Where Will the Top Free Agents Sign?


So it's that time of the year again, with free agency looming and a host of teams trying to upgrade their roster.  There is added excitement since there is no less than 10 potential Max free agents on the market, but there is also a lot of stress for teams trying to keep their own free agents (mainly Golden State, Toronto, Boston and Philly). 

Will the 5 K's KD, Klay, Kawhi, Kyrie and Kemba stay or go? What about Philly duo Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, will they both stay or could they both go and leave the 76ers with nothing?

Probably the most nervous team is the New York Knicks even though they don't have their own free agent star that they could lose.  The Knicks went ALL IN in this summer, clearing almost every single player from the books.  They even gave away Franchise Star Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks and now they have over 70 million in Cap Space - more than enough to get two Max level free agents. 

Which other teams have cap space and what amounts are needed to sign 1 or 2 Max Players?


Well other then the Knicks, the L.A Clippers are the only other team that could fit 2 Max Players.  The Brooklyn Nets have a decision to make about D'Angelo Russell and this will most likely hinge on what Kyrie Irving does this summer.  If Kyrie does choose the Nets then it is likely they will cut ties with Russell which would give them space for one more Max Player to pair with Kyrie.  


Then the other teams that could have one Max Slot available include the Lakers, Mavericks, Pacers, Jazz, Hawks and Kings.  Only the Lakers amongst this group are championship contenders and other than the Mavs, the other teams are in small markets and will have real difficulty getting even a meeting with the top free agents. 

The Mavs have two future stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis and a great owner in Mark Cuban as well as a Hall of Fame coach in Rick Carlisle.  This will give them the advantage over the other small market teams but they will still find it hard to compete with teams from the two biggest markets, LA and New York. 

Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard will not be coming to Dallas but the Mavs may have a shot at someone like Kemba Walker.  It is reported they will not go after Jimmy Butler or D'Angelo Russell if they becomes available due to character / personal reasons.  They don't want anyone who is going to rock the boat with their prized possession Doncic, so they will be going after high character / low    maintenance players like Tobias Harris and Khris Middleton.

The Pacers and Jazz will also be looking at these high character secondary stars and they will be pitching the fact that they are solid playoff teams that just need another All Star to get over the hump. 

The Hawks and Kings will be outsiders for any max level player and they will mainly be pitching their young stars Trae Young / John Collins and De'Aaron Fox / Buddy Hield / Marvin Bagley.  

These are the projected cap space for the 9 Teams with a Max Slot:  

1.  New York Knicks - $72.5 Million

2.  L.A Clippers - (up to) $71 Million (Must Trade Gallinari)

3.  Brooklyn Nets - (up to) $64 Million (Must let D-Lo go)

4. Sacramento Kings -(up to) $60 Million (After Harrison Barnes opted out)

5.  Indiana Pacers - $42 Million

6. Atlanta Hawks - $41 Million

7. Dallas Mavericks - $38 Million

8. Utah Jazz (up to) - $37 Million (Lose Rubio, Favors, Korver, Neto)

9. Los Angeles Lakers (up to) $32 Million (If they clear their 3 remaining young players and if Anthony Davis waives his trade bonus). 

* UPDATE June 26th: The Celtics received news that Kyrie AND Al Horford are unlikely to sign so they have also got enough room for a max player such as Kemba Walker.  

* Curent Max Salary Amounts:

6 Years Or Less Experience - $27.25 Million (D-Lo)

7-9 Years Experience - $32.7 Million (Kawhi, Kyrie, Kemba, Klay, Khris, Jimmy)

10+ Years - $38.2 Million (Durant)

Top 10 Free Agents

1. Kevin Durant (Age 30)

Golden State Warriors

2018-19 Stats

26 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 5.9 apg, 0.7 Stl, 1.1 Blk

FG 52%, FT 89%, 3P 35% (1.9 3PM), PER 24.2

Why He Should Stay - 

- He can make the most money in Golden State (over 220 million is on the table).

- He has unfinished business with the injury and loss to the Raptors.

- Instant Championship Contenders or favourites when he gets back.

- He is familiar with the team and his role. 

- He can play in the new State of the Art Chase Center.

- He can take his time with rehab and ease back knowing he has star teammates to carry the load.

Why He Should Go -

- Get a fresh start and change his narrative. 

- Challenge himself and prove that he can win on his own team.

- Get the love and admiration that he doesn't get on the Warriors.  

- Enhance his All Time Status by bringing a title to his new team.

- Endorsements or Off the Court / After the Career reasons (LA and NY).

Front Runner - New York Knicks

Good Chance - Golden State Warriors

Dark Horse - Brooklyn Nets, L.A Clippers

Good Luck - L.A Lakers, Dallas Mavericks

Even though he is most likely out for the year, Kevin Durant is still the biggest name on the market and commands the highest salary at 38.2 million due to his 10+years experience in the league.  So that effectively rules out the Lakers who cannot get to this number and would have to convince Durant to take less than the max.  Anyway the Lakers are in win now mode and cannot waste all their cap space on a player that wont play next season.

The Knicks have been the favourite to land KD for most of the year but his injury (coupled with the Warriors Finals loss), Kyrie's insistence to join the Nets and the Anthony Davis trade to the Lakers has really changed the game.  Suddenly New York's dream big 3 may not even be one as Durant may not want to go alone and next year's free agent class is not strong, so there will not be many other stars that could join him later. 

The Nets have now entered the game with Kyrie seriously interested in joining them, which was their only real shot to land Durant as well.  Kyrie and KD have reportedly already met up in New York to discuss pairing up together (Durant has moved all his things to NYC and is staying there full time to rehab his injury).    

And the Warriors still have an excellent chance to retain him for all the reasons above, especially since the season did not end the way he wanted to.  KD even set up a video call after Klay's injury discussing his comeback stating that there was unfinished business for both of them in Golden State.  So there is hope he stays but.....  

Prediction: New York Knicks

I still predict he will go to the Knicks as planned.  Yes the Knicks didn't get AD and they probably won't get Kyrie, but Durant has been dead set to join them for a long time.  He has the opportunity to change his narrative and bring a championship to the Knicks for the 1st time in 40 years which is just about the single best accomplishment you can achieve in the NBA. 

Even though he is injured, that gives the Knicks a whole year to build a better team to join him when he comes back, and who knows RJ Barrett could blossom into a star as well.   

2. Kawhi Leonard (Age 27)

Toronto Raptors

2018-19 Stats

26.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.8 Stl, 0.4 Blk

FG 50%, FT 85%, 3P 37% (1.9 3PM), PER 25.9

Why He Should Stay - 

- He can make the most money in Toronto, 190 Million compared to 140 million elsewhere.

- He would start as at least East favourites to make the Finals again.

- He got to know the system, gets on well with his teammates and coach.

- The Raptors have proven to take care of his health and load management. 

- Why own a team or city in the US when he can own a whole nation.

- He will have a legacy as the greatest player in Canadian History. 

- So many perks like the Free Condo and Kawine and Dine where he can eat free for life in hundreds of restaurants in Toronto.

Why He Should Go -

- He accomplished what he needed to in Toronto. 

- Win a Title (and Finals MVP) on 3 different teams before Lebron!

- Live on American Soil which he is more comfortable with.  

- Play in front of his family and be close to home (LA).

- Endorsements and Worldwide Fame (LA and NY).

- It's Freakin FREEZING living in Canada!  

Front Runner - L.A Clippers

Good Chance - Toronto Raptors

Dark Horse - L.A Lakers, Brooklyn Nets

Good Luck - New York Knicks

The Board Man is gonna get paid this summer no doubt, but the big question is who's gonna pay him? Kawhi is the biggest mystery and nobody really knows what he is planning to do.  

The Nets and Lakers are Dark Horses over the Knicks since they have better teams to compete for a championship next year (especially if the Nets get Kyrie).  After winning a title in Toronto, Kawhi is not going anywhere that will not be instant contenders next year and he is not going to wait for KD to get healthy.

It is also unlikely he will be the third addition to LA, and I can't imagine he will want to play second fiddle to Lebron after what he accomplished this year.  

Him being from LA is what's keeping the Lakers in the race but it is far more likely he will join their crosstown rivals the Clippers.  They have the richest owner (Steve Ballmer), the best GM (Jerry West) one of the best coaches (Doc Rivers) and an egoless team that won 48 games without him pushing the Warriors all the way in the 1st round.  

Prediction: L.A Clippers

Sure there are endless reasons above why he should stay in Toronto.  But the bottom line is that he is an L.A boy who has always wanted to play close to home in front of his family.  If he ever wants to play in L.A then he may need to go now because even if he just signs a short contract in Toronto, he can't be sure that the Clippers will have cap space a year or two from now.

And remember the Clippers are the least successful franchise in NBA history having never come close to winning a title and suffering through years of mediocrity.  If he could lead the sorriest franchise to a title and be the first player ever to win 3 Finals MVP's with 3 different teams, he could cement his legacy as one of the All Time Greats.  

He has already reached the mountain top in Canada and will be a legend whether he stays or goes.  He has earned the right to move away from cold Canada and back to his own country and home town - warm sunny LA. 

3. Kyrie Irving (Age 27)

Boston Celtics

2018-19 Stats

23.8 ppg, 5 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.5 Stl, 0.5 Blk

FG 49%, FT 87%, 3P 40% (2.6 3PM), PER 24.4

Why He Should Stay - 

- He can make 80 million more if he stays!  5 years 221 million vs 4 years 140 million if he leaves. 

- His teammates are young and should improve again and they have got experience playing together now. 

- Gordon Hayward should be a much better player to make Boston a better team.

- He has one of the best GM's in Danny Ainge who is always trying to improve the team.

- Boston's history and legacy is second to none in the NBA. 

Why He Should Go -

- He had a very disappointing season and there seems to be no major changes. 

- He didn't seem to get along with his teammates and there is lots of jealousy and conflicts of interest amongst the team.

- He did not fit well in Brad Stevens system or with Boston's style of play.   

- He seemed uncomfortable and worn down the whole year and needs a fresh start.

- A chance to join another superstar to take the burden off himself.

- Endorsements and Worldwide Fame (LA and NY). 

Front Runner - Brooklyn Nets

Good Chance - New York Knicks

Dark Horse - L.A Lakers

Good Luck - Boston Celtics

Boy have things flipped since Kyrie proclaimed that he was staying in Boston at the start of the year.  He is not happy in Boston and is almost 100% gone from the latest updates and rumours, refusing to even take their calls or answer their messages. His eyes are set on his hometown team the Brooklyn Nets, who are now clearly ahead of the pack in the race for his signature.  

He wants to leave so bad that even a potential Anthony Davis signing would not have convinced him to stay, which prompted Danny Ainge to leave Jayson Tatum off the table when offering the trade.

The Lakers have a small outside shot to get him, mainly because of his stated desire to play with Anthony Davis.  But if he does go, that means he went from being Robin in Cleveland to Batman in Boston to now Alfred in LA! ....Not sure Kyrie's interest in being a third wheel and crawling back to Lebron so I believe this is a real long shot.   

The Knicks were thought to have the best chance to sign him earlier this year together with Kevin Durant, but Durant's injury has seemed to affect that development.  Because even if KD signs with New York, he won't be playing for a year, and with no AD, Kyrie will be left on his own to play with scrubs for a year.  

If KD signs for the Nets, they are in much better position to compete while waiting for him to come back.  But the more likely scenario is another free agent like Jimmy Butler joins Kyrie in Brooklyn.  

Prediction: Brooklyn Nets

This looks like a done deal which has implications for other free agents including the Nets D'Angelo Russell who will most certainly be let go if Kyrie signs.  But will Kyrie come alone or will he attract another free agent?

4. Klay Thompson (Age 29)

Golden State Warriors

2018-19 Stats

21.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.1 Stl, 0.6 Blk

FG 47%, FT 82%, 3P 40% (3.1 3PM), PER 16.7

Why He Should Stay -  

- He can make over 40 million more if he stays with a reported 5 years 190 million max offer coming. 

- He is an original draft selection along with Steph and has a strong bond with the team going to 5 straight finals.  

- He is beloved by all Warriors fans more than anyone except Steph.

- Instant championship contenders when he comes back.

- He has great teammates, a great coach and a great organization.

- Season did not end well and he will want to correct it.

- He can play in the new State of the Art Chase Center.

- Most importantly he is happy in Golden State, loves playing for them and has always stated his intention to play his whole career here.

Why He Should Go -

- No reason whatsoever.

Front Runner - Golden State Warriors

Good Chance - Nobody Else

Dark Horse - Nobody Else

Good Luck - Everybody Else

Not going to waste much time on this, Klay will stay and there is not one person in the world who thinks otherwise.  Everybody rates Klay highly even as the third wheel in Golden State and if he went to LA he would still be a third wheel behind Lebron and AD.  And there is no point trying to lead a team now and not having team success after experiencing 5 NBA Finals in a row. 

Prediction: Golden State Warriors

He is beloved in the Bay so much so that everyone agrees he is the priority this summer, even over Kevin Durant.  And the fact that he will be offered a 190 million max contract as the 3rd best player on the team (and after suffering such a catastrophic injury), shows just how much the team and management value Klay.  He fits the team perfectly and his chemistry with his Splash Brother Steph is better then any back court pairing in history. 

0% chance he even considers anywhere else.

5. Jimmy Butler (Age 29)

Philadelphia 76ers

2018-19 Stats

18.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4 apg, 1.9 Stl, 0.6 Blk

FG 46%, FT 86%, 3P 35% (0.9 3PM), PER 20.3

Why He Should Stay -  

- He can make over 40 million more if he stays in Philadelphia. 

- He fits the Philly blue collar hard working style and the fans love him.

- He fits the team well where he doesn't have to do everything but he gets the ball in the 4th quarter and gets to close games and take the last shot.

- He clearly gets to be the leader of the team and gets all the praise when they win while Embiid and Simmons get all the blame when they lose.   

- His reputation isn't the best right now so it is a safe bet to stay with a team that accepts him and lets him be who he wants to be.

Why He Should Go -

- Doesn't seem to naturally fit next to Ben Simmons.

- Embiid and Simmons made the All Star team leaving Jimmy out, which could happen again since Simmons is a better regular season performer.

- He can play in the biggest markets L.A or New York and become a household name.

- He can finally choose where HE wants to go and possibly team up with a friend like Kyrie Irving.

Front Runner - Philadelphia 76ers

Good Chance - Brooklyn Nets 

Dark Horse - L.A Clippers, L.A Lakers, New York Knicks

Good Luck - Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers

This really seems like a battle between Philly and the big cities LA and NY.  

He is good friends with Kyrie Irving so if KD doesn't want to join the Nets, then look for them to push hard on Jimmy Butler.  The Clippers could also try to pair him with Kawhi Leonard and Lebron will probably do everything he can to try and persuade him to form a new Big 3 in L.A.  New York also has a shot if they fail with KD and make Jimmy the man in New York. 

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers

Despite all the above points, Jimmy Butler can make 40 million more if he stays and I got a feeling the money means quite a lot to him.  He will be 34/35 after his next contract and most ex Bulls players under Tom Thibodeau have been known to wear down earlier than expected (Noah, Rose, Deng etc..) so it may be wise for Jimmy to cash in the most money now. 

Also he has to be encouraged that the Sixers were just a lucky bounce off the rim from forcing overtime in Game 7 of the East Semi Finals against eventual champions the Raptors.  They came closer than anyone to beating the world champs and that was on limited time playing together, with Embiid not healthy and Simmons playing poorly.  If the whole group comes back with Embiid and Simmons still young and improving, the Sixers are legit contenders.  And with a full training camp and another year of playing together, there is no reason why they can't reach the NBA Finals - especially if Kawhi goes back West.

6. Kemba Walker (Age 29)

Charlotte Hornets

2018-19 Stats

25.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.2 Stl, 0.4 Blk

FG 43%, FT 84%, 3P 36% (3.2 3PM), PER 21.72

Why He Should Stay -  

- Of course he can make way more money if he stays in Charlotte. He could receive up to 221 million over 5 years if offered the full max.  

- He loves the city and the fans adore him, and he is always grateful for them giving him the keys to the franchise.

- He is the man in Charlotte and won't be a second or third option somewhere else. 

- It's the only team he has been on and is clearly 'home' for him.   

- He could cement his status as the Hornets greatest ever player.

Why He Should Go -

- He doesn't have enough help to win and the Hornets are capped out and have a really hard time attracting any players.

- He can move to a bigger market and become famous.

- He can go to a contender or join forces with another star to finally get a chance to win.

- The Hornets SUCK! 

Front Runner - Charlotte Hornets

Good Chance - New York Knicks 

Dark Horse - Dallas Mavericks, L.A Lakers

Good Luck - Indiana Pacers

I mean when your team is capped out but your 2nd best player is Jeremy Lamb, you know there are serious problems.  The Hornets have very little chance to improve and as presently constructed, the best they could hope for is an 8th seed and quick playoff exit. 

The Knicks probably have the best shot to pry him away from Charlotte, and if the Knicks fail on KD, Kyrie and Kawhi, I could imagine them going all in on either Jimmy Butler or Kemba.  The Knicks fans would be devastated yet again and will be looking for blood if the Knicks cleared all that space and ended up with nothing.

The Lakers and Mavs will also make a strong push as they both need point guards, but Kemba was heard to be hesitant about LA and would he accept just being a third wheel in either Dallas or L.A?  

The Pacers are also desperate for a starting point guard and a Kemba Oladipo backcourt could be amazing but they are still a long shot.

Prediction: Charlotte Hornets

Despite all the points above and all the arguments for him to leave (mostly that Charlotte Suck!), I still think he will stay in the end unless they really low ball him.  If they offer the full 221 million max, again that is 80 million more then other teams can offer, then I can't imagine him leaving. 

You have to have a strong desire to leave that much money on the table and despite the losing, Kemba seems to be very happy in Charlotte, even talking about giving them a hometown discount to stay. 

Considering their lack of history, it's always nice to say you were the franchise's greatest ever player and he can add to his legacy and break more franchise records by staying. 

* UPDATE Looks like Michael Jordan and the Hornets will NOT offer Kemba close to the Max so Kemba will most likely leave.  The Boston Celtics who have cleared cap space due to the likely departures of Irving and Horford are the front runners to sign him, with a reported 141 million max offer.

7. D'Angelo Russell (Age 23)

Brooklyn Nets (Restricted Free Agent)

2018-19 Stats

21.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 7 apg, 1.2 Stl, 0.2 Blk

FG 43%, FT 78%, 3P 37% (2.9 3PM), PER 19.4

Why He Should Stay -  

- As always he can make more money if he stays with the Nets. 

- He had a break out season with the Nets and so why look for a change.

- He gets on well with his teammates and the fans love him.   

- New York City is a big market and a great place to live.

Why He Should (Want to) Go -

- It won't be his decision but he should want to go because the Nets are clearly putting Kyrie Irving as a priority and treating Russell like a leftover option if Kyrie does not come.  This is not the way to treat your All Star Point Guard.

- He can go to a team that really wants him.

- If Kyrie comes then he will have the freedom and flexibility to join any team he wants.

Front Runner - New York Knicks

Good Chance - Indiana Pacers 

Dark Horse - Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets

If the Knicks miss out on their top targets and Kyrie signs with the Nets then the Knicks may be forced to go for a player like Russell instead.  He already lives in New York and he is young and fits the other Knicks players timeline so the fit is good with the Knicks. 

Another couple teams desperate for a point guard like the Pacers and Jazz would also be serious contenders if the Knicks don't go for him.  He runs the pick and roll well and Utah loves to do this with Rudy Gobert so that would be a great fit and the Pacers have been looking for a point guard for years. 

UPDATE: Utah just traded for Mike Conley which of course puts them out of the running for D-Lo.  The Lakers have cleared enough space to make an offer to D-Lo and still have some money leftover for another free agent.  

Prediction: Indiana Pacers

Going out on a limb here thinking that Kyrie will join the Nets and the Knicks will have bigger fish to fry.  That leaves all the other teams fighting for D-Lo and if the Pacers give him the max contract he is looking for then I think they have an excellent shot to get him.

Of course if Kyrie changes tune and does not join the Nets, then expect the Nets to match any offer for their All Star point guard.  I mean look at what Kyrie did to Boston so he may not even be that much of an upgrade over D-Lo who is also 3 years younger and commands a lower max salary.    

8. Tobias Harris (Age 26)

Philadelphia 76ers  

2018-19 Stats

20 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.6 Stl, 0.5 Blk

FG 49%, FT 87%, 3P 40% (1.9 3PM), PER 17.3

Why He Should Stay -  

- He can make over 40 million more if he stays in Philadelphia (if they offer him a max contract). 

- He fits with the other players perfectly - he is not ball dominant but can be a stretch 4 to spread the floor and can shoot off the catch, and he is very efficient with almost 50/40/90 splits on the season.

- He can make max money without having the pressure of performing like a max player every night.

- He has reportedly said he likes the team and coaches and really enjoyed playing into the 2nd round of the playoffs last year.  

Why He Should Go -

- He is clearly the 4th wheel in Philly behind Embiid, Butler and Simmons and he is a better player than that.

- Again being the 4th best player on the team will limit any opportunities for him to make the All Star Game.

- He can have a bigger role on another team as he enters his prime.

- He finally has the freedom to sign anywhere he wants after being traded multiple times in his career.

Front Runner - Philadelphia 76ers

Good Chance - Brooklyn Nets 

Dark Horse -  Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers

Good Luck - Sacramento Kings 

Tobias is the perfect complimentary star but is he worth the Max?  He seems to fit in well anywhere, is the ideal modern day stretch 4 and does not have any attitude, ego or off the court issues.

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly expressed interest in him and if they don't get a second star next to Kyrie then look for them to pursue Tobias.

The Knicks, Lakers and his old team the Clippers do not seem to be interested so the other teams with cap space like the Jazz, Pacers and Mavs will all be fighting for him as he is the perfect low maintenance, high character guy to fit with these franchises.   

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers

This is assuming the 76ers stick to their word and do everything they can to keep him.  Realistically Philly may only keep one of either Harris or Butler so if Butler does leave than I am sure Philly will do everything in their power to not lose Harris as well.  

Like Butler above, the Sixers were inches away from beating the NBA Champions so it only seems logical to run it back with a full camp and regular season together to see if they can get over the hump.

9. Nikola Vucevic (Age 28)

Orlando Magic

2018-19 Stats

20.8 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1 Stl, 1.1 Blk

FG 52%, FT 79%, 3P 36% (1.1 3PM), PER 25.53

Why He Should Stay -  

- Again he can make over 40 million more if he stays in Orlando, assuming they offer him the max. 

- He has a strong connection to Orlando and has been there almost his whole career, becoming their first All Star since Dwight Howard.

- It is a great place to live with good weather and low tax.

- He is happy where is he so if it ain't broke then don't fix it.  Dwight Howard made the mistake that the grass is greener elsewhere and he now regrets ever leaving Orlando.

Why He Should Go -

- He may not get a full Max Offer so another team may have a more attractive offer.

- He could play with other great players such as fellow Europeans Porzingis and Doncic in Dallas.

- He would probably leave to a better team and have a better chance to win a championship or at least go deeper in the playoffs.

Front Runner - Orlando Magic

Good Chance - Dallas Mavericks 

Dark Horse -  Sacramento Kings, L.A Clippers

Good Luck - Atlanta Hawks

One of the most underrated players, Vucevic had a monster season contributing in all categories while playing solid defense (9th in the league in Defensive RPM).  His PER was an impressive 25.5, also 9th in the whole league, just below Lebron and Kawhi and above star players such as Steph Curry and Kevin Durant.  

But the market seems to have cooled for Vucevic since ealrier this season when multiple teams seemed to be more interested.  The bigger markets in New York and L.A are eyeing bigger stars but if the Clippers for example do not get a top free agent then they could look at someone like Vucevic, especially since they need a Center.

But the Kings initial interest has faded over concerns that Vooch can't keep up with their fast style of play.  Teams like Indiana and Utah are looking more for a point guard rather than a Center and so his best hope is the Dallas Mavericks, but they too have put priorities on other free agents over Vucevic such as Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris and Khris Middleton.

Prediction: Orlando Magic

If the Magic do offer him a Max Contract than I am sure he will take it but if they try to lowball him then things could get interesting.  

As mentioned above not many other teams are making him a priority so the Magic may feel they have some leverage to make a lower offer.  

Mo Bamba who is a long term prospect for the Magic complicates things further, but I think at the end of the day they will work out an agreement for slightly less than the Max to keep Vucevic in Orlando long term.

10. Khris Middleton (Age 27)

Milwaukee Bucks

2018-19 Stats

18.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1 Stl, 0.1 Blk

FG 44%, FT 84%, 3P 38% (2.3 3PM), PER 16.55

Why He Should Stay -  

- Same as everyone else he can make much more money if he stays in Milwaukee.

- Bucks were 2 games away from the Finals and with Giannis improving and another year together, they should challenge for the title.

- He made the All Star Team playing for the Bucks and will likely still be the number two guy on a 60 win team.

- He fits the system well and is the perfect player to fit next to Giannis.

Why He Should Go -

- No real reason to go (See Klay Thompson above).  

Front Runner - Milwaukee Bucks

Good Chance - Dallas Mavericks 

Dark Horse -  Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz

Good Luck - Atlanta Hawks

The Dallas Mavericks have shown a keen interest in Khris Middleton for similar reasons to Tobias Harris that they are low maintenance and good teammates as Mark Cuban does not want any tension or trouble next to his prized possession Luka Doncic.

The big markets probably won't be trying to get him but smaller market teams such as the Pacers and Jazz have also expressed interest in signing him.

Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks

Similar to Klay Thompson above, it would be quite a shock to see Middleton leave and it would only happen if he was seriously low balled while other teams offer to max him out.  

But with the Bucks so close to challenging for the title, the chances are slim to none that they let Middleton walk.  There have even been rumours that he will not even meet any other teams and he is already working with the Bucks on an extension.

Other Notable Free Agents 


JJ Redick, Malcom Brogdon (RFA), Ricky Rubio, Derrick Rose, Patrick Beverley, Danny Green, Seth Curry, Jeremy Lamb, Terry Rozier (RFA), Terrence Ross, Reggie Bullock, Darren Collison, Rajon Rondo, Elfrid Payton, Emmanuel Mudiay, Rodney Hood, Wes Matthews, Wayne Ellington    


Kristaps Porzingis (RFA), Julius Randle, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Marcus Morris, Harrison Barnes, Nikola Mirotic, Rudy Gay, Trevor Ariza, Al Farooq Aminu, Jabari Parker, Taj Gibson, Paul Millsap (Team Option).    


Al Horford, DeMarcus Cousins, Brook Lopez, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Jonas Valanciunas, Enes Kanter, Javale McGee, Joakim Noah, Boban Marjanovic, Ivica Zubac, Dwight Powell, Hassan Whiteside (likely to excercise his Player Option)

Kristaps Porzingis is the one star name I did not talk about, but he is restricted and will 100% stay with the Mavs.  It was also just announced that Al Horford will give up his 31 million option to become an unrestricted free agent with eyes on leaving Boston - a disaster for the Celtics with Kyrie already out the door. 

Of course all the above picks are dependant on what the main guys do.  KD, Kawhi and Kyrie will determine how aggressive the big markets will be on the next tier of free agents and if KD, Kawhi, Kemba and Jimmy stay with their teams then the secondary free agents may get better offers from the big markets.

What an exciting free agency looming, one of the best free agency years of all time, can't wait for July 1st!


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