With the NBA Draft still in the rearview mirror and the preseason already coming, almost unbelievably, on the horizon (Dec. 11), there’s really no rest for the tired offseason.
The free agency of the NBA is here, and despite all the talk about Tasteless Class 2020, there’s nothing disappointing about what’s online as of 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday.
Bleacher Report has asked our NBA staff to share their predictions ahead of the big NBA weekend. Do the same and tap the app to brag when your team and star line up in free agency.
The Warriors Hunt Tristan Thompson
The Golden State Warriors were understandably devastated by the news that Klay Thompson has a torn Achilles tendon. Acting quickly, they struck a deal to bring Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Oubre is expected to be part of the starting lineup alongside Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. The fifth starter could be second overall pick James Wiseman, but that’s a lot to ask of a 19-year-old who has only played three full games for Memphis in his college career and who won’t benefit from the summer league or an off-season rookie has spent training with the team.
Throughout their championship races, the Warriors have always had a size in the middle, and looking at the current market, veteran big man Tristan Thompson takes up a lot of room, is a good set designer and is also a prolific rebounder.
The market is full of centers available, and the Warriors’ mid-tier taxpayer exception of $ 5.7 million should be enough to keep Thompson away from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He’ll let the Warriors bring Wiseman more slowly while filling a need on the ground.
Falcons give the bag to Gordon Hayward
Todd Kirkland / Associated Press
The Atlanta Hawks have more space than any other team in the NBA, entering free agency with $ 44 million at their disposal, ESPN says Bobby Marks.
Assuming Anthony Davis returns to the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans match any offer for restricted free agent Brandon Ingram, however, there will be no other current All-Stars on the market. Atlanta has to spend its money somewhere.
A name to watch? Gordon Hayward, who surprisingly turned down a massive $ 34.2 million player option.
There’s no way Hayward would have agreed to do it if something wasn’t already being worked out behind the scenes, especially not as the 30-year-old who has suffered various ankle injuries over the past few years. years.
Atlanta could throw a monster one-year contract at Hayward while keeping the ceiling space open for 2021, which should result in a much stronger free agent class. It could also offer a longer offer at a lower annual rate – something like three years and $ 80 million.
With the Hawks looking to improve quickly before Trae Young becomes eligible for the next offseason, expect them to lead the Hayward contest.
Knicks give almost maximum money to Fred VanVleet
Frank Franklin II / Associated Press
The New York Knicks have expanded their collection of young talent by adding Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley in Wednesday’s draft, but the roster needs a two-way leader to follow. They have needed a leader forever, and few organizations need a culture change more.
That’s a long way to say they need Fred VanVleet. And after taking an ax at the payroll, they will have the funds to lure it south of the border.
The Toronto Raptors want VanVleet back, but they surely also have an affordable price. They may also have just drafted his replacement in Malachi Flynn, who The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie called “the closest thing to Fred VanVleet … since the man himself.” “
VanVleet is below stardom, but New York can give him a salary close to a star without blowing the budget. It would be a solid investment in the present – he was one of the 12 qualified players for an average of 17 points, six assists and two threes in 2019-20 – and a huge one going forward. Not only could he help bring in the young Bockers, but he could also help change the perception of the franchise in the league.
It’s worth a ton of money, and VanVleet has made it clear that he seeks to collect. New York has to get there.
Clippers Poaching of city rival
Ringo HW Chiu / Associated Press
The Hawks are rumor be Rajon Rondo’s next home, but that could be a leak for leverage, as they’re one of the only teams with a cap.
Unless Rondo is purely looking for the most money and Atlanta is willing to pay too much, the Los Angeles Clippers make a lot more sense as a landing place. He showed in the bubble with the Los Angeles Lakers that the ‘Playoff Rondo’ phenomenon is real, and he can still help a title team even so far into their playing days.
In the second half of his career, Rondo has also grown into a respected locker room leader with rings and credibility, and that’s something the Clippers sorely needed following their second-round collapse against the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers are going to retool, and removing Rondo from the Lakers is a move that makes sense to them on so many levels.
Mavs Get Greedy, Get Gallinari
Kyle Phillips / Associate Press
The Dallas Mavericks took a big leap in Luka Doncic’s second season.
Naturally, they’re going to be greedy now, and it’s worth taking a few hurdles for the chance to add a scoring veteran like Danilo Gallinari.
The Mavericks just added Josh Richardson in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers (sending in Seth Curry), which makes Tim Hardaway Jr., who chose his $ 18.9 million player option somewhat stretchy. Dallas can use Hardaway to close a signing and trade deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and land Gallinari on a $ 20 million deal.
That would give the Mavericks a hard cap for the year at $ 138.9 million, but they should still be able to add a player with the mid-level exception of $ 9.3 million without issue.
The Thunder, who appear to be collecting first-round picks from everyone in the league, would definitely need something valuable for Gallinari. Perhaps they could land Dallas’ first-round pick in 2027 or, instead, several second-round players.
Carmelo Anthony joins LeBron James, finally
Ashley Landis / Associated Press
With the Portland Trail Blazers, Carmelo Anthony has proven he can still help a team. Now that the Lakers are looking to add some cheap help, it’s finally time for him to play with close friend and Banana Boat pal LeBron James.
Anthony won’t start, but he can score as much as he wants with the second unit and allow GM Rob Pelinka to eventually swap Kyle Kuzma for another upgrade. If he’s a useful player on a squad that comes into the season as a favorite to repeat himself as a champion, that will change the way people think about his career.
Previously, this was not the time for James and Anthony to play together. Now it makes more sense than ever.