With most of us now in lockdown, it’s a great time to look to the future and consider what will happen when things return to normal.
Now is the prefect time to undertake cyclical maintenance on your valuable Timber Sports Flooring – Linemarking, Re-surfacing, even Re-sanding where it’s appropriate. Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 or leave your details here for a free no-obligation consultation and quote on all your Timber Sports Flooring maintenance and cyclical cleaning requirements.
Meanwhile, here’s the drum on movements likely in the NBA, There’s a lot happening.
2020 NBA free agency: 70 players who could be available whenever the offseason starts
A look at the free-agent landscape with the season on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic
The offseason is coming. It could be later than usual, after some kind of conclusion of the 2019-20 season, but it’s coming. Even if there are no games to discuss, no playoffs to preview, we can still talk about free agency. Trades. The draft, as mediocre as this year’s may be.
This is the first free agency primer I’ve written in April, and it requires a bit of preamble:
- We don’t know what will happen to the salary cap, which is typically calculated based on the previous season’s basketball-related income. If the league and the players do not agree to some form of cap smoothing — or simply decide to keep the cap the same as it was this season, another theoretical solution — then there will be a drastic dip. That means the luxury-tax threshold would be lower, as would the value of the mid-level exception, the biannual exception, rookie-scale contracts, etc. (Sam Quinn wrote about the ramifications of all this stuff.)
- Remember last summer? The hype, the surprises, the CP24 news helicopter following Kawhi Leonard in a SUV in Toronto? This will be nothing like that. Sorry. While stars could be traded, the 2020 free-agent class is far less splashy than 2019’s or 2021’s. Recalibrate your excitement level accordingly. (Colin Ward-Henninger ranked his top 30 potential free agents.)
- As always, there are player options and team options to consider here. Those will be noted, and the following players have not been included because I’m assuming they will not actually be free agents: Mike Conley, Jabari Parker, Kelly Olynyk, Rodney Hood, Garrett Temple, Svi Mykhailiuk, Tony Snell, Nicolas Batum, James Johnson, Stanley Johnson, Mike Muscala, Mario Hezonja. (Ward-Henninger wrote about five players with options.)
And with that, here are 70 upcoming free agents, grouped into categories that make sense, or at least make sense to me.
The starting five
A lineup of difference-making unrestricted free agents who help you win playoff games right now. Getting any of these guys would be a massive win for teams trying to compete immediately, and some of them should interest rebuilding teams, too.
Can I interest you in a 26-year-old guard who can make plays against elite playoff defense, stretch the floor and force turnovers? VanVleet is quietly one of the best defensive guards in the league, making up for his lack of height with a rare combination of basketball IQ, strength and anticipation. He’s also a valued leader in the locker room, and he has shown he’s completely fearless taking big shots on the biggest stage — his suitors have to wonder how close they’d have to get to the max to price the Raptors out.
Harris is exactly the type of player Brooklyn should want next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He is not just a lights-out shooter; he is a lights-out shooter who is comfortable shooting on the move, with a ridiculously quick release. He can attack close-outs, too, and he is a solid enough defender. The question here is how much luxury-tax pain the Nets are willing to endure.
Gallinari will be 32 before the start of next season. He has slipped a bit as a defender and is now much more suited to play the 4 than the 3, but set himself up for another payday with a strong season in Oklahoma City. On the offensive end, Gallinari remains one of the more versatile and efficient forwards in the league. After almost getting him at the trade deadline, would Miami sacrifice its 2021 cap space with a multi-year deal?
By not trading Bertans at the deadline, the Wizards telegraphed that they intend to re-sign him. The 27-year-old was a revelation this season, taking advantage of the greenest light any stretch 4 has ever had. He took 10.7 3-pointers per 36 minutes this season, an unprecedented number for a frontcourt player, and made 42.4 percent of them.
Once again a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Harrell somehow upped his usage after the Clippers signed two superstars, showing off a more refined face-up game than just about anyone thought he could develop. Once an energy guy, Harrell is now a refined offensive weapon, and he still does all the wonderful hustle things that got him on the court in the first place. If the Clippers can’t afford to keep him, I humbly request that whoever signs him also trades for Lou Williams.
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