Now that the NBA Draft is over, free agency begins in the NBA. Free agency is much different than the draft. The players being pursued may be household names and can shift their franchise’s fortune.
Most superstars don’t leave their current locations, but it is interesting to see how everything works out.
Here are the names that will dominate the headlines for the next few weeks, not including DeMarcus Cousins, Roy Hbbert, or Joe Johnson, who have been rumored to be moving as well.
Let the rumors begin!
10. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks, PF/SF
The unrestricted free agent from the Atlanta Hawks where he has created all-star production both the last two seasons is due a raise. Millsap is the only player who has averaged at least 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, three assists, and 1.5 steals in each of the last two seasons. He is a poor man’s LaMarcus Aldridge. Millsap has transformed his game, becoming a reliable three-point threat, and will definitely attract outside interest. The Toronto Raptors are in need of a forward who can space the floor. The Raptors are nearing a trade to send Greivis Vasquez to the Bucks, so they have capacity for a max-contract.
Great in point in here on Paul Millsap: "How is LaMarcus Aldridge significantly better than him, again?" https://t.co/maxSqQbdYg
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) June 29, 2015
Giving chase to an all-star who affects every facet of the game makes sense for the Raptors.
9. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers, C
Jordan and Chris Paul have been rumored to have friction. He will pursue many different teams around the league and is he currently plans to meet with the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and the Houston Rockets. Nevertheless, signing with the Clippers gives Jordan the guarantee of making the most money possible.
There is no reason for Jordan to look anywhere else, since their is a playoff team offering him more money than any other team.
— Steve Perrin (@clippersteve) June 29, 2015
8. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, PF/SF
The restricted free agent for the Golden State Warriors, who led the team emotionally through the NBA Finals, has made it clear that he plans to stay in Oakland with the Warriors. He will be meeting with many possible suitors, but returning to the Bay area is a no-brainer for Green.
@obode27 There's talk about Draymond Green but the Warriors are going to pay him so I'd like the talk to stop.
— The # Queen (@SinCityChiGirl) June 29, 2015
Green will get a max deal, which he deserves, and will be staying on with the reigning NBA champions.
— Lalo (@LaloG024_) June 29, 2015
7. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, PF/C
There really isn’t much to say about Duncan’s possible movement as a free agent this offseason. Tim loves it in San Antonio and has no reason to leave a team that is a contender every single year. He is comfortable there and has a strong rapport with every one in that organization.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 28, 2015
Tim Duncan will be a member of the San Antonio Spurs next season.
6. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, SG
Jimmy Butler has been a very aggressive free agent before the period has even begun. Butler has been rumored to want to sign a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and join forces with Kobe Bryant. Butler took a gamble last offseason by not accepting, what seemed like a generous offer from the Bulls. However, none of this makes Butler’s return to the windy city any less likely. The Bulls plan to match any offer that Butler receives.
GM Gar Forman reiterates desire to retain Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy. Bulls also will try to add another guard via exception.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 29, 2015
Jimmy Butler will be in a Chicago Bulls jersey next season after hearing from many front offices during free agency.
— BullsGoneWild (@BullsGoneWild1) June 29, 2015
5. Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers, PF
Kevin Love opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers last week, as was expected. Many teams will be chasing after Love, but who can assure him the most money and a chance to win a championship with LeBron James, one of the best players of all-time.
— SI NBA (@si_nba) June 29, 2015
Kevin Love will remain in Cleveland.
Report: Sense around league is Kevin Love will re-sign with Cavaliers http://t.co/2yekwb2uHo
— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) June 29, 2015
4. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, SF
Kawhi Leonard is a restricted free agent. Simply, he is not leaving San Antonio. The Spurs have the right to match any offer that another team makes.
Kawhi Leonard is the most important player for the Spurs. There is not a chance he goes anywhere else this offseason.
Two things seem all but guaranteed: Kawhi Leonard returns on a max deal, Tim Duncan returns on a deal that provides cap flexibility …
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) June 28, 2015
3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers, PF/C
The Spurs are going to be the scariest team in the NBA next season. The Trail Blazers have made trades that have imported multiple power forwards (Aldridge’s position), making them seem like a team that is rebuilding, not a team that has a 30-year-old all-star. Aldridge plans to meet with many teams during free agency, with the focus being on the Mavericks and Spurs, two teams in his home state. The Spurs need to think about the future, and going all-in on Aldridge may be their answer to the upcoming retiring of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
2. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, C
Gasol has made it clear that he is not interested in moving to LA, where he was originally drafted and then traded for his brother, since they treated Pau so badly. Without the Lakers, Marc Gasol’s top team on his list must be Memphis, where he currently plays.
Marc Gasol staying in Memphis but he'd be ideal in LA with Russell, Randle, and Clarkson.
— Jon Snow (@St33zyOne) June 29, 2015
Don’t expect to much flare from Gasol’s offseason as he will resign with the Memphis Grizzlies.
1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, SF
LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers last week, causing huge speculation about his possible move. James simply did this to earn an extra $500,000.
Put the rumors to rest because LeBron James will sign a similar deal, as he did last offseason, keeping him in Cleveland.
For the record, I absolutely think LeBron James stays in Cleveland. I made that clear on Sunday. https://t.co/g2FkjaYMVl
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 29, 2015
[Image Source: Getty Images]