NBA Free Agency 2020: Predictions for Davis Bertans, Danilo Gallinari, More
It's still not clear when NBA free agency will begin, but it's coming soon. Whenever it begins, it's not too early to speculate where some of the top players hitting the market could end up for the 2020-21 season and potentially beyond.
Of course, the biggest name who could be a free agent is Anthony Davis, who is likely to decline his player option for next season. But widely it's expected he'll re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, so teams looking to add the star power forward shouldn't get their hopes up.
That doesn't mean there won't be other talented forwards available, though. In fact, there are quite a few who should be targeted and could make a difference for a team moving forward.
Here's a look at some top forwards hitting the free-agent market, along with predictions for where each will land this offseason.
After spending the first three years of his career with the San Antonio Spurs, Davis Bertans had a breakout 2019-20 season following a trade to the Washington Wizards in July 2019.
Bertans averaged 15.4 points and 4.5 rebounds (both career highs) in 54 games (four starts) this past season. However, he chose not to play in the Wizards' 10 games in the NBA bubble after the season resumed in Orlando this past summer, so he didn't take the court after March.
But Bertans had already showed what he was capable of at that point, and it would make sense that several teams that could use power forwards would have interest in him, which includes Washington.
The Athletic's Fred Katz recently wrote that the Wizards have interest in re-signing Bertans, which would put them over the salary cap. That shows his importance to Washington.
Prediction: Bertans re-signs with Wizards
Danilo Gallinari has made it clear: He wants to play for a team that can contend for the NBA title.
During an interview last month at Festival dello Sport in Italy (h/t Sportando), Gallinari stated that playing for a contending team will be more important to him than his next contract. Not only has the 32-year-old forward never won an NBA title, he's never even won a playoff series, a run that continued when the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated in the first round by the Houston Rockets this past August.
What better team to join than the one that almost won it all? In fact, the Heat appeared to have traded for Gallinari just before the trade deadline this past February in a potential deal that was reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, but it never went through. It at least shows Miami may have interest in Gallinari.
This past season (his 11th in the NBA), Gallinari averaged 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 62 games for Oklahoma City in his first (and potentially only) year with the team.
Miami will find a way to make it work financially and add Gallinari as it looks to try to make it to the NBA Finals for the second straight year in 2021.
Prediction: Gallinari signs with Heat
The Detroit Pistons are trying to turn around their recent struggles and get back to their glory days. And in order to do that, they should likely do whatever it takes to bring back Wood, who just had a breakout season for them in 2019-20.
Wood averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 62 games while shooting 56.7 percent from the field. Entering this past season, he had played only 51 career games over his first three NBA seasons, spending time with four teams during that span.
But Detroit found a gem when it claimed Wood off waivers from the New Orleans Pelicans in July 2019, and now the 25-year-old is likely to draw plenty of interest as he hits the free-agent market. It wouldn't be surprising if a team such as the Charlotte Hornets, which needs help down low, tried to covince him to join them.
The Pistons need Wood to build around, though, and they should give him an enticing enough offer to prevent him from leaving. And if he continues to improve in future seasons, he could be a key reason for Detroit having a resurgence.
Prediction: Wood re-signs with Pistons