NBA Free Agency 2018: Rumors, Predictions for Clint Capela, Jabari Parker, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) reacts after a foul during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz Friday, May 4, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The hope and excitement that usually comes with signing free agents was taken away by the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, as Yahoo's Shams Charania reported they brought in DeMarcus Cousins on a one-year deal. 

Although many observers of the NBA have awarded Golden State the 2019 NBA championship, there's still a handful of moves that can be made to at least test the winner of two straight NBA titles. 

With Cousins off the market, Clint Capela is the top free agent available, and with every contender in the Western Conference looking to respond to the Warriors, the race for the signature of the Swiss forward should ramp up. 

Elsewhere across the league, the market for second-tier free agents is being set, as contenders look to add inexpensive pieces to their respective rosters in an attempt to improve on their record from a year ago. 

Below is a look at the latest news surrounding Capela and the other top free agents still on the market. 


Clint Capela 

The hunt to lock down Capela became even more intriguing Monday, when the Warriors solidified their commitment to Cousins. 

With the Warriors improving down low, the Houston Rockets must find a way to keep Capela, especially after losing Trevor Ariza. 

Although nothing significant broke on the Capela front Monday, TNT's David Aldridge reported Sunday that the Lakers were meeting with the 24-year-old: 

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

Lakers, working multiple scenarios, will meet this afternoon with Rockets RFA Clint Capela, per league source.

The Lakers are piecing together their roster one veteran at a time, but none of their additions since securing LeBron James have stood out. 

If they steal Capela, who is a restricted free agent, from the Rockets, it would be seen as a major coup and a step forward for the organization. 

From the Rockets' perspective, they can't afford to let Capela walk after their top competitor in the Western Conference improved in the frontcourt. 

It would be wise of Capela to further explore the interest from the Lakers, but the Rockets possess the best chance to contend for a title next season, and the Rockets should welcome him back with open arms. 

Prediction: Capela explores market, ends up back in Houston. 


Jabari Parker

With most of the marquee free agents off the market, the focus shifts to players with plenty of upside who could help a contender immediately at a cheaper price than James, Cousins, Capela and others. 

Jabari Parker is one of those young stars with an opportunity to join a new team and turn into a difference-maker in a supporting role. 

The number of potential suitors for Parker at the start of free agency was at least eight, as Indiana, Chicago, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Utah, Atlanta, Phoenix and Brooklyn were reportedly interested, per Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times

At least one of those teams is out of the race to sign the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, as Yahoo's Jordan Schultz reported the Kings are no longer after the 23-year-old: 

Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report

League source: The #Kings are no longer pursuing #Bucks’ RFA Jabari Parker. SAC had been previously linked to Parker.

Where Parker ends up is still a mystery, but don't be surprised if some of the top teams in the Eastern Conference like the Pacers and Sixers look at him in an attempt to bolster their rosters with an eye on competing with the Boston Celtics. 

With plenty of teams looking at Parker, there's a decent chance he doesn't return to Milwaukee, even though he's a restricted free agent, since the Bucks are bringing back Ersan Ilyasova.

Indiana has already spent a good chunk of money in the offseason by bringing in Doug McDermott and guaranteeing Bojan Bogdanovic's contract, while Thaddeus Young's decision to opt-in on his deal tightened the budget even more.

The Sixers missed out on James, and would have to give up a king's ransom in a trade to bring in Kawhi Leonard. which means they might look in Parker's direction to add to the young core formed by Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. 

Prediction: Parker exits Milwaukee, finds a way to get a deal done with Indiana. 


Jamal Crawford

Speaking of the Sixers, they're showing interest in one of the league's top veteran players now that Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli aren't coming back. 

According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirerthe Sixers expressed interest in 38-year-old guard Jamal Crawford.      

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 21: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets in Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minne
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year would be a nice fit in Philadelphia, as it looks to bring on a veteran bench player to complement the stars in its starting lineup. 

Crawford should have a few potential suitors coming his way in the next week or so, with one of those teams possibly being the Warriors. 

There's mutual interest between the Warriors and Crawford, according to USA Today's Sam Amick, but the veteran guard would have to take a minimum salary for it to be possible. 

Prediction: Crawford joins the Sixers. 


Tyreke Evans

As one of the top free agents left on the board, Tyreke Evans should have his contract situation figured out sooner rather than later at the rate free agency is going. 

Evans met with the Lakers Monday and with the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night, per ESPN.com's Chris B. Haynes: 

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

ESPN Sources: Free agent guard Tyreke Evans meeting with the Lakers today. He met with Oklahoma City last night in Los Angeles.

As of right now, it looks like a return to the Memphis Grizzlies is not in play for Evans, who could be down to the Lakers, Thunder, Warriors and Charlotte Hornets, per John Martin of ESPN 92.9 in Memphis: 

John Martin @JohnMartin929

Tyreke Evans' brother: "If the Grizzlies asked us for a last-minute meeting, we would take it." Sounds like his decision will come down to Thunder, Lakers, Warriors, or Hornets, and soon.

The Pacers could also be a landing spot for Evans, who like Parker, is an intriguing piece to add to a playoff roster. 

Oklahoma City might be the best option for 28-year-old, as he'd have a chance to complement Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. 

The Lakers wouldn't be a bad choice for Evans either, as he'd feature in more of a starring role alongside James and a cluster of role players. 

Prediction: Evans inks a deal with the Thunder. 


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