Outside of Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, there's a small collection of unrestricted free agents who figure to be compensated generously thanks to their proven track records.
- Omer Asik, C, New Orleans Pelicans
- Rudy Gay, SF, Sacramento Kings
- DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers
- Jeremy Lin, PG, Los Angeles Lakers
- Robin Lopez, C, Portland Trail Blazers
- Wesley Matthews, SG, Portland Trail Blazers
- Paul Millsap, PF, Atlanta Hawks
For different reasons, each player represents an intriguing unrestricted commodity.
It's clear Paul Millsap is due for a raise after the Atlanta Hawks signed him to a two-year, $19 million deal last summer that proved to be one of the offseason's biggest bargains.
With an All-Star selection under his belt and Mike Budenholzer's system accentuating all of his positive attributes, Millsap should be in line for a raise. Whether it's from Atlanta or another franchise remains to be seen.
Then there are Portland's complementary pieces: Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez. Each played inspired ball on both ends of the floor last season, owning the arc and paint, respectively, en route to a second-round playoff exit.
The good news: Portland has a maximum of just $34.9 million on the books (with options) entering next summer. However, Matthews and Lopez will likely need to wait until LaMarcus Aldridge is taken care of before their returns are attended to.
Or how about DeAndre Jordan in Hollywood? The Clippers are staring at a minimum of $63.4 million in committed salaries for next season, and Jordan is only starting to scrape the surface of his potential as a rim protector and low-post scorer.
Fortunately, the Clippers have a new owner in Steve Ballmer who appears ready to spare no expense in order to raise a red, white and blue championship banner to the Staples Center rafters.
Then there are some more uncertain situations: The Sacramento Kings have expressed a desire to sign Rudy Gay long-term, according to The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, but the 28-year-old swingman seems to be embracing a wait-and-see approach.
Factor in the uncertainty that accompanies Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik's upcoming trial runs with the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans, respectively, and this year's class of unrestricted free agents could shake up the league landscape in a big way.