap gymnastics to fit him in. If Horford comes, the Thunder would have to remove Kanter’s cap hold (via trade or stretch provision) and Horford would be able to play his preferred Power Forward position. Don’t be shocked if it happens.

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Orlando Magic

Free Agents:

  • Dewayne Dedmon (RFA)
  • Evan Fournier (RFA)
  • Brandon Jennings (UFA)
  • Andrew Nicholson (RFA)
  • Jason Smith (UFA)The Magic are somewhat hamstrung this off-season after trading away plenty of rotation players. Dedmon, Nicholson and Smith should all be brought back on decent contracts and after trading away Tobias Harris for him, one would assume the Magic will keep Brandon Jennings as well. This shouldn’t be too expensive as there won’t be much of a market for him (likely the $10-14 million range). For the Magic, it gets interesting with Evan Fournier. After trading away Oladipo, the Magic are somewhat committed to Fournier as the only alternatives to him on their roster are Devyn Marble and Mario Hezonja. He’ll be expensive – 23 year old Shooting Guards that average over 15 points a game and shoot 40% from deep don’t grow on trees – but he’s an investment worth making for a Magic team bereft of alternatives.

Targets:

  • Chandler Parsons
  • Kent Bazemore
  • Nicolas Batum
  • Jeff Green
  • Courtney LeeAfter trading away Oladipo, Tobias Harris and pick 11, the Magic are no longer overflowing with talent and need some serious help on the wing. Apart from Fournier, Orlando have no one ready to start on opening night unless Aaron Gordon plays the 3, which would be a spacing disaster (Hezonja is still a couple of years away). As such, the Free Agent market will be explored and the Magic could well end up with a quality player. Chandler Parsons should be their top priority as a Florida native that would provide them with some much needed scoring punch, but he will likely demand a max contract. Nicolas Batum will definitely get a max, but it is unlikely that it would be with Orlando. If the Magic don’t want to spend big on Parsons (especially with his history of injuries), Kent Bazemore presents as a viable alternative in the $16-18 million a year range. Whilst he doesn’t provide elite scoring, he’s a good facilitator, shooter and a solid defender – an upgrade over anyone on the roster right now. If Evan Fournier doesn’t get re-signed, Courtney Lee could return to Orlando for the right price.

Philadelphia 76ers

Free Agents:

  • Elton Brand (UFA)
  • Isaiah Canaan (RFA)
  • Ish Smith (UFA)
  • Hollis Thompson (Team Option, RFA)The 76ers will probably bring Smith back and pick up Thompson’s team option, but may depart ways with Canaan who hasn’t shown he is an NBA player.

Targets:

  • Jordan Clarkson
  • Eric Gordon
  • Evan Fournier
  • Langston Galloway
  • Seth CurryThe 76ers should go after every decent, young guard on the market. The Sixers have Embiid, Saric, Okafor, Simmons, Holmes and Noel in the front court and just Luwawu, Korkmaz, Ish Smith and Covington as decent players that play Point Guard through Small Forward (assuming Luwawu and Korkmaz are good). At the very least, they should splash some huge offer sheets at Fournier and Clarkson or give Eric Gordon $15 million a year. Just do something to become decent next season. Please.

Phoenix Suns

Free Agents:

  • Chase Budinger (UFA)
  • Cory Jefferson (UFA)
  • Jon Leuer (UFA)
  • Phil Pressey (UFA)
  • Ronnie Price (UFA)
  • Mirza Teletovic (UFA)After bottoming out last season, the Suns drafted two Power Forwards; Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender. This could mean that one of Leuer and Teletovic will be let go – likely Teletovic, who is older and will probably be more expensive. Other than that, there’s not much to see here for the Suns.

Targets:

  • Maurice Harkless
  • Lance Thomas
  • Solomon HillDespite finishing with the second worst record in the East last season, the Suns have young assets in the backcourt and now at Power Forward (plus Alex Len at Center, I guess). On the wing, however, they have just TJ Warren and Devin Booker as long term pieces, so acquiring a young wing with a high upside is a priority. Maurice Harkless would be ideal, but Lance Thomas could be a nice option as a backup to TJ Warren.

Portland Trail Blazers

Free Agents:

  • Allen Crabbe (RFA)
  • Maurice Harkless (RFA)
  • Gerald Henderson (UFA)
  • Chris Kaman (UFA)
  • Meyers Leonard (RFA)
  • Brian Roberts (UFA)The Blazers will likely bring back all of their restricted Free Agents. Leonard has an intriguing skill set and will probably get a short term deal worth around $12 million a year. Harkless and Crabbe could get up to $15 million a year, but will more likely be in the $10 million range and the Blazers should match their offers – especially for Crabbe. Henderson could walk, and the Blazers won’t want to overpay him, but if he’s at the right price he’s a good player.

Targets:

  • Harrison Barnes
  • Pau Gasol
  • Ian Mahinmi
  • Luol Deng
  • Joe Johnson

The Blazers are in an interesting spot, they’re a 5-seed that have a ton of cap room left and a young core. If I were them, I would be trying to bring in veterans on short term deals in an attempt to sneak a championship whilst not breaking up their long term core. Luol Deng and Joe Johnson are interesting on the wings and Pau Gasol or Ian Mahinmi would be upgrades at Center over their current big men. Of course, the Blazers could also try to attract Harrison Barnes – a member of the same draft class as Damian Lillard. Barnes fits nicely into the combo Forward system that Stotts is currently running in Portland and Olshey may like his upside. If Barnes wants to be a serious player on a team that’s nearly in championship contention, Portland could be an option.

Sacramento Kings

Free Agents:

  • Rajon Rondo (UFA)
  • Seth Curry (Player Option, RFA)
  • James Anderson (Player Option, UFA)
  • Quincy Acy (Player Option, UFA)
  • Caron Butler (UFA)
  • Eric Moreland (RFA)The Kings will likely farewell Rajon Rondo after his one year of service due to his offensive deficiencies and his inability to play defence. Along with this, they will need to use cap space if they want to re-sign him as they do not own his Bird Rights. The Kings will likely gamble on getting an upgrade in Free Agency. Curry and Anderson were good last year and will probably be back, but Quincy Acy and Eric Moreland may try to find a new home seeing as the Kings now have a plethora of big men ahead of them.

Targets:

  • Dion Waiters
  • Eric Gordon
  • Jeremy Lin
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Kevin Martin
  • Ty LawsonNo one good wants to go to Sacramento. The best the Kings can hope for is a guy in the prime of their career, such as Jeremy Lin or Dion Waiters to sign for them due to the starting role they can offer. Failing that, the next best option is to sign a guy coming off a down season to a contract below market value. The Eric Gordon, Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson types fit into this category and have all been excellent players at stages of their careers. The Kings could also look into Kevin Martin to provide a desperately needed veteran presence in the lockeroom and a shooter on the bench.

rajon-rondo

San Antonio Spurs

Free Agents:

  • Matt Bonner
  • Tim Duncan
  • Manu Ginobili
  • Boban Marjanovic
  • Kevin Martin
  • Andre Miller
  • David WestThe Spurs may find themselves having to choose whether to give the mid-level exception to David West or Boban Marjanovic if they re-sign Duncan, Ginobili and Bonner (as expected) and want to chase after Free Agents. If Duncan and Ginobili don’t retire, they will probably wait until the end of the off season to sign, giving RC Buford ample cap room to chase Free Agents.

Targets:

  • Mike Conley
  • Pau GasolThe Spurs don’t play around. If they’re going to get someone, it’s going to be one of the best players on the market. Mike Conley would be an upgrade over Tony Parker at Point Guard and could be the perfect table setter for Kawhi Leonard and co. Getting Conley would likely gut the roster of any depth and would take some complex roster gymnastics. Preferably, they could sign Pau Gasol – a big man that can score, pass and rebound – to a discounted contract on the premise that he is going to a contender. The Spurs weren’t good enough last season come playoff time, and Gasol is a guy that is still playable in the playoffs at this stage of his career. If they can get him for the Mid-Level Exception, it would be ideal.

Toronto Raptors

Free Agents:

  • Anthony Bennett (UFA)
  • Bismack Biyombo (UFA)
  • DeMar DeRozan (UFA)
  • James Johnson (UFA)
  • Luis Scola (UFA)
  • Jason Thompson (UFA)The biggest priority for Toronto will be to bring back DeMar DeRozan and with every passing day, that reality seems more likely. DeRozan will only meet with Toronto and the Raptors should max-out their two time All-Star. DeRozan’s max is the same as Mike Conley’s – nearly $31 million a year over 5-years, but the Raptors have his full Bird Rights which will lessen his cap hold. After signing DeRozan, it is unlikely Toronto will be able to bring Biyombo back after his impressive Eastern Conference Finals showing. Whilst Biyombo says he wants to return, he could get offers of up to $20 million a year from teams looking for a 23 year old rim protector that does all the dirty work offensively. Those offers will be very difficult to knock back.

Targets:

  • Mirza Teletovic
  • Donatas Motiejunas
  • David WestThe Raptors won’t have a whole lot of room to move after committing to DeRozan, but still have a hole at Power Forward. Teletovic and Motiejunas are the only guys available that would be an upgrade over the current options but could still be affordable. David West could join this group if the Spurs lure a big name and can’t afford him.

DeMar DeRozan

Utah Jazz

Free Agents:

  • Trevor Booker (UFA)The Jazz will likely bring Booker back as a serviceable fourth Forward in their rotation.

Targets:

  • No oneI actually don’t think anyone realistically available on the Free Agent market would be an upgrade over the guys the Jazz already have. They could afford to take a one year flier on an older guy or someone rebuilding their reputation (Terrence Jones or Maurice Harkless?), but other than that, it should be a quiet off season in Salt Lake City.

Washington Wizards

Free Agents:

  • Alan Anderson (UFA)
  • Bradley Beal (RFA)
  • Jared Dudley (UFA)
  • JJ Hickson (UFA)
  • Nene (UFA)
  • Gary Neal (UFA)
  • Ramon Sessions (UFA)
  • Garrett Temple (UFA)
  • Marcus Thornton (UFA)The Wizards will likely be forced to max-out Bradley Beal, despite him never playing a full season in the NBA and having showed no signs of being a good defender in the NBA. After signing Beal, the Wiz will look to bring Nene back as a backup big man on a cheap contract, Jared Dudley should be offered a contract – even if he declines. Thornton, Neal and Hickson are probably expendable, but Sessions, Anderson and Temple have been solid in Washington and should be given the option to come back.

Targets:

  • Ryan Anderson
  • Arron Afflalo
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Brandon BassThe Wizards are in a tough spot. In the back court, they have Wall and Beal locked in long term and they have Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat locked in as frontcourt starters. On the wing, they will want to get quality minutes into Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. after using the 3rd and 15th pick respectively on them. This leaves them looking at backup options such as Anderson as a stretch four, Ezeli or Bass backing up Gortat or Arron Afflalo backing up the oft-injured Bradley Beal.

 

There you have it! The most comprehensive guide to Free Agency is complete. Bring on July 1st.