Free Agency summary

Free Agency summary

There’s been a million stories, rumors, tweets, IG posts, and you have no idea who is thinking or doing what. We made a short list of everything you need to know before Free Agency starts today at 6 pm Eastern Time.

Tampering

You’re gonna read about players ready to sign with teams as soon as Free Agency starts. How did they agree on, write, review, and sign a contract in just 10 minutes when teams and players are not allowed to speak before 6 pm?

Woj, Shams, and others have been reporting potential contracts since the draft, and it is obvious the limitations on communication are fiction. So let’s all pretend there is no tampering and they are just fortunate with these.

Tier 1 – Finals MVP’s

These guys are not only max-level players, but you’d also thrown in your house if necessary. With them on the roster, you immediately jump into Finals conversation.

Kevin Durant

Rumored teams:
Golden State Warriors
New York Knicks
Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Clippers

KD has a very tight circle, and there have been almost no leaks about his intention. While most players know where they wanna go next before playoffs start, an Achilles tear changes your outlook. KD will get a max offer from the Warriors, and there was talk that this may not seal his decision making – it could only be a way for the Warriors to get value back by agreeing to trade him once he recovers. This way KD would lock in the supermax.

The Knicks have long been rumored, but as it seems they will strike out on all other significant free agents, and they are owned by James Dolan, seems like a longshot. Brooklyn is a lock for Kyrie so he could team up with his friend and a much better roster and organization in Brooklyn.

The Clippers are still a possibility as there were reports KD and Kawhi communicated about teaming up. If they do, the Clippers are a front runner for that duo, with the Knicks also being mentioned. (The Knicks are mentioned a lot, but never seem to be the favorites.)

Kawhi Leonard

Rumored teams:
Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New York Knicks

If KD is challenging to read, Kawhi is impossible. For a long time, it was Toronto vs. Clippers, and we could just flip a coin. Then rumors of teaming up with KD started to appear and that brought the Knicks into the picture.

When the Lakers managed to clear cap space for a max player, it was reported he will grant them a meeting as well (and that he asked to talk to Magic.) This one seems ridiculous, but crazier things have happened.

Tier 2 – Max players

These guys are no-brainer max players, the ultimate no.2  guy on a Finals contender.

Klay Thompson

Klay will sign a five-year, $190 million contract with the Warriors.

Kyrie Irving

We reserve the possibility for Kyrie’s inner eye to speak up at 6:01, but all indications are he will sign a four-year, $140 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker will sign a four-year, $141 million contract with the Boston Celtics.

Jimmy Butler

Rumored teams:
Philadelphia 76ers
Houston Rockets
Miami Heat
Los Angeles Lakers

The question with Jimmy Butler was always will the 76ers offer him the max. All indications are that will not happen, given the fact a sign-and-trade with the Rockets has been mentioned for quite some time now. The Heat are a new player in this race, as Woj reported Jimmy will have meetings with the Heat and the Rockets when Free Agency starts (he had no communication with them so far, remember)

The Rockets have a better combo of players and draft picks the Heat do, and there is the added benefit of trading him out of your conference. But in the end, it will probably come down to what Butler wants to do.

As is with all other players, since they created a max slot, the Lakers have been mentioned as well.

Kristaps Porzingis

Porzingis will sign a five-year, $158 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

Tier 3 – max or close to max players (gotta spend it on someone)

We are now in the “well maybe not max player, but we have the money” range. Most of these players will wait to see how the top two tiers develop and then see what’s left on the market for them.

Tobias Harris

Who the hell knows. Harris didn’t shine in the playoffs, but he was the fourth option behind Embiid, Simmons, and Butler. Due to his age and how much they gave for him in the trade, the most likely scenario is that he stays with the 76ers.

Khris Middleton

Not the biggest star on the list, but a player with maximum leverage. If the Bucks want to keep Giannis happy (he is extension eligible next summer), then they need to keep Middleton. So, he will likely sign a five-year, $190 million contract with the Bucks.

D’Angelo Russell

Rumored teams:
Los Angeles Lakers
Minnesota Timberwolves
(Utah Jazz)

Kyrie to the Nets is a lock so that Russell will be waived and become an unrestricted free-agent. Almost every team with a point guard need will try and get a meeting, but it seems of all the rumored teams a return to the Lakers is very possible. This is under the condition they strike out on all previously mentioned stars.

Nikola Vučević

Vučević will sign a four-year, $100 million contract with the Orlando Magic. 

Tier 4 – life-changing money

Whether they are recovering from injury, are on the wrong side of 30 or are close, but not really an All-Star these players will still make life-changing money.

Al Horford

Rumored teams:
Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Pelicans
Philadelphia 76ers

Horford leaving Boston caught everybody off-guard. Reports say the Celtics made a substantial offer, but not as high as the four-year, $112 million that has been floating around the rumor mill. This is a very specific number, so there is a reason to believe someone told Al this will be available to him at 6:01 pm.

This is one of the greater mysteries of this Free Agency, but two most mentioned teams are Mavericks and Pelicans.

Malcolm Brogdon

Rumored teams:
Milwaukee Bucks
Chicago Bulls
Los Angeles Lakers

Brogdon is similarly to Middleton a vital piece of the core. But with Bledsoe under contract, he is the one that may get a sub-market offer from the Bucks who will go deep in the tax if they extend the maximum offer to him.

There were several reports that he is Chicago’s top target and we may see him go there if the Bucks low-ball him. As with all other players, the Lakers were mentioned.

Bojan Bogdanović

Rumored teams:
Los Angeles Lakers
San Antonio Spurs
Indiana Pacers
Utah Jazz

Bogdanović is a wing started that can shoot, pass and dribble. Players like that are a rare commodity and crucial to the modern style of basketball. His most significant point of criticism was his defense, but he has improved dramatically. WIth Oladipo out he showed he’s a 20 points per night player and would fit any team.

The Pacers will try and keep him, but he will probably get a lot of better financial offers than what they will put in front of him. Out of all the rumors, the latest one that the Jazz are willing to go as high as $18 million per year is the most lucrative one.

If he opts for a contending team over money, and the Lakers decide not to chase a third star, they would be the best option in that scenario.

Tier 5 – Boogie

The most volatile character and contract outlook out there.

DeMarcus Cousins

Rumored teams:
Golden State Warriors
New York Knicks

When healthy Boogie is one of the best at his position. He came back and surprised everyone with his performance in the Finals. He got his own tier because it’s possible he returns to the Warriors for a seven-figure deal, but then again if the Knicks strike out on others, he may get a major contract. Who the hell knows.