Rockets News

Complete Team Profiles heading into 2016 NBA Free Agency

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Nov 30, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) guards Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Thunder 106-100. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) guards Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) during the second half at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Thunder 106-100. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Jan 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) attempts to drive the ball around Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) attempts to drive the ball around Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) attempts to drive the ball around Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The brain trust of the Houston Rockets are actively preparing for NBA Free Agency which kicks off at midnight, July 1st.

In an effort to equip fans for this highly anticipated event the following document outlines the status of each team in the Association entering free agency. While  the Houston Rockets are likely looking at much more detailed analytics this document offers much of the top end data teams will post on their boards when prioritizing their objectives.

With that in mind, SCS Editor Tamberlyn Richardson has outlined each teams roster needs, the list of their 2016 and 2017 free agents, which rookies were added via the recent draft, the status of their future draft picks and the currently committed salary for 2016.

Teams who are chock full of youthful assets offer interesting scenarios as they may look to package some of their new rookies in trades in an effort to add veterans with experience which the Houston Rockets have in abundance to offer.

Further, every team will examine the list of available free agents to decipher who they should move to the top of their priority list.

Also of note, many of the trades that occurred leading up to draft night and during the draft featured players who’ll be free agents in 2017. To wit, Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague, George Hill and Serge Ibaka are all coming into their contract year with free agency slated for 2017. Is this simply coincidence or is it a sign of what to expect when it comes to teams who’ll be open to moving players?

With that in mind, the following team profile offers a synopsis for what General Managers would utilize to develop their plan of attacks. To wit, this general impression can assist in developing trades based on opponents roster gaps, impending free agents who might be better moved before next summer and isolating the perfect give – take for both teams.

Next: Hawks Horford among top Free Agent targets

May 8, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) reacts with guard Dennis Schroder (17) after making a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Cavaliers defeated the Hawks 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) reacts with guard Dennis Schroder (17) after making a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Cavaliers defeated the Hawks 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

May 8, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) reacts with guard Dennis Schroder (17) after making a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. The Cavaliers defeated the Hawks 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Taurean Prince (12), DeAndre Bembry (21

Round 2: Isaia Cordinier (44)

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Al Horford, Kent Bazemore, Kirk Hinrich, Kris Humphries,

Restricted: Mke Muscala

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Tim Hardaway Jr., Lamar Patterson, Dennis Schroder

Unrestricted: Kyle KorverPaul Millsap (P), Mike Scott, Thabo Sefolosha, Tiago Splitter

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Brooklyn
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Miami
  • 2018 first round draft pick from Minnesota
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Washington

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to San Antonio

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $52,426,293 – 20th ranked

2017: $21,472,408 – 25th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

The top priority remains adding front court rim protection as the Hawks have survived the past few seasons by utilizing Al Horford who is better suited as a power forward playing center. Adding credence to this is the possibility Horford is a free agent who could walk this summer. In fact the Hawks need to add front court depth in every position.

With the trade to send Teague to Indiana the question remains are the Hawks just cutting a malcontent or are they rebuilding. This trade move adds the immediate need for a back-up point guard which the Hawks failed to do in the draft as they added two forwards with their selections of Prince and Bembry.

The Hawks made their first move prior to draft day by sending malcontent Jeff Teague to Indiana. In return they netted the Utah Jazz’ 12th pick and used it to add Taurean Prince a player very similar to DeMarre Carroll who left in free agency last season.

The trade wasn’t just to oust a player Atlanta had been shopping since well before the trade deadline. Rather it clears up space for Schroeder to move into the starting line-up and potentially clears cap space to resign Al Horford.

The question is – will Horford be excited about returning to Atlanta when they appear to shedding talent rather than adding it.

Horford is sure to be among the top 10 free agents pursued this summer and Houston will no doubt have earmarked him as a top candidate to add in free agency.

With the Hawks in desperate need of some front court help they might look at the Rockets bevvy of bigs including restricted free agents Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones though Houston can match any offer extended their way. Dwight Howard hails from Atlanta so news meetings are scheduled between the Rockets big man and the Hawks is not surprising.

Next: Has Ainge lost his mojo?

Nov 6, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (right) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (right) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 6, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner (11) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (right) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics

Draft Picks

Round 1: Jaylen Brown (3), Guerschon Yabusele (16), Ante Zizic (23)

Round 2: Demetrius Jackson (45), Ben Bentil (51), Abdel Nader (58)

Celts trade Deyonta Davis (31st pick),  Rade Zagorac (35th pick), to Grizzlies for a 2019 first-round draft pick.

2016 Free Agents

UnrestrictedEvan Turner,

Restricted: Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: John Holland, Kelly Olynyk

Unrestricted: Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from Brooklyn (swap, BOS outgoing)
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Cleveland
  • 2017 second round draft pick from L.A. Clippers
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Minnesota
  • 2018 first round draft pick from Brooklyn
  • 2019 first round draft pick from L.A. Clippers
  • 2019 first round draft pick from Memphis
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Detroit
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Miami

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Brooklyn
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Oklahoma City
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Memphis

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $27,685,220 – 28th ranked

2017: $15,070,383 – 27th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Boston wants a star and veteran experience to add to their roster. Notably Brad Stevens led the team to the 5th best Eastern Conference record and were one win away from finishing 3rd. That said, Boston won’t be surprising anyone this year, so they’ll need to add some depth especially in the front court where they lack size.

You have to wonder if Danny Ainge has lost his mojo? After years of fleecing other General Managers in deals this year in the draft no one would bite on any of his trade scenarios. It was rumored he was aggressively trying to get into the Serge Ibaka sweepstakes as well.

As Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe outlined:

For the second straight year, the Celtics were unable to parlay their plethora of picks into a draft-night deal. Last year, teams turned their nose up at the Celtics’ picks when they tried to move up to take Justise Winslow. On Thursday night, the Celtics peddled the third pick in the 2016 NBA Draft for an established talent, but stood pat, selecting University of California forward Jaylen Brown.

Gasper went on to cite offers by Ainge looking to trade for Jimmy Butler or pull off a trade that would find one of Kevin Love or even Khris Middleton finding his way to Boston. But, teams weren’t biting on what Ainge was offering.

There were reports the Sixers were willing to play ball for the number 3 pick, but only to send Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel to the Celtics, and that wasn’t a deal Ainge was willing to make.

In the end Ainge used all 3 first round picks with most pundits in agreement that they weren’t jaw dropping selections. In fact, of the 8 draft picks Ainge had the two picks sent to Sacramento featured arguably one of their best prospects in Deyonta Davis packaged with Rade Zagorac for a 2019 first round pick.

Examining Ainge’s draft choices over the past 10 seasons his picks have left something to be desired:

A look back at the past 10 seasons of Danny Ainge draft picks begs the ? if he's lost his touch. pic.twitter.com/7NJFkFbRdk

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) June 29, 2016

Looking back there are many questionable players who Ainge left on the table:

2015: Justin Anderson (21), Bobby Portis (22), Norman Powell (46)

2014: Zach LaVine (13), Jusef Nurkic (16), Rodney Hood (23)

2013: Dennis Schroeder (17), Rudy Gobert (27),

2012: Jae Crowder (34), Draymond Green (35), Khris Middleton (39)

2011: Jimmy Butler (30), Chandler Parsons (38)

2008: Mario Chalmers (34), DeAndre Jordan (35), Goran Dragic (45)

2007: Joakim Noah (9), Thaddeus Young (12), Aaron Afflalo (27)

And now with the 8 picks Ainge took this season there will be questions moving forward.

Now the Celtics will enter free agency looking to move some of their youthful assets to land a viable top star.

Suffice to say Danny Ainge better hope he rediscovers his mojo for making big trades. It seems like it’s highly overdue for the Celtics to either hire better scouts and, or hand off the decision making process for drafting. Another decade of missed opportunities will only serve to keep Boston from ascending higher up the Eastern Conference ladder.

In the interim Ainge has landed the Celtics an interview with the highly coveted Kevin Durant, however he’ll need to replicate his big 3 deal (adding Garnett and Allen with existing asset Paul Pierce) to sway Durant.

Next: Free Agency MARKS the spot?

Jan 12, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball defended by Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) during the third quarter at the Barclays Center. The Rockets defeated the Nets 113-99. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball defended by Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) during the third quarter at the Barclays Center. The Rockets defeated the Nets 113-99. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 12, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball defended by Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) during the third quarter at the Barclays Center. The Rockets defeated the Nets 113-99. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Caris LeVert (20)

Round 2: Isaiah Whitehead (42)

Nets traded forward Thaddeus Young to Indiana for the rights to guard Caris LeVert of Michigan, the 20th pick, and a future second-round draft pick.

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Andrea Bargnani, Wayne Ellington, Sergey Karasev, Shane Larkin, Thomas Robinson, Donald Sloan

Restricted: Willie Reed, Markel Brown

2017 Free Agents

 

Restricted: Bojan Bogdanovic

Unrestricted: Jarrett Jack

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Boston

Outgoing:

  • 2017 first round draft pick to Boston (swap, BOS incoming)
  • 2017 second round draft pick to Atlanta
  • 2018 first round draft pick to Boston
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Philadelphia or Charlotte
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Memphis
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Philadelphia

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $57,554,869 – 14th ranked

2017: $35,563,698 – 15th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Everything! The best thing Sean Marks can do is establish what the Nets identity will be and then earmark some free agents who are willing to establish that congruity among the young players on the Nets.

Newly minted General Manager Sean Marks made his first move in the draft by trading away Thaddeus Young to the Pacers to grab Caris LeVert. The move is one that might be considered risky given LeVert’s 3 foot surgeries in less than 2 years, but if he can stay healthy it may turn into one of the steals of the trade. If not for the injuries LeVert would have been among the lottery picks.

With virtually an empty cupboard (aside from Brook Lopez), look for Marks to follow the San Antonio Spurs route by looking for overseas talent to add to the roster. The Nets will also have a ton of cap space available, but any free agent who travels to Brooklyn will do so knowing they are bound for the lottery for the next several years.

Don’t look for Houston or any team to be bartering with the Nets since Boston owns their next two first round draft picks which will keep the Celtics in the green based on the Nets likelihood of  finishing in the lottery for the foreseeable future.

Next: Will MJ get stung in free agency?

Dec 12, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard forward Nicolas Batum (5) during the second half of the game against the Boston Celtics at Time Warner Cable Arena. Celtics win 98-93. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard forward Nicolas Batum (5) during the second half of the game against the Boston Celtics at Time Warner Cable Arena. Celtics win 98-93. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 12, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard forward Nicolas Batum (5) during the second half of the game against the Boston Celtics at Time Warner Cable Arena. Celtics win 98-93. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

 

Charlotte Hornets:

Draft Picks

Hornets gave up their 22nd draft pick in a trade to Kings  for the rights to freshman guard Malachi Richardson, in exchange for Marco Belinelli

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Nicolas Batum, Tyler Hansbrough, Al JeffersonCourtney LeeJeremy Lin, Marvin Williams

Restricted: Troy Daniels, Jorge Gutierrez

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Aaron Harrison, Cody Zeller

Unrestricted: Spencer Hawes (P)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2018 second round draft pick from Cleveland or Brooklyn (less favorable)

Outgoing:

  • 2018 second round draft pick to Memphis

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $38,830,763 – 26th ranked

2017: $31,021,175 – 18th ranked

Team Needs & Notes:

At one point in the 2015-16 season the Hornets were one of a handful of teams who ranked top 5 in both offense and defense. The season wasn’t without adversity as Charlotte posted a 6-14 record between December 9th and January 16th. They promptly reversed that feat posting a 21-7 record over their next 28 games.

Michael Kidd Gilchrist returned from injury to boost the team’s win totals in late January, only to suffer another unfortunate injury removing him from the line-up for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately they hit  the wall entering the post season especially when injuries began to mount.

As the Hornets enter the off season they find themselves in a precarious position with 8 players entering free agency.  Included in that count total are 5 key contributors: Nic Batum, Courtney Lee, Jeremy Lin, Al Jefferson and Marvin Williams.

Michael Jordan finds himself in a bit of a pickle as he has deemed Nic Batum the key asset to retain and stated he would be willing to extend a maximum contract. The problem is Batum will be among the top 10 players coveted by other teams in free agency. Batum is like a swiss army knife offering a plethora of skills. Examining the Hornets production last season reveals just how impressive Batum was as he dished the most assists per game (5.8) and registered the second most points and rebounds on the team.

Additionally, Lin rediscovered his offense playing alongside Kemba Walker. Al Jefferson will also want what most may deem too much for a player of his age and injury history. Williams and Lee also provided vital 2-way production which won’t easily be replaced.

The trade of the Hornets 22nd pick brought Marco Belinelli to Charlotte which would indicate the Hornets recognize at least one of their wing-men will be lost.

Many presume Jeremy Lin will head to Houston to rejoin the master behind the creation of Linsanity which first launched in New York.

Two seasons ago Steve Clifford developed  defensive schemes that allowed Charlotte to rise to the top of the ladder as one of the leagues best defenders. This past season with the addition of Jeremy Lin and Nic Batum the Hornets thrived offensively.

Throughout the course of the season when the team was primarily healthy they found a way to balance success on both ends of the floor. Moving forward it’s inherent the Hornets add depth and more shooting  while trying to retain the 2 free agents who were the catalyst of the newfound offensive success of the Hornets.

It seems unlikely they’ll be able to retain both players or replicate the same success with lesser players.

Perhaps more than any other Eastern playoff squad, the Hornets free agency actions could propel them higher up the ladder or plummet them back into the lottery.

Bottom line the Hornets enter free agency with arguably the most coveted free agents in the entire Eastern Conference.

 

Next: Let the REBUILD begin

Dec 2, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after dunking the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 2, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after dunking the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 2, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) reacts after dunking the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

 

Chicago Bulls:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Denzel Valentine (14)

Round 2: Paul Zipser (48)

TRADE: Bulls’ big move happened Wednesday when they traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks in return for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon.

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Aaron Brooks, E’Twaun Moore

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Spencer Dinwiddie, Cristiano Felicio, Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell

Unrestricted: Jose Calderon, Taj Gibson

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from Sacramento
  • 2018 second round draft pick from Denver

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to New York

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $66,929,274 – 7th ranked

2017: $32,485,418 – 7th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Fred Hoiberg spent a season trying to introduce a more up tempo style with a laid back approach which worked with the youngsters on the roster, but failed miserably with the veteran core. Cut to present day and former MVP Rose is gone, and yet rumors continue to swirl that Jimmy Butler may still be trade fodder.

Shortly into the season the vets (Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler) requested Hoiberg reinsert some of the old offensive sets. In games I watched the Bulls best line-up featured the youngsters. Shortly after this occurred Hoiberg sent Noah to the bench and then he was lost for the season due to injury.

While many thought the chemistry issues were all tied to the reported power challenge between Rose and Butler, it seemed to be more a matter of the team being split  between the old regime and new regime. With Rose gone and both Noah and Gasol free agents it’s conceivable the Bulls will look entirely different this coming season.

Bank on Noah leaving and being a highly sought after free agent. Rose wants him in New York and you know Thibs will make a play for him in Minnesota.

Look for the Bulls to pursue Mike Conley, Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside to fill roster holes at point guard and center.

 

Next: World Champs likely stand pat

Jun 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) reacts with the official in the first half in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) reacts with the official in the first half in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) reacts with the official in the first half in game five of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

 

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Kay Felder (54)

2016 Free Agents

UnrestrictedLeBron James, Timofey Mozgov, Richard Jefferson. James Jones, J.R. Smith, Mo Williams

Restricted: Matthew Dellavedova, Jordan McRae

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Sasha Kaun

Unrestricted: Dahntay Jones, Mo Williams (can also opt out this year)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2019 second round draft pick from L.A. Lakers or Minnesota (less favorable)
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Portland

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Boston
  • 2018 first round draft pick to Portland
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Philadelphia or Charlotte
  • 2019 second round draft pick to New York or Orlando
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Orlando

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $79,303,596 – 2nd ranked

2017: $56,800,341 – 2nd ranked

Team Needs & Notes

LeBron James is the only true concern and he’s stated emphatically he’ll be back. J.R. Smith is the secondary free agent who the Cavs need to lock in. Expect exits from Mozgov and Dellavedova. The former due to his no longer fitting into Cleveland shemes and the latter because he’ll be looking to sign a larger contract.

Owner Dan Gilbert paid dearly for his winning squad and will now need to determine if he wants to pay in excess of $70 million in taxes again for a shot at repeating.

Obviously the team will attract veterans who’ll sign minimum deals for an opportunity at a title, but look for James to push to keep adding talent and over spending.

Shumpert proved to be an unreliable defender in the post season, and assuming Mozgov leaves Cleveland need to add depth at center and probably a back up point guard. And of course they’ll continue to search for 3-point specialists.

 

Next: Cuban's Collective

Apr 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) drives the ball during the third quarter as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) drives the ball during the third quarter as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) drives the ball during the third quarter as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

 

Dallas Maverick:

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A,

Round 2: A.J. Hammons (46)

2016 Free Agents

RestrictedDwight Powell,

Unrestricted: Raymond Felton, David Lee, Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Charlie Villaneueva, Deron Williams, Zaza Pachulia

2017 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Jeremy Evans, JaVale McGee

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • No incoming picks

Outgoing:

  • 2018 second round draft pick to Milwaukee

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $30,578,639 – 27th ranked

2017: $21,788,075 – 23rd ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Reportedly the Mavericks will aggressively pursue Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside. After two injury riddled seasons from Chandler Parsons will the Mavericks be willing to offer him a long term high end contract or look to fill his role via another free agent?

I refuse to count out the Mavericks in the same way I expect the Spurs to always be a contender. Rich Carlisle remains the best coach at getting veteran players to rediscover their fountain of youth. Still, after their tumultuous summer of 2015, expect the team to be much more diligent in assessing the character of free agents they look to add.

Regardless of whether Parsons remains the Mavericks need to add starting caliber players at the point and center. Further, they’ll need to shore up their depth.

It goes without saying Nowitzki is a shoo-in to re-sign; Dirk will retire a Maverick.

 

Next: Mile High Talent

Mar 28, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends against Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Mavericks defeated the Nuggets 97-88. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends against Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Mavericks defeated the Nuggets 97-88. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 28, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) defends against Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Mavericks defeated the Nuggets 97-88. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

 

Denver Nuggets:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Jamal Murray (7), Juan Hernangomez (15), Malik Beasley (19)

Round 2: Petr Cornelie (53)

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Darrell Arthur, D.J. Augustin, Mike Miller

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Joffrey Lauvergne, JaKarr Sampson,

Unrestricted: Danilo Gallinari,(P)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from Memphis
  • 2018 second round draft pick from Golden State

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Houston
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Chicago

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $56,468,223 – 17th ranked

2017: $50,724,585 – 3rd ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Although the 76ers have stockpiled frontcourt talent, arguably the Nuggets have the most youthful depth across the board. I’d further argue they gave the Suns a serious run on their haul on draft night. Canadian Murray could well be the front runner for Rookie of the Year and his pairing with the mobile, defensive Mudiay will offer an intriguing backcourt pairing. Hernangomez was my dark horse and fell just one spot short of getting into the lottery, which I’m sure Denver is thrilled by.

Their problems were tied to inexperience and health last season, which they’ll look to address this summer. Although they have enough cap space to sign a big name, there are virtually too many quality youths on the team, so a packaged trade makes more sense.  Look for Malone to seek defensive minded vets with strong leadership qualities.

Also, watch for Denver to package some of their existing talent in an effort to add the pieces they want to build around Mudiay, Murray and their front court bigs. Gallinari and or Will Barton could end up in this type of package to bring in specific assets who might fit the Nuggets schemes better.

Next: Stan seeks to surround AD

Nov 30, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) celebrates with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 116-105. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) celebrates with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 116-105. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 30, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) celebrates with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Pistons win 116-105. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

 

Detroit Pistons:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Henry Ellenson (18)

Round 2: Michael Gbinije (49)

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Steve Blake, Anthony Tolliver,

RestrictedAndre Drummond,

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Cameron Bairstow, Reggie Bullock, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope,

Unrestricted: Joel Anthony, Aron Baynes (P), Lorenzo Brown, Jodie Meeks

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • No incoming picks

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Utah
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Boston
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Sacramento

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $72,624,925 – 5th ranked

2017: $43,500,000 – 10th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Obviously Drummond is the priority to re-sign and it’s unlikely he looks elsewhere. Rather he intended to wait to see if the Pistons could lure a big free agent prior to signing his contract this summer.

Bet the bank on Van Gundy’s free agent search being completely focused on 3 things: floor spacing, 3 point shot prowess and defensive ability.  SVG will want more depth as well, but don’t expect him to make an impulsive move. The team is close and he can afford to be patient while he develops the youthful core and seeks the right players to fit his system.

 

Next: Recovery Mode

May 27, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots over Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the fourth quarter in game five of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots over Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the fourth quarter in game five of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

May 27, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots over Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the fourth quarter in game five of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

 

Golden State Warriors:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Damian Jones (30)

Round 2: Patrick McCaw (38)

 

2016 Free Agents

RestrictedHarrison BarnesFestus Ezeli, Ian Clark, James Michael McAdoo

Unrestricted: Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush, Marreese Speights, Anderson Varejao

2017 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • No picks incoming

Outgoing:

  • 2017 first round draft pick to Utah
  • 2017 second round draft pick to Utah
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Denver

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $74,232,644 -4th ranked

2017: $34,226,150 – 16th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

The fact the Warriors name is tied to numerous free agents speaks to their absolute desire to return to the big show and take back what they lost. Prior to losing in Game 7 of the finals, Kevin Durant wasn’t a serious option as he would never have left a team to join the champs. Their loss makes them more appealing. Still, I can’t help but feel Durant will want to give Oklahoma City one more opportunity especially with the additions Presti made on draft night.

Other notable free agents the Warriors have been linked to include Horford, Whiteside, Noah,  DeRozan,Batum and even Turner. This tells me they want a change up front so I’m not convinced they’ll retain either of Harrison Barnes or Festus Ezeli though the latter seems more likely.

It’s not that the Warriors don’t believe in Barnes, more so that the likelihood is some team will end up offering Barnes a max contract. Looking ahead to next season with Curry, Iguodala, Livingston and Bogut all slated to hit free agency they may need to save their money for those core contributors (or at least the first 3 on the list).

One thing is for sure, the Warriors will definitely be looking to add grit and physicality to the line-up after their disappointing loss in the finals. The loss of Bogut and Iggy struggling with a sore back left Draymond Green to take up the entire team’s physical role. Assuming the brain trust want to add that grit as well as a center Noah feels like the absolute perfect addition for this team. His passing skills alone make him an ideal candidate, but his energy mixed with is take no prisoners attitude would also serve the Warriors well. As I stated previously his unusual mix of assets and personality will forge him to the top of many teams lists.

Call me crazy, but I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t end up playing for his old coach despite the feud between him and Garnett.

If the Warriors don’t match offers for Barnes they’ll need to either move Iggy back to the starting line-up or find a feasible replacement. Again, Batum will draw plenty of consideration, but his asking price might be too steep especially if the Warriors feel they have a shot at Durant either this season or next.

Either way, bank on the core members of Curry, Thompson and Green arriving back in camp with improved skills and motivated even more so than last season. That alone is a scary proposition.

Next: D'Antoni era begins

Apr 21, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) attempts a free throw during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 97-96. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) attempts a free throw during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 97-96. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 21, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) attempts a free throw during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 97-96. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

 

Houston Rockets:

Draft Picks

Round 1: n/a

Round 2: Chinanu Onuaku (37), Zhou Qi (43)

Rookies signed after draft: Gary Payton II signed for 3yrs, Kyle Wiltjer and Isaiah Taylor

2016 Free Agents

Restricted: Terrence JonesDonatas Motiejunas,

Unrestricted: Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Jason Terry,

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: K.J. McDaniels, (TO)

Unrestricted: Michael Beasley, Andrew Goudelock

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Denver
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Portland

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to New York
  • 2019 second round draft pick to New York or Orlando

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $46,567,219 – 23rd ranked

2017: $21,582,880- 24th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Though nothing has been cemented it’s impossible to believe Dwight Howard will return to the Rockets. Whether you believe it’s due to his inability to mesh with Harden on or off the court of his past tribulations with D’Antoni it’s a fair assumption to presume he’s already gone.

That alone means the Rockets will be able to shift some minor contracts and offer two max contracts to the right stars.

Logically they need to add a point guard. Regardless of whether you believe Harden will be the primary ball handler, the team still needs to find him a viable backcourt partner to confuse defenses if nothing else.

News the Rockets had packaged Beverley in 2 separate trades sure feels like he isn’t part of D’Antoni’s desired face lift.  That said, the fact Ariza was thrown into the mix for one of those trades was surprising as he was tasked nightly with the hardest defensive coverage and also expected to be a core offensive contributor.

The Rockets will certainly look at Whiteside and Horford as options up front. while Lin, Conley and Rondo are all likely to get looks at the point.

The priority though will be to add 2 way players who have strong defensive principles. Moreover, the absence of players who can create their shot hung over the team like a dark cloud so that will also take precedent.

If Morey has his way I suspect this team could undergo a major face lift and the starting roster won’t come close to the team who suited up this past season.

Next: Setting a new PACE

Mar 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (8) looks to dribble the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Solomon Hill (44) defends in the first half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (8) looks to dribble the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Solomon Hill (44) defends in the first half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 27, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Rockets forward Michael Beasley (8) looks to dribble the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Solomon Hill (44) defends in the first half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

 

Indiana Pacers:

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Georges Niang (50) Nets trade Thaddeus Young to Indy for rights to Caris LeVert, the 20th pick, and future second-round draft pick.

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Jordan Hill, Solomon Hill, Ty Lawson, Ian Mahinmi

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Shayne Whittington

Unrestricted: Jeff Teague, Lavoy Allen (T), C.J. Miles (P), Rodney Stuckey (P)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • No picks incoming

Outgoing:

  • No picks outgoing

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $57,482,574 – 15th ranked

2017: $43,397,333 – 11th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

The Pacers did a lot of damage early via trades to acquire Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young. They’ll join franchise star Paul George, up and coming Myles Turner and Monta Ellis.  With key bench players likely seeking big pay days like Solomon Hill and aging vets on the bench the priority for the Pacers will be to add depth, 3 point scoring and youth.

Next: Injury Clipped?

February 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) reacts following the 119-115 victory against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
February 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) reacts following the 119-115 victory against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

February 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) reacts following the 119-115 victory against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

 

Los Angeles Clippers:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Brice Johnson (25),

Round 2: Selected Cheick Diallo who was packaged in a trade for Diamond Stone and David Michineau

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Pablo Prigioni, Luc Mbah a Moute, Wesley Johnson, Jeff Green, Jeff Ayres, Cole Aldrich

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Branden Dawson

Unrestricted Blake Griffin, (Early Termination Option) Chris Paul, (ETO) J.J. Redick

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • No incoming picks

Outgoing:

  • 2017 first round draft pick to Toronto
  • 2017 second round draft pick to Boston
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Philadelphia or New York
  • 2019 first round draft pick to Boston

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $78,344,508 – 3rd ranked

2017: $71,914,401 – 1st ranked

Team Needs & Notes

I wonder if Doc Rivers will make a big change this summer since the existing squad just can’t seem to transfer their in season prowess to the post season.  Further, a year from now Paul, Griffin, and Reddick will all enter free agency. If the trend to trade assets with only one year on their contract continues let’s just say I won’t be surprised to see Griffin, Reddick or both traded this summer.

Crawford will be a priority to resign, but the Clippers will also make aggressive overtures to turn their Big 3 (or 4 depending on whether you view Jordan and Reddick that way) via the addition of a quality small forward. Hence, the Clippers will likely pull out all the stops to land Durant or in his absence either of Batum or Parsons.

Other areas needing to be addressed are bench depth specifically in the backcourt and more defensively minded players.

Bottom line, this is the last kick at the can for Doc, CP3, Griffin and Jordan. And, if they don’t think the pieces are already in place I expect one of them will be gone especially so they gain value before they enter free agency in 2017.  Anything less than a deep playoff run won’t be acceptable to the fan base, and quite frankly shouldn’t be.

Next: Seeking the next Mamba

 

April 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson (6) dunks to score a basket against Utah Jazz during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
April 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson (6) dunks to score a basket against Utah Jazz during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

April 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson (6) dunks to score a basket against Utah Jazz during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Brandon Ingram (2)

Round 2: Ivica Zubac (32)

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Brandon Bass, Metta World Peace, Roy Hibbert, Robert Sacre

Restricted: Tarik Black, Jordan Clarkson, Marcelo Huertas, Ryan Kelly

2017 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Nick Young, PO

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • No incoming picks

Outgoing:

  • 2017 first round draft pick to Philadelphia
  • 2019 first round draft pick to Orlando
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Portland or Cleveland

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $23,126,154 – 30th ranked

2017: $12,668,667 – 28th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

The Lakers enter free agency with the most available dollars in salary cap to spend. They boast a handful of talented young studs and remain a desired destination.

Just like their Eastern counterpart players will always be attracted to New York and the Lakers simply for their history.

Reports surfaced today saying Nic Batum was interested in the Lakers. Then again, I tend to take those reports with a grain of salt, given the same sources said DeMar DeRozan to LA was a done deal. In case you hadn’t heard DeRozan declined meetings with 6 interested teams including the Warriors, Heat, Knicks, Clippers and Magic citing his preference to only meet with Toronto.

So, you’ll pardon me if I question those same sources saying Batum would ink with the Lakers.

Having said that, I could easily see Hassan Whiteside and Ryan Anderson joining the Lakers as their priorities won’t necessarily be to win titles immediately and next year the land of gold will offer a strong lure to Westbrook especially if they don’t get over the hump this coming season.

Suffice to say, I’d bank on the Lakers landing some decent talent this year, but the mother load won’t arrive until 2017.

Next: A new type of grind?

Mar 6, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) signals to his team as he dribbles in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) signals to his team as he dribbles in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 6, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) signals to his team as he dribbles in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

 

Memphis Grizzlies:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Wade Baldwin (17),

Round 2: Deyonta Davis (31), Rade Zagorac (35), Wang Zhelin (57)
 & Davis and Zagorac come from trade with Celtics for a 2019 first-round pick

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Mike Conley, Chris Andersen, Matt Barnes, Jordan Farmar, PJ Hairston, Ray McCallum, Lance Stephenson

Restricted: Xavier Munford

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: JaMychal Green

Unrestricted: Tony Allen, Vince Carter, Zach Randolph

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Miami
  • 2018 second round draft pick from Charlotte
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Boston
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Brooklyn

Outgoing:

  • 2017 first round draft pick to Denver
  • 2017 second round draft pick to Oklahoma City
  • 2019 first round draft pick to Boston

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $49,765,488 – 21st ranked

2017: $28,598,110 – 21st ranked

Team Needs & Notes

The Grizzlies have money to spend and a free agent who’ll want a big portion of that in Conley. He’ll be a highly coveted free agent as he ranks as the best point guard available in free agency. He is extremely close to Marc Gasol however, and not a player who seeks out the spot light or demonstrates a strong desire to “be the man”.  Rather, he is a prototypical quarter back who offers arguably the best change of pace in the league with a reliable handle and versatile offense.

The problem will be whether his body can continue to handle the rigors of grind house basketball on a nightly basis. For the past 4 seasons his body has been ravaged, especially his feet and ankles which has led to constant nagging injuries.

In spite of that, if the Grizzlies can convince Conley they’ll add the necessary pieces and adjust their style (even a little) to reduce the wear and tear I suspect he’ll stay put in Memphis. If however, they can’t convince Conley of an uptick to try to be more like the masses in the Association he could head to one of Houston, Dallas, Chicago or possibly even Utah. (yeah I know that’s an odd choice, but it makes a ton of sense to me).

Other areas the Grizzlies are desperate for are upgrades on the wings, bench depth and youthful players who can contribute immediately.

 

Next: Flash Forward?

Oct 21, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 21, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Miami Heat:

Draft Picks

No draft picks

2016 Free Agents

Restricted: Tyler Johnson,

UnrestrictedDwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside, Luol Deng, Joe Johnson, Gerald Green, Udonis Haslem, Amar’e Stoudemire, Beno Udrih, Dorell Wright

2017 Free Agents

Josh McRoberts, PO

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2018 second round draft pick from New Orleans

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Atlanta
  • 2017 second round draft pick to Memphis
  • 2018 first round draft pick to Phoenix
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Minnesota
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Boston
  • 2021 first round draft pick to Phoenix
  • 2021 second round draft pick to Portland

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $48,008,675 – 22nd ranked

2017: $48,311,015 – 6th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

I’m not saying Pat Riley needs to give Dwyane Wade the Kobe treatment, but he sure does deserve some consideration for his tenure. I get annoyed when people cite the Kobe comparison though, because the Mamba (unlike Wade) never took a pay cut to add other talent. Wade did it twice!  That’s not to say Riley needs to  turn in a lottery season for Wade, but he does deserve to receive part of what he gave up to keep them atop the East.

The real question in South Beach has nothing to do with free agents like Wade, Whiteside and Deng however. Ultimately it comes down to whether their highest paid star can or will ever play basketball again. Ira Winderman said in late April it was unlikely Bosh would play again and he’s with the team on a constant basis. If that’s true Riley has much more to worry about than what he should offer Wade. New reports say the Heat won’t know anything until August at which time Bosh will have been off the blood thinners for 6 months.

That in itself makes things dicey for Riley who won’t be able to confirm with free agents whether his star will suit up next season.

Wade has scheduled interviews with other teams (like he did last season) and Riley has snagged the last interview Kevin Durant will take, but will the wily GM be able to do much without knowledge of Bosh’s future with the team.

I’m betting Whiteside bolts for the money and since he hasn’t been with the Heat for a full 3 years they can only offer an additional $4 million dollars. As for Deng depending on the Bosh/Wade situation he may look to join his favorite coach in Minnesota. I also won’t be surprised if this is a location Howard looks to join.

In total the Heat have 10 players entering free agency, and factoring in the uncertainty of Bosh makes this a very unstable roster for the moment.  Joe Johnson said he wants to stay, but at what price? There is a great mixture of youth and veterans, but the Heat won’t be the same squad if Wade leaves because he (in my opinion) is the best leader in the NBA.

The good news for Miami is they will always be a desired landing spot for the top talents and their coaching and upper management are among the very best.

Assuming Riley finds a way to keep Wade, Whiteside and Deng they’ll still need to add more frontcourt depth and scoring.

Next: Does the BUCK stop here?

Feb 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Milwaukee Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless (19) celebrates with forward Jared Dudley (9) in the fourth quarter at Air Canada Centre. The Bucks won 82-75. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Milwaukee Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless (19) celebrates with forward Jared Dudley (9) in the fourth quarter at Air Canada Centre. The Bucks won 82-75. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Milwaukee Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless (19) celebrates with forward Jared Dudley (9) in the fourth quarter at Air Canada Centre. The Bucks won 82-75. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

 

Milwaukee Bucks:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Thon Maker (10)

Round 2: Malcolm Brogdon (36)

2016 Free Agents

Restricted: Miles Plumlee

Unrestricted: Steve Novak, O.J.Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Jared Cunningham, Chris Copeland, Greivis Vasquez

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams, Damien Inglis, Johnny O’Bryant III Unrestricted: Greg Monroe, (P)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2018 second round draft pick from Dallas
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Washington

Outgoing:

  • 2019 second round draft pick to Philadelphia or Sacramento

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $64,711,630 – 9th ranked

2017: $48,406,712 – 5th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Although I was shocked by the Thon Maker selection at number 10 of the draft, I was pleasantly surprised by the Bucks 36th pick of Malcolm Brogdon. He has copious assets and is such a high character individual.

This team has a ton of youth and a ton of depth. Now they need to find quality passing, defending veterans (like the ones they lost in Ilyasova and Pachiula) to get them over the hump. I also tend to think the Michael Carter-Williams gamble may be over. so look for Kidd to phase that out. Also look for him to continue using Antetokounmpo at the point and pepper in Tyler Ennis this season.

The Bucks are reportedly not thrilled with their big free agent landing of Greg Monroe who hasn’t fit into their system, and it didn’t help that the team regressed with his addition.

As noted, they’ll need to add passing veteran bigs, bench depth and above all three point shooting.

Next: T-Wolves Prepare to take bite out of West

Feb 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Louis Williams (23) guards Minnesota Timberwolves forward Damjan Rudez (10) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Louis Williams (23) guards Minnesota Timberwolves forward Damjan Rudez (10) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 2, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Louis Williams (23) guards Minnesota Timberwolves forward Damjan Rudez (10) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

 

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Kris Dunn (5)

Round 2: N/A

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Tayshaun Prince,

Restricted: Damjan Rudez

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad

Unrestricted: Kevin Garnett, Greg Smith

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from New Orleans
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Miami

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Boston
  • 2018 first round draft pick to Atlanta
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Portland or Cleveland

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $63,600,641 – 10th ranked

2017: $29,650,000 – 20th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

My gut says Thibs will end up luring one of Joakim Noah or Luol Deng to his squad. Besides he’s still riding a happy wave of euphoria after his coveted draft pick Kris Dunn fell into his lap on draft night. I know they are inexperienced, I know they play in the power house West, and I know they need to add some 3 point shooters. But, I fully expect the T-Wolves to be this years Cinderella team.

They’ll be the Association’s most improved team and they’ll surpass perennial contenders (the Jazz/Pelicans) to get into the post season. And I won’t be surprised if they vie for home court.

Thibs will improve them defensively immediately and he’ll add the right pieces to take them over the hump. This team is going to be my guilty pleasure again this season and mark my words they’ll be worth adding to your play list because they’ll combine new found defensive aptitude with high octane offense.

Depending on who they add will determine exactly how high they can climb. But if you look at  how far the Bulls fell in one season without Thibs (and with a healthy Rose), the sky is the limit for these young Wolves.

Next: The Pelican Brief

Dec 12, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) reacts after scoring on a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 119-114. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) reacts after scoring on a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 119-114. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 12, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) reacts after scoring on a three point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 119-114. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

 

New Orleans Pelicans:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Buddy Hield (6)

Round 2: Cheick Diallo (33)

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Ryan Anderson, Norris Cole, Alonzo Gee, Eric Gordon, Jordan Hamilton, Kendrick Perkins

2017 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Luke Babbitt, Dante Cunningham (P), Toney Douglas, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Philadelphia

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Minnesota
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Miami

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $64,916,083- 8th ranked

2017: $45,304,528 – 8th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

As much as I believe Buddy Hield offers the perfect “Robin” to Anthony Davis’ “Batman”, this team still feels like it’s further behind than the T-Wolves, Jazz or Nuggets. Since drafting Davis (and despite their one playoff round) they’ve never really found an identity. Sure injuries played a role, but they still need to figure out who they are and Davis needs to figure out how to lead.

In fact, I’m so confused regarding what their style and identity is I don’t even know what to suggest for them other than a veteran leader along the lines of Dwyane Wade type.

Next: Triangle or Quadruple Bypass?

Apr 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 6, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives against Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

 

New York Knicks:

Draft Picks

No picks

2016 Free Agents

Restricted: Cleanthony Early, Langston Galloway

Unrestricted: Arron Afflalo, Lou Amundson, Kevin Seraphin, Lance Thomas, Sasha Vujacic, Derrick Williams

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Justin Holiday

Unrestricted: Derrick Rose

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Chicago
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Houston
  • 2019 second round draft picks from Cleveland and/or Houston and/or Orlando (two least favorable)

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Utah
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Philadelphia (swap, LAC incoming)
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Philadelphia
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Philadelphia
  • 2021 second round draft pick to Philadelphia

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $55,134,798 -18th ranked

2017: $30,331,260 – 19th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

I’m still trying to get my head around how Rose and Melo will decide who has the ball in their hands and how this experiment will work.  By they time they split up the ball handling I’m also curious how many touches the unicorn Porzingis will get.

Phil Jackson is said to be seeking to add Durant and/or Joakim Noah, but I don’t think this group is the ideal mixture for the triangle without their additions, let alone with them.

I have a feeling this could have spurts of excitement, but I don’t believe they can succeed especially if Jackson is adamant they utilize the triangle. New coach Jeff Hornacek seems better suited to a run and gun style. And Rose hasn’t been successful from deep in quite a while so Jackson better be looking to add copious 3-point specialists who also can play defense.

With Robin Lopez leaving as part of the trade package for Rose the Knicks will need to add a big man. And the biggest question surround the Basketball Mecca will be whether  Rose can make it through an entire season healthy.

Next: The Biggest Prize

May 24, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

May 24, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game four of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Domantas Sabonis (11)

Round 2: Daniel Hamilton (56)

2016 Free Agents

RestrictedDion Waiters,

UnrestrictedKevin Durant, Randy Foye, Nazr Mohammed

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo, Andre Roberson

Unrestricted: Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Anthony Morrow, Russell Westbrook

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Memphis
  • 2018 second round draft pick from Boston

Outgoing:

  • 2018 first round draft pick to Utah

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $60,209,261 – 13th ranked

2017: $22,550,676 – 22nd ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Russell Westbrook has NEVER had a backcourt mate with the offensive versatility of Oladipo and his addition alone (never mind they also got Ilyasova and Sabonis) has already massively improved the Thunder. On paper they are by far the most talented team in the Association, assuming Durant doesn’t bolt.

Waiters improved immensely under Donovan, but I suspect they’ll let him walk. The only area of the roster that needs addressing is the back-up point guard role since Foye is a free agent and Payne has yet to showcase he can step into that role.

Yeah, I know the Cavaliers are the champions, and that the Warriors are motivated, but this team (with Durant) is the most talented and versatile in the Association. KD owes Russ one more shot and I think he’ll give it to them. That said, Westbrook will enter free agency next summer and Durant is the type of guy who would rather lock into a long term deal now rather than do it all over again next season.

The 6 lucky teams Durant is said to be meeting with are his hometown Thunder, the Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, Heat and Celtics.

Of those the Warriors likely have the best shot to pull him from OKC. Though some think the Spurs makes sense given Durant played his College ball in Texas if you dive in to examine how the fit would work it feels a bit wonky. Where do you put Leonard and Aldridge if you sign KD? LaMarcus signed with San Antonio to play the power forward position and isn’t keen on playing center.  Leonard is arguably the best 2-way player at his position, though I guess you could move him to shooting guard.

Still, it feels like Durant will look back at those final  3 minutes of this season and recognize just how close he was to returning to the Finals.

Next: Magical Ascent?

Apr 11, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) drives around Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) during the second half of a basketball game at Amway Center. The Magic won 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) drives around Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) during the second half of a basketball game at Amway Center. The Magic won 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 11, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) drives around Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) during the second half of a basketball game at Amway Center. The Magic won 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic:

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Stephen Zimmerman (41)

2016 Free Agents

 Restricted: Andrew Nicholson, Evan Fournier, Dewayne Dedman

Unrestricted: Brandon Jennings, Jason Smith

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Devyn Marble

Unrestricted: Serge Ibaka

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Sacramento
  • 2019 first round draft pick from L.A. Lakers
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Cleveland, Houston or New York (swap for single most favorable, ORL outgoing to NYK)
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Portland
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Cleveland

Outgoing:

  • None

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $41,224,880 – 25th ranked

2017: $17,250,000 – 26th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Up until Orlando gave away the farm for a player who might bolt after one season I was thinking they could be – – well:  Magic. That’s not to say the team won’t improve especially on the defensive end with a solid young coach in Vogel. I’m just unsure of why they gave up so much for Ibaka who’ll be a free agent next summer.

Obviously the priority will be to retain Fournier, and I won’t be surprised if a team offers him the max just to make sure Orlando are forced to pay him.

There are still issues up front with Vucevic defense, however Ibaka will cure a lot of that. Plus there are a ton of exciting youngsters.

The team will also still need to add 3-point shooting and additional veteran voices as I’m not sure Ibaka can be “that guy”.

 

Next: Colangelo's Next Challenge

Apr 13, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ish Smith (5) pumps his fist in reaction to a score against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ish Smith (5) pumps his fist in reaction to a score against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 13, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ish Smith (5) pumps his fist in reaction to a score against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Ben Simmons (1), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (24), Furkan Korkmaz (26)

Round 2: N/A

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Elton Brand, Ish Smith

Restricted: Isaiah Canaan, Hollis Thompson

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Jerami Grant (T), Nerlens Noel, Hollis Thompson

Unrestricted: Robert Covington, (T), Carl Landry

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from L.A. Lakers
  • 2017 first round draft pick from Sacramento (swap, PHL outgoing)
  • 2018 second round draft pick from Cleveland or Brooklyn (more favorable)
  • 2018 second round draft pick from L.A. Clippers or New York (more favorable)
  • 2019 first round draft pick from Sacramento
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Milwaukee or Sacramento (more favorable)
  • 2019 second round draft pick from New York
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Brooklyn
  • 2020 second round draft pick from New York
  • 2021 second round draft pick from New York

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to New Orleans

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $26,762,657 – 29th ranked

2017: $1,087,745 – 30th ranked

Team Needs

While the Sixers have plenty of youthful talent they are in desperate need of a starting point guard as well as veteran voices and leadership.

Bryan Colangelo tenure in Toronto saw him intermix European vets like Jorge Garbahosa and Anthony Parker to a talented youthful squad and it resulted in massive improvements.

He keeps trying to shop Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, but hasn’t had much luck getting what he wants in return. Not one to bide his time,  I suspect a package of youthful youngsters (with Covington and Saric garnering the most interest) will be forth coming as Colangelo’s patience finally gives way to his natural tendency to act in haste.

Regardless there are still a number of amazing assets on this squad, but hey are still in desperate need of point guard, three point shooting and above all veteran leadership.

Next: Dessert Storm

Apr 13, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mirza Teletovic (35) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns won 114-105. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mirza Teletovic (35) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns won 114-105. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 13, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Mirza Teletovic (35) controls the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns won 114-105. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Dragan Bender (4), Marquese Chriss (8)

Round 2: Tyler Ulis (34)

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Chase Budinger, Cory Jefferson, Jon Leuer, Phil Pressey, Ronnie Price, Mirza Teltovic

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, Alan Williams

Unrestricted: P.J. Tucker

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2018 first round draft pick from Miami
  • 2021 first round draft pick from Miami

Outgoing:

  • None

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $61,020,876 – 12th ranked

2017: $41,118,750 – 12th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

Entering draft night pundits couldn’t decide if the Suns would go for Bender or Chriss, so when they got both it felt like they pulled off the move of the night.

They still need to add depth up front and veteran leadership, but with a stockpile of skilled youth look for Phoenix to be active in a trade to add the right talent with leadership skills.

If the right one of two players are added the team could return to contending for the eighth seed immediately. Since they need frontcourt help again Joakim Noah should be under consideration. The other player who might shock everyone and go to here would be Al Horford.

Next: Star Backcourt seeks Frontcourt

Nov 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives against Portland Trail Blazers forward Allen Crabbe (23) in the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives against Portland Trail Blazers forward Allen Crabbe (23) in the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives against Portland Trail Blazers forward Allen Crabbe (23) in the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers:

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Jake Layman (47)

2016 Free Agents

Restricted: Allen Crabbe,Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard

Unrestricted: Gerald Henderson, Chris Kaman Brian Roberts

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Cliff Alexander, C.J. McCollum, Mason Plumlee, Noah Vonleh (TO)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2018 first round draft pick from Cleveland
  • 2019 second round draft pick from L.A. Lakers or Minnesota (more favorable)
  • 2021 second round draft pick from Miami

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to Houston
  • 2018 second round draft pick to Sacramento (swap, SAC incoming)
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Orlando
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Cleveland

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $54,418,737 – 19th ranked

2017: $6,352,531 – 29th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

In case the Association hasn’t figured it out yet, Damian Lillard has no comprehension of the word “can’t”.  Look for the Blazers to seek out Whiteside (scary to think of that trio) or Al Horford as they need frontcourt  help and some depth to push them up to the next level.

This team was the feel good story of 2015-16 and I’m anxious to see what else they add this summer. They’ve got money to spend as well as great coaching and a young leader on the rise.

Next: Boogie Time?

Mar 27, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) looks to pass against the Dallas Mavericks in the our quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings won 133-111. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY.
Mar 27, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) looks to pass against the Dallas Mavericks in the our quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings won 133-111. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY.

Mar 27, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) looks to pass against the Dallas Mavericks in the our quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings won 133-111. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY.

Sacramento Kings:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Georgios Papagiannis (13), Malachi Richardson (22) via trade of Marco Belinelli to Hornets, Skal Labissiere (28)

Round 2: Isaiah Cousins (59)

Hornets traded the rights to freshman guard Malachi Richardson, the 22nd pick, to Kings for Marco Belinelli

2016 Free Agents

Restricted: Seth Curry, Eric Moreland

Unrestricted: Rajon Rondo, Caron Butler, James Anderson, Quincy Acy

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Duje Dukan, Ben McLemore

Unrestricted: Caron Butler, Omri Casspi Darren Collison, Rudy Gay, (P)

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2018 second round draft pick from Portland (swap, SAC outgoing)
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Detroit

Outgoing:

  • 2017 first round draft pick to Chicago
  • 2017 first round draft pick to Philadelphia (swap, PHL incoming)
  • 2017 second round draft pick to Orlando
  • 2019 first round draft pick to Philadelphia
  • 2019 second round draft pick to Philadelphia (swap, MIL incoming)

 

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $61,649,209 – 11th ranked

2017: $46,046,657 – 7th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

If anyone tells you where this team will end up next season they’re lying. The fact Vlade Divac gave away Chriss for yet another big man who most pundits saw “maybe” going late in the second round summed up the Kings for me. This team in simply a comedy of errors.

I could tell you what they need, but why bother because Vlade will only go out and add more big men.

Next: Fundamental Ending?

Feb 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Western Conference forward Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs (21) smiles during practice at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Western Conference forward Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs (21) smiles during practice at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 14, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Western Conference forward Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs (21) smiles during practice at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Dejounte Murray (29)

Round 2: N/A

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Kevin Martin, Matt Bonner, Rasual Butler, Andre Miller, David West,

Restricted: Boban Marjanovic

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Jonathon Simmons

Unrestricted: Patty Mills

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Atlanta

Outgoing:

  • None

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $79,694,211 – 1st ranked

2017: $44,321,751 – 9th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

The big question in San Antonio is will Timmy retire (I say no). At this stage he has opted in to his contract, but that doesn’t mean anything as he could still retire. Will Manu retire (less certain of that). Or will the classiest organization in the NBA just keep doing their thing which will find them among the top 3 in the West yet again.

On the absolute opposite end of the spectrum to the Kings, I don’t need to outline their needs because they’ll just pull what they need out of left field and go on about winning.

That said, I anticipate Aldridge will be better this year with a full season under his belt and look for a few tweaks like the potential for RC Buford to find a unicorn of a center who can defend and hit threes. Hey, don’t laugh they probably already have one in the fold who we just haven’t seen.

Next: Redefining Benchmarks

Dec 7, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) listens to assistant coach Rex Kalamian against the Los Angeles Lakers at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 102-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) listens to assistant coach Rex Kalamian against the Los Angeles Lakers at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 102-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 7, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) listens to assistant coach Rex Kalamian against the Los Angeles Lakers at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Lakers 102-93. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors:

Draft Picks

Round 1: Jakob Poeltl (9)

Round 2: Pascal Siakam (27) CHAD FORD I’m just not used to the Raptors playing it safe.

2016 Free Agents

 

UnrestrictedDeMar DeRozan, Bismack Biyombo, Jason Thompson, James Johnson, Luis Scola

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: None

Unrestricted: Kyle Lowry, (ETO), Patrick Patterson

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from L.A. Clippers

Outgoing:

  • None

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $69,644,959 – 6th ranked

2017: $49,890,675- 4th ranked

Team Needs and Notes

Okay, so I hate to say I told you so (well, no I don’t mind actually), but I told you DeMar DeRozan had designs on being a lifer in Toronto. His declining meetings with 6 teams to only meet with Toronto should put all the hyperbole about him “for sure going back home to be a Laker” to bed.

The issue in Toronto was always going to be how to add the stretch power forward the team has coveted for quite some time and how on earth they could sign Bismack Biyombo back after an other worldly playoff performance, no bird rights for him and no cap space.

Then the draft happened and like the parting red sea an epiphany hit me.

Why would Masai Ujiri draft two players for the front court and one almost identical in talents with definitely better defense and possibly better range than Jonas Valanciunas at his age? Initial reaction was he was the best player available., but I had a though:

As of tonight the poison pill provisions are lifted from both Terrence Ross and JV. In essence what that means is Ross who could only net $3.5M and JV $4.6M a day ago can now be traded at a value of $10.5M and $14.38M respectively. That’s a huge difference and was why it was unwise to consider anything prior to today.

The other factor is JV’s stock has probably never been higher after a solid post season. The problem with JV is although he is growing and learning he hasn’t ever really demonstrated a high basketball I.Q or fit into Duane Casey’s system for that matter.

So, although this hinges on another free agent (Al Horford) I could see something occurring should Horford leave Atlanta (which at the moment seems more likely than not). The Hawks would be open to obtaining JV and the Raptors in turn could finally get their hands on Paul Millsap the stretch four they have long coveted. They could package JV with either Delon Wright (a back-up point guard for Schroeder) or give them the draft pick they obtained last season in the trade of Greivis Vasquez to the Bucks  (via the Clippers).

In addition they could trade Ross to Houston where he would be highly coveted by Morey and his analytics crew in exchange for Ariza and McDaniels. (both players that have been mentioned in trades). Or the Raptors could simply trade Ross for prospects to stash with picks.

The Raptors either need to go above the cap to open exceptions they can utilize to retain Biyombo or make a trade that leaves some money on the table with either the up to one time $3.5M  they can take back with the exception to sign him.

If not Ariza then, if they could get Ross off the books and sign say someone like Courtney Lee they could again utilize the money saved to sign Biyombo.

The goal here is to land Millsap and keep Biyombo.

With Jakob Poeltl offering essential the same qualities as JV and Pascal Siakam being a Biyombo like player with a higher offensive range and Patrick Patterson still available to come off the bench (plus Lucas Nogueira) the Raptors would have resolved their dilemma.

Anyway, keep an eye on whether Horford exits Atlanta and then watch to see if Masai does what I’m predicting and moves JV in order to land Millsap. Then watch for deals that send out Ross and bring in a lower salaried player so that Biyombo can be retained.

Call me crazy, but I think that is exactly what Masai is planning on doing.

Next: Hayward's last stand?

Apr 1, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker (33) dunks the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica (88) in the third quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Utah Jazz defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker (33) dunks the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica (88) in the third quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Utah Jazz defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 1, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker (33) dunks the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica (88) in the third quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Utah Jazz defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz:

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Joel Bolomboy (52), Marcus Paige (55), Tyrone Wallace (60)

2016 Free Agents

UnrestrictedTrevor Booker

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Trey Burke, Rudy Gobert,, Joe Ingles,

Unrestricted: George Hill, Gordon Hayward,(P), Chris Johnson, Shelvin Mack, Jeff Withey

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from Golden State
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Detroit
  • 2017 second round draft pick from Golden State
  • 2017 second round draft pick from New York
  • 2018 first round draft pick from Oklahoma City

Outgoing:

  • None

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $57,016,455 – ranked 16th

2017: $40,346,962 – ranked 13th

Team Needs

The addition of steady handed George Hill to the Jazz offers them a consistency they haven’t had at the point in quite some time. Hill should also prove to be a solid leader. They’ll likely gun for some 3 point shooters and front court depth via the forward spots. Look for Utah to target Ryan Anderson because they are so strong defensively already.

They know who they are and function well in that identity. The problem is they are just young, so potential for some additional vets can’t hurt.

They’ll be aggressive in free agency especially now that rumors surfaced Gordon Hayward wants out. Look for the Jazz to seek another wing Solomon Hill or Luol Deng are options and a big who can shoot.

Next: Home Town Hero Ignores Call

Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) defends in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Rockets won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

 

Washington Wizards:

Draft Picks

No draft picks

2016 Free Agents

RestrictedBradley Beal,

Unrestricted: Alan Anderson, Jared Dudley, JJ Hickson, Nene Hlario, Gary Neal, Ramon Sessions, Garrett Temple, Marcus Thornton

2017 Free Agents

Restricted: Jarell Eddie, Otto Porter Jr.

Unrestricted: Drew Gooden

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • None

Outgoing:

  • 2019 second round draft pick to Atlanta
  • 2020 second round draft pick to Milwaukee

2016 Committed Salary Entering Free Agency

2016: $45,557,059 – 24th ranked

2017: $37,566,640 – 14th ranked

Team Needs & Notes

With 9 free agents hitting the market this summer GM Ernie Grunfield has his work cut out for him. First up there appears to be a mutual intention of inking Bradley Beal to a maximum contract. It’s interesting Beal voiced he expected this deal given he’s yet to play an entire season without injury and many wonder if he ever will.

Looking at the talent on the board, it was widely assumed the Wizard’s were emptying the roster in pursuit of Kevin Durant. Washington was hoping the allure of a strong backcourt with Marcin Gortat and the signing of ex Thunder coach Scott Brooks would be enough for Durant, but to date the Wizards aren’t even on his short list of teams to visit.

The need front court help (especially with the players likely to leave), three point shooting, defensive specialists and I could go on. Scott Brooks has the uber talented John Wall, but he’s also got a ton of work to do and a team like most of the under achievers above, without an identity.  Maybe they should just place an advertisement that says: Seeking Paul Pierce 2.0.

As magical midnight hour inches closer make sure to stay in touch with our twitter account  and facebook accounts as SCS keeps you apprised of all the Free Agency action

Next: Reviewing the top 30 Draft Picks

Next: SCS Editor Mock Draft

Next: 'With the 37th pick the Rockets select Chinanu Onuaku

Next: With the 43rd pick the Rockets select Zhou Qi

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