NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Top Targets in League

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against Jarrett Allen #31 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at the Staples Center on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Credit: 2020 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Elise/Getty Images

When the 2019-20 NBA season concludes, the focus will be on Anthony Davis. He has a player option for next season, but there is a good chance he opts out.

There are a number of impact players who may hit the open market this offseason, and we've highlighted three below.


Anthony Davis

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith noted that Davis ($28.8 million player option) will opt out, "barring something really unexpected with the salary cap dropping dramatically."

According to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register, "L.A. is where Davis wanted to be, LeBron James is the teammate he wanted to have, and the Lakers have done enough to sell him on a future with the franchise."

Damian Lillard, James Harden and John Wall are among a group of six players making over $40 million per season, while 25 others are earning over $30 million per year, including LeBron. Of course, AD belongs in that top tier.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported in January the Lakers offered Davis a four-year, $146 million max extension, and the decision to decline that deal "was made out of salary-cap implications and because Davis wants to solely focus on this season."

Davis, who is averaging 26.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, may opt for a shorter contract if the salary cap comes down as one of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. If that occurs, he could agree to a two- or three-year deal and cash in again afterward.


Christian Wood

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Christian Wood isn't a huge name, but he has taken off since Andre Drummond's departure. In fact, he had 16 consecutive double-digit-point performances before the NBA suspended its season.

The 24-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent and is in line for a massive jump from his current $1.6 million salary.

According to The Athletic's James L. Edwards III, there is interest from the Boston Celtics, who "inquired about Wood on more than one occasion" around the trade deadline. However, they may not be able to afford him since Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter both have player options (over $39 million combined).

Regardless of outside interest, the Pistons may look to lock him in with a big-money deal. Not bad for someone who went undrafted in 2015 and bounced around the league prior to this season.


Andre Drummond

Paul Beaty/Associated Press

After surprisingly acquiring Drummond at the trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now likely on the hook for his $28.8 million salary next season.

According to Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor, Drummond "picking up his option remains most likely."

Though he puts up healthy stats—he has averaged a double-double every season since his rookie year in 2012-13—he's unlikely to get anywhere near $28.8 million annually should he opt out, as his old-school game doesn't suit most, if any, teams.

If Drummond opts in, Cleveland could select a wing player early in the 2020 NBA draft to pair with him, Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Kevin Love, assuming that core remains intact.