The Denver Nuggets are the champs, the San Antonio Spurs have yet another franchise big man with Hall of Fame potential and, in a matter of days, free agency will be here. If you’re not that psyched about that last part, though, you’re not alone.
“Free agency doesn’t happen anymore, really,” Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in April. “The new free agency is players change teams [via trade].”
Ujiri is correct, in that star players have, in recent years, largely preferred to sign contract extensions or re-sign with their teams rather than touring the country to be wined and dined by potential new employers. They can make more money by doing it this way, and they can often get where they want by requesting a trade later if things don’t work out.
Technically, though, free agency is not over. Not for Ujiri, whose team will have to deal with its starting point guard and center being unrestricted this offseason, nor for any of his fellow executives trying to add talent or trim payroll. There are even some pretty big names on the market this year, and some of them might actually change teams!
The following list is not a ranking, nor is it an exhaustive accounting of every player who could conceivably be available in free agency. I have assumed, for example, that the Pelicans will pick up their team option on Herb Jones and the Philadelphia 76ers with not waive De’Anthony Melton’s partially guaranteed contract.
Here are 55 players who could be free agents when the negotiation period begins at 6 p.m. ET on June 30:
None of these six players made All-NBA in 2022-23, and only one of them made the All-Star Game. They’re all recent All-Stars, though, except for the guy who finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting this past season.
The Rockets buzz hasn’t gone away, but it’s quieter. The Sixers have grown more optimistic that Harden will be back over the past month, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on June 19. Assuming he turns down his $35.6 million player option, Philadelphia can offer him a maximum of $210 million on a four-year contract, but it would likely prefer a shorter, smaller deal. Houston’s front office could theoretically create a bidding war, given that it can offer him almost $202 million over four years, but it’s not clear how high it will be willing to go. If Harden decides to reunite with the Rockets, the Sixers will have to turn to one of its contingency plans. Daryl Morey could try to work out a sign-and-trade with his former employer (to create a trade exception) or dump salary elsewhere (to create cap space).
In theory, the 31-year-old Irving could ask for the the full five years and $272 million guaranteed, then Dallas could counter with a three- or four-year max, with certain stipulations, and the two sides could discuss the details and arrive at a reasonable middle ground. Considering what the front office gave up to get him and the dearth of teams with cap space, both Irving and the Mavericks are incentivized to continue this partnership. Just a few months ago, though, Irving was so offended by a contract-extension proposal from Brooklyn that he cut off negotiations entirely and demanded a trade. Re-signing should be the outcome here, but that doesn’t mean it’s a certainty.
Coach Steve Kerr put it pretty simply at his end-of-season press conference: “If Draymond’s not back, we’re not a championship contender.” Kerr added that he “absolutely” wants Green to return, and Green himself has said both at the podium and on his podcast that he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Now that he’s turned down his $27.6 million player option, though, the front office — now led by Mike Dunleavy Jr., who also said the Warriors want him back — will have numerous variables to consider, among them the price of another long-term contract, the additional moves it would need to make to strengthen the roster and the harsh penalties coming if it doesn’t drastically cut payroll. The new CBA was designed to break up rosters like Golden State’s; the question is how long that will take. At 33, Green remains one of the best defenders in the world. (According to Marc Stein, he’s likely to stay with the Warriors on a three-year deal.)
At 29 and headed into his eighth season, VanVleet is eligible to sign a new contract with the Raptors for up to five years and $233 million or with another team for up to four years and $173 million. The word back in January, according to TSN, was that Tyler Herro money — i.e. four years, upwards of $120 million — would be VanVleet’s baseline expectation. He’d fit well on several teams with cap space (Orlando, San Antonio, Utah, Houston), provided that those teams are trying to improve, so, if Toronto wants to avoid losing its leader for nothing, it will have to pay him accordingly or try to work out a mutually beneficial sign-and-trade. If the Rockets don’t sign Harden, then they’ll be interested in VanVleet, according to Stein.
Middleton’s max is five years and $272 million on a new contract with the Bucks. With another team, it’s four years and about $202 million. He turns 32 this summer and was limited in 2022-23 coming off of a knee injury, but Milwaukee is in the same position that Philadelphia is in with Harden and Golden State is in with Green: If he just signs elsewhere, how can the team say it’s still a contender? Even if Middleton remains in the fold, the Bucks should be looking to add more playmaking next season, so if the two sides can’t come to terms on a new deal, then the front office needs to get creative on the sign-and-trade front. (Given that Middleton turned down a player option worth more than $40 million, the likeliest outcome is that he re-signs on a deal that starts at a lower starting salary but gives him long-term security.)
Lopez is 35 and had back surgery less than 18 months ago, which is insane because he just finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting and is coming off perhaps the best all-around season of his career. Any team signing him will be wary about slippage, but there is not a long list of elite rim protectors who can also shoot 3s and post up, which is why the Rockets, who intend to improve this summer, are, according to ESPN, a threat to sign him. His skill set remains extremely important in Milwaukee, unless the plan is to turn Giannis Antetokounmpo into a full-time center.
The most notable RFAs
Restricted free agency can be terrible — Josh Hart recently said his experience was “ass,” adding that he “actually cried a little bit” — but it exists to help teams retain their young players. For any of these six guys to find a new home, their teams would have to let them leave.
Reaves said he wants to stay in Los Angeles, and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said that Reaves “defines really what’s at the heart of playing for the Lakers.” After averaging 16.9 points in the playoffs on 61.6% true shooting, plus 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds, the 25-year-old is in line for an enormous raise. The Lakers can offer him a four-year deal worth about $54 million with Early Bird rights, but, as a result of the Gilbert Arenas provision, they could wind up paying him more than $38 million in 2026-27. This would require another team to offer him a four-year deal worth about $100 million and the Lakers to match it. (According to Stein, they are indeed prepared to match.)
Generally speaking, you don’t acquire a player like Johnson at the trade deadline and let him go a few months later. He is “a big priority for us, there’s no question there,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said. Johnson, 27, finished the regular season strong in Brooklyn, averaging 16.4 points on .503/.412/.921 shooting splits, plus 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 31.9 minutes in the final 13 games. In the playoffs, he dropped 28 points in Game 2 of the Nets’ first-round series loss to the Sixers. Johnson turned down an extension worth around $72 million over four years in Phoenix, according to Yahoo Sports, and, after raising his usage without sacrificing much efficiency, he should be rewarded for betting on himself … provided that the new CBA doesn’t scare his suitors from going much higher than that. (According to Stein, at least one team isn’t scared: The Pistons consider Johnson their No. 1 target, even though he’s restricted.)
Williams’ minutes fluctuated during the 2022-23 regular season and playoffs, and in March his star teammates told coach Joe Mazzulla they wanted him on the court, per The Athletic. When he was out there, he made 39.5% of his 3s (45% in the playoffs) despite injuring his right elbow in February, and provided his typical brand of tough defense against players of all sizes. He turned down a deal that could have paid him more than $50 million over four seasons, according to The Athletic, and Stein reported in February that he was looking for something in the range of the four-year, $74 million deal that Keldon Johnson signed with San Antonio.
Just how much money did Hachimura make himself in the postseason? We’ll find out soon, but in 16 playoff games, he averaged 12.2 points in 24.3 minutes on .557/.487/.882 shooting splits. That is absolutely insane efficiency, and it’s also worth noting that he shot 48% from midrange in his 33 regular-season games with the Lakers, per Cleaning The Glass.
Washington’s usage and scoring went up on a Hornets team that was severely shorthanded for most of the season. The versatile, 6-foot-7 forward can fit virtually anywhere, but he said Charlotte is “exactly where I want to be” and general manager Mitch Kupchak said that the team is focused on making the playoffs next season. If the Hornets are indeed trying to win, then they should match any reasonable offer sheet.
Bridges pleaded no contest to a felony domestic violence charge last November, and, in April, the NBA announced that he’d be suspended for the first 10 games of the 2023-24 season. (It was formally announced as a 30-game suspension, but the league gave him “partial credit,” commissioner Adam Silver said, for missing the 2022-23 season.) Bridges remains a restricted free agent, and the Hornets would like to re-sign him, according to ESPN.
13 UFAS of interest
These unrestricted free agents aren’t considered stars, but they’re either star-adjacent in that they produce at a high yet sub-elite level or they’re star-adjacent in the more literal sense — as in, next to stars, they shine.
Like Kristaps Porzingis, this versatile forward turns 28 this summer and was widely expected to be part of Washington’s plans before its new front office, led by Michael Winger, came into the picture. When the previous regime dumped Rui Hachimura in January, it signaled that it intended to re-sign Kuzma, who has played the best basketball of his career with the Wizards. They could still do that, provided that the price is right, but he’ll have suitors if they decide to go a different route. In D.C., Kuzma has shown the league that he can defend the way he did late in his Lakers tenure while taking on much more offensive responsibility.
Westbrook’s first couple of months with the Clippers worked out better than many of us expected, and the team wants him back, according to president Lawrence Frank. If he re-signs, though, his starting salary will be limited to 120% of a minimum contract. Westbrook spoke glowingly about the organization at the end of the season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll sacrifice money to return. If another contender believes he’ll fit just as well as he did with the Clippers, it wouldn’t be difficult to win a bidding war.
How does one judge Russell’s post-deadline stint with the Lakers? He put up good numbers when they turned things around in the regular season (17.4 points, 6.1 assists, 61% true shooting), had his moments on offense in the first two rounds of the playoffs and was outright harmful after that. In the conference finals, coach Darvin Ham had to bench Russell in crunch time, reduce his minutes and eventually take him out of the starting lineup. The 27-year-old could theoretically sign an extension for a maximum of about $67 million over two years until June 30, after which point he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. Assuming he doesn’t extend, it would behoove him and the front office to either work out a new contract or a sign-and-trade.
On the one hand, Barnes had a rough series against the Warriors and, at 31, isn’t quite on the same timeline as the Kings‘ core. On the other, Barnes was a reliable starter during the regular season and coach Mike Brown called him “irreplaceable” in February and then reiterated the sentiment during the playoffs. On June 27, Yahoo Sports reported that Barnes would “likely” leave Sacramento, and that his next destination could be Indiana, where he’d reunite with former ex-Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton and ex-Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. That followed a report from The Kings Beat indicating that Sacramento’s front office talked to Barnes about a possible extension — he’s eligible to to sign one until June 30 — but those discussions “went quiet.”
Unless the Blazers pivot from their retool-don’t-rebuild strategy, all signs point to the 29-year-old Grant re-signing on a long-term deal. He is technically eligible to sign an extension until June 30, but the most he can make in that scenario is $113 million over four years and Portland can offer him five years and a higher annual salary in free agency. In 2022-23, Grant had his most efficient season in five years by taking fewer tough 2s and shooting a career-high 40% from deep.
Toronto traded for Poeltl with the intention to re-sign him, and that’s what it’s expected to do, after outscoring opponents by 9.1 points per 100 possessions in his 707 minutes. There are a lot of lingering questions about the Raptors’ future, but it would be extremely surprising if Poeltl were not a part of it.
It is weird that we already know Memphis isn’t bringing Brooks back. Considering how recently the Grizzlies loved his tenacity and campaigned for him to make First Team All-Defense — he made Second Team — it’s kind of sad that his tenure is ending acrimoniously. For teams looking for a big, strong wing defender, though, knowing that he won’t stay put is a plus. We made a list of five logical destinations, but it could have been way longer; between cap-space teams looking to improve and capped-out teams offering the midlevel or pitching sign-and-trade possibilities, Brooks should have plenty of options. (Houston has been mentioned as a suitor by The Athletic, The Action Network and Yahoo Sports.)
Hart said that he planned to decline his $12.9 million player option and sign a new contract with a higher starting salary, but he and the Knicks have decided to extend his deadline to make a decision until Thursday. Do not expect him to leave the team that immediately improved once it acquired him from the Blazers in February. Hart is comfortable in New York, with college teammate Jalen Brunson at his side and MSG erupting every time he makes a hustle play or a timely bucket.
In 2022-23, Brown synthesized his role in Brooklyn (do-it-all point-center) and his previous basketball identity (downhill driving point guard) while making 37.4% of his catch-and-shoot 3s on 2.8 attempts per game, which is more than double his 2021-22 volume. He was a steal for the Nuggets last summer, and he’s played himself into a much bigger payday — if he’s willing to leave to get it. Denver only has his non-Bird rights, which means it can’t offer him a starting salary higher than $7.8 million on a new contract. If he wants to stay — — then he can take that for next season, on a starting salary of about $13.6 million.
Before Miami’s Finals run, it looked like Strus’ value had gone down this season, simply because he made 35% of his 3s after making 41% the previous year. Now, though, that may not be the case. While he has had some poor shooting nights in the playoffs and full-on slumped during the Finals, he caught fire a few times and stayed sturdy enough on defense to start every game. There aren’t a ton of movement shooters out there who can stay on the floor under postseason scrutiny.
One of Miami’s many playoff heroes, Vincent shot just 33.3% from deep in the regular season but was essentially lights out after that. From Game 1 of the first round until Game 3 of the Finals. He showed that he’s a pest defensively, too. Vincent made $1.8 million in 2022-23 on a minimum contract, but now he could get something in the range of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which will be approximately $11.4 million. The Heat have his full Bird rights.
Clarkson had the best all-around season of his career in 2022-23, stepping out of his sixth-man role to average 20.8 points, 4.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes, all career highs. He has a $14.3 million player option, and the Jazz have cap space to play with regardless of whether or not he sticks around. In theory, Utah could use some of that space to renegotiate and extend his contract, should he pick up the option.
The 2022-23 Bulls were squarely in the middle of the pack, so few noticed Vucevic putting together a solid individual season — he shot a career-high 53% from midrange, per Cleaning The Glass. Everybody on the internet wants Chicago to reset rather than doubling down on its current core, but that appears unlikely — according to both The Athletic and the Chicago Sun-Times — as the Bulls might extend Vucevic’s contract before he even hits free agency.
Any other wings out there?
If you’re a 6-7 speed demon who can guard multiple positions well, knock down above-the-break 3s at high volume and make the right reads against a tilted defense, congratulations: NBA teams want to pay you a lot of money. There aren’t many of you, though, so this group is full of guys who check some, but not all of those boxes.
Divincenzo loves being a Warrior, he said, but, like Brown, he can make more money elsewhere. He declined to pick up his $4.7 million player option, and Golden State can re-sign him on a new deal starting no higher than $5.4 million. For a reserve, DiVincenzo had fine numbers in 2022-23 — 9.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists in 26.3 minutes, 39.7% from deep — but the stats undersell how well he connected the dots on both ends. Since he’s only 26 and could conceivably be signed with the midlevel, it’s not surprising that he’s been linked to a number of teams. After Hart, his former college teammate, told Bleacher Report that he’d love to play with him in New York, both SNY and Yahoo Sports reported that the Knicks are interested in DiVincenzo. Yahoo Sports also reported that the Wolves could go after him, and both The Athletic (On May 23) and the Houston Chronicle (on June 25) reported that he’s on the Rockets’ lengthy list of potential targets.
Donovan Mitchell wasn’t on the team when the Cavaliers traded for LeVert, and they had totally different needs after acquiring the superstar. LeVert started and ended the 2022-23 season as their starting small forward, but spent most of the time in between serving as a playmaker off the bench. While he deserves credit for making 39.3% of his catch-and-shoot 3s on a career-high 2.9 attempts per game, he’s not the cleanest fit next to Mitchell and Darius Garland. How much, then, will Cleveland be willing to pay LeVert to be a sixth man?
Oubre quietly averaged 20.3 points in his second season in Charlotte, finishing with a career-high 25.7% usage rate and a corresponding dip in efficiency. A 33% career 3-point shooter, he has never been a knockdown guy, but he takes 3s at high volume and has a 7-foot-2 wingspan, so expect the Hornets to be among several teams interested in him.
Gordon’s fully non-guaranteed $20.9 million 2023-24 salary becomes guaranteed on June 28. Before then, the Clippers could trade him to a team trying to lower its payroll. Alternatively, they could waive him themselves, or they could guarantee his money, bring him back and maintain the ability to use his expiring contract for salary-matching purposes should they go star-hunting again. Gordon, 34, shot 42.3% from 3-point range in 22 regular-season games after Los Angeles acquired him at the trade deadline.
For much of the 2022-23 season, Watanabe looked like one of the previous summer’s biggest bargains. He’d always been a helpful defender, but in Brooklyn he made 45.7% of his catch-and-shoot 3s, regaining the confidence he had lost after an injury and inconsistent minutes in Toronto. As long as that shooting percentage holds, he’s the kind of guy who can have a role on virtually any team. (I say virtually because, after the 2023 trade deadline, Watanabe found himself on a Nets roster that was somehow overstuffed with big wings who guard multiple positions, so he collected some DNP-CDs.)
Richardson looked much more comfortable as a playmaker in San Antonio than he did as a low-usage role player in New Orleans, but this past season demonstrated his willingness to adapt to the needs of his team. It’s unclear how encouraged teams will be by his 39.3% mark on catch-and-shoot 3s with the Pelicans, given that he doesn’t have a ton of gravity on the perimeter.
Ingles was productive enough coming off a torn ACL for the Bucks in 2022-23 to imagine him re-signing this summer. He hit 40.9% of his 3s, including 46.9% on pull-ups, and was precisely the type of connector their halfcourt offense needed. The front office has a lot on its plate this summer, though, and ownership might have to go deep into the repeater tax in order to bring most of the band back. If there’s not room for Ingles, the front office prioritizes athleticism or he simply finds a situation he likes better, this could be no more than a one-year partnership.
Also: Will Barton, Keita Bates-Diop, Oshae Brissett Torrey Craig, Jae Crowder, Danny Green, Justin Holiday, Stanley Johnson, Damion Lee, Wesley Matthews, Josh Okogie, Jalen McDaniels, Terrence Ross, T.J. Warren, Lindy Waters III, Justise Winslow
What about guards?
Positions are fluid now — in the wing section, I noted that Horton-Tucker spent much of the season manning the point — but here we have point guards, combo guards and shooters who play on the “wing” but probably won’t get the Paul George assignment.
Curry, 32, made more than 40% of his 3s in 2022-23 because that’s what he always does. He’s eligible for an extension through June 30 and the Nets have his Bird rights, but it’s unclear what direction they’re going to go. He is best playing off stars, and, if Brooklyn wants to reduce its payroll, the front office might decide he’s a luxury it can’t afford.
Carter finally found a home with the Bucks, and he can pick up his $2.2 million player option if he’s set on staying with them. Given that he started 39 games and shot 42% from deep in 2022-23, though, he might be better off declining it. New coach Adrian Griffin is already talking about ball pressure, and Milwaukee has Carter’s Early Bird rights.
Schroder outplayed his minimum deal with the Lakers, but they can only offer him a starting salary worth 120% of the minimum without dipping into the mid-level or biannual exception. Teams that need rim pressure and perimeter defense should give him a look.
Last season was a career year for Walker, even though the Lakers’ trade-deadline moves led to his minutes becoming erratic until he swung a playoff game against the Warriors. The Lakers could conceivably bring him back, they can offer him a contract starting at $7.8 million using non-Bird rights, but he might seek a larger role elsewhere.
Beverley changed the Bulls’ season — they had a plus-11.0 net rating with both him and Alex Caruso on the court — but they can’t offer him a starting salary higher than $3.8 million without using their mid-level. He said on his podcast that he wants to make $15 million next season.
Beasley fell out of the rotation during the Lakers’ run to the conference finals, and they could simply choose to decline their $16.5 million option. That salary could be useful in a trade, though, and his 35.7% mark from 3-point range doesn’t tell the whole story. Beasley is a high-volume, high-degree-of-difficulty shooter who has more gravity off the ball than that number suggests.
Just before free agency started last season, the Magic signed Harris to an extension worth slightly more than the midlevel exception. By paying him more than he would’ve made on the open market, they were able to add second, fully non-guaranteed year to the deal. Until June 30, Orlando can either waive him, which would wipe his $13 million off the books next season — this is the move if the front office has big plans in free agency — or trade him to a team that wants to trim its payroll. Harris, 28, is a fine 3-and-D guard when healthy.
It’s hard to know how well Porter will fit on next year’s version of the Rockets, as it seems like their front office could do just about anything this summer. If Houston decides he doesn’t fit, then he could be moved and/or waived. Porter’s extremely unconventional contract stipulates that, if he is waived before July 1, then his salary beyond the 2023-24 season is non-guaranteed. This means that the Rockets — or another team, if he’s traded — could waive and potentially stretch his $15.9 million salary next season in order to open up cap space. (If Porter is not waived by July 1, then he is still guaranteed just $1 million of his 2024-25 salary; this number increases to $3 million on opening night and $6 million after the trade deadline.)
Also: Terence Davis, Goran Dragic, R.J. Hampton, George Hill, Aaron Holiday, Reggie Jackson, Cory Joseph, Shake Milton, Svi Mykhailiuk, Raul Neto, Jaylen Nowell, Frank Ntilikina, Austin Rivers, Derrick Rose, Dennis Smith Jr., Ish Smith, Edmond Sumner
How about bigs?
Centers aren’t going away, but they are getting more skilled. Here is an eclectic collection of bigs, whose individual strengths would create a Nikola Jokic-esque superstar if they were all fused together.
Despite being an effective pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic, Wood’s season in Dallas did not go nearly as well as he or the team hoped. He averaged 25.9 minutes, mostly off the bench, and his presence was one of many reasons that the Mavs’ defense fell off a cliff. The 27-year-old is extremely talented, but he’s widely expected to move on. Is there a team out there that can integrate him into a decent defense?
Love, who turns 35 in September, went from being out of the rotation in Cleveland to starting in the Finals in Miami. (OK, that’s simplifying it a little bit: He went from being the sixth man to being out of the rotation in Cleveland, then went from a starter to a reserve to a starter to being out of the rotation to starting again in Miami.) He did his job well enough defensively in the playoffs, and it’s easy to imagine him continuing to space the floor, take charges and rebound for the Heat next season, provided that he’s willing to take a minimum contract.
The 33-year-old reserve is coming off a season in which he showed he can be a serviceable starter or one of the league’s best backup bigs. The Clippers would be smart to re-sign him, and though they didn’t use him as a high-post hub as often as Charlotte did, his ability to facilitate from that spot diversified the offense.
Lyles has played for five teams in eight seasons, and he would like to stay where he is. It was not surprising to hear him say that after the Kings’ magical season, which ended with him thriving as a smallball 5 against the Warriors in the playoffs. The Kings have Early Bird rights on him, which means they can offer a maximum of about $54 million over four years.
In each of the five seasons in which Niang has played real minutes, he’s made more than 40% of his catch-and-shoot 3s. He’s a natural fit with Joel Embiid offensively, and he recently raved about Nick Nurse, the Sixers’ new coach, on an ESPN podcast. Philadelphia has his Early Bird rights.
Drummond, who turns 30 in August, averaged a career-low 12.7 minutes backing up Nikola Vucevic in 2022-23, but his per-possession numbers have been pretty steady. He has a $3.4 million player option, and it’s not obvious whether or not he should pick it up. If nobody’s offering him more than the minimum, then opting out would cost him money. It is conceivable, though, that a rebounding-starved team could offer him a raise.
Isaac, 25, appeared in 11 games for the Magic last season before having surgery to repair a torn adductor muscle. As a result of several injuries, including a torn ACL suffered in the 2020 bubble, he has only appeared in only 45 games since the end of the 2018-19 season. Only $7.6 million of his $17.4 million 2023-24 salary is guaranteed, so, if the Magic want to chase a big-money free agent, they could waive him and stretch his contract (among other space-creating moves available to them).
The Lakers barely used Bamba after acquiring him at the deadline, but his combination of rim protection and a decent 3-point shot is not easy to find. The 25-year-old center’s $10.3 million 2023-24 salary will be guaranteed on June 29; whether he’s traded or waived or both before then, he’s an intriguing second-draft candidate.
Also: Bismack Biyombo, Thomas Bryant, Drew Eubanks, JaMychal Green, Jeff Green, Blake Griffin, Montrezl Harrell, Willy Hernangomez (team option), Derrick Jones Jr., Dwight Powell, Dario Saric, Moe Wagner, Thaddeus Young (non-guaranteed), Cody Zeller
Any other RFAs?
It’s unlikely any team is going to wildly overpay any of these guys to force his incumbent team into a difficult decision, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
Need a point guard who gets to the rim, makes funky floaters, never turns the ball over and is just 23 years old? It’ll cost you, as the Spurs have tons of cap space and the right to match any offer. Jones is not a big name, but he’s No. 14 in the free-agent rankings compiled by The Athletic’s John Hollinger using a formula that projects every player’s value next season. San Antonio might look for a new starting point guard this summer, but expect Jones to stick around unless some team wildly overpays him.
Thybulle felt more comfortable in Portland than he did in Philadelphia, and he made 38.8% of his 3s on 3.9 attempts per game after the trade. Teams still dare him to shoot, but, barring a crazy offer sheet, the Blazers have likely seen enough out of this all-world defender to keep trying to develop him into a two-way player.
White’s usage and minutes went down in 2022-23, but his efficiency went up and they rejected inquiries about him before the deadline, according to The Athletic. He’s a more competitive defender than he used to be, and he has subtly improved as a downhill driver in a smaller role. Other teams might try to poach the 23-year-old, but Arturas Karnisovas, the team’s executive vice president for basketball operations, said that the Bulls “absolutely” want to keep him.
Dosunmu started for Chicago until Beverley arrived, and while his numbers were mostly the same as the previous season, his 3-point shooting declined from 37.6% as a rookie to 31.2% — and just 27.3% after the All-Star break. He’s probably not going to get the big offer sheet that seemed possible when he made All-Rookie, but, given that Lonzo Ball is going to miss a second straight full season, there should still be room for him regardless of what the Bulls do with White.
Reed is not a mistake-free player, but he earned the Sixers’ backup 5 spot over the course of the season and delivered when thrust into a starting role in the playoffs — Harden was the star of the show when they beat Boston in Game 1, but they wouldn’t have got it done without Reed’s 10 points (including two clutch free throws) and 13 rebounds (four offensive) in 37 minutes. It’s unclear if Philadelphia’s roster is about to undergo major changes or slight tweaks, but either way there could still be a place for him.
Landale’s season with the Suns went way better than his season with the Spurs, and his offensive rebounding in the second round of the playoffs is fresh on executives’ minds. Now he might be able to parlay all that hustle against the Nuggets into a meaningful raise, particularly because, in a weird way, Phoenix’s lack of financial flexibility means it is more motivated to pay him. By making the Beal trade, the franchise effectively gave the new CBA’s roster-building restrictions a giant middle finger — they are now expected to re-sign virtually all of their free agents, per ESPN, and, if the Suns decide they need mid-sized contracts for future trades, they could offer Landale, among others, higher salaries than they’d get otherwise. (You might remember Miami signing Meyers Leonard to a two-year, $20 million-ish deal with a fully non-guaranteed second year for a similar reason in 2020.)
Alexander-Walker was in and out of the rotation with the Jazz, and his minutes fluctuated toward the end of the regular season with the Wolves, too. In the postseason, though, he started five out of Minnesota’s seven games, hounding his cousin Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the play-in and Jamal Murray in the first round. There is still upside here, even though the 6-foot-6 guard has been traded at consecutive deadlines.