30 Free-Agent Targets for 30 Teams Next Offseason

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2019

30 Free-Agent Targets for 30 Teams Next Offseason

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    Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

    Following a summer that saw Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Al Horford, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, Mike Conley and more change teams, 2020's free-agency class looks a bit sparse by comparison.

    That's not meant as a slight to players who'll be available next summer. It's just difficult to imagine anything quite as wild as the game of musical chairs in 2019.

    The headliner is AD, though he has to decline a player option to get to free agency. And, at that point, he'd likely return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Twelve months is a long time, though. A lot can happen between now and next summer. And considering what we just witnessed, it's probably foolish to forecast anything as definite.

    On that note, the operating assumption here is that teams can get the players listed below. Sign-and-trades made a heck of a comeback this summer. Teams find ways to make things work under the cap.

    But this write-up will still be tethered to reality. Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith has calculated the maximum cap space each team can reach in 2020. Think of those numbers as guideposts in this exercise.

    A few other housekeeping notes:

    • Having teams target players already on their rosters was avoided. Incumbents may be the top targets for many squads, but the potential for movement was the focus.
    • Once a player was listed as a target for one team, he was off the board for the rest. Again, this isn't how free agency works in reality, but consider that an effort to avoid redundancy.
    • The salary cap is projected to be $116 million for the 2020-21 season.
    • Just being able to afford a player under the cap wasn't the only criteria. For each team, 2020-21 cap sheets were analyzed, roster weaknesses were identified and 2020 free agents who could address some of those weaknesses were chosen.
    • And finally, the teams are organized alphabetically, with individual targets falling into one of five categories: Restricted Free Agents, Veteran Mercenaries, Veterans in Their Prime, The Sentimental Picks and Long Shots

    So, without further ado, here are free-agency targets for each of the NBA's 30 teams.

    [For more NBA wisdom, interviews and hot-button debates, subscribe to Bleacher Report's Full 48 podcast with B/R senior NBA writer Howard Beck.]

Atlanta Hawks ($94.9 Million): Derrick Favors

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    Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

    Free-Agent Category: Sentimental Pick

    In an episode of The Lowe Post, John Collins told ESPN's Zach Lowe that he sees himself as a modern 4 who can do a little bit of everything like Giannis Antetokounmpo.

    He showed some ability on the perimeter in 2018-19, taking 2.6 threes per game and hitting 34.8 percent of his attempts. But, according to NBA.com/stats, he was below the first percentile in points per isolation possession, and he didn't run any pick-and-rolls.

    Those things may still come in time. And if Collins sees himself as that type of player, more traditional 5s could be targeted in 2020.

    Derrick Favors is from Atlanta, played his college ball at Georgia Tech and will still be on the right side of 30 heading into the 2020-21 campaign.

    With Alex Len entering free agency, as well, Favors could be a nice upgrade for a team on the rise.

    Favors finished at No. 40 in real plus/minus in 2018-19 and averaged 21.2 points, 13.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes when he was on the floor with no other traditional centers, according to NBA.com/stats.

    If Collins keeps improving as a shooter, a lineup of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, De'Andre Hunter (or Cam Reddish) and Collins surrounding Favors could be a pain in the East.

Boston Celtics ($49.9 Million): Jae Crowder

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    Free-Agent Category: Sentimental Pick

    In January 2017, Jae Crowder voiced his dissatisfaction with Boston fans for cheering on future Celtic Gordon Hayward. Eight months later, Danny Ainge traded him to Cleveland as part of the deal that landed Kyrie in Beantown.

    A little lingering bitterness would be understandable. But perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    Crowder played the best basketball of his career under Brad Stevens. His box plus/minus was 1.8. In his two full seasons there, his 2.2 box plus/minus ranked 41st leaguewide. Everywhere else, Crowder's box plus/minus was well below 1.0. In Utah and Cleveland, it was below zero (which is considered average).

    There's a similar story with true shooting percentage. It was 57.0 in Boston; 52.9 everywhere else.

    As he heads into his 30s in 2020, a return to Stevens' coaching and overall scheme could revitalize Crowder's career. And because he doesn't demand a ton of touches, he could work as a bench piece behind whatever combination of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Hayward remains in 2020-21. Or, he could be a nice complementary piece in lineups alongside whichever ones are left.

Brooklyn Nets ($12.7 Million): Marco Belinelli

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    The Nets may soon find themselves in a situation similar to that of the Cleveland Cavaliers teams Kyrie Irving was on and the Golden State Warriors teams Kevin Durant was on.

    When multiple max deals are on the roster, filling out the rest of the team can be tricky.

    Will Brooklyn look to add a third star at any point during the life of KD and Kyrie's deals? Will it try to retain most of the young core on modest deals?

    The second option might be the most prudent, but the individual play of guys like Taurean Prince, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, etc. may price the Nets out of that. If that happens, veterans in the twilights of their careers may become the primary targets.

    Marco Belinelli will be going into his age-34 season by next summer, but he's averaged double figures in each of his last four campaigns and seven of his last nine. His career three-point percentage is 37.6.

    On a team that already has Irving and Durant dominating the ball, catch-and-shoot options like Belinelli make a ton of sense.

Charlotte Hornets ($70 Million): Brandon Ingram

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    The Hornets had one of the most head-scratching moves of the summer when they signed Terry Rozier to a three-year, $58 million deal.

    Among the 257 players who've logged at least 4,000 minutes over Rozier's four years in the NBA, Charlotte's new point guard ranks 152nd in box plus/minus (minus-0.5) and 252nd in true shooting percentage (49.2).

    The box plus/minus isn't dreadful. But nearly $20 million a year? For a player with career averages of 7.7 points and 2.3 assists per game? And in the wake of letting Kemba Walker leave for nothing?

    "Honestly, silence. Like, mouth agape, silence," ESPN's Zach Lowe said of his reaction to the deal on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I don't know any Charlotte Hornets fans. I really don't. If I did, I would have called and said: 'It might be time to consider...maybe the Hawks. Get in on the Hawks.'"

    Maybe Rozier flips this narrative on its head with a breakout campaign for the Hornets in 2019-20. Who knows? If he doesn't and Charlotte lives down to BetOnline.ag's prediction for a sub-30-win campaign, this team will be in need of some good vibes.

    Even if Nicolas Batum opts in to the final year of his deal at $27.1 million, the Hornets should be in a position to chase restricted free agents.

    Throw Brandon Ingram, who is from North Carolina played at Duke, a big offer to come home. The New Orleans Pelicans' could match and make their own salary sheet a little messier. Or, they could let him walk and give the Hornets another young wing alongside Miles Bridges and Malik Monk.

    Two or three years down the road, Monk, Ingram and Bridges at spots 2 through 4 could be a fun, position-less trio.

Chicago Bulls ($52.5 Million): Jaylen Brown

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    The Bulls have set themselves up on a pretty nice two-track timeline. Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., and Coby White could all help this season, but they have plenty of room to grow. Otto Porter Jr., Zach LaVine, Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young are more win-now players.

    Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown could fit right in the middle.

    Gordon Hayward's deal will soon come off the books, which will make it easier, but Boston may have some concern with paying a ton of money for Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, another potential contract for Hayward and Brown.

    If Porter opts out of the final year of his deal—perhaps he sees a little less annually as a worthy sacrifice for security and a chance to hit a less-crowded market in 2020—Chicago would have the flexibility to send an aggressive offer Brown's way.

Cleveland Cavaliers ($56.4 Million): Domantas Sabonis

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    Assume the Indiana Pacers' two-center experiment doesn't pan out. And assume the Cavs come to their senses and trade Kevin Love (Cleveland isn't likely to be good over the life of his four-year contract). Domantas Sabonis could be an ideal replacement.

    Consider the striking resemblance between Sabonis' third season and Love's:

    • Sabonis: 20.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks per 75 possessions, plus-7.0 relative true shooting percentage, 3.7 box plus/minus
    • Love: 21.1 points, 15.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.4 blocks per 75 possessions, plus-5.2 relative true shooting percentage, 3.7 box plus/minus

    If the Cavs could turn back the clock eight years on Love, they'd probably do it, right? A lineup of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Cedi Osman, Larry Nance Jr. and Sabonis would take its lumps, but it would have plenty of long-term potential.

Dallas Mavericks ($38.3 Million): Goran Dragic

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    Free-Agent Category: Sentimental Pick

    "The Mavericks have traded for Miami's Goran Dragic, multiple sources confirm," The Athletic's Tim Cato tweeted on June 30. "Dragic is the only other Slovenian in the league, and was roommates with Luka Doncic during Slovenia's 2017 EuroBasket run."

    And he wasn't alone in thinking Dallas had reunited the Slovenian gold medal winners from EuroBasket. It appeared that the deal was necessary to free up the requisite cap space for Miami to acquire Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade.

    But things fell apart shortly after that.

    "The Mavericks are huge fans of Goran Dragic but could not take him back in the Miami sign-and-trade with Philadelphia that sends Jimmy Butler to the Heat because Dallas feared losing its flexibility to make additional moves this summer," Marc Stein added later that night.

    And so, Dallas enters 2019-20 with J.J. Barea, Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright as its point guards.

    But Barea is coming off a torn Achilles in 2019-20 and will be entering his age-36 season after that.

    Dragic has his own health problems and is only two years younger, but his size and superior athleticism could make him the better option in 2020-21.

    The Mavericks might even be able to play Dragic (6'3"), Wright (6'5") and Doncic (6'7") together. All that playmaking around Kristaps Porzingis could cause defenses all kinds of trouble.

Denver Nuggets ($17.7 Million): Taurean Prince

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    It would be a bit trickier for Denver to get to that potential cap space than the teams already detailed, but renouncing Paul Millsap's $40-plus million cap hold would go a long way to doing it.

    That doesn't necessarily mean the Nuggets should move on from Millsap, who will be an unrestricted free agent, but he'll be entering his age-35 season in 2020-21. Adding another switchy 4 may be in order.

    The recently acquired Jerami Grant could step into the starting role, and a jack-of-all-trades combo forward like Taurean Prince would make for a strong backup.

    Over the last two seasons, Prince averaged 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.7 threes per 75 possessions while shooting 38.7 percent from deep. And playing alongside Nikola Jokic could probably make him even more efficient.

    The hang-up, of course, is restricted free agency. The Brooklyn Nets will have a chance to match whatever offer Prince signs, and the Nuggets may not be in a position to give out a number that scares them away.

    With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the roster, though, turnover might be inevitable. They're both on near-max deals, and signing other veterans who fit their win-now window may squeeze out some of the team's younger players.

Detroit Pistons ($59.6 Million): Kyle Lowry

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    Kyle Lowry may not fit the Veteran Mercenary category quite as well as everyone else. He may not have to take as big a pay cut as the others if he goes to Detroit, either.

    Even if Andre Drummond opts into the final year of his deal in 2020-21, the Pistons should be able to offer a free agent north of $20 million per year. Reggie Jackson's contract coming off the books will help.

    And as he enters his age-34 season, the 2019 champion may not even cost that much.

    Lowry has plenty of experience playing alongside ball-dominant teammates (DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard). He can handle plenty of possessions himself. Or, he could effectively space the floor as a catch-and-shoot option when Blake Griffin has command of the offense.

Golden State Warriors ($-5.6 Million): Kent Bazemore

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    Free-Agent Category: Sentimental Pick

    Kent Bazemore was one of the biggest winners of the free-agency shopping spree of 2016. After spending much of his first two seasons riding the bench for the Golden State Warriors, the undrafted wing signed a four-year, $70 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks.

    In 2020, that deal will expire. And right now, Bazemore ranks 170th in wins over replacement player since he signed it. He isn't likely to get anything close to that next summer.

    Would he be open to a return to the Warriors on the veteran's minimum?

    With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, D'Angelo Russell and potentially Draymond Green all under contract, that's about all Golden State will be able to afford. And those players will actually need to play.

    Bazemore was mostly known for his bench celebrations during his first stint with the Warriors. He'd need to provide some support on the floor this time around.

Houston Rockets ($3.3 Million): Marvin Williams

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    Marvin Williams would have to take a massive pay cut to land with the Houston Rockets. But after playing out a four-year, $54.5 million deal in Charlotte's basketball purgatory, he'll be up to over $120 million in career salary.

    He may be ready to go ring-chasing.

    Like the Brooklyn Nets, Houston has a ton of money tied up in two players. Over $80 million is committed to Harden and Westbrook for 2020-21 alone. Add Clint Capela to the mix and the team is already pushing $100 million in payroll.

    Veteran minimum deals will be critical.

    If Williams is indeed ready for that phase of his career—he'll be entering his age-34 season next summer—he'd be an excellent fit.

    With Westbrook and Capela on the floor, the Rockets need as much shooting as possible at the other three spots. Over his five seasons with the Hornets, Williams has hit 37.8 percent of his threes.

Indiana Pacers ($15.9 Million): Mason Plumlee

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran in His Prime

    If Indiana loses Domantas Sabonis or Goga Bitadze struggles as a rookie, the Pacers may need another playmaking big to back up Myles Turner.

    There are only six players in NBA history who've logged at least 5,000 minutes and match or exceed Plumlee's career offensive rebounding percentage and assist percentage: Charles Barkley, Tom Boerwinkle, Nikola Jokic, Rich Kelley, George McGinnis and Joakim Noah.

    In reserve units with Doug McDermott and Jeremy Lamb spacing out to the three-point line, Plumlee's rim-rolling and passing could lead to a lot of open threes.

Los Angeles Clippers ($6.6 Million): Langston Galloway

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran in His Prime

    With Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Ivica Zubac, JaMychal Green and Landry Shamet all under contract through 2020-21, the Clippers' title-contending window should be open for at least two seasons.

    But there isn't a ton of flexibility under the cap to open it much wider.

    Of course, no one predicted the PG trade, either, but let's assume L.A. will have to make moves around the fringe of the roster to improve next summer.

    If the Clippers use Bird Rights to re-sign Montrezl Harrell, combo guard may be one of the team's biggest needs. Beverley and Williams are there, but that's about it.

    Stretch the definition a bit more, and we could maybe add Shamet, but a player like Langston Galloway could be an interesting depth play.

    Over the course of his career, Galloway has hit 35.9 percent of his threes. And surrounding George and Leonard with as much shooting as possible should be the M.O. in the immediate future.

Los Angeles Lakers ($44.4 Million): Andre Iguodala

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    "On a long list of teams interested in Andre Iguodala—Lakers, Rockets, Mavericks, Clippers, etc.—don't forget Denver," the New York Times' Marc Stein tweeted. "The Nuggets want to bring Iguodala back to the Mile High."

    Several teams are hoping to add the 2015 Finals MVP, including the Lakers. Assuming they can't pull off a deal now, they'll likely continue to pursue him when he's a free agent in 2020.

    Iguodala is closing in on the end of his career, but he can still contribute in the appropriate role. As the game grows increasingly positionless, his versatile defense holds value.

    His minutes will probably need to be limited, though. If he's burnt out playing 25-30 minutes per game over the course of an entire regular season, you may not get the explosiveness you need in the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies ($63.7 Million): Malik Beasley

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    The Grizzlies traded for Marc Gasol on Feb. 1, 2008. For most of the next decade, they were perennial playoff participants. But the trades of Gasol and Mike Conley over the last six months signaled the end of the Grit-N-Grind era.

    Now, the first full-fledged rebuild of the team since 2008 is off to a dynamite start.

    The young core features a handful of analytics darlings in Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, Delon Wright and Kyle Anderson. Throw in the dynamite potential of playmaker Ja Morant, and you can see the outline of another contender in Memphis.

    Adding another wing to the mix could speed up the timeline.

    The Denver Nuggets will be faced with some questions next summer. It already has a ton of money tied up in Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. And the amount of money Beasley might command in the free-agency market could make the Nuggets uncomfortable.

    With Jackson, Clarke and Morant all on rookie deals, Memphis is positioned to perhaps overpay Beasley a bit in an effort to scare away Denver.

    After seeing limited playing time in his first two seasons, Beasley broke out with 11.3 points per game and 40.2 percent shooting from three-point range in 2018-19. Even if he just holds steady around there heading into 2020-21 (his age-24 season), he could be an ideal floor-spacing complement for the core laid out above.

Miami Heat ($39.3 Million): Marc Gasol

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    It looks like that Chris Paul/Jimmy Butler pairing could still be on the way, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst (h/t NESN's Chris Grenham):

    "When you talk about him potentially going to the Miami Heat, which is his preference, one thing I’ve been told in the talks; the fact that the Thunder hold the two of the Heat’s first-round picks in the future — unprotected 2021, protected 2023 — makes this a difficult conversation because the Heat want those picks back. The Thunder have expressed an interest in giving one of those picks back but they would want another pick farther off into the future. So I do think that these teams have a lot to talk about."

    Assume it ends up happening, though maybe later in 2019-20, as Wojnarowski reported talks have stalled. Miami would have nearly $80 million committed to Butler and CP3 in 2020-21. The Heat would suddenly be in the market for veteran mercenaries, too.

    If Bam Adebayo survives the Paul trade, he'd still be starting at center, but Gasol would be a nice change-of-pace and -style 5. His playmaking from the high post could empower the reserves when they're not sharing the floor with and being spoon-fed by Paul.

Milwaukee Bucks ($4.5 Million): Meyers Leonard

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran in His Prime

    Surrounding its star with shooters has been Milwaukee's strategy with Giannis Antetokounmpo in recent years, up to and including the center position.

    Over the first eight years of his career, 0.5 percent of Brook Lopez's career shot attempts came from three. In the next two seasons, that number jumped all the way to 36.2 percent. Then, in his first season with the Bucks, it skyrocketed to 65.1.

    Having a backup 5 who can maintain that style of play when Lopez is out would be a good target.

    During Meyers Leonard's career, over 40 percent of his shots have come from downtown. And his career three-point percentage is 38.5.

Minnesota Timberwolves ($12.2 Million): Denzel Valentine

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    Injuries sort of made Denzel Valentine the forgotten man in Chicago last season. But there should still be some intrigue surrounding the young(ish) playmaking wing.

    In 2017-18, he averaged double figures in points and shot 38.6 percent from three. Among Bulls who logged at least 1,000 minutes that season, he was third in assist percentage.

    A wing who can facilitate and space the floor might be the perfect complement to Minnesota's scoring guard (Jarrett Culver) and big (Karl-Anthony Towns).

    Of course, Andrew Wiggins is still in the mix there. And head coach Ryan Saunders told Lowe on The Lowe Post that the team isn't ready to give up on the 2014 No. 1 pick.

    Valentine could fit alongside Wiggins, but if he has a strong return campaign in 2019-20 (he missed all of last season), Minnesota might not be able to afford him.

    It's hard to know if this trade is out there, but Wiggins for expiring contracts (or even deals that add up to a little less than his total) would open up flexibility for the Wolves.

New Orleans Pelicans ($42.4 Million): Joe Harris

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran in His Prime

    With Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday and potentially Brandon Ingram all on the roster for 2020-21, the Pelicans could struggle for spacing.

    That group has combined to hit just 32.2 percent of over 2,000 NBA three-point attempts over the last three seasons. Zion hit 33.8 percent of his attempts from the shorter college line in 2018-19.

    JJ Redick is set to be on the roster for 2020-21, but he'll be going into his age-36 season. And even if there's little to no drop-off, he may not be able to provide enough spacing by himself.

    If three of the four slashers listed above are on the floor with Redick and another shooter like Joe Harris, they'd find themselves driving with significantly more space around the paint.

    Among players with at least 1,000 career three-point attempts, Harris' 42.7 percent conversion rate from downtown ranks eighth. Last season, his 47.4 percent led the NBA.

    If he and Redick are both flanking a Ball/Zion pick-and-roll, it would become exponentially more difficult for a defense to key in on the primary action. Over-help in the middle and those shooters would light you up.

New York Knicks ($71.3 Million): Anthony Davis

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Long Shot

    Yes, AD will likely re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, there's a good chance the Knicks would whiff on yet another high-profile free agent even if he leaves.

    No, those two things don't necessarily preclude New York from chasing the biggest name available in the summer of 2020.

    Plenty can happen between now and next summer. We've seen star-studded combinations fail to mesh in the past. And the Knicks set themselves up to have plenty of cap space again in 12 months.

    Is there any chance Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett show enough in 2018-19 to entice AD to leave LeBron James and Hollywood? Is there another star free agent Davis might reach out to to join him in the Big Apple?

    This summer taught us that just about anything can happen in the NBA offseason, but there's a reason this analysis is found under the Long Shot" category.

Oklahoma City Thunder ($20.2 Million): Pascal Siakam

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    OKC has a treasure trove of draft picks coming. Between the Paul George and Russell Westbrook trades, they have over 10 different draft considerations on the way. Five picks and two pick swaps for George. Two picks and two pick swaps for Westbrook, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

    For a team that drafted Durant, Westbrook and James Harden once upon a time, that many chances should yield solid odds for finding a star.

    But if the Thunder can get off the monster contract of Chris Paul (acquired in the Westbrook deal) without taking back too much money, they could try to be players in free agency.

    Would a max offer sheet for Pascal Siakam scare off the Toronto Raptors? Probably not. They're also in a transition phase, but Siakam could be the next face of the franchise.

    Still, the Thunder shouldn't be afraid of offering a deal like this. At some point in the near future, this team will be a mostly blank canvas. The draft will be the primary source of team-building, but there's nothing wrong with taking a shot on a rising star in free agency when you're rebuilding.

Orlando Magic ($34.2 Million): Fred VanVleet

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Long Shot

    In re-signing Nikola Vucevic, the Magic pretty much committed to a borderline playoff team for the next couple of years.

    But there is an avenue for change. If Markelle Fultz doesn't figure out whatever's plagued his career thus far, declining his team option for 2020-21 would open up $12.3 million. Moving Evan Fournier's $17 million player option in a trade could help, too.

    Even with Fournier on the books, Orlando could still make a competitive offer for VanVleet. And he would likely raise the team's ceiling on defense.

    D.J. Augustin has been the better shooter over the last two seasons, but he's six years older, and VanVleet's overall impact may be higher over the next few years.

    Since the start of 2017-18, his box plus/minus is 0.9. Augustin's is minus-0.6.

Philadelphia 76ers ($0.5 Million): Eric Gordon

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    Alright, we may be reaching a bit. Gordon will only be going into his age-32 season in 2020. He'd likely be passing up more money and years elsewhere to take a veteran minimum or taxpayer mid-level exception deal with Philadelphia.

    But the 76ers are legitimate title contenders.

    And with Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Joel Embiid all under contract through 2020-21, the window is open for at least two seasons.

    Gordon could be the perfect sixth man. Pairing him with Horford's playmaking on the second unit (Philadelphia should be staggering the veteran big man and Embiid), the Sixers could suddenly have a dynamic attack without their superstars on the floor.

Phoenix Suns ($37.7 Million): Otto Porter, Jr.

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    Brandon Dill/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran in His Prime

    Otto Porter Jr. may not have to give up a ton of money to go to Phoenix, but opting out of $28.5 million in 2020-21 isn't a no-brainer. If the Suns are willing to pay him around $20 million per year on a longer-term deal, he may have to consider it.

    With Dario Saric entering free agency, Porter could be a nice replacement at the 4. He, Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre Jr. could be a mostly interchangeable trio at the 2 through the 4, Devin Booker could be a de facto 1 and Deandre Ayton could be the anchor inside.

    Over the last three seasons, Porter is 35th among qualified players in box plus/minus. He's averaged 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.1 threes per 75 possessions with a 60.2 true shooting percentage.

    And for most of that time, he played with ball-dominant guards in John Wall and Bradley Beal. He should have little trouble adapting to life with Booker.

Portland Trail Blazers ($26.5 Million): LaMarcus Aldridge

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Sentimental Pick

    In an interview with NBC Sports Northwest, The Athletic's Jabari Young said, "I think at the end of the day, someway, somehow, LaMarcus will be back in Portland."

    As detailed earlier, Aldridge's contract is only guaranteed for $7 million in 2020-21. The Spurs need to pivot toward a rebuild. And the big man himself has even contemplated this possibility.

    "I keep telling [Damian Lillard] I'm going to come back and finish [in Portland]," Aldridge said in March, per The Athletic's Jason Quick. "That's something him and I have talked about—playing together again."

    Jusuf Nurkic will still be under contract with Portland in 2020-21, but Aldridge has long maintained his being a power forward, and some teams seem to be running counter to the small-ball revolution.

    The Philadelphia 76ers just signed Al Horford to play the 4. The Indiana Pacers appear intent on playing Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner together in 2019-20.

    With Lillard and CJ McCollum on the team, they may already have enough perimeter play to get away with two bigs who occupy the space inside the three-point line.

Sacramento Kings ($53 Million): DeMar DeRozan

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    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran in His Prime

    The Kings have one of the league's most intriguing young cores.

    Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic will both be free agents in 2020, but Sacramento should have more than enough cap space to keep them developing alongside De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III.

    And if they want to use their space on a big name like DeMar DeRozan, they can sign him first and then use Bird Rights to retain the younger guys.

    A lineup with Fox, Hield, Harrison Barnes and Dewayne Dedmon should have enough perimeter skill to mitigate DeRozan's lack of long-range shooting.

    On possessions when DeRozan is on the ball, Fox, Hield, Barnes and Dedmon can space out to the three-point line. That would leave DeRozan's hot zone, the mid-range, open for him to pick apart.

San Antonio Spurs ($64 Million): Dario Saric

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    After decades of dominance, it feels like the Spurs are finally on the precipice of an overhaul. In the ever-challenging West, it's hard to imagine a team led by LaMarcus Aldridge (35 in July 2020) and DeMar DeRozan (30 in August) competing for titles.

    Both could be off the books before the 2020-21 season.

    DeRozan has a $27.7 million player option for that campaign. That may be tough to give up, but maybe he sees a wide-open market with less talent available next summer and secures a three- or four-year deal that pays him a bit less than that annually.

    Aldridge, meanwhile, is set to make $24 million in 2020-21, but only $7 million of that is guaranteed.

    If they're gone, the youngsters left behind would likely be Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV. They're all guards.

    Dario Saric, who'll still be four years shy of his 30th birthday next summer, could add some size to the equation.

    At 6'10", Saric is a career 35.8 percent shooter from deep. And he averaged 3.1 assists per 75 possessions over his first two seasons in the NBA.

    His shooting and playmaking would force bigs to stay attached to him on the perimeter, opening up the paint for those young slashing guards.

Toronto Raptors ($93.6 Million): Caris LeVert

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    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Restricted Free Agency

    Less than a month after winning their first NBA title, the Raptors lost the franchise player who delivered it to them. But even though Kawhi Leonard only gave Toronto one year, the team's future is bright.

    The Raptors have less than $20 million in guaranteed money lined up for the 2020-21 campaign. That leaves nearly $100 million in space, assuming some cap holds are renounced.

    Now, much of that will likely be taken up by Pascal Siakam. Fred VanVleet (unrestricted in 2020) should probably be a priority as well. And it would be a fun story if Kyle Lowry finishes his career in Toronto.

    But even with those three returning, the Raptors figure to have a ton of money to spend. Perhaps they can hold some feet to the fire in restricted free agency.

    The Brooklyn Nets have a lot committed to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Big money for some of the younger players currently on the roster could steer the team to the luxury tax fairly quickly.

    Perhaps Toronto could get to Brooklyn's "walk away" number with Caris LeVert. A team with Siakam and VanVleet is a good start, but the Raptors would need some solid wings in between those two.

Utah Jazz ($40.4 Million): Nicolas Batum

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    Talking Nicolas Batum out of his $27.1 million player option would be a tough task. But by the end of 2019-20, his career earnings will be up to around $120 million, and he's been stuck with the thoroughly mediocre Charlotte Hornets for the last few years.

    Perhaps he's ready to play for a contender.

    Last season, Utah was fourth in simple rating system (point differential combined with strength of schedule), and the Jazz should (again) expect to be one of the league's best teams in 2019-20.

    If they operate as a capped-out squad in 2020, they could offer Batum a full mid-level exception. His annual salary would be around $10 million. That's a far cry from $27 million, but maybe a three-year, $30 million deal with a winner in the West would coax the Frenchman into joining his national team compatriot (Rudy Gobert) in Utah.

    In terms of fit, Batum would give the Jazz another positionless wing/forward alongside Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O'Neale. He can defend multiple positions, knock down threes and even create a little bit.

Washington Wizards ($20.5 Million): Danilo Gallinari

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    Free-Agent Category: Veteran Mercenary

    As long as the Wizards keep their heels dug in when it comes to trading Bradley Beal, they kind of have to try to stay competitive.

    And Gallinari would be a nice fit as a stretch 4 with Beal and John Wall.

    In 2018-19, Gallo was 11th in the NBA in offensive real plus-minus. He's one of the game's most analytically approved scorers, which could help offset the inefficient volume of Wall. He's also one of just three players in league history with 10,000-plus minutes, a free-throw attempt rate north of 40 and a three-point attempt rate above 40. The other two? James Harden and Chauncey Billups.

    Among the 286 players with at least 1,500 career three-point attempts, Gallo is 16th in true shooting percentage. Wall, meanwhile, is 237th on that list.