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1 Free Agent Every NBA Team Should Already Be Thinking About

the Atlanta Hawks
Kristaps Porzingis
the Boston Celtics'
Kyrie Stays
Markieff MorrisFree-Agency
the Brooklyn Nets'
the Charlotte Hornets
Kemba Stays
Thabo SefoloshaFree-agency
Eastern Conference
the Memphis Grizzlies
the Toronto Raptors
the Cleveland Cavaliers'
the Dallas Mavericks
New York Times'
Denver Nuggets
Monte Morris
the Sacramento Kings
Golden State
the Washington Wizards
DeMarcus Cousins'
Durant Stays
Dewayne Dedmon/Thabo SefoloshaFree-Agency Target
Durant Leaves
the Indiana Pacers
The Los Angeles Clippers'
the Los Angeles Lakers'
the NBA Finals
The Miami Heat's
the Phoenix Suns
Kelly Olynyk
Heat Hoops'
Justin Holiday
Sterling Brown
Christian Wood (maybe).Things
Middleton Stays
this counts)Free-Agency
Garrett TempleNow
the Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyus Jones
Jrue Holiday
Defensive Real Plus-Minus
Elfrid Payton
Markelle Fultz
the Orlando Magic's
The Portland Trail Blazers
Housing two Bogdanovices
The Athletic's
Kawhi Stays
Garrett TempleFree-Agency
The Utah Jazz
Affording Walker
NBC Sports
NBC Sport's
Chase Hughes
Basketball Reference
Basketball Insiders
SLC Dunk's

Kevin Durant
Kyrie Irving
Klay Thompson
Noah Vonleh
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Courtney Lee
Dennis Smith Jr.
John Collins
 Ian Begley
Anthony Davis
Marcus Morris
Terry Rozier
Al Horford
Jeremy LinJimmy Butler's
Sean Marks
Tom Thibodeau
Nikola Mirotic
D'Angelo Russell
Spencer Dinwiddie
Joel Embiid
Ben Simmons
Caris LeVert
Kawhi Leonard
Allen Crabbe
Nikola MiroticA
Kemba Walker
Jeremy Lamb
Bismack Biyombo
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Marvin Williams
Letting Lamb
Michael Jordan
Kemba Leaves
Emmanuel Mudiay
Otto Porter's
Cory Joseph
Delon Wright
Zach LaVine
Lauri Markkanen
Denzel Valentine's
Wendell Carter Jr.
Ja Morant
Furkan Korkmaz
JR Smith
Waiving Smith
Dan Gilbert
Tristan Thompson
Kevin Love
David Nwaba
Khris Middleton
Marc Stein
Eric Bledsoe
Malcolm Brogdon
Matthew Dellavedova
John Henson
Luka Doncic
Dorian Finney-Smith
Maxi Kleber
Dwight Powell
Bojan BogdanovicPicking
Paul Millsap's
Trey Lyles
Malik Beasley
Michael Porter Jr.
DeMarre Carroll
Danny Green
Nikola Jokic
Reggie Bullock
Stanley Johnson
Ish Smith
Reggie Jackson
Langston Galloway
Iman Shumpert
Rodney Hood
Wesley Matthews
Bruce Brown
Wayne Ellington
up).Klay Thompson
Ethan Strauss
Shaun Livingston
Kevon Looney
Rudy Gay
Trevor Ariza
Trevor ArizaIdentifying
Brandon Knight's
Kenneth Faried
Gerald Green
Trevor Ariza/DeMarre Carroll
Tilman Fertitta
Danny Leroux
get.)Wilson Chandler
Myles Turner's
Thaddeus Young
Victor Oladipo
Darren Collison
Oscar Nunez
Adrian Wojnarowski
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Aaron Holiday
Stephen A. Smith
Danilo Gallinari's
LeBron James
Kevin O'Connor
Noah VonlehTrust
Tobias Harris
Mario Hezonja
Mike Conley
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jonas Valanciunas
CJ Miles
Avery Bradley
Chandler Parsons'
Tyler Johnson
Albert Nahmad
Ryan Anderson
Goran Dragic
Hassan Whiteside
Rodney McGruder's
Pat Riley
Justise Winslow
Khris Middleton's
Marc Lasry
Zach Lowe
George Hill
Pat Connaughton
Brook Lopez
Tony Snell
Mike Budenholzer's
Middleton Leaves
Jeff Teague
Derrick Rose
Karl-Anthony Towns
Andrew Wiggins
Luka Doncic-Kristaps
E'Twaun Moore
Lonzo Ball
Julius Randle
Amar'e Stoudemire
Kelly Oubre Jr.
Darius Miller
D.J. Augustin
Terrence Ross
Nikola Vucevic
Aaron Gordon
Jonathan Isaac
MLE.Jimmy Butler
Jonathon Simmons
TJ McConnell
JJ Redick
Robert Covington
Bradley Beal
Jamal Murray
Evan Fournier
Devin Booker
Joe Harris
Richaun Holmes
Renouncing Oubre
Josh Jackson
Al-Farouq Aminu's
Seth Curry
Jake Layman
Maurice Harkless
Meyers Leonard
Evan Turner
Willie Cauley-Stein
Harrison Barnes
Blake Griffin
Pascal Siakam
Stephen Curry
Pau Gasol
Brian Wright
Jabari Young
Chip Engelland
Marc Gasol
Plan Bogdanovic
Losing Leonard
Serge Ibaka
Kyle Lowry
Kawhi Leaves
David NwabaWelcome
Rudy Gobert
Donovan Mitchell
Grayson Allen
Dante Exum
Waiving Derrick Favors
Raul Neto
Bojan BogdanovicWashington's
Jeff Green
Ben Standig
Tomas Satoransky
Thomas Bryant
Dwight Howard
Ian Mahinmi
John Wall
Chasson Randle
Jabari Parker's
Andrew Bailey


the moon even

the Milwaukee Bucks
the San Antonio Spurs

New York
Kristaps Porzingis
Zion Williamson
Austin Rivers
Moreno Valley
New Orleans
Oklahoma City Thunder's
San Antonio

the Eastern Conference

Positivity     36.00%   
   Negativity   64.00%
The New York Times
Write a review: Bleacher Report

More than one-third of the league has a path to max space, and a handful of megastars are considered genuine flight risks, including the cranky-pants-wearing Durant and Irving.Our suggested targets for every team juggle all of the necessary factors: projected cap space, roster needs, team direction and, most critically, plausibility. Players overwhelmingly likely to stay in their current digs remained off-limits (think: Klay Thompson), and markets not known for sweeping big names off their feet weren't encouraged to chase headlining names no matter how much cap space they have (Atlanta!) or how sexy the potential fit (Sacramento!).Free agents with wandering eyes who are too valuable to replace were assigned to their incumbent squads. Atlanta could win the lottery, grab the Dallas Mavericks' pick at No. 6 (top-five protection) and still have the bandwidth to max out a free agent with no more than nine years of experience (i.e. non-Kevin Durant division). At best, they'd be looking at the full mid-level exception ($9.2 million) and not much else.Free-Agency Target if Kyrie Stays: Markieff MorrisFree-Agency Target if Kyrie Leaves: Jeremy LinJimmy Butler's selection did not come without hesitation. Maybe the Philadelphia 76ers can de-dramatize his free agency by offering the full boat over five years, but he seems like a star who craves the pressure that comes with being the face of a franchise. Greasing the wheels of an Allen Crabbe salary dump puts the Nets in Butler range, or they could renounce all their own free agents except for Russell and trim a few dollars elsewhere.Non-Max Free-Agency Target: Nikola MiroticA five-year max contract for Kemba Walker would run the Charlotte Hornets about $189.7 million. And if owner Michael Jordan feels like paying top dollar for a fringe-playoff squad, then Charlotte can expand its search to include mini-MLE ($5.3 million) candidates.Free-Agency Target if Kemba Stays: Thabo SefoloshaFree-agency Target if Kemba Leaves: Emmanuel Mudiay (restricted)Adding Otto Porter's $27.3 million salary to the 2019-20 payroll will not preclude the Chicago Bulls from becoming a mover and shaker in free agency. Cleveland will need to use one of its exceptions and pray that does the trick.Khris Middleton is an "inevitable" target for the Dallas Mavericks, who are unlikely "to get in the mix" for the star-most tier of free agents, according to the New York Times' Marc Stein. That doesn't mean they won't have to pony up the same money for him.They will.Middleton is a max-contract candidate, with a starting salary at $32.7 million, in this summer's market. Send their selection to Atlanta, and they're still a little more than $4 million shy when carrying holds for restricted free agents Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber.They can make up the gap by finding a taker for one of their expiring contracts (Courtney Lee, Dwight Powell), or by offloading some combination of their cheaper salaries.Non-Max Free-Agency Target: Bojan BogdanovicPicking up Paul Millsap's team option would leave the Denver Nuggets with a salary sheet in the $120 million range—and that's assuming they show Trey Lyles the door in restricted free agency. He's canning almost 37 percent of his triples since Christmas and banging in over 41 percent of his wide-open treys on the season.For the minutes Denver would need him to play and the price they can afford to pay, he's closer to the ideal addition than not.Turning soon-to-be free agents Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson into more cost-controlled players (and picks) allows the Pistons to think a little bigger over the offseason. They'll need to waive Shaun Livingston ($2 million partial guarantee) and punt on Kevon Looney (restricted) or hope his market once again craters.More likely than not, the Warriors will be left to lean on the taxpayer's mid-level with or without Durant. Golden State is free to focus on DeMarcus Cousins' replacement should KD stick around.Free-Agency Target if Durant Stays: Dewayne Dedmon/Thabo SefoloshaFree-Agency Target if Durant Leaves: Trevor ArizaIdentifying the right target for the Rockets is difficult without knowing their intentions.Getting off Brandon Knight's contract helped them not only duck the tax this season, but in 2019-20. And while they won't quite enjoy the head space to spend the full MLE, they'll have a meaningful chunk of money if they want to add an impact player.Accessing that non-taxpayer's MLE becomes a realistic possibility if they reroute Nene (player option) and aren't married to re-signing Kenneth Faried, Gerald Green, Austin Rivers, Iman Shumpert, et al. Signing him shouldn't eat up a majority of the Rockets' MLE, which frees them to make other non-minimum additions.There will be a push for the Indiana Pacers to fire up the max-contract machine. Depleting their base of non-guaranteed deals and incumbent free agents gets them past the $45 million marker if their draft position holds firm.Indulging that flexibility is almost certainly off the table. The Pacers could pay one of them about $13.5 million to start and come close to offering a 30 percent max ($32.7 million), but that still comes at the expense of their depth.Embracing that opportunity cost isn't worth the trouble. Two of Indiana's point guards, Darren Collison and Cory Joseph, are headed for free agency, and depending on Brogdon's market, the Pacers might have the scratch to sign him while re-upping Bogdanovic, Young and one of their floor general.That makes for some tight number-crunching. They loom in a Kevin Durant-to-New York type of feeling.Non-Max Free-Agency Target: Noah VonlehTrust The Process...of Elimination.Much like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler reportedly isn't interested in joining forces with LeBron James, per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor. Coupled with a lack of ties to the Knicks, Butler's situation gives them an opening they won't get from anyone else.Non-Max Free-Agency Target: DeMarcus Cousins Mario Hezonja is the consummate shrug-emoji selection. He is, in essence, the pick for a team that won't be a major free-agency player.Rebuilding squads should always be in the market for 25-and-under talents who don't have the leverage to broker big-league deals. Their salary-cap projections are strained either way.Assuming Valanciunas and CJ Miles exercise their player options, the Grizzlies will need to waive Avery Bradley ($2 million partial guarantee) to ensure they can both evade the tax and match offer sheets for Delon Wright. Getting off Matthew Dellavedova and John Henson and extending Eric Bledsoe has loosely positioned the team to pay Middleton the max without entering the tax or nuking its core.Inserting a $32.7 million hold for Middleton gives the Bucks more than $20 million to divvy up between Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic if they waive George Hill ($1 million guarantee) and depending on Bledsoe's starting salary. That money isn't enough to keep both Brogdon and Mirotic, and the Bucks have to think about a new contract for Brook Lopez, a non-Bird free agent who should mandate they knife into their mid-level exception.Paying the tax is unavoidable if Milwaukee wants to keep the entire group together. Milwaukee cannot afford to make him anything other than its most pressing priority.Free-Agency Target if Middleton Stays: Brook Lopez (he's a non-Bird FA and integral to how the Bucks play, so yeah, this counts)Free-Agency Target if Middleton Leaves: Garrett TempleNow that they're no longer responsible for footing the bill on Jimmy Butler's next contract, the Minnesota Timberwolves have plenty of maneuverability under the luxury tax. Though he's getting more run now, he's their third point guard when the roster is at full capacity.That bodes well for a Pelicans squad unable to offer more than mid-level money if they bring back Stanley Johnson (restricted) and Julius Randle (player option). More than half of his looks this season are coming as spot-up threes, on which he's shooting better than 45 percent, and he replaces a lot of the team-defense swag they lost in Robert Covington.Check out the 10 players Green has spent the most time guarding this season, in order of decreasing possessions: Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson, Jamal Murray, Evan Fournier, Redick, Kyrie Irving, Malcolm Brogdon, Devin Booker, Joe Harris and Khris Middleton. He does play a hand in limiting their ability to address it.Tying up $19.2 million in his player option and what could amount to $9.7 million in their next draft pick (if they win the lottery) comes close to capping out the Suns. The Bucks can match any offer he receives, and going beyond  $12 to $15 million per year thrusts his next contract into hard-to-swallow territory.Brogdon is the ideal running mate at both ends of the floor for a team with ball-dominant studs and defensive liabilities on the perimeter, and he's having a career year. And though his torrid shooting has cooled, he's still turning in one helluva season.Only three other players are scoring as much and hitting as many threes per 36 minutes while matching Morris' effective field-goal percentage: Stephen Curry, Buddy Hield and Kyrie Irving.San Antonio is tracking toward a far more on-brand offseason than last year, in that this summer should include zero superstar trade demands.What becomes of that blissful uneventfulness is a head-scratcher. The Spurs will have the full MLE to spend, but they'll need to waive Pau Gasol ($6.7 million partial guarantee), renounce Rudy Gay (Early Bird) or trim some other money from their bottom line in a salary dump if they want to completely sidestep the tax.Put money on Gasol's departure or another dump should San Antonio do anything of note. Subtracting Leonard's money from the ledger doesn't pull them beneath it, and there would be no replacing the player they lost even if it did.Toronto's future, whatever it entails, is going to play out in-house.Free-Agency Target if Kawhi Stays: Garrett TempleFree-Agency Target if Kawhi Leaves: David NwabaWelcome to the most ambitious proposal of this entire exercise. But they want to re-sign Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green, per NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig, and they've already talked to Tomas Satoransky (restricted) about signing an extension, according to NBC Sport's Washington's Chase Hughes.Thomas Bryant (restricted) has also played his way into their future, and Dwight Howard isn't declining his player option after an injury-riddled campaign. He replaces much of his dribble penetration, excels at getting to the free-throw line and has played off other ball-dominant scorers at almost every stop.Trading Otto Porter has opened the door for the Wizards to join the full-MLE ranks if they don't pick up Jabari Parker's team option.

As said here by Dan Favale