Now that the 2020 NBA Draft is complete, let’s just take a minute and digest everything that happened.
Wait, free agency is starting? Like, immediately? OK, hop back on that treadmill!
NBA DRAFT: Biggest steals, worst reaches from Round 1
Yes, this offseason is moving faster than a race between Brian O’Conner and Dominic Toretto. Teams will be permitted to contact free agents or their representatives starting Friday night, and contracts can officially be signed Sunday afternoon.
This year’s group of free agents is light on star power, but there will still be useful players searching for new deals. Let’s take a look at the top targets for teams looking to spend.
(Note: Those who were eligible to become free agents but have already exercised player options are not included below. That’s why you won’t see names like DeMar DeRozan and Andre Drummond here.)
The big question surrounding Davis’ free agency isn’t whether he will re-sign with the Lakers. It’s how the contract will be structured.
A shorter deal with a player option in the final year seems to be a likely outcome. Davis can align himself with LeBron James, re-examine the landscape of the league later and potentially earn a lot more with steady cap increases in the next couple of years.
The 2019-20 Most Improved Player award winner is expected to receive a max contract from the Pelicans after averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Even if he did sign an offer sheet with another team, New Orleans would simply match it.
And we have arrived at the first “real” free agent. VanVleet is a steady hand at point guard, a terrific shooter (39 percent from 3-point range for his career) and tough defender despite his size (6-1, 197 pounds).
VanVleet could stay in Toronto, but he should be getting calls from the Hawks and Knicks, as both teams have a lot of cap space.
Harrell had a rough “bubble” experience, but the reigning Sixth Man of the Year is coming off a season in which he averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He brings instant energy and intensity to the floor, and he’s great when operating as a roller and cutter.
Any team searching for a frontcourt boost should reach out to Harrell. Outside of re-signing with the Clippers, Harrell could be a good fit with the Mavericks or Raptors.
Hayward declined his $34.2 million player option Thursday, leading to speculation about what the 30-year-old will do next.
It’s possible Hayward simply wants more long-term security with the Celtics. If they choose to part ways, though, the Knicks could emerge as a leading suitor, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein.
So… Bogdanovic is available again, huh? The Bucks were set to acquire him via a sign-and-trade with the Kings. New reports then revealed Bogdanovic never approved the deal.
There was a massive outcry from executives about the move because Milwaukee and Sacramento appeared to reach an agreement well before free agency opened. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that there are a “whole bunch of people” in the league who believe this supposed miscommunication could be a way to prevent the NBA from stepping in and blocking the sign-and-trade.
For now, Bogdanovic remains on this list as he heads into restricted free agency.
Miami’s run to the NBA Finals was slightly marred by Dragic’s foot injury in the championship series, but that shouldn’t overshadow his playoff run. Dragic led the Heat in scoring through the first three rounds of the postseason and was terrific once he took over as the starting point guard.
Dragic could stick with the Heat on a lucrative one-year deal, but he will explore the open market.
“So, of course, I know Miami wants to bring me back,” Dragic told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “I’m hoping we can finish this championship run next season, but I know this is part of the business. It’s a lot of options here, and we’ll see. I’m open to all suggestions, and from there on, we’re gonna see which one is the best possibility for me and for my family. So, yeah, Miami’s up there. They were great to me, and we’ll see. Hopefully, we can make a deal.”
In his first season with the Wizards, Bertans emerged as one of the top 3-point threats in the NBA. He shot 42.4 percent from deep on 8.7 attempts per game, and at 6-10, he can pull the trigger over the top of almost any defender.
Washington has been clear about its desire to keep Bertans, so don’t expect him to pack his bags.
When he’s healthy, Gallinari is an effective shooter and secondary scoring option. That has been the case in his last two seasons with the Clippers and Thunder.
Stein reports that the Hawks are in “pole position” for Gallinari. He would certainly help Atlanta if the goal is to make a playoff push.
Grant made the most of his time in the “bubble” and should command a decent contract after declining his player option. He is a versatile defensive forward and has done a nice job improving his outside shot.
While other teams will poke around, Denver is confident it will be able to keep Grant, according to The Denver Post’s Mike Singer.
11. Joe Harris, Nets (unrestricted)
12. Serge Ibaka, Raptors (unrestricted)
13. Christian Wood, Pistons (unrestricted)
14. Marcus Morris, Clippers (unrestricted)
15. Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers (unrestricted)
16. Jae Crowder, Heat (unrestricted)
17. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers (unrestricted)
18. Rajon Rondo, Lakers (unrestricted)
19. Paul Millsap, Nuggets (unrestricted)
20. Jordan Clarkson, Jazz (unrestricted)
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