The muddy waters of NBA free agency are a whole lot clearer now. The October 31 deadline for teams to lock up their potential 2013 restricted free agents is behind us, so we now know precisely who’ll be hitting the market this summer.
Some of the league’s brightest stars, including Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Josh Smith are poised to head into the offseason without any strings attached. Those three are stone-cold locks to receive maximum salary deals over the summer, as their proven track records mean their stock is glued to the ceiling.
So we’ll focus on players whose stock situations are a little more fluid.
Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, James Harden, Taj Gibson and DeMar DeRozan earned hefty extensions from their employers, which takes them all off of the restricted free-agent market this summer. But a handful of players from the 2009 draft class weren't so lucky.
Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings, to name just two, did not re-up with their teams, meaning they're playing this year with the ability to test the market in 2013. In that sense, they’ve got something to prove this year.
And they’re not alone.
A handful of other players are also playing this season without knowing where they'll be next year.
Let’s take a look at the early-season stocks of a few free agents playing for a contract next summer.